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NEWS & REVIEWS 2014

This page contains the latest news stories and reviews for The Free Edinburgh Fringe Festival so keep checking back on this page to find out what's happening, and which shows are the ones not-to-miss....

August 30, 2014 Free Festival News
It's all over for another year - See you in 2015!
Sadly, the Free Fringe Festival is over now for another year, our 11th Year in Edinburgh! But do not worry... we will be back in 2015, with shows running from August 6th to 30th - put it in your diary now! (and we'll also be making our annual side trip down to Brighton in May too)... The planning starts now! Click Here

August 25, 2014  Gigglebeats
Review of Matt Price : The Maryhill Dinosaur
FIVE STAR REVIEW
 Click Here

August 25, 2014  TV Bomb
Review of Drunk Lion
FIVE STAR REVIEW
 Click Here

August 25, 2014  broadway Baby
Review of Bob Blackman's Local
FIVE STAR REVIEW
 Click Here

August 24, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Shit of the Fringe
Review
 Click Here

August 24, 2014  Chortle
Review of Ahir Shah: Texture
Review
 Click Here

August 24, 2014  London
Review of Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
Review
 Click Here

August 24, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Lovecraft's Monsters
Review
 Click Here

August 24, 2014  One4Review
Review of James Dowdeswell - Wine, Ale and I
Review
 Click Here

August 24, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Heavy Petting: Hammer Time
Review
 Click Here

August 24, 2014  The Sunday Times
Review of Liam Williams: Capitalism
Review
 Click Here

August 24, 2014  Fresh Fringe
Review of Liam Williams: Capitalism
FIVE STAR REVIEW
 Click Here

August 24, 2014 Fringe Review
Article about Strange Face - Adventures with a lost Nick Drake recording - with Michael Burdett
HIGHLY Reccomended Show
 Click Here

August 24, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Miss Behaves GameShow
Review
 Click Here

August 24, 2014  Chortle
Review of Tim Renkow: At Least Hell Has Ramps
Review
 Click Here

August 23, 2014 Brodway Baby
Article about Eggs Collective Get A Round
Review
 Click Here

August 23, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of The Best of Who's Available
Review
 Click Here

August 23, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Alex the Mind Reader
Review
 Click Here

August 23, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Heavy Petting: Hammer Time
Broadway Baby Review
Middlesbrough sketch-pros Heavy Petting put on a wacky and fast-paced comedy sketch show complete with a weird fetish for Batman, hitting people with hammers and totally authentic hip hop. It’s mad-cap oddness with big laughs and fat grins.

The performers are energetic and hilarious, setting up good punch lines and the odd bemusing non-joke which still evokes the right kind of chuckles from the audience. The highlight is without a doubt the Jason Show and it’s worth rocking up to Haymarket for that sketch alone. Another brilliant sketch is one about ‘serious dating’ and this, along with a couple of other strong sketches, are complemented with funny follow-ups as the show proceeds.

Each member of the Heavy Petting team has a unique style and the group work well together, bouncing off one another, showing good chemistry and a flair for wacky inventiveness. There are a couple of sketches that sometimes go out on a slight whimper rather than a big bang, but when the sketches work, they work very well.

With some good audience interaction and the odd weird moment that might actually make you jump, Heavy Petting: Hammer Time is great energetic fun. And hooray, it’s part of the Free Fringe and considerably better than some of the comedy shows you’d pay about eight quid to see! If it’s a wacky and lively sketch show you’re after, then get yourself over to Haymarket for some happy hammer hilarity! Click Here

August 23, 2014  Giggle Beats
Review of Jessie Cave + Emer Kenny, Grawlix
FIVE STAR REVIEW
 Click Here

August 23, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of I'm Thinking of Leaving Facebook
Review
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August 23, 2014  Fest
Review of The Crossroads
Review
 Click Here

August 23, 2014 Chortle
Article about The Barry Experience
Review
 Click Here

August 23, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Cariad & Louise's Character Hour
Review
 Click Here

August 23, 2014  Chortle
Review of Jeff Leach. FIT.
Review
 Click Here

August 23, 2014  Chorte
Review of The Comedian and His Future Wife
Review
 Click Here

August 23, 2014  broadway Baby
Review of Hatty Ashdown : Hurry Up Hatty
Review
 Click Here

August 23, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Hatty Ashdown : Hurry Up Hatty
Review
 Click Here

August 21, 2014  Fringe Guru
Review of Twonkey's Private Restaurant
oddly entertaining and utterly bizarre
Twonkey's Private Restaurant - Free
As the ship’s wheel draped in underwear reaches the furthest corner of the room… yes, you did read that sentence right. There really is a ship’s wheel, it really is draped in underwear, and just as it reaches the furthest corner of the room an uncomfortable silence descends. “If that music were longer,” observes Mr Twonkey, “it would make the act look just a little bit slicker.” He’s right – but making his act look slicker would entirely miss the point of this inexplicably compelling show.

Mr Twonkey – real name Paul Vickers – is something of a fixture at the Edinburgh Fringe, and this year’s instalment of his absurdist ramblings is as impossible to categorise as it’s always been. Perhaps it’s comedy, though there are few out-and-out jokes and they’re all truly terrible ones. Perhaps it’s cabaret; there are certainly plenty of songs, delivered with passable tunefulness and undeniable flair. But it is, in the end, just indefinably Twonkey, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Vickers’ character is itself an unmistakeable presence, clad in a bizarre combination of a faded dress-coat and a chef’s hat. We are, after all, in Mr Twonkey’s restaurant, and he duly introduces us to the remainder of his staff: an avaricious cat, a stuffed-toy lion and a clairvoyant, whose predictions are both very specific and spectacularly wrong. I venture to suggest there are few other Fringe shows where you’re invited to have your mind read by a pair of knickers, or randomly asked to insert your hand into a hollowed-out pumpkin. On the night I attended, the pumpkin seemed to like it.

At times, you suspect it truly signifies nothing. But then suddenly, there’s a heartfelt song about how Mr Twonkey’s wife was stolen by Mussolini – it makes a kind of sense in context – and you realise there’s a real rawness there, a real pain. Like the best nonsense poetry, the meaning is elusive, but feels only just beyond your grasp. Search for it if you want to, or just sit back and gasp at the unadulterated strangeness of it all; either way, your night will be both oddly entertaining and utterly bizarre.

Vickers’ blundering with props occasionally tried my patience – I’m sure it’s intentional, but it’s easy to go too far – and, at risk of over-analysing the whole experience, his constant fiddling with an iPod didn’t exactly help willing suspension of disbelief. So there’s a part of me which still can’t believe I enjoyed this wilfully lo-fi brand of storytelling… but if you let yourself surrender to it, the surreal nonsense that defines Twonkey’s Private Restaurant might just point the way to a slightly more joyful world. Click Here

August 21, 2014 Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Awards
Article about Liam Williams: Capitalism
EDINBURGH COMEDY AWARD NOMINATION for Liam Williams - BEST SHOW
Congratulations to Liam Williams for his nomination for BEST SHOW at this years Edinburgh Fringe.

The fill list of nominees for best show are:
•Alex Horne: Monsieur Butterfly.
• James Acaster: Recognise.
• John Kearns – Shtick.
• Liam Williams: Capitalism.
• Romesh Ranganathan: Rom Wasn't Built In A Day.
• Sam Simmons: Death of a Sails-Man.
• Sara Pascoe vs History.

And the winner will be announces this Saturday Click Here

August 20, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of The Comedian and His Future Wife
FIVE STAR REVIEW
 Click Here

August 20, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Who Did I Think I Was?
Who Did I Think I Was?

by Kyung Oh on 20th August 2014

This is a two-hander written and performed by Peter Henderson. With impeccable direction from Vincent Adams, the show packs in a wide range of things to great depth and poignancy within the space of one hour.

Both the writing and acting in this show are extremely skilful. It’s a very successful, heartwarming play.
The flow of the show is made extremely smooth by Henderson’s acting. It is incredible how he can simply put on a bathrobe, thick glasses, mutter “dear dear dear dear dear…” and instantly transform so convincingly from a fifty-two-year-old into a senior in his eighties.

The play unfolds through alternating stories told by the two characters. The father is an ex-RAF man who served in the Second World War as a fighter pilot. He is very much of his generation: he has a stiff upper lip, is averse to any kind of “soppishness” or physical contact, even with his own family. Very old and physically feeble, he spends his days pottering around the house and visiting his girlfriend Betty. We learn about his past experiences in the RAF and his relationship with his wife and son while he prepares some testimonies to send in to the war memorial committee.

We find out about the father’s infidelity to his wife, her gradual descent into schizophrenia, and how father and son handle this mental illness. The father’s poor handling of the situation leads to the son’s life going off the rails, while the son must struggle with feelings of guilt, wondering if he could have helped his mother better. The difficulties with his mother’s illness spill into all aspects of the son’s life and there is a very powerful scene where the mother, quite late in the stages of her illness, bursts out at her son in a jealous rage because of his girlfriend.
The structure of the storytelling is very elegant. The pacing is exactly on target; each character’s scenes go precisely to the point they need to before switching to the other character. The characterisations of the father and son are very subtle, complex, and humanising, without blame being crudely placed on either of them. The play provides many insights into the effects of mental illness, and its treatment of schizophrenia is very measured, which becomes a rich ground for exploring the psychologies of the two primary characters.

The play is at the same time extremely successful with its comic moments; the clashes between son and father and the idiosyncratic habits of the father often lead to bursts of laughter from the audience. Both the writing and acting in this show are extremely skilful. It’s a very successful, heartwarming play. Click Here

August 19, 2014  The Stage
Review of Bob Blackman's Local
Bob Blackman’s Local (4 stars) is the kind of comedy show everyone should catch at the Fringe. It’s fundamentally offbeat but also extremely well crafted. Starring ‘old school entertainer’ Johnny ‘Mr Showaddywaddy’ Sorrow and the enigmatic Mr Swann – who wears a balaclava throughout – the pair steam through their set in which a parody of old school entertainment and absurdist humour meet. There’s a spot on tribute to Bernie Clifton, a lost coconut and a man with no act. It’s no surprise that they won the Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality a few years ago. Click Here

August 19, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of The Sons of Pitches: Boiler Alert!
FIVE STAR REVIEW
 Click Here

August 19, 2014  Chortle
Review of Love in the Time of Collier
 Click Here

August 19, 2014  Box Dust
Review of Ellie Taylor: Elliementary
FIVE STAR REVIEW
 Click Here

August 19, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of The Irrational Fears of Rillettes
 Click Here

August 19, 2014  Fresh Air
Review of Ahir Shah: Texture
 Click Here

August 19, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of ANIL DESAI's LAST NIGHT at the MOVIES
 Click Here

August 19, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Ian Fox Presents 'The Unsearchables'
 Click Here

August 19, 2014  London Is Funny
Review of Eddie Hoo- Angry in the afternoon.
 Click Here

August 19, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of GhostCop
 Click Here

August 19, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Back Out from the Outback
 Click Here

August 19, 2014  Chortle
Review of Matthew Highton's Good Luck Sleeping Jerks
 Click Here

August 19, 2014  Chortle
Review of Paul Currie: Release The Baboons
 Click Here

August 18, 2014 The Scotsman
Article about Robert White: The Curious Incident of the Gag and the Gun-Crime....Plus more stuff
Review
 Click Here

August 18, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Spencer Jones is The Herbert
 Click Here

August 18, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Nik Coppin - Mixed Racist
 Click Here

August 18, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of Werewolf Erotica, She Wrote
Review
 Click Here

August 18, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of The New Wave
Review
 Click Here

August 18, 2014 Pope Head The Secret Life of Francis Bacon
Article about Pope Head [The Secret Life of Francis Bacon] by Garry Roost, Directed by Paul Garnault, Music: Matthew Williams & Eddie Gray
FRINGEREVIEW
 Click Here

August 18, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Choose Your Own Comedy Adventure
Review
 Click Here

August 18, 2014 The National
Free Festival Shows featured in article
 Click Here

August 18, 2014 The National
Free Festival Shows featured in article
 Click Here

August 18, 2014 Malcolm Hardee Awards
Three Malcolm Hardee Award Nominations for Free Fest & Heroes shows
The increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards short list is announced at the Edinburgh Fringe Click Here

August 18, 2014 The Skinny
Two Skinny award nominations for Free Fest Shows - Luisa Omielan & Richard Gadd
Congratulations to Luisa Omielan and Richard Gadd on their Skinny awards nominations! Click Here

August 18, 2014 Isthismusic?
Article about Twonkey's Private Restaurant
Even the murderers present have been entertained.
TWONKEY’S PRIVATE RESTAURANT
MATA HARI ROOM @ ESPIONAGE, EDINBURGH (SATURDAY AUGUST 16TH)

By Stuart McHugh • Aug 17th, 2014 • Category: gigs
In the same way that Cheers is the bar where everyone nows your name, Twonkey’s is the one with a maitre d’ who knows where you live. Serving a clientele consisting of of “lost backpackers, the demented or murderers”, we’re welcomed into the surreal world of Paul Vickers. Clad in 19th century charity shop chic and a chef’s floppy hat, he’s operating a tiny balloon which, if you suspend disbelief, is central to the plot of tonight’s tale of time travel, puffer fish and dictators – the inedible in pursuit of the unfathomable. Or something.

