On the Fringe

Thespy types
Look! It’s some thespy types! Yup, I spent most of last week swanning about Edinburgh taking in shows at the Fringe. When it was time to go home, I didn’t want to leave – the sun had come out, I’d just accepted a free hug from a performer on the Royal Mile and I was feeling content after running around seeing a varied bunch of shows.

Here’s the shows as I saw them through Twitter, with a few directors’ cut extras thrown in.

Tuesday:
– First show! John Robins‘ Skinny Love at Tron- stand-up based on a break-up which is both bleak and warm. Good stuff.

Alexis Dubus‘s Ruddy Brief History Of Swearing at The Tron: Fucking funny, really inventive, made me laugh alone at “quim”.
– I also now know the Australian sign language for “slag”, and a grevious Bosnian insult.

Richard Herring Hitler Moustache- Underbelly: Brian Logan couldn’t have been more wrong, @herring1967 was passionate and positive.
By a long way, the highlight of the festival for me – a terrible Guardian feature on “offensive comedy” the other week implied the theme of Herring’s show was that “maybe racists have a point”. Writer Brian Logan hadn’t seen Hitler Moustache when he wrote it, and he turned out to be spectacularly wrong. Herring’s grown a toothbrush moustache for the show, where on the surface he says he wants to “reclaim it for comedy” – after all, Charlie Chaplin had one. But beneath the surface is a comprehensive tearing-to-shreds of racism, racists, and those who couldn’t be bothered to get off their arses to vote in the European election. It was brilliant – and it wasn’t the last time I was to see Richard Herring…

Ben Dover at Underbelly: Like an inverted Ben Elton doing a stag do crowd. “I’m just a fucking show-off.” A bit queasy.
This was straight after Richard Herring in the same venue – laziness prompted me to see this more than anything. Lindsay Honey’s an engaging stage presence, but there’s not much more he can say other than he likes shagging women on camera. He doesn’t seem to have much time for any of his co-stars – male or female – either, professing bewilderment at certain sexual practices or weaknesses. He’s crude and rude, but so’s a lot of the stuff you’ll find on the Fringe. A strange show that both amused and bemused.

Wednesday:

Collings and Herrin podcast

Collings and Herrin at Underbelly: Bumming & whimsy from @herring1967 and @CollingsA, strange to have seen gags build on Twitter!
For those who aren’t regular listeners, the ongoing possibility that Richard Herring and Andrew Collins may consummate their relationship is a running gag throughout their podcasts. I’ve followed them both on and off on Twitter for a while now, and the podcast’s enabled listeners to follow the development of Herring’s HItler Moustache, while their Twitter feeds put further flesh on the podcast bones. For the Fringe, the pair performed five live podcasts, and I went to see two of them.

– And Bosnich Is Off His Line at Globe: Cambridge Footlights free show. Compere Liam something only one to stand out.
That’s Liam Williams, incidentally.

Jake Yapp at Madogs: feline scatology and Khia’s My Neck My Back on the ukelele. Brilliant and free. (Morecambe was sold out)

Bridget Christie‘s My Daily Mail Hell at Guilded Balloon Teviot: Hugely likeable show inspired by “making tea for young racists”
Christie used to work as an admin assistant on the Mail’s gossip section. There’s a story about the arrogance of a well-known bitchy female columnist that’ll have you open-mouthed with horror.
Amsterdam Underground Comedy Collective at Underbelly: Had me crying with laughter at joke about Dutch govt ads. Ace

Michael Jackson at the Gates of Heaven and Hell, Underbelly: Terrific comic play, bit of a hidden gem.
The Telegraph hated it.

– Finishing at Spank!, midnight stand-up showcase with the filthiest puppet you’ve seen since that Rainbow spoof

Thursday:

The Lunchtime Club at the Tron: Scarily young comics hone their acts. Joe Lycett and David Morgan great, Ivo Graham has potential

– AudioBoo: On the Royal Mile, Edinburgh

– Goldrunner at Guilded Balloon Teviot: 35-year-old makes sense of life through ’91 appearance on Blockbusters. Laboured but rewards

Jake Yapp‘s Hallo Music Lovers! at Caves: worth seeing for his impression of Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s guitarist
I saw Jake Yapp again because I was in company and had some free tickets – courtesy of his parents, who have been flyering for him (and passing the bucket around at his free show). Turns out Yapp lives in Grove Park – he performs a song about the 00.48 last train from Charing Cross as part of his set.

Marcel LuCont at Underbelly: Good fun, but he did his best jokes last night at Spank! in front of a bigger/better crowd.
LuCont is a creation of Alexis Dubus, whose swearing show I’d seen earlier. Definitely worked better with a full crowd full of booze.

Girls with Guns, Guilded Balloon: All-female+token male (“only jokes about beer & willies”). Low on bellylaughs, high on smiles.
That seemed to be a big theme for the final shows I saw – I didn’t split my sides laughing, but still walked out with a smile on my face. That’s got to a good thing, hasn’t it?

Friday:

– “Brand new comedy from a Channel 4 writer” isn’t the selling point it used to be, is it?

Free hug
– Just had free hug to promote show (So, How Was Your Day? at the Grape) and feel content. And rotten because I can’t go and see it.

– Good to meet @CollingsA and @Herring1967 after their live podcast – now rocketing through Northumbria on train home, where the wi-fi works!

Working wi-fi, eh? Will wonders ever cease?