Berkoff Leads Edinburgh Transfers to LondonDate: 26 August 1999
Several hits from this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival, winding up this weekend in the Scottish capital, have announced transfers to London, with three - Steven Berkoff's East, South African dance extravaganza Gumboots and Out of Joint's Drummers - opening in the West End next month.
Steven Berkoff directs his 1975 play East about his own childhood in the East End of London. The dramatic comedy features two men and two women and a blank verse with echoes of both Shakespeare and the football terraces. Fantasies of sex, revenge, blood and surrender and pulling something more than a hag abound. It finishes its run at the Pleasance in Edinburgh on 30 August and opens at the West End's Vaudeville Theatre on 15 September (previews from 7 September) where it continues until 6 November.
Simon Bennett's Drummers, directed by Max Stafford Clark for Out of Joint, received its world premiere this month at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. The black comedy tells the story of two brothers who work as house-breakers, otherwise known as 'drummers'. Now that he's out of jail, brother Ray is determined to find out who stitched him up and settle the score. Drummers opens at the Ambassadors, as part of Out of Joint's autumn residency at the theatre, on 6 September (previews from 1 September) and continues until 9 October.
Gumboots introduces to British audiences a new form of contemporary urban African dance - Gumboot dancing. The roots of gumboot dancing lie in the apartheid-era gold mines of South Africa where the miners, working in desperate conditions, were issued with heavy rubber gumboots to prevent the foot rot that could cut productivity. They developed the gumboots 'language' - a Morse type code involving slapping their boots, clothing and ankle chains - in order to communicate with one another. Gumboots, featuring 12 South African dancers and directed by Zenzi Mbuli, finishes at Edinburgh's Palladium on 30 August before embarking on a national tour, including a short West End run. It plays at Shaftesbury Avenue's Lyric Theatre from 22 September to 9 October (previews from 20 September).
Other Edinburgh to London transfers include two Fringe First winners - Car and Nixon's Nixon. The former moves from the Pleasance in Edinburgh to its London sister theatre where it plays 28 September to 16 October (previews from 23 September). In Chris O'Connell's play, directed by Mark Babych, four young car thieves see their joy ride come to a horrible end.
Nixon's Nixon, at Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms until 30 August, investigates the whitewash that was Watergate. Set on the eve of the President's resignation, the two-hander revolves around a fictional conversation between Richard Nixon and his secretary of state Henry Kissinger. Written by Russell Lees, directed by Charles Tower and starring Keith Jochim and Tim Donoghue, Nixon's Nixon opens at the Bridewell Theatre on 8 September (previews from 7 September) and continues until 25 September.