It’s a musical with a difference – a string of strange set plays and stranger chat and decidedly sinister props, and when all three come together, well, that’s where the music comes into play. We’re served up duet between Vickers and gruesome rat / cat / head chef hybrid Hanratty, then a love song for what might be a lion called Chris and a unnamed hairy-arsed ‘green lady’ who isn’t, we’re told, all that keen on humanity.
Terrifyingly for the backpackers (though maybe less so for the murderers and demented present) there is also audience participation – a ship’s wheel festooned with Primark knickers from which Vickers divines the audience’s recent love trysts (and, eventually, becomes entangled in). There’s also pumpkin fisting (happily, not an euphemism).

The thing is, the tunes stand up as in the same way that even his most left-field material with Dawn of the Replicants and The Leg contained chart-friendly pop hooks – albeit done karaoke-style on this occasion, with accordion and off-kilter rhythms more likely to trouble a top 40 in another world where The Residents are kings of daytime radio.

But yes, Twonkey’s is the restaurant at the end of a parallel universe where a “hot beryl” (half beer, half gin with a Hawaiian-style pineapple in it) but whose effects wouldn’t rival the hallucinogenic properties of Twonkey’s musical menu.

Come the end the backpackers are sated and the demented are in fine fettle, and more than wiling to pay the suggested Free Fringe donation of a fiver – a punch in the mouth the other option offered by Vickers but seemingly even the murderers present have been entertained, or baffled, into submission.

Twonkey’s Private Restaurant is open at Laughing Horse @ Espionage (India Street, Grassmarket end of the Cowgate), evenings from 20:45, until August 24th. Click Here

August 18, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Once Upon A Nightmare
FIVE STAR REVIEW
 Click Here

August 18, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of Tricity Vogue: Songs For Swinging Ukuleles
Review
 Click Here

August 18, 2014  London is Funny
Review of Joel Dommett - Finding Emo
Review
 Click Here

August 18, 2014  The List
Review of Twins
Review
 Click Here

August 18, 2014  Chortle
Review of Matt Price : The Maryhill Dinosaur
 Click Here

August 18, 2014  Chortle
Review of Feminism for Chaps
FIVE STAR REVIEW
 Click Here

August 18, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Andrew Bird
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  EdFringeReview.com
Review of First Class
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  The Edinburgh Reporter
Review of First Class
Four Star Review at the Edinburgh Reporter
Arriving at the atmospheric ‘Pravda’ platform in Espionage is First Class, a combination of emotional journeys set on a train journey to create an overall poignant, memorable journey for all concerned; as you might be able to tell, there is a lot of travelling.

Having said this, what initially appears to be just one journey soon transpires to be multiple expeditions during different decades, with much more than just a physical destination being reached. This engrossing exploration of numerous themes emphasises how life’s struggles are dwelled upon and the stark reality of the effects people, pressures and negative circumstances can have.

This Aulos Productions and Relief Theatre production recently won Best New Writing at the Buxton Fringe 2014, and it’s clear to see why. Sharp, interconnecting dialogue is delivered impeccably by Erin Elkin as Lydia, Joe Walsh as Jack and Maddie Haynes as Rachel, who have evidently invested a lot of time into encompassing their own characters but work very impressively together to create the trio of trips.

Upon alighting from the performance, some of the audience were evidently drained; one woman was in tears. This is a unique, meaningful piece of drama which showcases three skilful talents and is definitely worth a ticket, even though this is a free, non-ticketed event! Click Here

August 17, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Hate & Live
Review
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of The Oreo Experience
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Spencer Brown
Revew
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Ellie Taylor: Elliementary
Review
 Click Here

August 17, 2014 Entertainment Wise
Article about Paperclips
Paperclips named 'Best Free Show'
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  Fest
Review of A Room With a Jew
Review
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  The List
Review of Once Upon A Nightmare
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Help The Frigid
Review
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  One 4 Review
Review of The Crossroads
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
Review of The Crossroads
Review
 Click Here

August 17, 2014 The Guardian
Laughing Horse Shows recommended by the Guardian
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of Jody Kamali: One Man Variety Show
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  Chortle
Review of Carly Smallman: Made in Penge
Review
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  Fest
Review of Ahir Shah: Texture
Review
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Imaginary Girlfriend
Review
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  Chortle
Review of Liam Williams: Capitalism
Review
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of I'm Thinking of Leaving Facebook
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  Fest
Review of Chris Dangerfield
Review
 Click Here

August 17, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Chris Dangerfield
Review
 Click Here

August 16, 2014  CHORTLE
Review of Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
FIVE STAR REVIEW
Is she right, ladies? She’s *so* right – and inspirational, and hilarious, and sassy and just about the best tonic you could hope for from a comedy show.

Two years after wowing Edinburgh with her breakthrough hit What Would Beyonce Do?, Luisa Omielan has done it again with this all-out celebration of womanhood – loving her curves, loving her sexuality, loving the new-found confidence her soaring career has given her.

This is feminism with a fun-loving, feisty swagger; two fingers to the tight-assed Hollywood agent who thought her too chubby and old for Hollywood, to the men she stupidly relied on for validation, and to the inner critic that holds so many women back telling them all the reasons not to take a risk.

She demolishes the ‘girls aren’t funny, except to other girls’ claptrap in a wonderfully exaggerated routine about prejudice about comedy – but more importantly by being wantonly hilarious. Whereas the Beyonce show was born from her depression, Am I Right Ladies? comes from a happy place – and she’s not going to let anyone else’s issues take a dump on that.

Omielan won’t be ‘slut-shamed’, no matter what a morally misguided media might say, what’s wrong with liking sex? Her routine about the awkward post one-night-stand encounter is a brilliant take on a familiar situation, perfectly summing up sexual politics, and men’s swagger versus women’s insecurities. Yes, there’s a certain stereotyping there, but also a good dollop of truth.

Am I Right Ladies? is a resolutely upbeat show, but not one of vacuous ‘you go girl’ platitudes. She lays her own emotional problems open, especially with regards to the black dog of depression, and does fine work in normalising a condition millions suffer, but few talk about, with no sense of self-pity. Extra-pertinent in the week the world lost Robin Williams. That said, the crowd all has a little, forced, sob to Adele – but that’s just a tongue-in-cheek release.

The performance alternates between such cheery honesty and raunchy physicality, as she strips down to her bra and Spanx. She crawls over the crowd and dances aggressively to make a point. Her face is just as expressive, wonderfully miming her inability to cry while on antidepressants, or her disgust at a blow job.

It makes for an invigorating, rambunctious ride through the female psyche, conditioned by societal repression. But with high-energy tunes, too, and a strong sense of fun. You’ll have the time of your life, and you’ll owe it all to her.

(Steve Bennett, Chortle)
 Click Here

August 16, 2014  Beyond The Joke
Review of Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
 Click Here

August 15, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Spencer Brown
 Click Here

August 15, 2014  The Skinny
Review of Jim Davidson's Funeral
 Click Here

August 15, 2014  London is Funny
Review of Tim Renkow: At Least Hell Has Ramps
Review
 Click Here

August 15, 2014  Chortle
Review of Mr Harris - Sweetmilks
 Click Here

August 15, 2014  The Telegraph
Review of Liam Williams: Capitalism
 Click Here

August 15, 2014  EdFringeReview.com
Review of Rauls Were Made To Be Broken
 Click Here

August 15, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of PINT SIZE
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of Japanese Samurai Don Quixote Challenging against English Giant Windmills !!!
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Dave Griffiths: C U IN COURT (CNUT v FCUK)
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  The Independent
Review of Liam Williams: Capitalism
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Hannah and Barri: Telly Box
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Chortle
Review of Chris Dangerfield
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Nine More Than None
Review of Spencer Brown
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Nine More Than None
Review of The Irrational Fears of Rillettes
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of THE WORLD'S WORST BIRTHDAY PARTY
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Chortle
Review of RICHARD GADD: BREAKING GADD
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Short Com
Review of Love in the Time of Collier
 Click Here

August 14, 2014 Fringe Review
Article about Twisted Loaf
Highly Recommended show in Fringe Review
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Time Out
Review of Lou sanders in Another Great Show Again
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of First Class
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of First Class
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of It's all about George.
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  The Mirror
Review of Playback Impro
FIVE STAR REVIEW
Playback Impro

Laughing Horse @ Jeckyll and Hyde (Venue 259), 12.30pm

A real standout from all the stand-up, this is comic improvisation theatre-style. Four actors each take it in turn to direct a narrative supplied by the audience.

It can be anything from a mundane event on the way to the theatre, to a traumatic childhood experience. The interaction is fun, compelling and very imaginative.

And the the quick-witted troupe step into your story, giving it a genre and treatment in seconds – making it very slick. A show that will keep you coming back for another unrepeatable performance.

★★★★★


 Click Here

August 14, 2014  The Stage
Review of Death Shall Have No Dominion
The Stage: Death Shall Have No Dominion Review
 Click Here

August 14, 2014 
Article about Nathan Cassidy: Date of Death
Nathan Cassidy interview
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  FestMag.co.uk
Review of Twins
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Kwame Asante
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Fest
Review of Don't tell anyone about Sarah Callaghan
Fest
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Chortle
Review of Eric Lampaert: Testiculating (waving your arms around talking b*ll*cks)
 Click Here

August 14, 2014  Chortle
Review of Sean McLoughlin: I Will Prevail
 Click Here

August 13, 2014  The Skinny
Review of Eric Lampaert: Testiculating (waving your arms around talking b*ll*cks)
Review
 Click Here

August 13, 2014  The Skinny
Review of Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
Review
 Click Here

August 13, 2014  The Stage
Review of The Barry Experience
 Click Here

August 13, 2014  Fest
Review of Cariad & Louise's Character Hour
Review
 Click Here

August 13, 2014 Fringe Review
Article about Banjo Man
HIGHLY Reccomended Shows
 Click Here

August 13, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Who Did I Think I Was?
Who Did I Think I Was?
Who Did I Think I Was?

