Edinburgh Festival Day 12: Reviews

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The Independent Culture
SHAMELESS - AN IMMORAL TALE

Burying bad memories of last year's aria-a-go-go show, Opera Circus presents a bawdy operetta staged with consummate skill around a loose- weave trampoline. Heads, bodies, rubber ducks and flowers pop through the springy surface as it becomes by turns a bed, a bath and a herbaceous border in this story of two couples joining, sundering and reuniting. The company's physical skills are well-honed, their voices ring with beautiful clarity, despite the contortions that love and jealousy drive them to. It won't bridge the gap between pop and high opera, but it's a deeply welcome, pro-active change from the tradition of the motionless tenor. Nick Curtis

Pleasance (venue 33), 60 The Pleasance (031-556 6550). 6.40pm to 4 Sept (not 31 Aug or 2 Sept)

GREG PROOPS

Greg Proops is an affable San Franciscan who first came to attention in Britain via Whose Line Is It Anyway? Proops is using his UK stand-up debut to educate audiences in the socio- curiosities of American culture: the Banana Splitz, Beverly Hills 90210, gun shops. He shies away from Big Political Issues, but by concentrating on the fluffy banality of his homeland actually hits it at its lowest common denominator. Those who have no knowledge of America may find his material amusing, but remote. He should trust it more, since his obvious good-nature cannot help but charm an audience. Roberta Mock

Assembly Rooms (venue 3), 54 George Street (031-226 2428). To 4 Sept.

THE ADVENTURES OF TRICK WHITEY MAN

Sauntering on in a hooded top to the blare of rap, 19-year-old US comic Dave Chapelle opens his first ever British show without a trace of nerves. Young, gifted, and black (trite but true), he is already a veteran of the American circuit - cool delivery, confident timing. His 'Yo Scotland' approach may be a little tired, but lines on the white-black divide cut home without preaching. In the genteel Assembly Rooms he went down well enough. At the Hackney Empire, London, for example, he might really catch light.

Mark Wareham

Assembly Rooms (venue 3), 54 George St, 031-226 2428. To 4 Sept

MEDEA

One of this festival's most extraordinary events is the Belgrade Bitef Theatre's Medea, performed at night in the castle-like courtyard of St Mary's School. The set is scattered with feathers and dominated by a gargoyle mask, spewing human debris on to the playing area. But more striking than this, and more powerful than the uncertain choreography, is the tortured brilliance of Sonja Vukicevic in the title role. Scarred with a shock of lipstick, with iron- grey eyes she pierces the audience.

Tom Morris

DEAF (venue 22), 3 York Lane (031- 557 0707). To 4 Sept

(Photograph omitted)

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