Theatre; CURTAIN CALLS

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The Independent Culture
My name is David Benedict and I'm a sufferer. Are there any more like me out there? I'm thinking of forming self-help group for all of us suffering from what in this acronym-strewn era could be described as NEWS. That's Nasty Edinburgh Withdrawal Syndrome.

This feverish condition manifests itself over every August. Symptoms are most virulent when opening arts pages and reading about the splendid spectacles littering Scotland's fair city knowing that for reasons of time, money, work etc, you will be forced forgo the whole hullabaloo. Yes, like many of you, I lived the Edinburgh '98 experience vicariously, but help is at hand.

Yes, the touring has begun. Virtually everything of any real substance will be making its way to "A Theatre Near YOU". Next week you can bounce off to the Drill Hall for the Bacharach bonanza It's Jackie, the latest song 'n' hair styling from Jackie Clune (above). This week however, you should catch up with Vicky Featherstone's thrillingly precise Paines Plough production of Sarah Kane's eloquent Crave at the Royal Court Upstairs. Meantime, the uproarious National Theatre of Brent swoops down upon The Bush with the surprisingly touching and ludicrously funny Charles and Diana extravaganza, Love Upon The Throne.

`It's Jackie', Drill Hall, (0171-637 8270); `Crave', Royal Court Upstairs (0171-565 5000); `Love Upon the Throne', Bush Theatre (0181-743 3388)

David Benedict

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