Edinburgh Festival `98: From Russia for fun
THEATRE: DEREVO PLEASANCE
Monday 17 August 1998
For one thing, there's a fairy-tale narrative, involving a battle between a beak-nosed janitor and a suave tycoon-type for the heart of a beautiful waitress, that rages across fantastical landscapes. The tale heads inexorably towards a melancholic, cynical conclusion, but in uncorking its mute characters' fateful desires, it allows for the kind of warm-hearted clowning that Red Zone lacked. Above all, Once shows Derevo's head honcho, Anton Adassinski, and his four other performers, to be as possessed of traditional slapstick skills as they are of a macabre, absurdist imagination.
Each scene is so carefully choreographed that the mood can alter with the volatility of a dream: the skittish waitress and refined suitor dance with automaton precision; suddenly, the envious janitor is being chased around the auditorium by a fascistic pair of knockabout cops. There are enough coups de theatre here to fill a dozen shows, ranging from the sight of a near-naked Cupid (pure Caravaggio), disconsolately retrieving his misdirected arrows, and a Dal-esque riot scene, in which manic fire-eating and flag-waving are conducted to the hellish cuckoo-calls of a double- headed pierrot on stilts. It's kitsch, it's clever. Go at least once.
Runs at the Pleasance, Venue 33 until 31 August (0131-556 6550)
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Jeremy Clarkson to host BBC's Have I Got News For You despite Top Gear exit
Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom
A historian gave the most British look of despair when someone screwed up Richard III's birthday at his reburial
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'