Cover photo: Comedian. film-star, and novelist, Stephen Fry, can't believe his eyes when he catches up on an issue of Concrete at Cinema City.
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With a new film, a new book, and another one in production, 1993 certainly won't be the year Stephen Fry has his chips. He talks to Darren Fisher about his success... PAGE TWO
IThe 14 day happenings poster I
Chaplin and Midnight Sti·ng reviewed plus two great competitions
To DCC or not to DCC? Niall Hampton poses the question
The latest art, theatre and literature reviewed!
The city's only detailed guide to what's on where and when PAGES FOUR AND FIVE
concrete's pull-out guide to the local arts scene
LITTLE BIT TEPHEN DARREN FISHER INTERVIEWED THE WHOLE MAN HIMSELF ,' -
IN typical superstar fashion
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Stephen Fry Jetted In to Cinema City from LA last Monday especially to give an Introduction to the charity premiere of his latest ftlm 'Peter's Friends'. 'Peter's Friends' is a rare movie in that it is not only British, but also successful, and is currently taking America by storm. lt concerns a group of University friends who meet again ten years after they graduated , at Peter's estate (his rather wealthy father having just recently died) for a New Years Eve party. Often compared to 'The Big Chill', it is quite similar in the way it explores inter-personal relationships, and the way people respond to their fears of responsibility. However in a typical reflection of the times the topic of Aids plays an integral role. Quite understandably, Stephen has decided that all the proceeds from the screening (about 拢700) will go toAI OS charities. lt was not an easy decision . "I was quite keen that it should be an AIDS charity, partly because I do things in Iondon for AIDS charities and partly because it is relevant to the film . Besides, it is so easy to give things away to fluffy animals, and bears with bandages over one eye, not that there is anything wrong with that, but AIDS is little less fashionable .路 Flying in all the way from LA may seem a little extreme just to give a ten minute introduction, but as he lived in Norfolk until he was eighteen, and his family still live here, he was quite keen to come home. Last October he gave a reading of his novel The Liar', at the Hungate bookshop, who along with the cinema, promoted the
event. "I would have walked in tight shoes to get here", he comments. The original plan was for him to fly back straight after the show, but that would have been too exhausting, so he will now be in England until February. I asked him if he was shooting any Hollywood blockbusters whilst he was out in the States; "No, but I'm writing a couple for Paramount, one is a comedy thriller rather along the lines of 'Charade' what used to be called sophisticated comedy." Even though he has only finished one script, the writing is going weU except for one recurring problem. Although not intentionally writing himself in as a character, "I find my hand moves involuntarily and I've described a character as being very tall, English, with a bent nose." Besides su bm itting scripts , Stephen was also in LA to pulicise not only'Peter's Friends', but also 'Jeeves and Wooster' and 'A Bit of Fry and Laurie'. Stephen has not been known as a person to stick to just one occupation, and besides his scripts, he is also writing a new novel and a musical. In fact, his latest book, 'Paperweight' is a collation of all the radio scripts, Daily Telegraph , and 'The Listener' columns he has written . At the beginning of 'Paperweight' (see review on page eight) he refers quite a lot to his trousers, and although he owns a pair of acting and writing ones, he is unsure whether to get a directing pair. "I had a look in some windows and I'm not sure whether they're me. They seem a bit tight. At University I didn't direct anything
as then you could only do one play a term, whereas if you only performed, you could much more. it's the same in the real world , if you direct a movie, you can only do one a year." He also doesn't have a particularly favourite pair, "lt goes back to the old "the other man's grass is always greener" or "the other man's arse is always cleaner". lt is generally what one is not doing that one enjoys. The problem with writing opposed to acting is that you are always in a perpetual essay crisis. lt is more satisfying there's no doubt, even if it is the word 'the' repeated 80,000times, it is still something solid that you have done." He is not a fan of watching his acting on screen, and he has only seen 'Peter's Friends' twice, once at the cast screening, and once at the national premiere; "it's a pretty grim experience watching yourself on screen. People don't like others listening to their telephone messages can you imagine not just your voice, but you're whole body being watched by everyone else?" Looking to the future, Stephen would like to do another Blackadder series, but that looks unlikely at the moment; "Rowan has had his Beaniod phase, and Ben has been in Australia filming his novel 'Stark', Richard Curtis is doing other things, and the producer, John Lloyd , is currently making millions a week directing commercials." All is not lost though as he has just finished filming a new series of 'Jeeves and Wooster' and the shooting of a TV version of 'The Liar' will begin in the Spring.