Published by Alison Kerr
13 Aug 2014


Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review (theatre): Who Did I Think I Was? at Laughing Horse @ The Counting House (Venue 170). Review by Alison Kerr

This thought-provoking one-man show, part of the Free Fringe, may be staged in one of the least hospitable, least noise-proof venues on the circuit, but it is sufficiently absorbing and entertaining to distract from the surroundings.

Its writer, Peter Henderson, gives a terrific, beautifully observed performance as an octogenarian war hero contentedly living the bachelor life, with a daily routine that comprises multiple pill-taking, sneezing, a daily morning phone call to his “lady friend” to check that they have both survived the night, and pruning her wisteria in return for favours of the confectionery variety.

A request from the Imperial War Museum for his war memories forces him to reflect on his life which, despite his cheery and pragmatic personality, has not been as uncomplicated or cheerful as one might assume. Indeed, every time he starts to speak into the dictaphone about the war, it leads him down another, much more personal route and he has to rewind the tape and start again.

Spliced into the old man’s reminiscences are those of his grown-up son, Peter, an alcoholic with a cheeky chappy persona and messy relationship history, who is about to come and live with him.
His revelations about his childhood and the knock-on effects of it on his adult life highlight the difference in how the generations deal with expressing their emotions, and with mental illness.

Poignant and often laugh-out-loud funny, Who Did I Think I Was? highlights the fact that there is more to every life than what can be gleaned simply from appearances – and that everyone has a story waiting to be told.

Until 24 August. Today 2:30pm.
 Click Here

August 13, 2014  Gigglebeats
Review of Tom Deacon - Get Your Deacon!
 Click Here

August 13, 2014 The Herald
Article about Spencer Brown
Spencer Brown Interview
 Click Here

August 13, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of The Ten Best Songs Of All Time
Review
 Click Here

August 13, 2014 Contact Music
Article about The Ten Best Songs Of All Time
Marc Burrows Interview
 Click Here

August 13, 2014  The Mumble
Review of Infinitely More Deluded
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 13, 2014  ScotsGay
Review of Alpha Fail
SG2014 Review: Alpha Fail
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August 13, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of James Loveridge: Funny Because It's True
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 12, 2014  Remote Goat
Review of James Dowdeswell - Wine, Ale and I
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 12, 2014  The Stage
Review of PINT SIZE
The Stage Review
Sparkling entertainment. Click Here

August 12, 2014  The Guardian
Review of Liam Williams: Capitalism
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 12, 2014  The Skinny
Review of Paul Currie: Release The Baboons
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 12, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Feminism for Chaps
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August 12, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Feminism for Chaps
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August 12, 2014  The Skinny
Review of Feminism for Chaps
Review
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August 12, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Three Shot Mockery
Revieww
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August 12, 2014  Edinburgh Spotlight
Review of Banjo Man
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August 12, 2014 Twitlonger
Article about CeilidhKids at the Fringe - Free!
Arlo's Festival Day 4: @CeilidhKids #EdFringe
Arlo's Festival Day 4: @CeilidhKids #EdFringe

A bit of a different sort of day today: no theatre but ceilidh dancing for 3-7 year olds as part of the free fringe and considerably more exercise in an hour than in the last 4 days put together (not least in lugging a sleeping Morven and her pushchair up two and a half flights of stairs).

Definitely, definitely worth the exertion though. In spite of the heat, we managed to keep Arlo just about focused for the entire class which Bristol friends familiar with our Friday morning efforts will know is no mean feat. No sign of his signature, 'lie down in the middle of the floor mid-dance' move, which is just as well as he would have been quickly trampled by the many, many ceilidhing kids, mums, dads and grandparents with whom we shared the room. I was very grateful that we had our own granny Annie in tow. Full participation was expected (and in large part required) of accompanying adults and burling one child while carrying another proved an exertion too far for me.

I flipping love a ceilidh though and was really delighted that, for the most part, Arlo seemed really up for it too. Counting (to eight, repeatedly), marching, holding hands and spinning are all right up his street and I was fascinated to observe just how early the compulsion to interpret, 'turn your partner', as an invitation to try and break some kind of land speed record kicks in ('Faster mummy! Now let's go even faster!') It is a compulsion I remember very fondly from every school PE dance class and Christmas party (and perhaps from one or two rather more recent weddings too). And while this was the only festival outing so far which looked at points like it might end in tears (during one of the dances mid way, there were definitely a number of flailed arms, stomped feet and grimaces that the caller hadn't called), it also earned the fullest-faced smiles and certainly worked up the most sweat. The potential to exhaust an audience isn't something I'd have previously valued when deliberating over the Fringe programme but now that the rain has arrived and the parks are a little soggy it is definitely something I will look for again. Very strongly recommend. Click Here

August 12, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Mike Belgrave's Krazy Komedy Show 4 Kidz
Review
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August 11, 2014 Primary Times
Article about Mike Belgrave's Krazy Komedy Show 4 Kidz
Had the young audience totally hooked and in fits of giggles throughout.
London stand-up comedian Mike Belgrave certainly knows just how a child’s mind works! His fast-paced mix of jokes, silly songs, pranks, balloon twisting, puppetry and animation had the young audience totally hooked and in fits of giggles throughout.

Of course there’s talk of bottoms and farts (though clean enough!). There are also pirates, princesses, wayward pets and fine art… with enthusiastic (and often hysterically high-pitched) audience participation providing the basis of the show. His use of animation is clever, engaging and absolutely hilarious.

Needless to say it’s a very entertaining hour for parents too – not least watching your own children and others go wild. Overall, the show is certainly excellent value for no money, so we donated generously at the end!

“He’s very funny with lots of jokes. The bit where he shoots himself when he’s stretching balloons is very funny.” Ali, aged 6.

“He tries to play the ukulele but never gets it right. We were all shouting at him!” Henry, aged 8.

“He has this parrot that does crazy stuff. It made me laugh a lot.” Robin, aged 5. Click Here

August 11, 2014  One 4 Review
Review of Matt Price : The Maryhill Dinosaur
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 11, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
Four Star review in The Scotsman
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August 11, 2014  One 4 Review
Review of The Barry Experience
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August 11, 2014 Fringe Review
Banjo Man Highly Recommended show on Fringe Review
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August 11, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of Death Shall Have No Dominion
ED2014 THEATRE REVIEW - DEATH SHALL HAVE NO DOMINION
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August 11, 2014  Edinburgh Guide
Review of The Silence of Snow: The Life of Patrick Hamilton
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 11, 2014  A Local's Guide To The Fringe
Review of RICHARD GADD: BREAKING GADD
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August 11, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of RICHARD GADD: BREAKING GADD
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 11, 2014 The Mirror
Article about Joe Munrow: Misinformation
Daily Mirror One To Watch
Joe Munrow - Misinformation, Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters (Venue 272), 22.45. After dark, the Yurt Locker has to be one of the toughest gigs at the fringe, as music blares out in the courtyard. But Joe's wit, charm and sophisticated zingers manage to rise above the din.

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August 11, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Strange Face - Adventures with a lost Nick Drake recording - with Michael Burdett
Review
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August 11, 2014  
Review of Free fall
BroadwayBaby

August 11, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Free fall
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August 11, 2014  ScotsGay
Review of Man Enough
ScotsGay Review
This young LGBT Theatre feels very reminiscent of a TLA Releasing DVD, from the start-at-the-end beginning, through to the multi-talented Bethan Francis taking up the guitar and morphing into a female Jay Brannan (VaJayJay Brannan! No? Anyone? Oh well) during several scenes where she sings her own original songs.

All the characters are fundamentally flawed in some manner. Chris (played by the writer, Dan Peter Reeves) is wallowing in slackerdom, binge-drinking and never remembering his hookups, missing menial office work in favour of pursuing his latest obsession, rent boy Joey (Jake Flowers), who has a few issues of his own. Kate provides the balance in the piece as the morally ambiguous best friend to Chris.

My favourite character has to be Winston, the banking executive who asks for the least of this needy bunch. All he wants is to be bound, gagged and called pig. He is the most honest and open about his expectations of others and by far the happiest person we encounter here.

There is a wonderful farcical thread where Chris communicates his lack of comprehension of Winston’s desires, yet by that point he himself is so bound and abused by his relationship to Joey that I rather imagine Winston snickering behind his ball gag.

The acting is natural and assured, the script honest and believable. The only whiff of falsehood is at how gorgeous the cast is (let’s face it I was not getting through this without a dirty old man moment, now it’s happened we can all heal and move on).

British Exist Theatre have collaboratively sculpted something charming that thankfully explores a story beyond clichéd coming out tales. Instead it focuses on those first serious relationships that govern our adolescence and how we often subtly destroy the ones we love. Click Here

August 11, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Jonny Pelham and George Zach - Subtitles not Included
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August 10, 2014  Edfringe Review
Review of Alpha Fail
Edfringe Review
A self confessed "clever chap" and failed alpha male, Cormac spends his 50 minute show detailing embarrassing memories, failed relationships and competitive siblings. Oh, and a well-justified affection for Cher, "Mean Girls" and wine spritzers. Yet, it becomes clear towards the end that he is in fact more 'alpha male' than most - actually about a third more.

Cormac works his audience. His dose of complimentary comments towards the Scots is combined with self-deprecating ones about himself and Ireland - notably, their number of Olympic gold medals wretches up a certain bitterness. His most genuine and funny moments of the night are his fluid interactions with the crowd. This is a man who may be terrified of swallowing his own tongue but when faced with a crowd of drinking patrons, he is fearless. He takes what little the audience gives him and molds it into a laugh. Maybe, this lingers because it contrasts with his reliance on rehearsed material that halts the stream of anecdotes and slices them into one-liners.

Comedy in the back of a pub feels like a perfect venue and the packed out audience attested to this. In the back room of the blood speckled Jekyll and Hyde, inhibitions were slightly loosened which allowed an audience that was willing and ready to find the show funny.

They were rewarded with some truly hilarious moments, such as a tale of his unwitting prostitution in Vegas. Indeed, as he says in his show "I don't think this story shows me in a good light" and, generally, it doesn't. But there is something quite endearing about this nonetheless. However, this is by no means a laugh-a-minute show. Some jokes fell flat and some elicited simply a chuckle. He also steeped into the stand-up cliches with tired jokes about 'reality' television shows and the IQ of Joey Essex. Therefore, while Cormac was likeable and the show was as a whole generally amusing, I was left feeling slightly indifferent.

Overall, it was a good way to spend a hour as part of the Free Fringe. and in the wave terrible stand-ups who seem to have descended on the 2014 Fringe, Cormac was a treat. Or, if that wasn't tempting enough, you could see him next year in a show that he promises to call "Sleeping With Obama" in attempts to increase his shock value year on year. Click Here

August 10, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Alpha Fail
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August 10, 2014  Edfringe Review
Review of Alpha Fail
Edfringe Review
It is generally accepted that, at the Fringe, particularly with comedy shows, you get what you pay for. Tonight, however, this notion was shown to be untrue. Cormac Friel’s show was amusing, dynamic and impressively well attended.

Exploring his quest for “alphamaledom” in the face of sibling rivalry and being gay, Friel recalls some of the most important experiences of his 24 years, from the infinite erections of his youth, spent lusting after schoolmates, to the 120 Dollars he once received for sleeping with a middle aged, greying American on a trip to Las Vegas. Friel claims to have been charmingly unaware that the airline pilot in question thought he “was a rent-boy”, leading to initial self-disgust, then a feeling of compensation, and then utter devastation as he counted the money to discover that the man considered 12 hours in his company to be worth a mere hundred and twenty dollars. Such anecdotes, whilst not being fall-off-your-seat hilarious, are told with flair and wit, and were met with an appreciative response from the audience.

