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(G) 7 out of 226
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Page number refers to the Fringe programme

Galileo. (Page 150).
Drams full glassfull glass.
Venue C (Venue 34).
Address Chambers Street.
Reviewer Thelma Good.

This is a chance to see a Tom Stoppard screenplay staged. Written in 1970, it never became a film, but it has the wit and insight we expect from this playwright. Showing its filmic origins there are many short scenes, Collapsible Theatre's production deals with them fairly smoothly though there are times when the scene changes, brief though they are, seem unnecessary.On a larger, professional stage could be more easily and swiftly managed by flying in the set changes or using different areas.

That said there is an excellent performance of Galileo by Himanshu Ojah, his portrayal of a man who teaches princes and tries to understand the planets' relationship to the sun is masterly. The supporting actors aid the production, in particular Jessica Guise as his daughter Maria and Simon Evans as Galilieo's clerical friend, who when Pope Urban has to find away to reconcile new proofs with the Christian understanding of the universe derived from centuries old statements by Aristole. But it is Ojah's performance that is the sun the other actors revolve around.

The play gives a flavour of the single-minded way an observing and questioning mind can make discoveries and endanger accepted views. The flaw in the piece is not in it precisely but in the historical compromise Galileo made with the Vatican delaying his final end. Stoppard and Ojah make us so like Galileo we find his stepping back from complete confrontation, when we and he know he is right, a disappointment. Nonetheless it is worth staging, and I'd like to see what a professional production in a fully equipped theatre could do.
© Thelma Good 25 August 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 30 August at 20:45.
Company – Collapsible Theatre.


Garden of Fools. (Page 150).
full glass.
Venue Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49).
Address 11b Bristo Place.
Reviewer Thelma Good.

Garden of Fools - Gomito Productions.
© photographer.
Full of images and excellent wordless theatre Gomito Production's new devised play takes us not to last century's Europe as in their memorable Les Juis de Salonique (Fringe 2002) or Gobo (Fringe 2003) but to a garden of story delights. Garden of Fools is devised by young Director Richard Rusk and this as young company of seven and largely untrained actors and production team from Cambridge, they put some professional shows to shame. With ease and economy they create a theatre experience full of memorable pictures and sometimes breathtaking movement - look out for the baby who goes to an old man in the space of two deep breaths and there's an amazing moving ending. As with all pervious Gomito shows I've seen they take you on a journey you don't want to end.

Using umbrellas of all sizes, colours and varieties, microwave, buses and offices are among the things created in their clear style. Melody is a young woman who is frightened of water and her tale is told engagingly so it will appeal to adults and children of all ages. We see her day as she wakes and goes off to her workplace where everyone dumps ridiculous jobs on her. There's also the gardener who's had to take a job in an superdupper umbrella shop full of models for light and heavy rain. There are other stories imaginatively told but Melody's is the thread throughout. The young woman playing her and the actor who plays the umbrella salesman/Narrator draw the audience into this strange world a bit like ours yet quirky different while the rest of the company's ensemble play people and inanimate objects with equal skill.

Composer and Musical Director Philippa Herrick has created a aural background of rainy sounds and Lisa Evan's set and leaves fit well Gomito's approach. Just occasionally the piece loses full clarity, but a wee bit more attention to that, and better voice training would have made this a no drams award. As it is it's a great opportunity to watch and admire a strongly innovative company who may all be young but are already talents - a definite go see. Wish I lived in Cambrigde and could see thier alternative Christmas show they're working on next
© Thelma Good 13 August 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 28 August at 15:25. Not 15 or 22.
Company – Gomito Productions.
Company Website www.gardenoffools.co.uk

Going Potty (Page 151).
Drams full glassfull glass .
Venue Sweet on the Grassmarket(Venue 18).
Address Apex City Hotel, 61 Grassmarket.
Reviewer Neil Ingram.

It's Monday morning, and Emma's in the walk-in wardrobe, dancing to Frank Sinatra. She's locked the door so Robert, her husband, can't interrupt, and she's having a day off. She's well prepared - telephone, coffee maker, recliner, magazines, plenty of food and drink, even the kids' potty, because her bladder certainly can't last all day. But Robert is also having a crisis, he needs her support and she's chosen the worst possible day possible to hide herself away. The battle of wills is fought out against a backdrop of Robert's many shirts and the sound of her children downstairs.

Kate Wyvill's sharply observed comedy really hits home at times, the joy of parenthood having long disappeared for both of them as they lead increasingly separate lives. Only in the wardrobe can they find the time to communicate. The are fine performances from Kate Wyvill as Emma and Michael Instone as Robert, but the play seems to end rather abruptly when their dialogue is reaching interesting levels of understanding.
© Neil Ingram August 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to August 29 at 17.45.
Company – Sanity Productions Unlimited.
Company Website www.sanityproductions.com.

The Gospel of Matthew (Page 152).

Drams None necessary!
Venue Assembly @ St. George’s West (Venue 157).
Address 58 Shandwick Place.
Reviewer Lorraine McCann.

Y’know, if George Dillon had been the guy in the weird duds telling it like it is in church of a Sunday when I was a kid, I’d probably still be going. So, I reckon, would a lot of other people, too, for it’s hard to imagine how anyone could fail to be riveted by this virtuoso display of storytelling verve, this masterclass in self-belief.