Midnight Sting 1s J
Reviewed by Simon Litton I
CHAPLIN12 Insubstantial is not usually a word associated with a Richard Attenborough movie, especially one that lasts almost two and a half hours, but unfortunately his latest offering stresses glamour to the expense of substance.
Thefilmchartsthe life of the greatcomicfromhisfirststage appearance at the age of five (whenhetrodtheboardsafter hismotherfalteredinfrontofa hostile crowd) until he returns to US soil to recieve an honourary Academy award at the age of eighty-three. 'Chaplin' is glossy in all sensesoftheword. The movie looks great and evokes faithfully all the glamour associated with period, but it also glosses over the character traits of Charfie that could be construed as unflattering, suchashis preoccupation with young girls which at times
Reviewed by Darren Fisher bordered on paedophilia. The film may have been designed to be more of a character study of the man than a chart of his achievments, but asAttenboroughseemssornewhat reticent in giving the particular details of his career, it could serve to prevent audiences identifying with the character by putting himin an world that becomes increasingly unreal. This is not to say that the film is bad - there are some fantastic cameo performances, especially from Oan Ackroyd as the controller of Keystone Studios, Mack Sennett. There was much hype surrounding the film, especiallythe search for the leading man. lt took two years and thechoicewassornewhatcontroversial, with 26 year old
American actor Robert Downey Jnr donning the Uttle Tramp costume. His performance is the best thing in the movie, and he is utterly convincing in the role of the cockney Londoner who became the most famous man in the world. His mimicery of the master is sometimes so flawless that when authentic footage is used you will have great trouble telling the difference. Overall the film is immensely charming and enjoyable. lt is not a warts-amd-all account and those who wiU enjoy it most will be the ones who enter the theatre not demanding too much. lt is a little over sentimental at times, mainly due to John Barry's touching soundtrack, and whether or not you were a fan before you arrived, you'll most probably leave with a greater appreciacion of the modem day clown, and with the sole intention ofseeing 'The Kid', at the first available opportunity.
Bodyguard and Midnight Sting Win tickets and baseball caps Seeingasit'sourbirthdayissue, Concrete and the Cannon cinema in Norwich have got together to bring you not one, but two fantastic competitions. We have six pairs of tickets to give away for the new Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston movie- 'The Bodyguard', as well as ten baseball caps on offer to coincide with the release of 'Midnight Sting' (reviewed above). To win a a pair of tickets for 'The Bodyguard', simply answer the next four questions correctly; 1 Which 1990filmstarring Kevin Costner won seven Academy awards? 2 Name Whitney Houston's famous vocalist cousin. 3 Which English Band is Gary Kemp a member of? 4 Which character did Kevin Costner Play in J.F.K.? Orif you would prefera Midnight
Gabriel Caine (James Woods) is no sooner releasedfrom prison, afterservingttv'eeyearsforsellingfake Old Masters, then he begins work on the biggestand most dangerous con of his life. Making his way to Diggstown, Caine plans revenge on John Gillon (Bruce Dem), a corrupt businessman who won most of the property in the area by betting on a boxing match which left the local champ, Charles Diggs, a wheelchair-bound vegetable. Caine bets Gillon that retired boxer' Honey' Roy Palrner(Louis GossettJr) can knock out any ten local men in a 24 hour period. As the stakes reach astronomical heights and Gilon uses every dirty trick in the book to ensure victory, Caine needs all the wits and guts he can muster to save, not only the
Louis Gossett Jr (right) and 0/iver Platt town, but his life. This is filmmaking by numbers, with each plot twist clearly sign-posted. Formulaic as it is, however, it works: Oem is superbly slimy as the despicable Gillon; the snappy changes between the
Sting Cap, then answer these; 1 What was the boxing film, released in 1980, that starred Robert DeNiro? 2 In what movie did Louis Gossett, Jnr. win an Academy award? All entries should be clearly marked with your name and school, and should be posted in
any one of the concrete postboxes located on campus or Fifers lane. The closing date is Friday 22nd January, at 12:00pm, and winners wiH be pigeonholed. TICkets for 'The Bodyguard' can only be redeemed on Friday 29th January. Nocorrespondence will be entered into and the Editor's decision is final.