Alpha Fail exudes originality. The material relies heavily upon often bleak, self-deprecating anecdotes, like the time his boyfriend dumped him in the most public place he could find, after he had been warned by his mother and friends that Friel was a “semi-alcoholic, sex addicted, Nurse Ratched and was likely to turn violent”. He assures us that he didn’t.

There is, at times, a notable tenderness, which Friel exhibits in recollecting stories from his childhood; a love for the little boy he was, growing up, friendless and isolated in parochial Ireland, a land of confession and “hail Marys”. Such a tone balances the performance out and gives the show depth and a feeling of variety. Not every joke should riff on prosthetic limb fetishes and the Paralympic Commonwealth games.

I would certainly go and see Friel again and I expect to hear more of him in the future. Click Here

August 10, 2014  ScotsGay
Review of SCOTTIE ROAD THE MUSICAL - From Primark to Prison.
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August 10, 2014  Chortle
Review of Robert White: The Curious Incident of the Gag and the Gun-Crime....Plus more stuff
Just Brilliant Click Here

August 10, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Lewis Schaffer: Success Is Not An Option
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August 10, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Tim Renkow: At Least Hell Has Ramps
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August 10, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Twisted Loaf
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August 10, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of Drunk Lion
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August 10, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of The Barry Experience
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August 10, 2014 The Scotsman
Article about Choose Your Own Comedy Adventure
Choose Your Own Comedy Adventure Featured in The Scotsman
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August 10, 2014 The Scotsman
Article about Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
Luisa Omeilan Featured in The Scotsman
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August 10, 2014  Chortle
Review of Twins
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August 9, 2014  FestMag.co.uk
Review of Joel Dommett - Finding Emo
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August 9, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of John Hastings Anything Can Be a Podcast Podcast!!
Review
The review says it's for his Pleasance show, but the writing is for his Free Festival show. Well filed Broadway Baby.... read on: Click Here

August 9, 2014 The Guardian
Article about Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
Luisa Omeilan - "The kind of performance that makes the fringe so exciting."
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August 9, 2014  Chortle
Review of The Crossroads
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August 9, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Bobby Mair: Off Meds
Review
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August 9, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Feta With The Queen
Review
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August 9, 2014 Huffington Post
Jay Islam's guide for getting gigs at the Fringe
Edinburgh Fringe - the largest arts festival in the world - runs throughout August every year, and is the ideal summer holiday for wannabe comedians wanting to turn their dreams of a standup career into reality. And you too could be a part of it this year! Reads on.... Click Here

August 9, 2014 Essex Chronicle
Article about Girl On Fire
From Laughing Horse Course to Fringe Show via Essex
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August 9, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Sy+
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August 9, 2014  The Public Reviews
Review of Phil Mann: Not Funny Haha
Phil Mann: Not Funny Haha – The Free Sisters, Edinburgh

Phil Mann: Not Funny Haha – The Free Sisters, Edinburgh



Posted by: TPR Scotland in Edinburgh Fringe

Writer: Phil Mann Reviewer: Joanna Trainor

“Oh Daaaaarlin…” Phil Mann’s hour of almost narrative driven comedy, is insane.

Swiped with a foam finger through a Tinder screen and fist bumped before the show even starts, it would have been impossible to guess where Mann’s show was taking us.

Sent down to Earth in a tin foil spaceship, Mann is given an inconspicuous name and a task to understand the humans by his alien father. Through art, science and woodland creature songs, it’s difficult not to be impressed with the way Mann’s rather wacky brain works.

A particularly enjoyable section is Mann’s forced replication of awkward Ed Milliband pictures. Catapulting himself across the low ceiling stage at Maggie’s Chamber, whilst pulling classic Milliband faces is something that will have you chuckling for quite some time afterwards.

The suitability rating online is PG, and though 90% is family friendly, though, it’s fairly cringe worthy hearing about scrotum nibbling with two children sitting in the front row.

There were a few technical difficulties during the production, which made it even more disjointed then it already was. Though Mann’s erratic, hyper-active behaviour is part of the joy of the piece, it does at times feel like slightly more structure is needed.

Absurd is probably the best way to describe Not Funny Haha, but Mann’s sentiments towards the end are really quite touching. Though as an alien he has been sent down to understand the humans through science, and often people do turn to science to help them explain their own lives, “it can’t tell you the significance of the colour of her hair”. A really beautiful line hidden in a sea of frantic fun, you can’t help leaving with a smile on your face.

Runs until 24th Aug Click Here

August 9, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of BattleActs Improvised Comedy
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August 9, 2014  One 4 Review
Review of MommAutism--A Love Story
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August 9, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Ellie Taylor: Elliementary
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August 9, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Paperclips
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August 9, 2014  The List
Review of Ellie Taylor: Elliementary
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August 9, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of Wilfredo: Deconstructed
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 9, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of SCOTTIE ROAD THE MUSICAL - From Primark to Prison.
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August 9, 2014  FestMag.co.uk
Review of Adam Hess: Mustard
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August 9, 2014  The List
Review of Adrienne Truscott's Asking for It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else!
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August 9, 2014  Mumble Comedy
Review of Laughing Horse FREE Pick of the Fringe
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August 9, 2014  EdFringeReview.com
Review of Cosmonauts
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August 9, 2014  Time Out
Review of Liam Williams: Capitalism
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August 9, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of I.T. Rock ‘n’ Roll: Business trip to the future
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 9, 2014  ScotsGay
Review of Wild Card Kitty: The Showgirl Show
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August 9, 2014  Remote Goat
Review of James Dowdeswell - Wine, Ale and I
"Wine, Ale and All Together"
There’s something magical about a stand-up comedy night, from the moment you enter the predictably small venues layered with an audience pumping of jolly expectation – you instantly feel surrounded by friends, even if you’re the biggest loner. This time it wasn’t any different and the sensation was doubled up as James Dowdeswell found himself abandoned by his usual assistants – the microphone and the amplifier. It was just he and we. Whether this was intentional or not, we will never know, but it worked wonders and it officially became the first ‘Acoustic Stand-up Comedy Show’, declared by James himself.

But this wasn’t just a show, it wasn’t just a little trivial laugh about booze, it was a truly educative and inspiring moment. Especially to someone like me who visits a pub on the rare occasion there’s play going on at the back of it. And who feels absolutely clueless whenever they find themselves stuck in between the long shelves of tall wine bottles at the supermarket. James, however, is a real pub connoisseur. Born from ale and wine, James grew up in a countryside pub and would’ve probably never been baptized if he hadn’t fallen in a full barrel at the age of three. As I watched him bounce around that tiny stage, rendering joke after joke after unscripted joke, I couldn’t help but think this was 100% a true story. It was his father that seemed to be responsible for his one of a kind upbringing and wisdom, which he shared passionately. We even got the privilege of being revealed the secret golden rules of going to the pub, inherited from Dowdeswell Senior himself, which I must admit, gave me the courage to pay this place a visit more often. Another enlightening moment was trying to distinct, amongst a series of typically weird and intricate wine names, the real ones from the invented – which to be fair, were so good they needed a wine just as delicious to be created for them. Anyway, thank goodness there were other people around me, confident in their wine expertise, to give the right answers. All I had to do was keep on laughing. In the same ‘let’s have a chat’ format, we were asked what would feature in our ideal pub. Everyone’s eyes shimmered like it was Christmas morning. A pool table? A large screen? Additional seating? We all agreed there would only be space for the latter.

As the show came to an end, James encouraged us to grab a pint downstairs at Camden Head, but … I was already drunk. With laughter. I’d been sitting at this imaginary round table with a bunch of happy strangers and he’d been pouring me pints of jokes, why would I spoil that? I wanted to go to the pub, yes, more than ever, but on Dowdeswell’s terms. I wanted that witty and delightful balance of facts and banter that made this show and my evening different from everything I’d experienced before.
 Click Here

August 9, 2014  The List
Review of I Am Not Malala
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August 8, 2014  ScotsGay
Review of Oberon White: I, Pierrot - Free
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August 8, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Liam Williams: Capitalism
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August 8, 2014 Fringe Review
Article about Mean Things I did to my sister (and other lessons I've learned)
Recommended Show by Fringe Review
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August 8, 2014  Dark Chat
Review of Strange Face - Adventures with a lost Nick Drake recording - with Michael Burdett
FIVE STAR REVIEW
Dark Chat rates this show 9.3/10 Click Here

August 8, 2014  Fringe Guru
Review of Wilfredo: Deconstructed
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August 8, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Tim Renkow: At Least Hell Has Ramps
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August 8, 2014  Entertainmentwise
Review of Paperclips
Paperclips review
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August 8, 2014  Entertainment Wise
Review of Paperclips
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August 8, 2014  A Local's Guide To The Fringe
Review of Rik Carranza: Charming
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August 8, 2014 Fringe Review
Article about Twisted Loaf
Highly Recommended show by Fringe Review
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August 8, 2014 Fringe Review
Article about It's all about George.
Highly Recommended show by Fringe Review
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August 8, 2014  edfringereview
Review of Who Did I Think I Was?
Who Did I Think I Was?

Bridey Addison-Child
at 03:17 on 8th Aug 2014

Peter Henderson’s sharp scriptwriting and compelling stage presence combine in this one-man (but two-character) chain of six interwoven monologues to create poignant, intensely watchable theatre.
The intimacy of this production began simply with the set: a tiny, black walled room, in the rafters of the The Counting House. No stage - just a table, on which were sparsely scattered a collection of household items; a telephone; a pillbox; a cigarette case and a mug adorned with an image of a Spitfire. One might be forgiven for finding the first five minutes of the production lacking in promise. Henderson, playing his own Father (‘Mr. Henderson’), huffs, puffs, sneezes, gathers his dressing gown grumpily and says nothing of great interest or inspiration. But this, unquestionably, is the point. Henderson picks up a major theme of his piece early on and hammers it home: the gritty, often banal, reality of life.
As such, the show is a slow-burner, but a gem of one. The first monologue quickly transitions into a second, in which Henderson plays himself (or a version thereof). This cleverly casts his portrayal of his own father in the light of their parent-child relationship whilst also allowing comedy at the expense of Mr. Henderson. In this way Henderson skillfully cements the audience-character bond that is so crucial to monologue performances.
After this, the rest of the monologues follow quickly - each one peeling layers away from the characters, building pace and propelling the audience into the gritty core of the show. Mr. Henderson’s second monologue, detailing his time in the war, has its poignant moments – you can’t help but feel you are listening to your own Granddad telling anecdotes. Yet it is Peter’s central monologue that digs deeper into his family history and, in turn, tackles bigger, more universal issues at the heart of the piece; the complexities of mental health; relationships with family, friends, lovers and, inevitably, bereavement.
Henderson’s delivery is captivating and the script really delivers some gems. This simultaneously tragic, yet somehow vibrant, account of Henderson’s life is what makes the piece so good. The whole production is imbued with, personal, relatable truths, and yet somehow still stubbornly refuses to yield to sentimentality. I can highly recommend this truthful performance, which explores the gritty realities of life.


