Edinburgh Festival Day 15: Reviews

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The Independent Culture
CANDIDE

Theatre sans Frontieres' production of Candide probably suffers from its Edinburgh constrictions. The shortened version of this speed-of-light tour around the Spanish speaking world relies rather too heavily on narrative to render the intricacies of the complex plot completely comprehensible to a non-French-speaking audience. It is, however, a physical, colourful Candide that oozes charm. Through clever use of puppetry and tableaux, and faultless diction, the company ensures that those with even O level French can appreciate the broader outlines of this witty and sexy 18th-century travelogue of syphilitic tutors and Inquisitors. Roberta Mock

Old St Paul's Church (venue 45), Jeffrey Street (031-557 6696). 6.10pm to 4 Sept.

GOIN' OFF - JIMEOIN

You can tell when comedians have made it big somewhere by the 'but seriously folks' songs they sing. Jimeoin is huge in Australia, and now returns to beguile Britain with quietly spoken, rambling memoirs of Ulster adolescence and young adulthood as an illegal immigrant Down Under. An hour and a half is over-ambitious for the material but along the way he does cajole smirks of recognition and outright guffaws. As one of the new breed of comics who look after their bodies and don't shout at audiences, Jimeoin is charming enough without the songs. Clare Bayley

Fringe Club (venue 2), Teviot Row, Bristo Sq, 031-226 5257. To 4 Sept (not Mon).

LADDERS TO THE SKY

Eleven Shoestring Players burst onto the Pleasance stage in a barrage of primary colours and percussion. They perform four folk tales culled from international sources, as well as leading their audience on a mimed search for a golden sword. Through disciplined ensemble playing, the actors transform into forests and fortresses, ogres and ovens. This is children's theatre at its finest: never condescending, often witty, always inventive. Roberta Mock

Pleasance (venue 33), 60 The Pleasance (031-556 6550). Run ended.

THESE COLOURS DON'T RUN

Shakespeare's shepherd in The Winter's Tale laments the problem of 16 to 23-year-old youths. Four centuries down the road, and we're still plagued with yobs. The particular faction Gary Drabwell depicts are English football supporters, but his play cleverly harks back to an era when they would have been heroes . . . maybe. If patriotism is fighting for your country, then the three fans here have it in spades, for when England loses a match to Germany they ensure a win on the terraces and the streets beyond. Blending local argot with verse and violent confrontation with classical music, the action amounts to a short, sharp raison d'etre for the hooliganism of Keith, Vince and Stu, a legal clerk, a trainee supermarket manager and a junior estate agent. A vivid eye opener. Graham Hassell

Roman Eagle Lodge (venue 21), 2b Johnston Terrace (031-225 7995). 9.45pm to 4 Sept (not Tue)

(Photograph omitted)

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