Pop into Pizzaland in N · and you can treat your family or friend ·to a pizza for just one penny! Choose from our mouthwatering range of delicious traditional and deep pan pizzas - including the new gourmet range. r - - - - - - - - - -, What To Do:
Whitney Houston in 'The Bodyguard'
edgy, wisecracking Woods and the laconic Gossett keep the laughs coming, and the fight scenes are tense and exciting. Shallow and predictable, maybe, but also thoroughly enjoyable.
Simply cut out the voucher and take it along to Pizzaland in Norwich S • • (Re d L IOn treet, OppOSite Debenhams). Buy one pizza and get the second one (of the same value or ~ p •da leSS) for On1Y 1p. Of1er endS 0 Y 5th March 1993 and is valid every da.y except Saturday. Voucher only valid at Pizzaland in Norwich.
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Whcn you buy any 10" Traditiooal, 7" Dcqt Pan or Gourmet pizza, this voucher entitles
The offer os ...hd every clay cxccpc Saturday.
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1_ _ J I ..... ~ ................
The 14 day haPPenine~ euide Compi l ed by Darre n Fisher and Georgina King
Thurs 28 Waterfront Schools Band Heat
Thurs 21 Waterfront Schools Band Heat
Cinema Three - Home Alone 11 (PG) 2.15, 5.30, 8.10
Grease- 'Summer Lovin", 'You'retheonethatlwant', Hopelessly devoted to you'....a must-see!
Bitter Moon (18) - The latestoffering from controversial film-maker Roman Polanski. Perversion in the
Cinema One - The Bodyguard (15)
2.30, 5.25, 8.15 )
Sean Camon - Irish folk singer.
Cinema Two - Death Becomes Her (PG) 1.20, 3.40 (not Sun), 6.00,
8.30 Cinema Three - The Untouchables (Thu only) 2.30, 6.55, 8.30 Cinema Four - Sister h;t (PG) 1.20 ' 3.40, 6.00, 8.15
TV BBC1 : 10:15-11:15pm Question Tme BBC2: 8:30-9:~ Notes and Queries with
Clive Anderson C4: 9:00-10:00pm 10:00-10:30pm
Cinema One- Chaplin (12) 1.30, 4.30, 7.30 Cinema Two - A Few Good men (15)
Drop the Dead Donkey 10:30-11 :05pm Whose Line Is lt lvlyway?
Cinema City See previous.
Cinema City Les Amants du Pont Neuf
unique style and sound of folk rock
The Curse of the Canary (Band)
Waterfront Frenzy (disco) Passing Clouds (Band)
Les Cousins Mime.
BBC2: 9:30-10:30pm Arena - The Grateful and the Dead.
Ifs the 'One' Nightclub.
The Devils 11pm
Unlawful Entry - a suspense thriller about a young couple who become ominously involved with a policeman after their house is burgled
NAC Volga Brass Quintet
Maddennarket 'Lulu' by Frank Wedekind 7.30pm (until Sat Feb 6)
Live in the Hive Miranda Sex Garden Music from a band with a growing reputation - includes indie
The Word: C4
ITV: 12:10-1 :05am American Gladiators.
Union Films Basic Instinct (again)
Waterfront Union Films
Unforgiven. l T1. Clint Eastwood's classic western with a conscience.
Moving Picture Mime.
Union Gigs JoM Martin - presenting his
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure 11 pm. Cult comedy about two airheads travelling through time.
lt's the 'One'. Guest DJ Aitch B from Soul 11 Soul.
10:30-11 :05pm Absolutely. 11:05-12:10pm The Word.
