Well, it has been a while since I updated anything isn’t it? It’s amazing how much depression, anxiety and just general bone idleness can get in the way of getting stuff done. However nothing better than my annual Edinburgh Fringe Adventure post to get me back into the swing of things!
However in previous adventures I was joined by my friend/producer/sound monkey Pete, not the case this year. Apparently he had much more important things to do with his time and money this time round. Without his now legendary hit list for Fringe shows I was pretty much flying blind. However this year I was fortunate enough to be joined by my awesome and lovely girlfriend and with her own comedy leanings and my complete guess work I think we did a good job. Once again when we arrived we were greeted by glorious sunshine which confused the Hell out of us, however on our last day it had turned to something more wetter and familiar.
So the following is a run down for the things we managed to see in our 3 day getaway. As per previous posts I am by no means a professional reviewer, I just like writing about the fun/crap things I see. Also as time goes on and I get more “known” in the “industry” I am actually starting to get friendly with some of these comedian types so it’s getting harder and harder to be impartial, so take what you want from these glorified scribbles.
Lets get started…
Comedians Cinema Club
First show of the festival and possibly not a great one to start with after a long train journey up north; It’s rather manic! Six comedians come together and through the power of improv and whatever props they can muster together attempt to recreate a movie from start to finish in one hour, this show was the 1975 classic ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest’. In previous years I’ve seen them they usually have a “director” on hand to contain the chaos, not so with this performance so it was all over the place; Audience members were stripped, chairs were carefully put on tables and taken off again in rage, Eric Lampaert stole peoples clothes, performers leapfrogged across tables, Matt Highton got punched in the dick. Not sure how accurate an adaptation it was to the original film but it was insane, energetic, pure unadulterated chaos & hilarity, like a multi car pile up with clown cars. No idea what other films are in store but I suggest you check them out.
Just the Tonic at The Tron (Venue 51), 15:40, on untill Aug 28th
Glenn Moore – Glengarry Glen Glenn
As I have stated in previous posts I have performed with Mr Moore in the before times a long long ago, I’m a big fan of his work as part of Thunderbards, so when I spotted he was doing his first hour long solo show I was just absolutely delighted for him. A mix of quick witted observation and groantastic puns Moore produces 60 minutes of pure whimsy. The full hour an example of finely crafted story telling & delivery that is highly enjoyable and well worth your time. Moore is definitely one to watch in the future, I have always thought so and I’m still not wrong.
Just the Tonic at The Caves (Venue 88), 18:00, on until 28th Aug
Aidan Goatley – Joys of Retail (and how to escape them)
I am happy to call Aidan Goatley my friend; I have his mobile number and he acknowledges me in public and everything. I have always been a huge fan of his from the first time I saw him back in 2013, partly because of what an obviously lovely person he is (Which comes across on stage) but mainly because each of his previous shows have always resonated with me personally in some way. Here is another one for that list; As a fellow survivor and escapee of retail I can completely relate with every tale of woe and annoyance in this show.You can feel the pain as you laugh at each observation and well delivered joke. Aidan is warm, friendly and a great storyteller. One of my favourite comedy performers and genuinely one of my favourite people. Seek him out!
Sweet Grassmarket (Venue 18), 19:35, on until 28th Aug
Some traditions must be upheld; My first breakfast at Edinburgh Fringe MUST ALWAYS be a Full Scottish breakfast from The City Cafe…
Right, onto more reviews…
Silky – Indoor Fireworks
I better be careful with this one as I’m currently trying to get a gig at one of Silky’s nights in Leeds 😉 However luckily I don’t have to worry too much because he’s brilliant. Always been aware of the gent at Fringe but never been able to get round to seeing him, well watching Indoor Fireworks makes me regret not checking him out sooner. It was just a really nice intimate show; he even memorised every audience members name, felt less like a gig and more like a personal performance. A mix of nice banter, improv, storytelling, and brilliant songs Silky’s latest show is just a great experience from start to finish, he is a lovely person and a performer you should check out as soon as you can.
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4 (Venue 12), 13:15, on until 28th Aug
Rik Carranza presents Star Trek vs Star Wars
M’kay this is going to be a weird one, less of a review and more of an analysis of my experience because I was actually in this show. THAT’S RIGHT! As of this year I was in my first ever Edinburgh show and it was nerve racking! Two comedians battling it out to see which is better; Star Trek or Star Wars. It was like the Sophie’s Choice of SciFi franchises but I settled on Star Wars. My opponent representing Trek was the brilliant Ria Lina and my God did she make it hard work, relentless in her arguments. Also didn’t help having some hardcore Trekkies on the front row, seriously one was wearing Kingon battle armor! However after a hard fought battle I EMERGED THE VICTOR!