Patrick Galbraith
at 10:00 on 8th Aug 2014

Peter Henderson’s evocative “Who Did I Think I was?” takes the form of six monologues, in which father and son recount family life from their individual perspectives. At the pub afterwards, Henderson declared “It’s 99% true and I don’t really regret any of it”.
The show opens with Henderson playing his own father – a war veteran, a veteran of romantic failure and a man deeply disheartened by his son’s apparent fecklessness. “So many memories” but “why bring up the difficult things?” Mr Henderson asks, but this is a play which does just that. From Peter’s own alcoholism to his mother’s suicide and his father’s incontinence, “Who Did I think I was?“ is a poignant look at the shitty realities of life.
Peter Henderson’s show is characterised by exceptionally revealing and sometimes uncomfortable honesty, such as when Peter concludes that, “girls are funny things: sometimes they let you and sometimes they don’t”. The destructive impact of male sexuality is explored throughout both characters’ monologues, leaving one to consider the difficulty of sustaining a marriage over a life time: “people change” Mr Henderson reasons, depressingly.
In one particularly noteworthy scene, old Mr Henderson sits down to record a tape of his flying days for the Imperial War Museum. After two attempts at recording something suitable for public consumption he disappears off into a catalogue of realities – the affairs, the sex and his dead wife’s Schizophrenia. Henderson's show raises the point that we often deem our real lives to be unsuitable for discussion. Instead, we strive to convey an idealised version of ourselves without all the awful things that make us human. Henderson’s show is a catalogue of such awful things, and is powerfully human because of it.
There is a danger that Peter Henderson’s show could feel self-indulgent. It was, after all, born out of a conversation with a psychologist when Henderson was in rehab, but “Who Did I Think I Was?” feels like so much more than “therapy for one”. The acting is commendable. The despair and confusion of Peter is portrayed with superb conviction, and Mr Henderson’s morning of lusting after Betty, his elderly gardening friend, is a credible tragi-comedy in itself.
There is nothing about Henderson’s family that one could possibly envy, the situation is almost entirely grim. Yet Henderson, perhaps subconsciously, plays the role of his father with subtle fondness. There is no hatred in “Who Did I Think I was?”; instead there is love. I left considering the psychology of my own relationships and dissecting the fascinatingly complex connection between father and son. Perhaps rather than being “therapy for one”, Henderson’s show is therapy for all.

 Click Here

August 8, 2014  EdFestMag
Review of Twisted Loaf
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August 8, 2014 Three Weeks
How to Survive a day at the Fringe with Kids
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August 8, 2014  The Mirror
FIVE STAR REVIEW For Midday Seance
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August 8, 2014 Fringe Review
Recommended Show by Fringe Review
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August 8, 2014  The List
Review of Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
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August 8, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 8, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Twonkey's Private Restaurant
Once you tune in to Radio Twonkey there is no going back.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review (cabaret): Twonkey’s Private Restaurant – Free at Laughing Horse @ Espionage (Venue 185). Review by Claire Smith

What a delight to enter the inexplicable world of Twonkey. A red and white hot-air balloon flies over our heads. Fortunes are told with a ship’s wheel and some knickers. And we watch a German woman fisting a pumpkin.

Mr Twonkey, aka Paul Vickers, aka former front man of indie pop band Dawn of the Replicants, is a one-off. Wearing an old-fashioned black and red frock coat and a squashed chef’s hat, Mr Twonkey invites us into his restaurant for an evening of refined dining and entertainment.

His characters are a moth- eaten Seventies lion, called Chris Hutchinson, a very hairy lady who has no name, and a revolting ragged cat called Hanratty. Twonkey fumbles with his puppets, attempts ventriloquism spectacularly badly and tells a bizarre and mind-boggling tale involving time travel, Mussolini and a disastrous dinner date.

There are lots of new songs. Vickers is in fine voice and he is more musically eclectic than ever before. He performs a duet with Hanratty, who sings in Italian, he croons a love song to the puppet lady, there is a Spandau Ballet-esque number and a Hawaiian-style remix of his popular song Hot Beryl. He even attempts a dance routine – jogging backwards and forwards across the tiny room, trying not to get out of breath.

There are, he says, very few jokes in the show. But there is something naturally funny about Mr Twonkey. If you get it you will laugh and laugh. If you don’t, you will be completely confused and slightly terrified. The trick is to sit back, relax, stop worrying about what any of it means and allow yourself to be carried away by a sublime cloud of nonsense. Once you tune in to Radio Twonkey there is no going back.

Until 24 August. Today 8:45pm, more info

Originally published in The Scotsman Click Here

August 8, 2014 Gigglebeats - Comedy in the North
Article about CeilidhKids at the Fringe - Free!
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: five shows for children
More workshop than show, the accomplished organisers magically persuade a bunch of 3-7 year olds to march, jump and (sort of) dance their way through simplified versions of Scottish Ceilidh classics.

Adults can sit and watch, but the foot tapping music soon has them experiencing the real fun of Ceilidh dancing, as different generations get up on the floor together.

It’s free. It’s great fun. And it’s hugely popular.

[NB - this is a family workshop so adults are, in fact, required to join in - this info added by Caroline from CeilidhKids] Click Here

August 7, 2014  A Younger Theatre
Review of Once Upon A Nightmare
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August 7, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of White Man's Burden
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August 7, 2014  Broadway Baby
Ian D Montford 4 Star Review
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August 7, 2014  Fresh Air
Review of Carly Smallman: Made in Penge
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 7, 2014 The Scotsman
Article about Lou sanders in Another Great Show Again
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August 7, 2014 The Independent
Article about A Room With a Jew
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August 7, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Tom Deacon - Get Your Deacon!
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August 7, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of The Beta Males’ Sessions: Richard & The Storybeast
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August 7, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of Lewis Schaffer: Success Is Not An Option
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August 7, 2014  Dark Chat
Review of Darren Walsh: Chicken Meow!
More laughs on offer than most paid shows we’ve seen
There’s nothing worse than a thirty minute show spread thinly over a sixty minute slot in order to meet the typical slot length for an Edinburgh. The result tends to be awkward pauses, lengthy silences, and an inability for the laughter to really pick up steam. Thankfully, this is a thirty minute show crammed into a thirty minute slot, and the show is all the better for it.

The setup is simple; when you enter, you are warned that the show contains puns. And not just a few puns, but a LOT of puns; so many puns, in fact, I was tempted to use the italic font to type the word LOTS rather than simply pressing the caps lock. Perhaps, then, puns aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but quite frankly we loved them, and everything else Walsh had to serve up, for he is a talented and likeable performer.

Our favourites? Well, anyone who even mentions Jurassic Park in their show is guaranteed extra points in my opinion, but perform the theme in a highly unusual way is a winner in my book. But there was also good audience interaction, including a new take on the yes/no game (as some poor late entrant to the show discovered), a variety of DINGBATS which Walsh used on occasion in a similar way the Jimmy Carr does in his shows (only more successfully in Walsh’s case), and a brief spell in which he challenged audience members to come up with a topic he could not make a pun from , to which the audience quite literally threw poo at him.

In summary, an excellent half hour of free comedy on the fringe, with more laughs on offer than most paid shows we’ve seen.
 Click Here

August 7, 2014  London Is Funny
Review of Spencer Jones is The Herbert
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August 7, 2014 The Mirror
Article about Now That's What I Call Stand-Up #1
Daily Mirror Features Faye Treacy playing a Butternut Squash!
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August 7, 2014  ScotsGay
Review of MargOH! Channing is TIPSY!
"Great Cabaret Debut"-ScotsGay
There is real talent in MargOH!'s voice. It's nice to see a drag act not shy away from a masculine voice. Overall, A Great Cabaret Debut! Go See Her- ScotsGay Click Here

August 6, 2014  The List
Review of Liam Williams: Capitalism
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August 6, 2014  London Is Funny
Review of Liam Williams: Capitalism
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August 6, 2014 ThreeWeeks
Article about Tea for Tabitha
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August 6, 2014  One 4 Review
Review of Lady Carol: Lost And Found
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 6, 2014 FestMag.co.uk
Article about Ellie Taylor: Elliementary
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August 6, 2014  The Skinny
Review of RICHARD GADD: BREAKING GADD
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August 6, 2014  A Younger Theatre
Review of La Niña Barro
Edinburgh Review: La Niña Barro
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August 6, 2014  FestMag.co.uk
Review of Lou sanders in Another Great Show Again
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August 6, 2014  Chortle
Review of Lou sanders in Another Great Show Again
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August 6, 2014 Hanging at The Fringe
Article about Hurt & Anderson: Bringing Sketchy Back
Hanging At The Fringe Podcast
Episode six features the female sketch comedy duo Hurt and Anderson. We talked about how they got into sketch, what they’ve learned from doing the festival, and why a 1:00am slot is not your friend Click Here

August 6, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Playback Impro
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August 6, 2014  Platform Online
Review of The Improvised Improv Show
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August 6, 2014  Fringe Guru
Review of Japanese TerminatoL is Back!!
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August 6, 2014  Fringe Guru
Review of First Class
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August 6, 2014  FestMag.co.uk
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August 6, 2014  Chortle
Review of Bobby Mair: Off Meds
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August 6, 2014  Metro
Review of Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
FIVE STAR REVIEW
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August 6, 2014  Three Weeks
Review of Tom Goodliffe: Thug Liffe - FREE
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August 6, 2014  Time Out
Review of Twonkey's Private Restaurant
A classic Fringe show/The face of a potato!
Mr Twonkey has the lolloping gait of an ageing dungeon master, the fusty wardrobe of a man reliant on charity shop cast-offs and the face of a potato. He speaks, almost exclusively, in epigrammatic statements, the logic of which originates from some dark place within the Twonkeyverse. He also sings. Or rather, wails like he can’t help it – with spluttering passion and closed eyes. He comes across a bit like David Bowie, except he doesn’t have the looks, or the slick production, or the magnetic charisma, or the anthemic songs. That just leaves the pomp and the nonsense, which, luckily, are the areas in which Mr Twonkey excels.

The word ‘strange’ tends to lose its meaning in Edinburgh. Ostensibly, it’s strange that this show works so well – it’s a dog's dinner of unexpected, absurd, even offensive content. But it’s also a classic Fringe show; a steaming pile of twaddle which feels right at home in this rainy city, and which, if you brave its depths, will leave you simultaneously shaking your head and grinning ear-to-ear.

So who is Mr Twonkey? And should we be afraid of him? In that distant land, ‘real life’, he’s the character creation of Edinburgh’s own Paul Vickers, a musician who was once a favourite of John Peel, and who has released several albums of messed-up pop songs with his current band, The Leg. Since 2010 he’s also been on the Fringe, using his comedy alter-ego to stage absurdist kids’ shows-cum-cabarets, with typically batshit songs throughout. He is harmless (probably), though fond of a dark nursery rhyme and a challenging sexual concept. In this way, his act falls somewhere in between the dry, deviant poetry of Hilaire Belloc and the smutty northern showmanship of Vic Reeves. It’s a good place to be.

The show – which this year is loosely themed around cooking – comprises snatches of peculiarly resonant verse (‘The world didn’t end when you said it would. But sometimes the hand goes missing in the glove.’) Nods towards the psychedelic spookiness of classic kids’ TV (‘Oh look, it’s afraid o’clock!’) And moments of sex education (‘A wank is as harmless as a single cigarette. But a steel shoulder fisting can be as deadly as anthrax.’) All delivered with the help of a puppet called Chris Hutchinson, a bank of budget sound effects and a collection of questionable props. At one point a ship’s wheel is produced, covered in Primark knickers. At another a member of the audience is invited to fist a pumpkin – at which point an eager bald bloke leaps up and slams his hand into the gaping gourd. Mr Twonkey gazes on, unmoved. This is serious business, not an opportunity for stag do exhibitionism.

Take a step back and what you’ve got is an overweight bloke in a chef’s outfit singing daft songs. It’s all credit to Vickers, therefore, that when you’re faced with his ‘sexy ship’s wheel’, festooned with affordable lingerie, the impulse is not to recoil in confusion, but to lean forward and grab a pair. Point being: surreal comedy isn’t half as easy as it looks. To get it right you have to fully believe in the world you’re creating, and be generous enough to teach others its language.