The Sexual Imperative
My Leftfoot - free showing m oo-inc:ide with Uriona111P19\
Union Films The Last of The Mohicans Daniel Day Lewis stars in this epic adventure movie, set in colonial America. More em-
powet'hcge Rock CkS - Including visit from sciCCel8fU British rockers, Thl.mer whb wl perform hits from their lat-
phasis on the spectacular scenery than the actual story.
Sunscreen - The popular indie group perform such hits as 'Perfect Motion' and 'Broken English'.
Les Arnants du Pont Neuf (18 5.45 & 8.15
Cinema City See previous
Theatre Royal The Music Man - Norfolk and Norwich Amateur Operatic Society
S«ddenly the icy tr«th str«ck like adagger in her heart
Oh! B~ad yo« did~'t b«y it from o~e Step Beyo~d
Tues 26 Wat.rfront Tel766266 UEACinema Admission: £1.76 Cannon Cinema Tel623312 Admission: £3.40 Odeon Cinema Tal 0426 932460 Admission: £3.80 or £4.60 £2.60 for students on WHk· days only(noteveings perfs.)
Cinema City Tel622047 Admission: £2.50 (students) Theatre Royal Te1630000 NAC Tel660362 Maddermarket Th. Tel620917 Sainsbury Centre Tel66060
Waterfront Frenzy (cisc:o)
Sugar Man (no SUpport)
Live in the Hive
Tatie Danlele- Black comedy about an al.lltie from hel
Alan Parker- urban warrior- A sort of Alf..Gamet for the 90s. Also appearing, comedian Boothby Graffoe, and folk singer,
Cinema City Les Amants du Pont Neuf 8:15pm
Why tlAD he Fo~saken the Compute~ Specialists at 9I11 Bedfo~d St~eet
Jamie Putnam looks at the latest from Rage Against The Machine, Sugar, Shonen Knife and The Spin Doctors
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE "Bullet In The Head" Very 'in your face'. Rage Against the Machine are the type of band who provide the perfect soundtrack for a street riot and yet don't corneacrossasjustanotherwhining politically-conscious hardcore/rap crossover. With a guitar sound that's as funky as the Chili Peppers and as dirty as Sound garden they can hardly go wrong. Add to that some disturbingly brutal lyrics and some nuclear powered hip-hop drumming and you've gota combination that has the power to destroysmall towns, let alone blow your speakers. Formed by a handful of discontented California punks, they seem intent on dismantling corporate America (a tad paradoxical since they're signed to Sony) but an admirable goal nevertheless. And they do seem genuinely pissed off. With song-titles like 'Bullet in the Head' and 'Know your Enemy', it would seem like they are declaring war on the entire Capitalist system and they're pretty well armed- it's hardly surprising that they have just been on tour with Suicidal Tendencies and managed to sell 5,000 copies of their album beforetheywereevensigned. Rage
Against the Machine will not go unnoticed for long- they're just too loud to ignore. SUGAR "If I Can't Change Your Mind" (Creation Records) This is the third cut from their acclaimed 'Copperblue' L. P.• and it is realty quite accessible. The guitarschimeawaylikethe Byrds never went out of fashion, and Bob chirps on about how there won't be a tomorrow in the same way he might announce that he's had a good day at the races. Definitely a song to cheer you up and one that might almost lead you to believe that Husker Du was just a nice dream. That is until the second track 'Ciownmaster' comes stomping along and reminds you just how cool the Du actually were. lt's a full-on instrumental that says everything it needs to and a lot more besides and the sort of thing you could imagine the rugby team psyching themselves up to in the changing rooms before a particularly importantmatch. Very nice. The other two tracks are live recordings and don't let the side down in the least. 'Anyone' is a Dave Barbe song and a live favourite, and 'Hoover Dam', the best track from the album, is bril-
liant, so don't hang around,goout and get it. SHONEN KNIFE "Get the Wow" (August Records) So they're coming back for more, eh? Following on from their debut album "let's Knife". complete with bonus karaoke C.D. is this four track offering which sounds extremetysimilar-strange as it may seem. Trtle track 'Get the Wow' containsthose 'oh so familiar' chords, and the lyrics may as well be about the Norwegian cheese in-
dustry since the only intelligible bits are the "waa waa waa waaoooh's" scattered throughout. Yawn. 'TwistBarbie'isoffthel.P.; 'Fruit Loop Dreams' is an accoustic song with 'those' chords (and probably the best of the lot); and 'Don't Hurt My Little Sister' is a Brian Wilson cover - need I say more? Apparently they have been awarded the Japanese equiValent of a Grammy for their contributionstotheintemational music scene - no doubt Nintendo will soon be releasing"Shonen Knife
vs. Psycho Candy Floss" accompanied by a computer version of all their hits. I swear their intentions are evil. SPIN DOCTORS "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" (Epic Records) This is high-school Prom music. They're the type of band who make a cameo appearance in
"Teenwolr. lt's the type of record that Johnny Walker plays at 3:45 on a Saturday afternoon and lisps seductively "that really is a good record". They're from New York. They havea massive college following, and they sound like Sieve Miller. Still, at least they're not from a lumberjack town near Seattle.
