Edinburgh Festival Day 19: Reviews: Conquistador of the useless

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The Independent Culture
Mark Little, fine comic that he is, would be the first to admit that his role in Neighbours as Joe Mangel has been instrumental in pulling in 600- strong full houses to the Assembly Rooms all week: pre-show audience chat consisted mostly of Joe's romantic grapplings with Melanie. For Little, however, Neighbours is history. His hand was forced when he realised there was a plan afoot to make a soap sequel entitled Cyber Neighbours. 'I didn't want my kids in virtual reality glasses feeling what it's like to be Jim Robinson's shirt. So I said 'No' to Cyber Neighbours, and now I've come over all absurd.' Not so much absurd, as Nouveau Dada Australian Deconstructionalist. Little's show combines freewheeling stand-up comedy with experimental theatre in a quest to unearth a new Dada movement in art. A hyperactive, naturally funny entertainer, Little works his theme of new age ecology with a refreshing delight in the meaninglessness of performance art. This is amateur dramatics shot through with David Ickeian comedy. If, at any moment, he suffers a loss of nerve, Little, in green tie-dye shell-suit, white facepaint and green lipstick, steps into his 'ring of confidence', a circle of stones 'borrowed' from the Isle of Arran. The notion of anti-performance was made for someone like Little.

Assembly Rooms, 54 George St (venue 3), 031-226 2428. 6pm. To 5 Sept. Mark Little reflects on the Festival in 'A Funny Old Week' on this page tomorrow

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