Sometimes, little bits of established wisdom do seep in, like the famous Dolly Parton quote: ‘It costs money to look this cheap’. It seems incongruous when it’s used by an ogre holding a flea-bitten puppet, but (as with everything in this show) the sense is buried in there somewhere, deep down. Over the years Vickers has perfected a form of expression which is wholly his, and it’s taken a lot more time, effort and money than you’d think. Here’s another quote from the show, this time a Vickers original: ‘It takes guts to be wrong.’ Again, he’s right. The Fringe is packed out with performers attempting to find bold new directions. It’s a braver man, however, who lets go of the wheel entirely. Or covers it in pants.

Twonkey’s Private Resturant (listed under ‘Cabaret’) is at Laughing Horse @ Espionage, 8.45pm Click Here

August 5, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Bobby Mair: Off Meds
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August 5, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Finding Me (Take Me As I Am)
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August 5, 2014  The Skinny
Review of Girl On Fire
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August 5, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of A Room With a Jew
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August 5, 2014  The Skinny
Review of Kevin J
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August 5, 2014  All Edinburgh Theatre
Review of La Niña Barro
A Feminine Awakening
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August 5, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Dr Sketchy's Edinburgh Anti Art School Experience
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August 5, 2014  Fringe Guru
Review of Pretending Things Are A Cock
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August 5, 2014  Edinblogger
Review of Sketch BINGO!
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August 5, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Breakfast Baps with Witty Chaps: Fraser & Shack
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August 5, 2014 The Guardian
Article about Liam Williams: Capitalism
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August 5, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Liam Williams: Capitalism
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August 5, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Twice as Nice Comedy
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August 5, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of An Elephant in the Room
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August 5, 2014 Fringe Review
Article about Dave Waller: Where My Folk To?
Fringe Review Recommended Show
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August 5, 2014  The List
Review of Andy Field is a Giddy Man Child
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August 5, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Alpha Fail
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August 4, 2014  London Is Funny
Review of Candy Gigi: I’m Not Lonely
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August 4, 2014 comedy.co.uk
Article about No Strings! The Improvised Puppet Musical
No Strings Features on comedy.co.uk
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August 4, 2014 comedy.co.uk
Article about Tim Renkow: At Least Hell Has Ramps
Tim Renkow wins Amused Moose Laugh Off 2014
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August 4, 2014 FringeReview
Article about Rik Carranza: Charming
FringeReview at Laughing Horse - top picks for venue
The Counting House Top Ten

1. Nathan Cassidy: Date of Death

2. Feminism for Chaps

3. Cariad and Louise's Character Hour

4. I Have An Idea For A Film

5. Rik Carranza: Charming

6. Tricity Vogue: Songs for Swinging Ukeleles

7. Life Deconstructed

8. Carly Smallman: Made in Penge

9. Disaster piece

10. Richard Gadd: Breaking Gadd

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August 4, 2014  FringeGuide
Review of Rik Carranza: Charming
Rik Carranza: Charming
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August 4, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Harriet Dyer: Barking at Aeroplanes
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August 4, 2014  Arts Award Voice
Review of Harriet Dyer: Barking at Aeroplanes
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August 4, 2014  Arts Award Voice
Review of Harriet Dyer: Barking at Aeroplanes
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August 4, 2014 Hanging at the Fringe
Article about Rik Carranza: Charming
Hanging at the Fringe - episode 3, Rik Carranza
Podcast Click Here

August 4, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Banjo Man
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August 4, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Twisted Loaf
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August 4, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Drunk Lion
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August 4, 2014  Gigglebeats
Review of Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
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August 4, 2014  The List
Review of The Crossroads
The List Review
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August 4, 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Website
Article about CeilidhKids at the Fringe - Free!
Audience review
Wow! What a fun morning we had at CeilidhKids with Caroline! Lots of traditional, traditional-with-a-twist and new dances, great fun for the kids (and parents!) Caroline did a fantastic job in keeping the dancers going in her cheerful and unflappable manner. We'll be back. Click Here

August 4, 2014  Gigglebeats
Review of Sean McLoughlin: I Will Prevail
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August 3, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Sean McLoughlin: I Will Prevail
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August 3, 2014 YouTube
Article about Tricity Vogue: Songs For Swinging Ukuleles
Swing Dance Flashmob
Swing dancers descend upon the Grassmarket at 4pm on Sunday 3 August 2014 for an impromptu dance with Tricity Vogue, who is performing her one-woman show Songs For Swinging Ukuleles at the Free Fringe

Show details here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/tricity-vogue-songs-for-swinging-ukuleles

Special thanks to the Edinburgh University Swing Dance Society and to Ray Finlayson for making it happen.

Filmed and edited by James Millar https://jamesmillar.exposure.co/

http://tricityvogue.com/ Click Here

August 3, 2014  The List
Review of Joel Dommett - Finding Emo
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August 3, 2014  FestMag.co.uk
Review of Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
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August 3, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Adam Belbin: The Third Half of Next Year's Show
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August 3, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of The Silence of Snow: The Life of Patrick Hamilton
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August 3, 2014  One4Review
Review of Girl On Fire
Review
This is a delightful piece of light hearted comedy drama that is staged in the bedroom of young Essex girl Stephanie and is an insight into the mysterious ways of fake-tanning, selfie taking, wanna be famous for all the wrong reasons youngster. Stephanie oozes confidence, bravado, yet is still living at home with her parents and relying on her allowance. Click Here

August 3, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Is He A Bit Simon Jay?
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August 3, 2014  One4Review
Review of Ellie Taylor: Elliementary
Review
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August 3, 2014  EdFringeReview.com
Review of Tea for Tabitha
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August 3, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of My Favourite Waste of Time
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August 3, 2014  EdFringeReview.com
Review of Ben Mepsted: Middle Class Idiots
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August 3, 2014  The Scotsman
Review of Eddie Hoo- Angry in the afternoon.
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August 3, 2014  The List
Review of Twisted Edge Comedy: Late Night
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August 2, 2014  TV Bomb
Review of Man Enough
"A confident and winning production with a young and talented cast"
This is a rather affecting, unpretentious play-with-music that looks at modern gay manners. Chris (Dan Reeves – who also wrote the script) is 18, mouthy and looking for fun/love. He flatshares with Kate (Bethan Francis) his BFF. Then he meets Joey (Jake Flowers). The plot somewhat defies expectations – Joey seems at first thoughtful and genuine while Chris is the self-obsessed, empty-headed little queen from Central Casting. Joey, however, is a cokehead and works as a well-paid escort with a sideline in trussing up frustrated investment bankers in his front room.

Will Joey and Chris find love or will everything go pear-shaped when the threesome move in together? This is not exactly 50 shades of gay but it’s a thoughtful piece – premiered at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2014 – that is well played throughout with singer-songwriter Bethan Francis providing welcome guitar-and-voice punctuation. There is some good witty dialogue and although it could in no way be described as deep, it’s a confident and winning production with a young and talented cast. Click Here

August 2, 2014  Gigglebeats
Review of Harriet Dyer: Barking at Aeroplanes
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August 2, 2014  The Public Reviews
Review of Always Be Rolling
Always Be Rolling
Reviewer: Mark McCulloch

Always Be Rolling, written and performed by James Cook is a comedy about ‘how board games can change your life and save the world’. The highly original piece is charmingly funny, exploring as it does the impact the growing phenomenon of board games have on our lives, from childhood to adulthood: be prepared for lots of audience participation in the small, intimate space at Bar 50.

Upon entering the audience are issued with a card which comes into play during the course of the show. You have the chance to participate in human forms of Buckaroo and Hungry Hippos, as well as challenge the performer on mistakes, intentional or not, to provide the most accurate show in Edinburgh.

Many pop culture references are used to keep the show flowing, as well as taking into account cultural events, to comic and sometimes groaning effect. A multitude of games are covered in oprder to look at the impact they have on children: future monopolisers of economies to hungry, hungry marshmallow eaters. Be prepared to have an in-depth critical analysis of obscure German board games, their unique selling points with a running theme of photobombing sheep.

Cook himself is utterly charming, his take on when jokes are not working, the things he would change and why he will keep certain jokes in, add to the charm and originality of the show. At the end, you are invited to play a game, turning Edinburgh into a massive scavenger hunt.

Always Be Rolling looks likely be one of the best from the Free Festival this year. Click Here

August 2, 2014 Coventry Telegraph
Coventry Telegraph Lists Top Midlands Talent at 2014 Fringe
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August 2, 2014  Gigglebeats
Review of Makes something of himself
Review
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August 2, 2014 The Scotsman
Article about Twonkey's Private Restaurant
Twonkey, eccentric darling of the Free Festival
Paul ‘Mr Twonkey’ Vickers is back at the free Fringe with a Tardis-like restaurant, a ditty about Mussolini and a new array of baffling puppets and toys. It’s his most ambitious show yet, he says. Just don’t call it surreal. Interview by Claire Smith.

Paul Vickers, aka Mr Twonkey, stumbles into a pub in Leith hauling an enormous suitcase decorated with a Canadian flag. I’ve asked him to bring along a few props for the photo but Twonkey, eccentric darling of the Free Festival, seems to have obligingly brought along his whole show.

Inside the suitcase is a hot air balloon, a couple of rather menacing ventriloquists dummies, a threadbare model of a starving cat, some plastic seafood, a pipe, a telephone, a candlestick and a fake pumpkin.

“I like to think I have got a classier array of rubbish than when you first saw me,” he says.

Twonkey’s Private Restaurant is his fifth Fringe show. He is also known to music fans as the front man of Paul Vickers and the Leg – and was previously the driving force behind Dawn of the Replicants.

A dishevelled northerner now living in Edinburgh, Vickers has become a cult among Fringe goers for telling funny unsettling fables, helped, or sometimes hindered, by a baffling and mostly irrelevant pile of props. His early shows featured a talking loaf of bread – but it has been dropped from the act.

“It scared people. Some people were laughing like drains and other people looked at me really concerned.”

It is hard to describe what Twonkey does. He uses puppets but is not a puppeteer, he’s a humorist but not a stand-up and he tells fairy stories and ghost stories which are decidedly not for children. He also writes wonderful songs – about forgotten Victorian beverages, oranges and walking up hills.

It’s safe to say that he divides audiences – but he’s had something of a breakthrough year after becoming a finalist in the TOAST cabaret awards last Fringe. He didn’t win, but Vickers’ performance – in which he told fortunes using a ship’s wheel and a collection of Primark knickers – earned him a coveted spot at the Soho Theatre in March.

The stand-out moment of his show last year was a plaintive song called The Flying Tailor – based on the true story of a man who believed he could fly from the Eiffel Tower if he created a frock coat with wings. He died, but Vickers brings him back to life in the form of a bedraggled puppet made from an umbrella which flies above the heads of the audience.

It is a poignant and strangely uplifting tribute to a flamboyant and unnecessary death.

“I don’t really like comic songs,” he says. It is one of the reasons he feels at home in the cabaret section of the programme. We discuss how to describe his style. “I guess I am in the tradition of the English eccentric. But so was Ivor Cutler and he’s Scottish – so the British eccentric.”

twonkey

Like Cutler he dislikes the use of the word “surreal” to describe humour – preferring terms such as “absurd”, “confusing” and “odd”. And there is depth, resonance and pathos as well as laughter.

“I still remember the first time I heard Ivor Cutler. I always hoped something like that existed and I was so glad it did.”

It turns out Cutler and Vickers were pen pals. “He used to send me letters enclosing Chinese bank notes.”