grounds. My background is country and western and Stave's is pop and rockfromthe60's. Tyler(drums) is a blues rock guy, his dad was a blues singer in a rock band. Stave: HisdadwasactualtyJohn Lee Hooker. Ed: And Jim (bass) and Andy (keyboards) were classically trainedandwentintoJazz. These fiVe musicians came together and you get a sound which is a hybrid of everybody's styles. Concrete: How would you describe your music? Ed: Shit! Stave: Grungy devil music has been the most recent catch phrase.
Concrete: You've been called 'Canadian Funsters'. Do you worry about being taken seriously? Ed: Sometimes. But if people listen to the record and they see the band play live they know that we are serious about our music. Stave: And it is fun! Concrete: Why call the album 'Gordon'? Ed: Because Iron Maiden already took 'Power Slave'! Stave: lt seemed like a good name. Concrete: Will you visit Norwich again in future UK tours? Ed: After tonight, definitely! Be sure not to miss them.
COMPETITION- 20 12"s to give away! Courtesy of promotions agency, Streets Ahead, we have a total of 20 1Z's to give away to Concrete/Happenings readers. Five copies of each of the following are available: Sugar: "If I Can't Change Your Mind" (current chart hit), , Power of Dreams: "Second Son EP", The Sundays: "Goodbye" , and PWEI: "Get the Girl! Kill the Baddies (current chart hit).
Towin, sinply name any three of the four lead singers from the bands named above, and you will receive one copy of each 1Z'. Write your answers on a piece ofpaper, along with your name and school, and put it in any of the special Concrete mailing boxes on campus. WinnersnameswiH be posted in the Stewards Cabin by the middle of next week. The Editor's decision is final.
Getting to grips with the Bare Naked Ladies Nigel Harding went to the Waterfront to interview Canada's most popular band
The Bare Naked Ladies are five young (and male) Torontonians who are currently the most popular band in Canada. They have broken box-office records across the country and their debut album 'Gordon', released last summer, went straight in at Number One there and has remained in the Top Ten ever since. They are a difficult band to pigeon-hole with styles ranging from folk to rock to jazz. They are best known for their off-the-wall lyrics in songs such as 'Be My YokoOno'and'lflhad$1000000' but haveproved themselves to be serious musicians with their acclaimed album. After visiting the UK briefly last year, and being the first band since the Beatles to play on the roof of Radio One, The Bare Naked Ladies returned here this month to support Billy Bragg in London and to completetheir own national tour in support their new single 'Brian Wilson' (Sire). Over two hundred people crammed into The Waterfront Studio on Thursday 7th January to see their amazing Norwich gig. The band played for ninety minutes withmusictaken manly from 'Gordon' but also included varied covers from Public Enemy and Madonnaaswellassnippetsfrom The Housemartins, Van Halen and Black Box. The crowd, most of whom had probably never heard Bare Naked Ladies music before, were very rer.eptive and rewarded with three encores. - ·
After the concert, Concrete was granted an exclusive interview
with the two leadsingers, Steven Page and Ed Robertson: Concrete: How long have you been playing together? Ed: Steve and I started as a duo four and a half years ago. I was just finishing up High School and Steve was just getting into University. Concrete: When did the band as awholefirstplaytogether?Steve: Tuesday. Concrete: How have you found suddenly achieving national fame in Canada? Ed: lt's amazing. lt's a very gratifying thing and Canada's a great place to bedoingthatin, but it comes with the giant grain of saltthatistherestofthewortd, as wetourabroadandtrytoimpress even more people. Concrete: With your new-found fame, do you see yourselves as Canada's answer to the New Kids? Ed: No, we're Canada's answer to er... Stave: Colonel Sanders. Ed: We make delicious chicken. Stave: You see, we were known for our baggy shorts and ourportly bellies... Ed: Now we're known for our eleven herbs and spices! Concrete: Do you crave worldwide, Rolling Stones-style fame? Stave: I crave more like an lrene Cara kind of fame. You know"l'mgonnaliveforever, l'mgonna learn how to fly HIGH, I feel it