I just want to say a huge thanks to Rik for letting me be a part of this run and for everyone who came to the show and agreed with every point I made, it was truly a moment I will remember forever and I hope I get to do it again at some point in the future.
The Banana Skin (Venue 396), two extra shows at 23:00 on 27th & 28th Aug
Colin Hoult / Anna Mann – A Sketch Show for Depressives
This one was a suggestion from my girlfriend and I’m glad she did; I’m not familiar with much of Hoult’s previous works, think my only major encounter with him is his brief appearance in an episode of This Is Jinsy. Appearing as his delightful character Ms Anna Mann A Sketch Show for Depressives is a hilarious well-written show and possibly one of the highlights of our whole adventure. It’s weird and random and just hilarious. Hoult deserves so much more recognition for his work and I hope he gets it soon.
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 19:00, on until 28th Aug
John Robertson – The Dark Room
One of my highlights from last years Fringe and not much has changed in that time; Still hilarious, still brilliant, still brutal. Robertson is at his an unstoppable force of nature, so enthusiastic and chewing the scenery at every moment…if there was any scenery to chew, what with it being a dark room and all. See it!
Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61), 20:30, on until 27th Aug
Our last day in Scotland and the weather turn into something more typical; the heavens opened and fat droplets of sky water poured down on everything. Let me tell you the Edinburgh gin gardens are no where near as fun when the drinks get watered down as you’re carrying them back to your table. But we wrapped up, dodged the rain as best we could and fitted in a few more shows before our train back to England.
Seymour Mace – Shit Title
Ok where the Hell do I even begin with this one? This show is random, insane, anarchic, chaotic comedy brilliance. Greeting everyone coming into the show by playing a piano which isn’t there, incorporating the window into the show due to audience expectation from last year, summoning banana gods and stroking my girlfriend’s hair with a pair of fake hands (we got lumbered onto the front row, not a safe place to be in this show) every moment of this performance is just great. Seymour Mace is a brilliantly funny performer, taking randomness and just launching it into your face with sheer charisma and insanity. This is probably my main pick of the Fringe this year; my stomach physically hurt from laughing and we even got a free banana for the train journey home. Bonus!
The Stand Comedy Club 2 (Venue 5), 14:30, on until 28th Aug
John Robertson – Arena Spectacular
Another one I’m not sure where to begin; As I said briefly in my ever so brief Dark Room review John Robertson is just simply a force of nature, a charismatic madman who just draws all focus and fill a room with his presence. At one moment his on stage the next he’s loose in the audience, like Zebedee with ADHD on sugar. But behind the improvised chaos and randomness there is actually a well-written, expertly sculpted performance. At times the very nature and structure of comedy (especially “more popular” arena comedy) is questioned and deconstructed; Robertson keeps driving the point home every moment, “The show hasn’t started yet”, what we’re seeing isn’t the show, but it is. He wants to deliver an “arena” quality comedy show but he can’t due to in part to it being in a small room but also due to much bigger ideological reasons. Robertson is an hilarious character; Intelligent, witty, charming and a joy to watch go wild on a stage. He’s one of my favourites and I hope you make him one of yours too.
Righto, rapid fire speed round for all the tiny things worth mentioning…
- The Edinburgh Gin garden is lovely, you should go there.
- We did the Edinburgh Whiskey Experience which was awesome, I think this photo speaks for itself. We discovered a very yummy whiskey liqueur and bought two bottles of it.
- Due to being invited to do Star Trek vs Star Wars it meant I had to miss Will Seaward‘s show Magnificent Bastard, but he is a very funny chap and you should check one of his shows out.
- Edinburgh’s tram and bus system is still second to none, it’s awesome.
- Saw Limmy in a cafe near The Stand venue, HE EATS SAUSAGE SANDWICHES JUST LIKE WE DO!
That’s it! That’s all the stuff I managed to see, wanted to see some more but things just didn’t line up or I just ran out of energy. Also thanks to all the lovely people I managed to see, people I missed well you’ll just have to grab me another time. It was an awesome festival this year, partly due to the company of my awesome & lovely girlfriend who I enjoyed showing around the mad Fringe streets. There’s still plenty of festival out there to see so get out there and laugh at stuff. Who knows, next year I may be up with my own show! …probably should think of an idea for a show first… and try a different festival first.