Based on Dillon’s own particular translation of Matthew’s gospel, the show begins with the hooded actor dwarfed by an enormous back- projection of a perfect blue sky, and the first words he speaks are of genealogy, of who begat whom, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when someone with a Christian education remembers how boring the Bible can be. But then he starts to tell a story, a story in which the central character speaks with absolute authority, with crystalline clarity, and with a radical vision of love which seems to cry out to be heard in our own times more than ever. Indeed, Dillon conceived the idea for the show shortly after September 11th 2001, and the sequence in which Christ expels the moneylenders from the Temple, to a back-projection of a certain towering skyscraper, is both poignant and inspired.

In conception, The Gospel of Matthew is a brilliant vehicle for the sheer force of Dillon’s acting persona, and perhaps that’s why he feels the need to diversify in the use of ‘comedy’ accents for certain risible characters, an aspect I found not entirely in keeping with of the tone of the piece, and a bit uncalled for where the disciples were concerned. Overall, however, this is a compelling performance by playwright and actor utterly convinced of his cause.
© Lorraine McCann, 16 August 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs until 30 August (not 17).
Company Vital Theatre.
Company Website www.georgedillon.com


The Gospel Truth for Cats and Dogs. (Page 152).

Dog is watching and none are needed with this show!
Venue Quaker Meeting House (Venue 40).
Address 7 Victoria Terrace.
Reviewer Thelma Good.

Rarely can a show entertain all ages equally but this one does. Creator and performer Richard Medderington plays endearing games with us, reads from the big book, The Word of Dog, and gets us to sing a doggy hymn. Richard's been shortlisted for a Creative Scotland Award and on this showing he should get one sometime the production and its content so well put together.

It's an odd ball of a show revealing that dogs and cats lives are more complex than we realised. There's Old Three Legs and his chum, the only cats in a doggy town, and Scurvy Dog who gets us singing his national anthem from the country of Cttezat. Various cat and dog puppets appear and a real live canine Bella that, on occassion, goes for a dander. Accompaning Richard in his quest to give us a good time is laid back musician Tom Adams. And there's a magic trick too.

Highly amusing, and affecting at its end, when in The Visitation wee Doufee, a hairy dog finds Him living in compost bin, The Gospel Truth for Cats and Dogs is an extra special show where for just over hour a world you never suspect becomes more and more real. The stories are like parables and the messages are delivered by a creator Richard Medderington whose work is getting more unique and special with each production and his scuffy furry freinds captivate our hearts. The audience left with a smile on their faces saying that was totally unique.
© Thelma Good 13 August 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 28 August at 18:30 not 15 & 22.
Company – Puppet State Theatre.
Company Website www.websiteaddress.co.uk

Grand Guignol: Theatre of Horror. (Page 152)
Drams full glass, just for courage.
Venue ClubWEST. (Venue 212)
Address Drummond Community High School, Bellevue Place.
Reviewer Georgina Merry.

Not for the Faint-hearted. This gruesome triple bill of original horror stories will have you squirming in your seat! Each scene starts a little slowly but when they pick up the pace it’s a rapid spiral down into a dark and twisted gore-fest.

With a modest set this group of talented individuals manage to have you wincing by the end of the first scene. By the second you’re laughing at atrocity. Come the last scene your blood will curdle.

How refreshing to see new life breathed into an almost forgotten theatre style. Too often such a venture can be misrepresented. These bright young things have chosen to update this nineteenth century Parisian style of theatre in a way that will allow the audience to experience the divine horror and erotic comedy that became notoriously popular during the late 1800’s. Catch it while you can.
©Georgina August 10 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to August 14 at 18;30 every day.
Company Suspectpacket Productions/ University of Glamorgan.


The Grapes of Wrath (Page 152)
Drams full glass.
Venue C Chambers Street. (Venue 34).
Address Chambers Street.
Reviewer Georgina Merry.

A young pensive woman wrapped in a quilt sits in a crop field.
Kari Miller - ensemble member - Pepperdine Theatre Department Production.
© photographer 2004.
Steinbeck’s novel is given first-class treatment by these talented young performers – Pepperdine University’s Theatre Department add vitality and melody to a sad and troubling tale of struggle and desperation.

The brilliantly performed music of Oklahoma’s Woody Guthrie gives an authentic feel, the pastoral plucking of the acoustic guitar and the vocal harmonies complementing the rustic, warm and dusty style of the set. There are even a banjo and a harmonica to get you into the swing of things. And the old-time car is a thoughtful import from across the Atlantic – the design of this production is definitely one of the more imaginative this fringe.

A tale of hardship during the Great Depression may seem off-putting so early in the morning – even for hardcore Steinbeck fans – but as a concession to the faint-hearted there is a short interval, in which the audience is offered light entertainment form the show’s musicians. Connoisseurs of Steinbeck will be happy with this heartfelt production – equally, if you appreciate a classic play and good music, then it’s one to catch.
©Georgina Merry August 7 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to August 14 at 11am.
Company Pepperdine University Theatre Department.

(G) 7 out of 226
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