coming together.. ." Ed: • ...people will see me and DIE!" Concrete: What's it like changing from playing in front of ten thousand fans in Canada to a couple of hundred people here? Ed: lt's great; it's a different kind of excitement and reaction from the audience. I enjoy both, you just approach them differently. Stave: You can change your approach. You can change your underwear. But you can't change your approach's underwear. Concrete: Do you get a different reception from English audiences? Stave: Yeah, they're a lot more reserved. Ed: And definitely a lot. more standoffiSh atthe beginning. The English audience is more apt to just sit back and say: "OK, go ahead and try." Concrete: Did you know that the
Melody Maker recommended your concert here? Ed: Thatwasniceofthern. ltwas kind of a touche to NME for calling us the biggest load of crap since... Spain! And I mean Spain justforthesoundoftheword, not the place. Stave: Yeah, actually S-P-A-N-
E. Concrete: The Melody Maker described you as the Canadian Housemartins. Were they a big influence? Ed: Notreally. lenjoylisteningto them but I don't have any of their records. Sieve's got one of their records, but he's the only one who does. I like them, but I don't think they are an influence. Concrete: Where did your sound come from? Ed: France. Steve: Corsica to be exact. Ed: The sound comes very honestly from five different back-
TO DCC OR NOT TO DCC? Music consumers are now able to choose their fave raves from a staggering choice of five fonnats, two of which were launched in the UK wihinthe last two morihs. The technocrats controlling the music and recording industry have decided that the compact cassette format has, like vinyl, reached the end otthe proverbial road . Supposedly acting in the interest of the consumer (as usual), replacements for the "now obsolete" cassette format have been developed overthe lastfewyears by major recording companies such as Philips and Sony. The new formats use the latest technology in the quest for the almost perfect reproduction of recorded sound; it is regrettable that the industry gurus do not seem to have taken the same attitude towards the plethora of
other obsolete ertitieswihinther control, such as the decrepit old rockers that are constantly being forced upon us en masse albeit being well past their sell-by date. The fast approaching demise of both vinyl and cassette has led to
Niall Hampton examines the pros and cons of the Digital Compact Cassette and the Mini Disc the creation of two new hi-tech formats, Digital Compact Cassette (DCC), and MiniDisc (MD). Like the Compact Disc (CD) tormat, both rely on the state of the art digital technology that has revolutionised recorded music over the last decade. Regrettably, and similar to CD, the new formats are also overpriced. Although criticised for their clinically pure sound, COs have~ come incredibly popularv.rith consumers; the greater degree of control that they offer has become a pre-requisite of any new format. DCC has been brought to the ma!Xet by Philips, the company who will never let anyone forget that they developed the CD. Essentially, DCCtapes represent a more robust version of the con-
Tuesday 19 January to Sunday 18 April 1993
Tuesday 19 January to Sunday 14 March 1993
ventional cassette; they are inserted CD fashion into a special DCC player, which will also play the cassettes that DCC is designed to replace. The DCC player will display the details of the music being played; assuming that the manufacturer has included this information, the name of the artist and song will be shown in addition to the familiar timing information offered by CD players. Soundwise, the DCC offers a moderate improvement over its relacement, but hi-fi experts have been less than satisfied with the reproduction of cassettes when played on DCC equipment. lt is expected that DCC albums will sell for around £10 each; at present, a modest catalogue of around 200 titles are on offer, most of which feature artists re-
