i Seroovial Brooks:

you can barely drink him in



A risky quantum leap

I never found physics

very funny at school. And it is a brave man who tries to evoke humour from Quantum 3 Theory. This is. of

course. only a loose

premise for the show. Alistair Barrie takes on politics. poetry. religion

and relationships in


An Edinburgh University professor is currently investigating exactly what it is about a joke that makes people laugh. No matter how extensive, how in-depth his research, he could never even begin to explain Noel Fielding.

As Fielding bounds on stage, all pointy features, skinny-arsed cuteness and big hair, he begins his deluge of intricate stories and fantastical mental imagery delivered at a ferocious pace. Strutting around like an enthusiastic baby gazelle, he incites an eye war with the audience, he reveals his love of jellyfish (for their cheekbones, naturally), and reminisces about childhood memories as bizarre and downright mental as seeing a dead fox, or outwitting bedroom monsters.

And it shouldn’t work, but it does. Grown men are bent double over his talking moon and women swoon when his woodland creation Seroovial Brooks - the half man, half ram forest leader - sets out on his self-defeating quest to find a lady friend. Fielding is just so damn charismatic and watchable that he simply transfixes, maybe even hypnotises, an entire room. His genius so inspired and original that you sit, open mouth, in disbelief and sheer wonderment at the limitless expanse of his mind. Yet another character is introduced, this time Mario, the shady shadow-humming wolf. A touch of audience participation later and Fielding notches up another comic spectacle that illustrates his boundless scope for novelty and innate sense of the bizarrer entertaining.

One of the pitfalls of this type of surreal comedy is stupidity - are ramblings about smoke alarms or crows with STDs really funny? While that danger always lurks, Fielding manages to avoid the trap well. Perhaps it’s because he’s so likeable or because he imparts stories in such a fascinating way. Whatever it is, watching these spiralling cerebral torrents is like being transported to a parallel universe for an all-too brief hour.

From the weird synth intro music to the hand-painted paper plate satellites and its sharp ending, Voodoo Hedgehog is easily the most wacky, most awesomely brilliant Fringe spectacle you could expect to see outside of a dream. (Maureen Ellis)

I Pleasance. 556 6550. until 26 Aug. 7. 70pm, EQ—f 70 (‘38—‘39).

NOEL FIELDING Take a walk on the wild side 0000

“A first class ticket to laughs about the wacky world

of alr travel.” ~Tom Brokaw, NBC News

“Great laugh therapy for frequent flyers.”

-Mlnneapolls Star Tribune

2-26 August 7:45 Gilded Balloon Backstage I

Box Office 0131 22


6 2151

82 1’“! LIST FESTIVAL GUIDE 22 Aug—5 Sep 2002

tangential ramblings which orbit around The Uncertainty Principle. Related to comedy. he explains: ‘There might be a lot of jokes that are out there. may be there. but you just don't know it.‘ This is perhaps a bit too close to the bone.

Middle class angst is a running theme. but Barrie does better when he strays away from the RC material where old ideas are re- hashed and he ventures onto more risque ground.

(Ruth Hedges)

I P/easance. 556 6550. until 26 Aug. 8.75pm, EQ—EIO (88—89).


The gloves come off .00

According to her mother. Jo Caulfield grinned like a cream- acqwring feline when she lost her virginity. and Jesus. what a caustic grin it is. Immediately taken to by the audience. her claws are never totally extended. but I for one w0uld never care to cross the woman. Mocking the crowd's childhood dreams is easy prey. and the occasional joke comes signposted. but when yOu're this fast.

confident and downright cutting. do you really care?

Directed by Graham Norton (and you can almost hear him sniggeringl. her Circle of friends must be simultaneOusly honoured and horrified to know the minutiae of their lives can be so brilliantly and bitchily dissected.

(Jay Richardsonl

I Please/ice. 556 6550. until 26 Aug. 8.05pm. EQ—EIO (£58410).


Nervy near miss .0

With his nervy. scatter- gun delivery. James Goldsbury has a style that is all his own, but his material - Aren't adverts a con? Don't foreign people act different? is far too hackneyed.

For all his likeable stage presence. the gangling Irishman never quite rises above the impression that he's merely the biggest wag in the pub. which. given an audience of 12. is no hefty potatoes. And then there's his 50 impressions in 30 seconds. Presented in the style of Dylan's “Subterranean HomeSIck Blues' Video. it's more hit than miss.

but occasionally he just abandons a mimic mid- sentence because the audience isn't grasping it. Which is crap. frankly.

(Jay Richardson)

I C02. 0870 707

5 705. until 25 Aug. 10pm, $77.50 ($6.50).

DEIRDRE O’KANE Stellar Irish lass III

Deirdre O'Kane has the unfathomable Irish knack of making you feel like you are sitting in her living room catching up over a cup of coffee. Her warm humour and self- deprecating manner (an Irish trait she ridICUlesl QUICkly Win the audience over. and like any Irish bod. she knows how to tell a good story.

She gives her fellow c0untrymen a good roasting. but the firing squad is reserved for child stars and boy bands who are assassinated in an entertaining selection of ridiculous impressions and songs. A natural. O'Kane's sharp wit and easy banter shriek star quality.

(Suxannah McMicking) I Pleasance Dome.

.556 65:30. until 26 Aug.

“1350/71, C8.50—£‘9.50 ($760—$850).