Vickers’ correspondence with Cutler came from his work with indie fanzine Sun Zoom Spark – set up with a group of friends from art school – who were also the core members of Dawn of the Replicants. Both the fanzine and the band were run from a disused church in Galashiels. The band was championed by John Peel.

“We did about six sessions with John Peel. He started off playing the B side. He had a thing about playing B sides.”

Their second album sold 15,000 copies and they were on the brink of becoming huge. But the band slid from a major to a minor label, and all the reviews started opening with the words: ‘Whatever happened to?’, which, says Vickers, “wasn’t very helpful”.

Eventually the band dissolved, the magazine bizarrely transformed into a lifestyle publication for Borders aristocrats, and Paul Vickers moved to Edinburgh to do a photography degree. It was here he met his partner and collaborator, Mary Trodden, an artist who helps make puppets and edits his writing. Trodden, like Vickers has an otherworldly air and looks like she may have wandered in from another century.

While at art school Vickers tried his hand at stand up. Everyone kept telling him to give it a go because his between songs chat always had folk howling with laughter. But his early experiments were marred with misadventure. He may still be banned from The Stand after appearing at the new act night Red Raw.

“I went on at Red Raw and got into a bit of trouble because of an incident with a jar of treacle,” he says.

At the time Vickers’ act centred around a strange little puppet called Twonkey. “I went on and Twonkey was hungry and I was trying to make her treacle waffles but it got a bit messy. I spilt a whole jar of treacle on the middle of the stage. That got me known as The Treacle Man and I was effectively banned.

“Daniel Sloss was on next and he was talking about treacle, so I thought: ‘That’s good, I’ve given people a bit of material.’ I also had a cottage on stage with me – which I thought made it memorable. But looking back I think if you go on at Red Raw with a cottage and treacle it is a bit too much for them.”

twonkey

Vickers continues to perform at the Free Festival – partly because he feels at home there and partly for practical and financial reasons. During the off season he works as a tour guide at one of Edinburgh’s spooky underground themed attractions.

“There are disadvantages with free shows. The audience don’t necessarily know what they have come to see. And you are trying to do something delicate in a night club where the only choice is between darkness and disco lights. But there is something organic about the Fringe. You do something good and it grows naturally throughout the time period.”

He says his new show is his most ambitious yet. “I’m running a restaurant that travels through space and time. There’s a bit set in World War Two and a song about Mussolini, who starts eating in the restaurant and who has stolen my wife. The major breakthrough with this show for me is it’s got more of a theme. But I was a little bit worried there was going to be comparisons with ’Allo ’Allo!’”.

He shares the stage with a moth-eaten lion called Chris Hutchinson who Vickers seems slightly afraid of: “Chris Hutchinson is not very nice. He doesn’t like the show very much. He thinks I’m a bit of an idiot. He just endures it.”

There is also a strange lanky doll cat girl mouse thing with abundant pubic hair. Again, he seems hesitant to describe her. “She doesn’t have a name yet. I don’t know what she’s called. Mary made her and she’s very protective.”

The threadbare polystyrene cat in his suitcase is Hanratty the waiter, who sings in Italian and is too gruesome to include in the photographs. As well as performing and making music Vickers has also produced a book – Itchy Grumble. It’s a fantastic mind-bending mish-mash of dark earthy fairytales, and features a sexy witch with the leg of an octopus.

The tales in Itchy Grumble grew out of a backstory created to flesh out the details of a song cycle/concept album/opera written for Paul Vickers and the Leg about a colony of jockeys in space. It is a bewildering journey punctuated with descriptions which make you laugh out loud. “I remember going to the bar to get a drink but found no bar staff, just a woodpecker with his head buried in a turnip.”

Mary Trodden created the beautiful illustrations and helped with the editing – and Vickers is pleased with the result. “I’m more proud of that book than anything else I’ve done because I’m quite seriously dyslexic so it was really something for me to make a book. I don’t suffer from lack of ideas. Mary goes in and repairs it all.”

With such a profusion of wonderful strange images in his head I wonder why Paul Vickers continues to work with a suitcase full of puppets and props. Particularly as they seem to have a life of their own, don’t always do what he asks and frequently land him in trouble.

“I think it is because I have spent so much time playing in bands,” he says. “I suppose they are like the other members of the band.”

Twonkey’s Private Restaurant, Laughing Horse @ Espionage, until 24 August, 8:45pm, more info

Originally published in The Scotsman Click Here

August 1, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Twins
Review
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August 1, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of The Rat Pack stand-up comedy
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 Click Here

August 1, 2014 Birmingham Mail
Article about Always Be Rolling
Which Midlands Acts Are Playing At Edinburgh?
Comedian James Cook is playing the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in more ways than one, as he’s turning the city into a giant board game.

The Birmingham comic has a new show called Always Be Rolling, about his obsession with board games.

His show will involve live action versions of the games Buckaroo and Hungry Hippos, but he’s also playing a wider game throughout August with his audience.

Solihull-born James says: “I did a show in Edinburgh last year and noticed that all the venues in the Fringe are numbered,with massive posters on the side of buildings.

“It struck me that Edinburgh is like a giant board game with these numbered squares, so I started writing a show about it.

“This year I will be hiding 10 iconic board game pieces around Edinburgh, with clues on where to find them.

“Everyone who comes to my show will get a copy of the rules and a badge that says they are playing the game.

“During my show, I will be playing the part of the donkey in Buckaroo, so I am literally making an ass of myself. Contestants place things on me until I buck them off.

“With Hungry Hippos, members of the audience will take the role of hippos and we’ll have marshmallows instead of marbles.

“I will also be revealing the variations I have made to games to make them quicker and more fun. I’m rather pleased with what I’ve done to Scrabble.

“I’ve been increasingly playing board games with my wife and my friends. We started with games like Cranium and Scattergory, the gateway drugs to harder games.

“Then I was introduced to Settlers of Catan, the first of a new wave of board games coming out of Europe in the 1990s.

“I own about 60 games, some of which I pretend are my daughters’.

“In the last 20 years there has been an explosion in new board games – ones you play on a table-top, made of cardboard with dice and plastic counters. They are much more fun to play than the games we grew up with, like Snakes and Ladders and Monopoly.

“I ended up going to the UK Games Expo which is held at the Birmingham Metropole every year and had a great time.

“I entered a competition to play Carcassone, an obscure German board game that involves putting tiles down.

“I entered expecting to come last, as most people were taking it much more seriously. But I discovered I was actually pretty good at it and came sixth out of 35.

“Board games definitely seem to be a resurgent hobby, even when computer games are so popular.

“I’ve never really got into computer games where you storm round buildings and shoot things.

“Board games force you to get friends because you have to play against someone else. One of the things I like is that you don’t play the game, you play the people you are playing against.

“It’s something different for people of my age to do, we have young children and can’t go out that much. We can play games with friends instead of talk about house prices.”

James, 37, lives in Kings Heath with his wife and daughters Matilda, six, and three-year-old Daisy.

Local audiences will be able to see Always Be Rolling when he performs it at the mac in October as part of Birmingham Comedy Festival.

He will also be doing his show Adventures on Air, about his time as a radio DJ.

But first there’s Edinburgh – and how does he make a profit if he’s not charging money for his show?

“Oh, hardly anybody makes money from Edinburgh, that’s a rule of thumb,” he says.

“I have a friend at the very top of the comedy circuit who put on a show at a big venue, sold £23,000 worth of tickets and still left £3,000 in debt.

“It becomes a PR arms race, with comics spending increasing amounts of money on advertising.

“But Edinburgh has opened up a lot recently through the Free Festival, which I am part of. A few years ago I couldn’t afford to hire a venue at Edinburgh, but we don’t have to pay those costs with the Free Festival.

“The flipside is that we can’t charge for tickets, but we can have a donations bucket to collect money at the end of the show.

“If you get a good show, you can break even. You still need to pay costs of living in Edinburgh for a month when the rents quadruple, and paying for adverts – it costs £300 to get in the brochure before you even get there.

“I couldn’t have afforded to gamble £15,000 on hiring a venue, but I can afford to gamble £500. It’s meant more people can take part.

“In August, Edinburgh swells to three times the size and it feels like there are far too many people in the city.

“But everyone is in a pretty good mood and there’s a great atmosphere. It’s also become incredibly child friendly.”

* James performs Always Be Rolling at the Laughing Horse at Bar 50 in Edinburgh at 1pm until August 23. Click Here

August 1, 2014  The List
Review of Ahir Shah: Texture
.
 Click Here

August 1, 2014 The Edinburgh Reporter
Article about First Class
Article in The Edinburgh Reporter
”One step off…”
”One push under…”
”Off the platform.”
”Under the wheels.”

Lydia, Jack and Rachel are taking a train to Manchester Piccadilly. On the surface, they all look pleased and content. But as each of them starts to dwell on the events that brought them to this train, the painful truth is unveiled for all to see: Lydia has run away from home and carries with her a baby she can hardly feed; Jack has just returned to work after being suspended for the tragic death of one of his students; and Rachel is suffering from depression and enduring the pressures of a failed tennis career.

”First Class [...] encapsulates what fringe theatre does best” (Buxton Fringe Reviews)

After an incredibly successful run at the Buxton Festival Fringe where it won Best New Writing and was nominated for Best Production, First Class has arrived at Edinburgh for a much anticipated run at the Free Festival.

”James Beagon’s script is a masterpiece of understatement” (BFR)

Edinburgh’s veteran playwright James Beagon (Four Walls, Sword at Sunset, The Spectators) comes back to the Fringe with a new adaptation of his praised short play Standard Class, performed in 2012 and again in 2013 to great reviews.

”This is ensemble theatre at its best” (BFR)

First Class marks the return of Relief Theatre to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival after a three-year hiatus. During that time, Relief has established itself as a haven of self-experimentation and one of the most welcoming and diverse companies in the city. This last year in particular has seen an increase in shows put up by the company, including immersive Arthurian legends, Berkovian folk tales, Spanish tragicomedies, and even a Sophoclean webseries set in the 20s.

”…highly recommended” (BFR)

Along with Relief Theatre comes the new talents of Aulos Productions, a company recently founded by director and writer James Beagon that debuts at the Fringe Festival with First Class, and promises to bring exciting new projects to Edinburgh’s theatre scene in the upcoming months.

First Class
July 31st – August 24th, 2014 at 12:00pm ~ Laughing Horse @ Espionage (Pravda room)
Free entry ~ https://www.facebook.com/ReliefTheatre Click Here

August 1, 2014 Fringe Review
Article about Man Enough
LGBT Recommended
In my home town of Brighton, Pink Fringe and Pride ensure the LGBT arts and entertainment is well represented.

In Edinburgh LGBT work is harder to find.SGFringe from Scotsgay is the vital place to bookmark.


Our Recommendations

Man Enough

"Chris is 18 years old and embracing his out-and-proud lifestyle. Along with his best friend and flatmate, Kate, he plans to conquer the world one man at a time. Life is good. Sex, drink and work. But when he stumbles into Joey, a coke-addicted rent boy, love and sex will take on a whole new meaning. A new play about first loves and true friendship, with original live music, witty dialogue and a talented young LGBT cast. Man Enough premiered at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2014." Click Here

August 1, 2014 Fringe Biscuit
Article about Man Enough
5 Shows to look out for at The Fringe
This year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe is set to be the largest yet, with 3,193 shows playing in almost 300 venues. With so much choice, where do you start? Never fear! In this series, the Fringebiscuit team dives headlong into the gargantuan Edfringe guide to find the most exciting shows on offer…

Man Enough, Laughing Horse @ The Phoenix. A young man intent on a journey of sexual conquest but love comes when you least expect it. Themes of sex, drugs and friendship accompanied by original live music should make for a provocative piece Click Here

August 1, 2014 The Guardian
Article about Liam Williams: Capitalism
.
 Click Here

July 31, 2014  Fringe Review
Review of PINT SIZE
Fringe Review - Recommended Show
"Accomplished performers and the writing is crisp and clever." Click Here

July 31, 2014 The Edinburgh Reporter
Article about BattleActs Improvised Comedy
Edinburgh Festival Fringe – BattleActs at the Airport

Edinburgh Festival Fringe – BattleActs



If you are travelling through Edinburgh Airport on Monday you might be forgiven for thinking you are already at the Fringe.

