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The Independent Culture
ACCUSTOMED TO HER FACE

John Binnie may be low on surprises, but he never fails to please his audience. Slight perhaps, sentimental certainly, Accustomed to Her Face uses a lesbian romance to tackle his abiding preoccupation with identity and communication. Comic impetus is provided by a clash of cultures as a politically correct American comes into conflict with Glasgow reality, and eventually makes her peace by making love. A Fringe-First winner already, this shows Binnie doing what he's best at, but it would be refreshing to see him write a play in which sexuality was more incidental. Aaron Hicklin

Theatre Workshop (venue 20), Hamilton Place (031-226 5425). 2pm today, 27, 29, 31 Aug, 2, 4 Sept

SEX AND VIOLENCE AT THE FANTASY CAFE

The title says it all, really. The young company revels in pulling an audience up short in mid-cackle, playing gleefully with shock and surrealism as if they were new toys. From a transvestite buggery fantasy to a little ditty entitled 'I'm Over the Moon about You' sung to a bare bum, the cast charge at their spectators' composure like stud bulls in a tea-room. Occasionally they foul up, but the show moves so fast that its mistakes seldom catch up with it. Ian Shuttleworth

Demarco Foundation (venue 22), York Lane (031-557 0707). 10.45pm to 4 Sept

CALIGULA

Robert Graves had Caligula down in I, Claudius as one of history's great villains. Camus is kinder, seeking an existential raison d'etre for the emperor's evil ways. When the death of his sister ends his one 'shameful tenderness', he resolves to be free of emotion and to indulge his supremacy. Contemptuous of the Senate, he assumes divinity until finally his freedom to do anything becomes oppressive. Double Edge Drama gives a stunning account of the play, with a bravura central performance from Paul Curran. A young cross between Kenneth Branagh and John Hurt, he makes Caligula an angelic demon, at once charismatic leader and psychopathic tyrant. Despite weaker performances down the cast, Camus's bare simplicity and directness of language and Thomas Yarwood's impressive staging more than compensate.

Graham Hassell

Adam House Theatre (venue 34), 5 Chambers St (031-650 8200). 12.15pm to 27 Aug

LIVING ON THE EDGE

Alan Parker Urban Warrior, post- punk sloganeer and people's comic, refuses to sell out. Fame has not distracted him from his quest to kick down social stigmas and class barriers. Girls might conceivably have swayed him from his mission, but he anticipated this unlikely eventuality by 'coming out' on his recent one-man Wanker's Pride March through London. Simon Munnery's wild-eyed alter ego rampantly parodies the pub revolutionary who equates 'the system' with 'nazi'. 'The DHSS have dropped the H. How long before they drop the D?' The show culminates with Parker, sneering Johnny Rotten- like into his megaphone, leading his rabble audience on to the streets for an impromptu rally. It is rare to leave a Fringe crowd wanting more. He can only get bigger. Mark Wareham

Pleasance (venue 33), 60 The Pleasance (031-556 6550). 9pm to 4 Sept (not 2 Sept)

TALL, DARK, HANDSOME AND No1

Executives and managers beware - there is not a cosy snigger of self-congratulation to be had in Nick Mayhew's 'multi-media lecture' (slides, video, music, acting and a touch of audience confrontation). Mayhew's attack on corporate mentality is serious and well-researched, and in spite of overwhelming odds in a venue that can't even dim the house lights, he manages to engage and inform simultaneously. Clare Bayley

Glasite Meeting House (venue 53), 33 Barony St. 6pm to 28 Aug

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