TELEPHONE BOOKING Book Festival 0131 624 5050

Fringe 0131 226 0000

International Festival 0131 473 2000 Film Festival 0131 623 8030


Trusims on life, death and parenthood 0...

There is something enthralling. intriguing and captivating about the way Jack Klaft spins a stream of consciousness-style yarn. philosophising on aspects of parenthood. life. death. and the importance of ‘passing it on'. In spite of the stuffy. sauna-like venue of the Pleasance Upstairs. Klatf holds the attention With his chatty. anecdotal style. Even when you aren't sure where he's going With a partiCuIar line of comment. his v0ice has a quality that holds you until you can latch on to his train of thought again. making this an ultimater satisfying. fulfilling and stimulating show. and probably unlike anything else you'll see at the Fringe. lGareth Dawes) I Pleasance Cetirtyard and Over The Road. 556 6550. until 26 Aug. 4pm, E7438 ($36—$37).

MY ENGLAND Giving hooliganism a bad name 00 Purporting to be provocative and

The Trojan Women, see page 76


Good old-fashioned sickcom 0..

Caroline Burns Cooke heads an accoinplshcd einseinble cast in this post-inot‘leiiu. tiagi- comic kitchen sink drama abotit a woman forced to plat. a role. Dragging ner skeletons Out of the cupboard it‘IO the cold light of day yes. she abandoned her children and yes perish the thOught COmmitteo Oigamy). writer Brian Fiilis uses Fanny. Just as she was used and abused by television. to make comment on the SOCiaI mores of the 508 right throtigh to the 70s. iCatherine Bromley) I The Garage, 227 9009. until 26 Aug. 8. 70pm. £7 £5).

turns for freedom. happiness and love. with a barman whose main passion in life is tying knots.

This is a fairly conventional boy- meets-girl love story. although the circus/knot tying aspects do give a distinct symbolic twist in the tale. It's not cutesy and sickly but quite touching the way the characters find in each other something they’ve desired for so long. but it's a trifle overlong. and is still, really, predictably convenhonat (Gareth Davies)

I Assembly Rooms. 226 2428. until 26 Aug, 70.30am, £70 (£9).

than a youngster can snort a line of coke. Lodged somewhere in between ll/len Beliawng Badly and Minder, it's not the cutting edge of comedy. but noither is It trying to be. Still werth a look.

(Mererid Williams)

I Gilded Balloon Cowgate. 226 2757, until 26 Aug. 4.30pm, EB—EQ (EV—£8).

FEAR OF FANNY Cradock filleted .0.

Before there was Jamie Oliver there was Delia. and before that the late. great Fanny Cradock. the grande dame of TV cookery. Playing the role of the imperious Edwardian harpy to perfection.

Like sitcoms? Then you might enjoy John Sweeny's new play involving three past-it rock stars stranded in a sen/ice station waiting for the AA. Necking down teQuiIa. they reminisce about the good old days. the bad old days and crosswords.

Starring Jim Sweeny, Steve Steen and Stephen Frost from Whose Line is it Anyway?. the main theme, it appears. is age. Under some quality one-liners. there's a scary observation about the body decaying faster

hardhitting'. this play is something of a soft touch on the issues and characters it's dealing with. Two England football fans. one black. one white. are held in a cell at Wembley for causing trouble at the match. where they kick about the issues of racism and prejudice. Somehow managing to use and overuse every race cliche known. Clifford Oliver's play is a triumph of senseless polemic. Instead of developing the characters in such a way as to really explore the issues. stereotype is resorted to time and time again. turning a play with a well-meaning heart into a trite melodrama. (Gareth Davies) I Pleasance Courtyard and Over The Bead. 556 6550. until 26 Aug, 2.35pm, l.‘7.50—£‘8.50 ($560—$650).


Love without a safety net .0.

For some. running away to JOIli the Circus is the ultimate romantic fantasy. But for the trapeze artist in this production. it is away from the confines of the circus that she

Burgtheater, she has instead relied on the big ideas and themes of the text to speak a universal language. And a political language at that. Frustrated that many see Maria Stuart as a love story or a tale about a jealous woman or a dying woman due to constant reworkings that dilute the substance of the piece, Breth’s aim was to reassert the play’s political urgency. Indeed, she undertook the play only because she was looking for a work with political clout that would make subtle but nonetheless pointed comment on the current Austrian government’s dependence on a ruthless right-wing party.

Justly rewarded by rave reviews and sold- out houses in Vienna, Breth succeeds in rendering the grand majesty of a highbrow costume drama while simultaneously conveying a message of contemporary relevance. (Catherine Bromley)

I King's. 473 2000, 29—30 Aug, 7pm. 37 Aug. 6pm, £5—£‘26.

PREVIEW MARIA STUART Work with political clout

In her bold fidelity to the text and adamant refusal to update a classic via devices such as modern setting or contemporary costumes, the director of Vienna’s Burgtheater, Andrea Broth, is taking no prisoners. Rather, in her sumptuous traditional staging of Schiller's Marla Stuart, she’s giving us prisoners - namely Maria Stuart, trapped by her guilty bloodstained past and Elizabeth I, held captive by her political present - and in the process making timely comment on power and what you have to do to keep it.

Breth has worked against the dominant German fashion of cutting and re-arranging text and bringing in new elements to render classic plays relevant to a modern audience. In her eight years at Berlin’s Schaubuhne and in her current role as director at the \fienna