Edinburgh Festival / Day 11: Reviews
Thursday 25 August 1994
Give them the Queen's Award for Industry: Harry Hill and Pub Band are spreading the gospel of the great British boozer. Hill remains the master of the Viz-letters- style one-liner, his solo routine smoothly linking subjects as diffuse as geese and Mastermind. It's just a shame it's so short. Pub Band - Hill, 'son Alan' and leery landlord Al Murray - are not smooth. They may, you suspect, have a short shelf-life, but their cheesy standards are comically effective. 'Beer,' Hill yodels, 'costs, and right here is where you start paying.' Open your wallet and fight your way to the bar.
Pleasance (venue 33), 60 The Pleasance (031-556 6550). 7.50pm. To 29 Aug
Electric woks, designer thermals and every kind of tacky consumer trivia dominate Agnes's preparations for Christmas as she awaits the return of husband Derek, a diver on the Aberdeen rigs. Liz Lochhead's 1991 success starts as a hilariously acute observation on suburban society, but the comic business turns caustic, exposing the angry flesh of Derek and Agnes's marriage. Carolyn Bonnyman delivers an Agnes Julie Walters would die for, and Lewis Howden is all too credible as the kind of overbearing drunk on a train who always disclaims being an overbearing drunk on a train.
Gilded Balloon II (venue 51), Stepping Stones, West Bow, Grassmarket (031-225 6520). 2.15 pm. To 3 Sept
Jimeoin is a natural comedian, his act less of a routine than an evening with a friend who is genial, contagiously giggly, and exceptionally funny. His sense of humour revolves round the everyday follies of existence, which he manages to pinpoint with sly accuracy and a surreal edge: 'Fish never bump into each other, do they?' Comedy of the highest order.
George Square Theatre (venue 37), George Square (031-650 2001). 9.45pm. To 29 Aug
THE MADWOMAN IN THE ATTIC
Jacqueline Haigh has created a small but astonishing piece of student theatre in two sections. A Victorian mistress rails against the misery of her role and a modern young woman finds her identity and intelligence fragmenting rapidly. Common Fringe preoccupations are made fresh and gripping by Haigh's tight grasp on a language that is richly poetic without being purple. She sometimes runs too long with a single idea, but handles complex, disturbing concepts with a fierce assurance both as writer and performer.
Southbridge Centre (venue 123), Infirmary St (031-556 3663). 12 noon. To 3 Sept
SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE GINGER
Mandy Knight's one-woman ranting is deceptively controlled. She's a virtuoso mimic, displaying in her Medusa-like Northern sales assistant and her Bette Davis-style fading film star acutely cruel powers of observation. While early costume changes occasionally hold her up, Knight otherwise gives us her hyper all. Roberta Mock
Gilded Balloon II (venue 51), Stepping Stones, West Bow, Grassmarket (031-225 6520). 11pm. To 3 Sept
Lip Service's middle-brow pantomime style is irritating to people who like a little thought with their comedy. But the old-fashioned charm of their character acting is faultless. Here they portray two strangers on a weekend treasure hunt, and a handful of eccentrics in a back-projected 1940s-style romance which repeatedly spills its characters on to the stage. It's like Noddy crossed with Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid. Tom Morris
Assembly Rms (venue 3), 54 George St (031-226 2428). 2pm. To 3 Sept
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Amy Winehouse statue unveiled in Camden
- 2 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 3 George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
- 4 Headaches, fry ups, and hair of the dog - why do we get hangovers, and is there such thing as a 'cure'?
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained in Los Angeles after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly