Amstell is the dream act for ador­ing fans

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -


Plea­sance Forth, Plea­sance

IS SI­MON Amstell God? Many of the faith­ful among the 200plus sold-out au­di­ence seem to think so, to judge from the rap­tur­ous re­cep­tion his irony­filled per­for­mance elic­its. He cer­tainly goes to a lot more par­ties than the av­er­age mor­tal, as they of­ten fea­ture in his transat­lantic anec­dotes. A densely packed mono­logue fea­tures wry ob­ser­va­tions on ev­ery­thing from Bea­tles song ti­tles to “sta­tus anx­i­ety” as Amstell takes his au­di­ence on a roller-coaster ride from an ex-boyfriend’s party in Chelsea to an arty per­for­mance of Mac­beth in New York, via a shamanic re­treat in Peru.

There there are his dreams — mun­dane or luridly sex­ual — anal­y­sis of his anger to­wards his Jewishly re­li­gious fa­ther and a riff on his “au­then­tic, beau­ti­ful” re­la­tion­ship with his new boyfriend.

They do dif­fer, how­ever, when it comes to long walks.”I think if you’re from an im­mi­grant back­ground, you just want to sit. My peo­ple did this [wan­der­ing along a beach] for 40 years. Leave me alone.”

Un­til Au­gust 12


Sweet Grassmarket

SUR­REY BROTH­ERS Mark and Si­mon Nathan took their first com­edy cabaret to Edinburgh as teenagers. Now the clas­si­cally trained mu­si­cians are back with a joy­ous par­ody of ’80s hor­ror films and teen mu­si­cals.

The plot is sim­ple. A group of Amer­i­can bud­dies, whose ar­che­typal char­ac­ters are de­li­ciously sent up, head off to the idyl­lic In­no­cent Beach on a spring break. Ex­cept that it’s not in­no­cent in any sense. A face­less, blood-lust­ing, venge­ful mon­ster awaits.

Direc­tor and writer Chazz Redhead’s rip­ping yarn, played with in­fec­tious en­thu­si­asm by the nine-strong cast, is in­vig­o­rated by the broth­ers’ mu­si­cal tal­ents.

Si­mon Nathan 25, wrote the mu­sic, is the mu­si­cal direc­tor, and plays key­boards in the five-strong band. His 23-year-old brother penned the slickly rhyming lyrics and por­trays Jimmy, the dumb son of the creepy owner of an iso­lated petrol sta­tion.

There are some lovely touches, in­clud­ing a mo­bile phone with a sin­is­ter thun­der­clap for a ring­tone, a spook­ily wob­bling shrub and no small amount of gore. Rip-roar­ing fun.

Un­til Au­gust 24


Ace Dome, Plea­sance

MU­SIC RUNS in the fam­ily of Jess Robin­son. Her grand­fa­ther, Jules Ruben, was a jazz pian­ist and band­leader who did im­pres­sions of well­known jazz pi­anists. Grand­mother, Rosi Ruben, and mother Jackie, are trained pi­anists. So it’s hardly sur­pris­ing that the south Lon­don ac­tress, singer and im­pres­sion­ist ex­hibits

The Sound of Mu­sic,

Si­mom Amstell and ( in­set) Jess Robin­son

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