Fowl nightmare vision 0...

It's rare to see Iranian performance, which makes this disturbing production by Attila Pessyani‘s Theatre Bazi doubly valuable. The look is unforgettable. Inside a chickenwire cage plastered with debris and backed by grainy. memory-like video footage. an older woman looks after a goggles-wearing. earmuffed girl.

The former’s caretaking manner is all false tenderness and (stylised) cruelty. A duck (a terrifically natural scene-stealer) and goldfish also occupy the cage, while just outside sits a sinister, music-making figure (Pessyani himself) in dark glasses. This is an emotionally muffled. hugely metaphorical

and fascinating study of oppression. (Donald Hutera)

I Theatre Workshop. 226 5425, until 24 Aug, 9.30pm, £9 (£7).


Nudes of the world 0....

Brazilian choreographer Lia Bodrigues requires enormous commitment and energy from her dancers and audience alike. The two distinct halves of this unmissable promenade performance fit together beautifully. In the first. the seven nude cast members turn themselves into corporeal trompe I'oeil. After simply standing exposed to our gaze, they flop like wet fish into and out of a body- pile that is unsettlingly reminiscent of Holocaust imagery. Part two is a charged. clothed and

slogan-stuffed parade of dancey (but not fancy) military manoeuvres. The end result is a strong. direct and reverberant statement about flesh and politics.

(Donald Hutem)

I St Stephens, 558 3853, until Aug 26. times vary, £9 (87).

t" EMPIRE OF THE SENSES/REALM or J DESIRE """' Sex kitten rocks and rolls O... I...

To call Fringe mainstay (and venue director) Shakti a mover and a shaker is an understatement. This year her sense of shameless showgirl spirituality is in full (de)flower. In Empire of the Senses she‘s a cosmic goddess whose own body is her temple. displayed against a well-edited stream of time-lapse nature photography. A deft mistress of fabric manipulation. she's suppliant in virginal white until she lets her mane down and unleashes the wild beast within. This late afternoon performance climaxes on a

note of literally volcanic abandonment. With the nocturnal Realm of Desire her defiant disregard for nay-sayers reaches new heights

or depths. The stage is fronted by blinds controlled by two obedient female minions. Shakti's at her purest and raunchiest here. in peepshow dominatrix mode complete with Sapphic hints and whip-brandishing self-flagellation. Great lighting and a killer rock soundtrack add to the fun. (Donald Hutera)

I Realm of Desire, The Garage, 227 9009. until 26 Aug, 70pm, E9 (E8); Empire of the Senses, The Garage, 227 9009, until 26 Aug, 5pm, £9 (£8).

54 THE LIST FESTIVAL GUIDE 22 Aug—5 Set) 2002

THROAT Pretentious performance art 000

An underwear clad John Paul Zaccarini plunges in a stage which is suddenly flooded with water. He kneads dough into the shape of a baby and cradles it in his arms just two extraordinary images from this pretentious performance art. which has everything and the kitchen sink thrown at it. While a great trapeze artist. Zaccarini and directOr Flick Ferdinando need to decide the tone and the message of the piece. And getting rid of the audience participation and cutting the poorly executed. deliberately bad song and dance would be a good place to start. Just fly, and create a character and st0ry from that. A disappointment. (John Binnie) I Throat, Pleasance, 556 6550, until 26 Aug, 1.30pm, 87.50—88.50 ($550—$650)

FUL Modern life moves .00. Five monoliths one for each dancer are the endlessly reinvented set-piece for this fine show by Nats Nus (Spanish for “born naked'). Company director Toni Mira uses text and film to enhance a group pOrtrait of contemporary adult life. There are smart observations about our shadow selves and social alienation, plus hide-and-seek games and even a romantic

Barely short of magnificent

duet between a woman and a remote control car. Clever thOugh not groundbreaking. the piece grows more engaging as it goes along. Partly because the thoughtful, giving cast is experienced in living as well as performing.

(Donald Hutera)

I St Stephen 's, 558 3853, until 23 Aug, times vary, 87—59.


Alien humour .0 IO. / IO.

Humour doesn't always travel well. Is that what's wrong with these two pieces of foreign physical theatre in the Aurora Nova programme? Belgium's Gilles Monnart has a peculiar aesthetic based on dance. video game graphics and especially cardboard boxes. lvlumu's Mummy Land. for his company Un Oeuf is Un Oeuf, is a quartet of precision whimsy involving shifting. double-sided walls of boxes. mechanical cartoon- style movement and a black-light ballet of workmen's clothing. It's cute and not withOut skill, but fails to spring to life.

A double-bill by Switzerland's Company Drift demonstrates a distinct movement vocabulary of scaled- down gestures and fussy. quirky rhythms. But Roach Motel is surprisingly anodyne for

a dead-pan comedy of extermination. Temptation, about the obsessions of a quintet of crOuching, big-eared sacerdotal gnomes. is better but still unsatisfying. Radiant lighting is a plus. (Donald Hutera)

I Mumu's Mummy Land, St Stephens, 558 3853, until 24 Aug. 7.30pm, £9 (£7); Roach Motel/Temptation, St Stephens, 558 3853. until 24 Aug, 6.45pm. £9 (E 7).

ALARMED Alarmingly artless, strangely endearing .0

Parts of this make-shift multi media hodgepodge from America seem heaven- sent for connoisseurs of earnestly bad art. You pass through a lame installation to reach yOur seat and what ensues is all bits and pieces. The sole male is a better poet-performer than dancer, choreographer or actor.

A mature. grey-haired woman has more presence than she knows what to do with. Faith Pilger (past winner of the Princess Grace Award for modern dance) is onto something original as a sad. dancing performance-art clown. There are also tantalising film glimpses of David Beck's mechanical animal SCulptures. Incredibly, it winds Lip being pretty likeable. (Donald Hutera) I The Garage Chap/teau. 227 9009. until 26 Aug, 5. 75pm, [‘7 (£5).