Edinburgh Round-Up: <br/>Double Trouble; <br/>Requiem for Ground Zero; <br/>Navelgazing

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The Independent Culture


Dance: Double Trouble, Demarco-Rocket

By John Percival

Blonde and Hungarian, Yvette Bozsik has such beauty and charm that you could gaze in delight if she just stood there. But she is also a singularly expressive dancer, and a choreographer with much imagination and drama. In Double Trouble, she and Tamas Vati start with grey wigs, wrinkled masks and an arthritic walk as a creaky old couple in wedding gear. Then, as their younger selves, they evoke all the pleasures of the senses, especially eating (real) and sex (pretended but libidinously convincing).

So, it's true love and happy ever after? Maybe not; perhaps that's too good to be true and the perfect mate simply doesn't exist. Alternative possibilities appear – he cuckolded, either of them strangling the other. Not such a happy ending after all. It's the uncertainties, the ambiguities, but all of them seeming so real, that give this ballet its thrust. A simple, flexible structure at the back, wonderfully convincing projections, a clever soundtrack by Jean-Philippe Heritier, and even a huge plastic gnome add to the narrative and the fun. But, primarily, dance carries the day. Memorable, fascinating and totally involving. This show alone would have made my journey north worthwhile.

Venue 16: 19.00 (one hour) to 25 Aug (0131-226 699)

Comedy: Navelgazing, Pleasance Courtyard

By Steve Jelbert

The navelgazing troupe, including faces familiar from such downbeat series as People Like Us and The Office, offer their tribute to a down-at-heel theme park. The fictitious Cheddwang, a mere "500yd from Alton Towers", offers all manner of dull attractions, notably some wonderfully lifeless yet obscene animatronic models of Henry VIII and his retinue (wonderfully portrayed by the cast). Though firmly in League of Gentlemen territory, its cast of grotesques, delightfully played by Messrs Macintosh, Brough, Deeks and Johnston, easily sustains an hour's interest, and the highlights, including possibly the scariest working-class lesbian ever portrayed (it's all in the wig), are outstanding. Murderous Cornish workmen, a sociopathic schoolboy and his estranged dad, a pair of holidaying drunks at the wrong venue – all life is here, under the eyes of the incompetent staff.

The only celebrity prepared to turn up at the unveiling of Cheddwang's greatest attraction, "the country's oldest working toilet", is none other than the disembodied voice of TV's Ricky Gervais. An entertaining show that is well set to crossover into broadcast form.

Venue 33: 18.15 (1hr) to 26 Aug (0131-556 6550)

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