Edinburgh Round-up: Boris Charmatz<br/> Rory Bremner<br/>

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The Independent Culture

It sounds like the ultimate con with its gimmicky title and mould-breaking pretensions, but the French choreographer Boris Charmatz's héâtre-élévision turns out to be oddly compelling. It's also extremely relaxing – provided you're not claustrophobic.

Dance: Boris Charmatz, Dunard Library, The Hub

By Nadine Meisner

It sounds like the ultimate con with its gimmicky title and mould-breaking pretensions, but the French choreographer Boris Charmatz's héâtre-élévision turns out to be oddly compelling. It's also extremely relaxing – provided you're not claustrophobic. Devised for one spectator at a time, you watch – alone and lying down – dancers on film. It is a show reduced to a small TV screen, viewed in an equally enclosed space that is arranged like an art installation of which you are part. The intimacy is further accentuated by visual links between the installation and the film. So what happens on screen? Well, there's a test card. And there's a blind piano tuner tuning a grand piano, its shape echoing the makeshift bed on which you are lying. There are also the dancers, who poke their tongues and stare wildly, like occupants of Bedlam. It's all part of the Charmatz sense of the absurd, bordering at times on the Monty Python-esque. So is it an earth-shatteringly new statement on performance? He isn't the first to challenge ideas of performance and to break down categories. But he is one of the few to do it so agreeably and succinctly.

To 31 Aug, hourly from 9.00 to 23.00 (52 min), 0131-473 2000

Comedy: Rory Bremner, Assembly Rooms

By Fiona Sturges

Given the number of unknown comics at the Fringe, it's a treat when someone arrives off the telly. The anticipation beforehand is palpable. Here's a man who's actually funny. You don't need to see Bremner live to know that he's a great entertainer – his combinaton of vocal dexterity and satirical bite puts Alistair McGowan in his place. Tonight, Bush'n'Blair come under scrutiny, alongside Blair'n'Brown and Blair'n' Mandy. While you could never tire of Bremner's political impressions, the observations aren't always fresh. So Ann Widdecombe's unattractive, John Prescott's a thug and Charles Kennedy likes a pint – come on, tell us something we don't know. It's almost a relief when Bremner leaves politics and uses the Bible to steam through a wider array of characters: Rolf Harris as Noah, Jimmy Saville as Herod, Billy Connolly as John the Baptist and – best of all – Woody Allen as God. Now that's funny.

Venue 3: 22.30 (1hr), to 17 Aug, 0131-226 2428

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