BOOKS / Will Self

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WILL SELF'S first performance of Scale was on the set of Alice's Adventures Under Ground at the Cottesloe on Thursday, Robert Butler writes. Britain's fastest growing literary reputation began his short story, about somebody who loses his sense of scale, by entering, bent double, through a half-size door. The story was diminished, too. This graceful, dazzling stylist makes a scuffling, disdainful performer. The black T-shirt, black suit, black shoes, black hair and sideburns prepare us for the humour. Also black. But as Self circles the raked stage the precision of the prose is not matched by his unpractised delivery. This is more of a reading than a performance, though he has learnt it by heart. The few moments of dialogue show that his characters' voices aren't nearly as pungent as his own. He survives on his sense of Self. (Next appearance: Jackson's Lane Community Centre, N6, 081-340 5226, Wed to Fri.)

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