cording on the Philips subsidiary label Polygram. Blank DCC tapes are on the ma!Xet for around £6 each; the hardware (most of which is offered by Philips) is retailing between £399 and £599. MD on the other hand is Sony's latest attempt to miniaturise the world ; it is a smaller version of CD which affords the consumer the luxury of being able to make their own digital recordings. Exactly the same size as 'Gameboy' cartridges, MDs plug into the Walkman size player in the same way; the track information as given by DCC is also featured . Sony do plan to release a full size version of MD this year; Philips plan the reverse, with portable DCC players coming on to the ma!Xet at around the same time. In playback, MDs are superior to
Genizah The Hid den Legacy of the German Village Jews
loran Music: A special display of works from the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection
12.00 - 17.00 Closed Mondays (0603) 56060
cassettes although they have a smaller bandwidth than COs, which for the pedantic connoisseur leads to the sound being more compressed and tinny at the treble end of the spectrum. The digital recording facility is also far from perfect, although improvements in the hardware are likely. Despite this, MDs will be more expensive than their DCC competitors, with pre-recorded albums being sold at around £14, and blank MOs at around £9. As with DCC, roughly 200 titles are available; again, mostly Sony/ CBS artists are featured such as Luther Vandross and the obligatory Michael Jackson. So far, sales of both new formats have been rema!Xably slow. Much of this is attributed to the comparatively poor improvement
in quality of both formats over cassette, plus the fact that consumers are confused by which system to choose. Both formats therefore look unlikely to mimic the rapid take off that COs made in the 1980s. This could be due to the fact that the new formats are around 25% more expensive than the 'obsolete' systems that they have been designed to replace. Asusual,it seemsmoreofacase of what the music industry supplies rather than what the consumer demands. The advent of new technology has offered some benefits to the consumer, but at a cost of an increase in price of at least 45 percent. lt would seem that until the recording industry can offer the consumer a considerable improvement in quality at a reasonable price, a vote of no-confidence may greet their latest offerings. DCC and MD may therefore well become the Betamax of the Nineties unless improvements are made in both price and quality.
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Paperweight by Stephen Fry Reviewed by Matt Broersma
What do 'almost', 'biopsy' and 'chintz' have in common? What have poles and staples got to do with shrimps and wardrobes? What have the Prime Ministers Lord Pellham and Lord Grenville to do with Lord lckenham and Lord Sidcup? These and other pressing questions are answered in the pages of Stephen fry's latest offering, "Paperweight" (Heinemann, ÂŁ14.99), a selection of short radio, newspaper and magazine pieces produced since 1985. By all reckoning , Fry has kept well busy in the last six years: besides his roles in such successful programmes as Jeeves and Wooster, Fry and Laurie , and of course Blackadder, he has been coming out with BBC monologues, reviews and articles for magazines like 'Tatler' and the 'Literary Review', not to mention aweekly column for 'The Listener' magazine, and a novel'The Liar'. Topics in "Paperweight" range from the ravings of moral scientist, Donald Trefuis, on television violence; to atitilating, yet depressing, justification of Fry's own
celibacy; to a venomous attack on family values:-"The grissly sideof(aprogramrnelike"Weekend") is that a "typical family" is selected to try out some "leisure activity" at one of the hundreds of "heritage amusement happy parks", "family fun centres", or "activity theme happy fun, fun happy leisure happies" that are using up valuable space that could otherwise be devoted to less noxious enterprises,like the construction of fast-breeder reactors or Union carbidr factories"; to a discussion of piles and haemhorroids. Fry is at his most charming with the toiletrelated material, and indeed suggests the loo as the place for his book to be stored . Despite the presence of a few duds, most ofthe material here is worth reading, and some pieces, like the Trefuis monologues stand out. For anyone who has enjoyed Fry's acting talent on television or in the new film "Peter's Friends", "Paperweight" is an oppurtunity to see another side of him.
