Amstell is the dream act for adoring fans
SIMON AMSTELL: TOUR PREVIEWS
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
RIPTIDE: THE SLASHER MUSICAL
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
JESS ROBINSON: MIGHTY VOICE
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