Young Man Pleasance Dome
Woolf's Angry Young Man is being sold as a comedy about immigration.
In many ways this is misleading. It conjures up images of earnest students
creating sub-Ben Elton (the eighties comic, not the nineties hack) right-on
material about how we live in, like, a fascist state, man. Nothing could
be further from the truth.
by Lamplight Traverse Theatre
a strong Vaudeville, throw in some engaging American Story Theatre and
then add a dash of Commedia dell'Arte and what one gets is a surprising
homily to the great city of Dublin, set like Ulysses in a single day,
only this time it is 1904 and centred around the launch of The Irish
radically truncated version of Goethe's Faust myth from Poznan's Nowy
Theatre has been garnering some enviable reviews and critical plaudits.
On this showing, it is rather hard to see why. It's a solid enough bit
of work, but with the hype it's been getting, one is led to expect something
more than solid.
/ Making The Difference Both Pleasance
are a number of plays on the Fringe this year dealing with various aspects
of the 'War on Terror', from 9/11, through the invasion of Iraq, to
the recent suicide bombings in London. The most fervent area for dramatic
attention is provided by the massive shock to national self-image caused
by the Abu Ghraib photographs - the moment when America and Britain
were conclusively seen to have strayed away from their self-appointed
role as the Good Guys upholding liberty, freedom and fair play. Of these
many plays, two of the best are Guardians by Peter Morris and Making
The Difference created by Small Change Theatre.
Boy and the Village of Death C
about this production, from the ominous music, the imaginative costuming,
the shocking make-up and the beautifully pitched acting, adds up to
a cross between Czech puppet-theatre and The Simpsons.
of a Dog Assembly Rooms
can be forgiven in a novel as good as Heart of a Dog, and this production
retains enough of what is good in the novel to render similar criticisms
of its take on Zimbabwean politics beside the point.
Unity C Electric
Arditti's recent novel Unity concerns a group of Cambridge students
who take a scurrilous and brilliant May Week show that they have written
about Unity Mitford to the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 1975 and are
picked up by a genius German film director. Sad to report that, were
the novel set thirty years later, the fictional film maker would have
probably walked out after ten minutes of New Era's similar project.
disappointment begins with the production's overbearing soundtrack:
spooky noises worthy of Scooby Doo establish a rather naff atmosphere
from the beginning and often threaten to drown out the actors' words.
- The Hour C
idea of presenting the witches as lesbians seemed an interesting one
compared to other productions I have seen, and certainly made the first
scene stand out a bit more.
Persons - Four Tragedies and Roy Keane
Assembly Rooms (Venue 3)
RSC stalwart Greg Hicks performing five brief monologues by the
acclaimed translator and playwright Colin Teevan should be one of the
more sure-fire quality offerings on the Fringe; and so it is.
Journey Pleasance (Venue 33)
seems that there are two sorts of satire. The first and more conventional
form takes pains to highlight hypocrisy, puncture pomposity and attack
the powerful; the second sort takes a very silly thing and highlights
how silly it was in the first place by making it even sillier. Moon
Journey falls happily into the latter camp.
project is complicated by factors outside her control, and Badham skillfully
draws a parallel between Ava's authorial frustrations and those of the
Play Gilded Balloon
sex' is real sex, one character insists, protesting too much. Real,
no, safe, yes, but it is also unsatisfying. And the same seems to go
for life in general.
is neither a straightforward joke at the expense of impressionable working
class teenagers, nor a polemic against the snobbery of their detractors.
Instead it combines both by focusing its satirical ire on the magazines
that promote superficial celebrity culture.
the Return Smirnoff Underbelly
we start off uncertain about how much freedom we have to join in and
shape the performance, by the latter half of the play it is clear that
anything we say is a side show.
for Breakfast C
Shakespeare had been commissioned to write a Carry On script, this would
have been it.
of the Grandfathers Smirnoff
Tetsell manages the neat trick of creating a very funny hour of stand-up
comedy based on the fact that his maternal grandfather was a
non-commissioned officer in the Waffen SS. Tetsell comes pre-recommended
by virtue of having written comedy for a number of Radio and TV shows,
as well as Basil Brush apparently. But as well as being an excellent
writer, he is also a talented and engaging stage presence.
for the Wobbly-hearted Traverse
one sees something in a theatre which it is impossible to do justice
to in a review. Daniel Kitson's story-telling show, Stories for the
Wobbly-hearted, is just this...
an attempt to make fun of the manners of the established order - in
this instance the gleaming spires and sherry drinking conformity of
the masters - it becomes too indulgent and safe.
emphasis is very much on the chorus, the six women of the title, who
sing and dance us through the story, ensuring we react to its theatricality
rather than getting hung up on its 'timeless theme' or whatever.