Edinburgh Festival Day 4: Reviews

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For two comic performers who've made their names on radio, David Schneider and Armando Iannucci have put together a package of routines which bode well for next year's TV collaboration with the rest of the On the Hour pack. Slick and structurally sound, the show's only worry is that the dynamic chums look just a touch too pleased with themselves. But then perhaps they've every reason to be. One minute Schneider is wrestling a table into submission, next he's performing a dance sequence which takes him from Prince to Pavarotti via a burger-eating Elvis. And Iannucci's Ken Theft, the slightly disturbed comic, contains endless possibilities. It seems the boys can do no wrong. Mark Wareham

Assembly Rooms (venue 3), 54 George St (031-226 2428). 10pm to 4 Sept.


Those too sniffy to find The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) rib-tickling will be more at ease with the Reduced Shakespeare Company's follow-up show. So is the company; they are more finely attuned here to which allusions need to be made. The mandatory PC references - to the horrors of slavery and corporatism - are neither obtrusive nor trivialised. The final film noir sequence spanning WWII to the present is dizzying; baby boomers will see their entire lives flash before their eyes. Ian Shuttleworth

Assembly Rooms (venue 3), 54 George St (031-226 2428). 3.30pm to 4 Sept.


Lea de Laria is a dyke. In Edinburgh she's having to play to mixed audiences of straight women and men, but this doesn't faze her. Nothing fazes her. Not even the three-foot-long, double-headed, bendy latex dildo she whirls around her head like a majorette's baton. And skilful as she is, she manages not to terrify her audience beyond the point of no return (she even manages to persuade two dozen heterosexual Scottish lads to shout in unison 'I AM A LESBIAN]'). Go prepared with questions about lesbian sex - the only thing she can't handle is British shyness. Clare Bayley

Assembly Rooms (venue 3), 54 George Street (031-226 2428). 11.45pm to 4 Sept.


Frantic Theatre Company follows its 1992 sell-out Fringe debut, Savages, with a slap-in-the-face piece of consciousness-raising about gay love and Aids. Dialogue is stripped to a minimum and stark tableaux vivants by the 15-strong cast as the action presents Saul and Richard, an estranged gay couple reuniting to face Richard's diagnosis as HIV positive. Life in macho gay bars is juxtaposed with quieter domestic introspection and creeping social ostracism. Ending with a ringing ensemble demand for an International Code of Rights for people with HIV, this is raucous and rebellious theatre. Graham Hassell

Theatre Zoo (venue 4), St Columba's by the Castle, Johnston Terrace (031-228 9208). 9.20pm to 27 Aug.


Johnny Immaterial has climbed out of the bath of stand-up comedy, but he hasn't quite washed all the soap off. The result is an hour of cute and often moving comedy cemented together by his own excellent songs. Nominally, this is the autobiography of the youngest and fattest member of Anglia TV's Seventies cult series The Cartilage Family. It's also a neat way to release Immaterial's brilliant slow-burn humour from the relentless gag-hunt of traditional stand-up. Tom Morris

Stepping Stones (venue 51), West Bow (031-225 6520). 8pm to 4 Sept.


The target of the four prancing matadors in Yllana's deft mimic comedy is not the bull they try to taunt but Spanish machismo. From their entrances to the changing rooms, preening and basking in the off-stage applause of an adoring crowd, to their final strutting in the bullring, the feeble bullfighters vie with each other for the most outrageous display of virile vanity. A simple idea, overstretched but enjoyably executed. Sarah Hemming

Traverse (venue 15), Cambridge St (031-228 1404). 7pm 19 Aug; 3.30pm 20, 22 Aug; noon 21 Aug.

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