~ the .-e~t eight
Genizah: The hidden legacy of the German Jews and Zoran Music at the SCVA
Bundle from a Genizah Paperweight is currently available from Waterstone's book shop, on campus, who kindly donated a copy for us to give away.To wim, simply tell us the University of which Stephen Fry is patron. Write your name school and year on a piece of paper, and put it in any one of the special 'Concrete' boxes around campus or at Fifers Lane. The winner will be notified by January 23. Normal Concrete rules apply.
Mark Smith previews this term at the SCVA
The Sainsbury Centre begins its 1993 programme with two brand new and very original exhibitions. The word 'Genizah' means a storage place for obsolete ritual objects, and only in the last decade have the treasures hidden away in former rural synagogues been uncovered. The exhibits, such as pages from Hebrew texts, religious illustra!ions, fabrics and so on, are put together to paint a vivid picture of life for German Jews in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Kale Carreno, one of the organisers, is keen to point out the unique nature of this exhibition; "The Sainsbury Centre has a policy of having exhibitions in some way related to our permanent collection, and this is so wide that we are able to have a number of non-Western exhibilions for example." "But it is unusual to have objects thatare very much concerned with social history, about a particular way of life." Miss Carreno remarks that so
often people think of German Jews solely interrns of the Nazis and the Holocaust, this, however, shines the spotlight on a very different aspect of German life; "lt is a celebration of a v.tlole way of life that people don't normally think about." Evelyn Friedlander, director of the Hidden Legacy Foundation, organisers of the Genizah event, and Hermann Freiherr von Richthofen, Minister of the German Embassy,v.tlo will be opening the exhibition, have expressed the importance of exposing the world to these important finds; but eventually they intend to return thes finds as near as possible to the community in v.tlich they were found. In many ways a companionpiece to the Genizah exhibition, the Zoran Music display portrays the continuing story of life in Germany. Music lived through some of the worst moments of the 20th Century; he was imprisoned in the
Dachau concentration camp in 1944, and it was there that he began to reflect his extreme emotions in drawings of an increasingly vociferous nature. In the early 1970s, he revisited his terrifying memories of Oachau through a series of works entitled, 'We are not the last'. As well as conveying the levels of suffering fe~ by so many, the paintings also affirm the sheer resilience of human survival. Both exhibitions commence on Tuesday 19 January and should not be missed. 1t is rare that displays of this sort can be seen in Norwich, and now they are here it is important to take advantage of them. So many students go through life at UEA without realising the joys that are present in the Sainsbury Centre, or never realise that admittance is absolutely free. With these exhibitions, it is time that they gain the attention they so rightfully deserve.
Macbeth at the NAC For those unaquainted with "Macbeth", the MinotaurTheatre Group's production of the play could well mean a demanding evening . If, as Shakespeare wrote, "confusion makes his masterpiece" within the play, the recent rend it ion at the Norwich Arts Centre, showed it making a pretty good job on its audience too. Although original in places, some unusual casting combined with the difficulties of androgynous costume, to make the first upheaval that of realising who was actually playing who. If close attention was not paid to the words being spoken , it would have been quite easy to mistake the softly
Review by Paul Grainge spoken King Duncan for any one of his court. In this sense, the production did little to make accessible a complicated plot and this tended to overshadow its finer acheivements. Indeed, the play contained some commendable performances. The witches were convincingly witchy, Macbeth was convincingly tragic, and Banquo was simply convincing . This complimented glimpses of artistic ingenuity. As the only prop was that of a washing up bowl, more emphasis was placed on
clever use of choreography and human still-life. This was effective in conveying both inanimate object and the play's more psychological implications; redeeming the production to a certain degree. Unfortunately, it could not be redeemed to the extent that you came away feeling on fire with the power of shakespeare. The plot was altogether obscured by simple details, such as problematic costume and ineffective casting (in places) , and whilst those well-versed in "Macbeth" v.ill appreciate it more, it was perhaps left beyond the grasp of those only semi-versed .