BattleActs will be there to introduce passengers arriving on domestic flights in the morning to their comedy party.

The comedians are two teams of fearless improvisers pitched against each other by a ball-busting compere. Each team attempts to prove their worth and battle it out for the ultimate prize: the audience’s respect!

For their Edinburgh Airport debut, the troupe will perform ”New Choice” a game where anyone in the audience can change anything about the scene they want by just yelling at it. It’s the chance for visitors to turn into directors and immerse themselves in the spirit of the Fringe right from their touchdown in festival city.

They were awarded the StageWon Editor’s Award in 2012, were recommended by the Independent on Sunday as part of their weekly “Top 10 Comedy Acts in the UK”, Time Out Critic’s Choice and Spiked Online claimed BattleActs were 2013’s “Best Free Show”.

BattleActs have previously performed at the Comedy Store, London Zoo, the Camden Roundhouse. They recently performed at the Vault Festival in London’s Waterloo – selling out the entire run of 500 tickets before their opening night.

BattleActs Free Festival run is at Maggie’s Chamber @ The Free Sisters – The Free Festival, Edinburgh 2014, August 2 – 24 (not Mondays) @ 22:00 Click Here

July 30, 2014 Frankie's Fringe Focus
Article about BattleActs Improvised Comedy
Frankie's Fringe Focus with Phil Mann from BattleActs!
 Click Here

July 30, 2014 
Article about Rik Carranza: Charming
Interview with Rik Carranza
Scotland's answer to Stephen Lynch talks to Voice before his Edinburgh show!

During my time in Edinburgh last year, by chance I came across Rik Carranza. Doug Segal recommended him to me, and as he was free I figured I had nothing to lose. I am so glad I went, for Rik was charming, talented and definitely a bit a hidden gem in the fringe.

I wrote at the time that I would pay to see a full hour of his material, and this year he is back, bringing that full hour to you, but still not charging for it, which is a definite win if the quality is the same as last year!

I got the opportunity to speak to him before the start of the Fringe, and that interview is available to read below.

—-

Hi Rik!

First, could you introduce yourself a bit for the reader?

I’m an Edinburgh based Scottish/Filipino stand up comedian. More accurately - raconteur, troubadour, lover of dinosaurs. That feels a bit short. I always feel like there should be more to an introduction. I guess I like long walks along the beach, laughing and watching movies with friends. That better? I may have lied about the walks along the beach bit. I hate getting sand in my shoes.

When did you first decide to get into comedy?

September 2009. A drunk conversation in a pub. I mentioned I wanted to try stand up sometime and one of my friends drunkenly said, ‘Bet you £1 you won’t do a show at next years Fringe.’ So I did. Jokes on him. I’m a £1 up.

Where do you take your inspiration from when you work? Do you have any role models?

Being Scottish I have to say I take a massive amount of inspiration from Billy Connolly. I think every comedian in Scotland over the last 30 years grew up listening to and loved the Big Yin. He always makes it seem so effortless!

Though I didn’t start as one myself, I’ve always been a fan of musical comedy acts, especially the likes of Tenacious D and Bill Bailey. Nowadays I listen to Stephen Lynch, Garfunkel and Oates, and Bo Burnham amongst others. Seeing acts like them have fun and doing their own thing is what really inspires me.

How many times have you been to Edinburgh, either as a performer or just to watch shows?

I was born in Edinburgh so I’ve never not known the Fringe. Thought it does feel strange looking forward to it rather than complain about how slow the buses are as a result of it.

As a performer this is my 5th year as a comedian. I was an actor in a theatre show back in 2007 with some friends which was lots of fun but very different from the experience of doing comedy. Nowhere near as much drinking and self loathing.

You are doing another free show this year. Why do you go down the free route instead of charging? Are there benefits to one approach over another?

Money. It’s a lot cheaper to put a show on at the Free Festival and you get to keep what money you make in the bucket. Definitely a benefit there.

I also think the Free Festival gives opportunities to acts who aren’t represented yet or necessarily have the backing to do a paid for venue. The great thing recently is that acts that have done well at free shows; Doug Segal, Imran Yusuf, Juliette Burton, Austentatious, Abigoliah Schamaun, have gone onto do even better at paid venues. It’s a true meritocracy where those who work hard can really make their career progress.

How would you describe your show to the reader?

I’m frequently described as charming; a charming MC, a charming musician. The show this year will get the audience to help me find out if I am ‘good’ charming (like Will Smith) or ‘bad’ charming (like Jaden Smith). I perform songs, jokes and drawings and ask the audience to judge whether I’m one or the other.

Basically I put the power with the audience and let them really judge me. We’ll see how it goes but probably wasn’t the best idea.

You play guitar in your shows, when did you first learn to play? Would you say you are more a comedian or a musician?

I got my first guitar for Christmas when I was 15. The first song I learned to play was Just Looking by the Stereophonics. Before that I dabbled in trumpet, trombone, french horn and drums. It was guitar I fell in love with though and have been playing it ever since. I’ve always enjoyed playing and writing music and have definitely been a musician longer than a comedian. I would like to think I’m a balance of both now though.

Are you a full time comedian, or do you have another job?

I wish I was full time, and I hope to get there one day! I do have a day job but if I told you what it was I’d have to kill you. I’m James Bond. I’m not.

Being based in Scotland, do you think the comedy circuit is different to that in London, or England more generally?

I don’t think it’s that different. It’s smaller but that’s more reflective of the population size of Scotland. As a result everyone on the Scottish circuit knows each other and it can be a really supportive place.

I have started gigging down south more and have enjoyed my experiences so far. I do look forward to doing more soon.

Have you noticed any changes in the festival throughout the years?

Size. It’s really become this huge behemoth. Every year there are people who say that the Fringe isn’t doing well but every year it seems to get bigger and bigger. More acts, more audience, more buzz.

The biggest and most important change for me though was the Aberdeen Angus Burger stand. You used to get a performers discount. Not anymore.

Do you think there will always be demand for live entertainment?

Absolutely. It’s like music. Some people love listening to the prerecorded album, but it doesn’t compare to the raw energy of a live performance. The great thing about live performance as well, is that you can, and will, see things you wouldn’t see on TV. Like me. At The Counting House. 19.30 every day (apart from Mondays).

Are there any shows you are looking forward to at Edinburgh (that aren’t your own) that you’d like to recommend to the reader?

Juliette Burton: Look at Me, 14.45 at the Gilded Balloon. I’ve seen a preview of this and it’s a fantastic show with a really important message.

Hot Dub Time Machine is always great fun. I’ll be going on Friday night.

Apart from that I’m also planning on seeing Bec Hill, Abigoliah Schamaun, Jojo Sutherland, Richard Gadd, The Colour Ham and Mitch Benn.

There’s way too many for me to list on here though! I will be tweeting (@rcarranza) all through the Fringe though with suggestions so following me would be a good idea (@rcarranza). You should totally do that (@rcarranza).

---

Rik Carranza is being performing 1-24 August (not Monday's) at 7.30pm, at The Laughing Horse, @ The Counting House (Venue 170). Click Here

July 29, 2014 Such Small Portions
Article about BattleActs Improvised Comedy
Edinburgh Picks 2014: Interactive shows
Get involved as we wave goodbye to the fourth wall...

Want to find good comedy this Edinburgh Fringe but don’t know where to start? We’ve taken ten cuts of the programme to help you find shows you will love.

They're not exhaustive, instead picking out the shows that caught our eye in given categories, but when your brain can't process another flyer we're pretty sure this is the best way to work out what to see.

Audience involvement and improv, which we’ve not-at-all-awkwardly lumped together here, have both taken off. From the return of Knightmare Live to Down Under hit Come Heckle Christ, it is not a year for going to a show and sitting back comfortably in your seats. We’d put MegaGames in here too as that’s been previewing but it doesn’t appear to be listed anywhere yet. WATCH THIS SPACE.

Battleacts!

EdFringe | Battleacts
The Free Sisters, 10pm

What we say
Young comedians led into battle by Phil Mann and Brendan Murphy, bursting from the streets of Brixton to become your first stop on the improv trail this August.

What they say
BattleActs! is an award-winning, multi-five star late-night comedy party show that has performed to rave reviews around the country. Independent Top 10, StageWon Editor's Award. ‘Superior improvised comedy… thank god for BattleActs!’ (FringeReview.co.uk). ‘Rapidly en route to becoming something of a cult classic, one of the most entertaining late night acts.’ (BroadwayBaby.com) ‘Extraordinary improv, kitsch, cool and unpretentious... wit and ingenuity that’s nothing short of admirable.’ (BrixtonBuzz.com). ‘Intelligence…sheer energy. You might just have to fight the crowds as the troupe become ever more popular’ (StageWon).

 Click Here

July 29, 2014 The List
Article about Death Shall Have No Dominion
Top 5 Free Shows
 Click Here

July 28, 2014 
Article about First Class
Wins Best New Writing at the Buxton Festival Fringe
After a highly successful run at the Buxton Festival Fringe, with sell-out performances and a wonderful review (which you can read at http://www.buxtonfringe.org.uk/reviews2014the.html#81), First Class has received yet another distinction.

Aulos Productions and Relief Theatre's first collaboration has been awarded Best New Writing at the Buxton Fringe Festival. The script, described as "a masterpiece of understatement", was written by Edinburgh's author James Beagon, who also directed the play.

The show, which was also nominated for Best Production, will be performed every day of the Fringe at noon in Espionage's Pravda room (venue 185). Click Here

July 28, 2014 John Fleming's Blog
Free Festival Director Alex Petty has a chat with John Fleming about the Fringe
Free Festival Director Alex Petty has a chat with John Fleming about the Fringe. Click Here

July 28, 2014 The Independent
Article about Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
Independent recommends Luisa Omielan & Jessie Cave + Emer Kenny as best comedy acts to see at Edinburgh Fringe 2014
On the free Fringe, look out for the buoyant Luisa Omielan (1-24 Aug, Laughing Horse@ The Counting House) following up her high-energy hit What Would Beyoncé Do? Click Here

July 27, 2014 Buxton Fringe
Article about Nathan Cassidy: Date of Death
Buxton Fringe Best Show
Nathan Cassidy's show 'Date of Death' wins best solo comedy show at the Buxton Fringe. Click Here

July 27, 2014 The independant
Article about Carly Smallman: Made in Penge
Carly Smallman talks to the Independent
Every stand-up who dares to entertain an Edinburgh Fringe audience is primed for the occasional heckle. But when Carly Smallman unveils her new one-woman show about body confidence, the comedian will take a stand against a vicious campaign of personal abuse which made her question her desire to appear in public ever again. Click Here

July 25, 2014 Capital Cabaret and Shows
Article about Tricity Vogue: Songs For Swinging Ukuleles
Tricity Vogue: Songs for Swinging Ukeleles
Tricity Vogue previews her new cabaret Songs for Swinging Ukeleles at The Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Read review here:

Tricity 2

Tricity Vogue, well known for her cabaret shows accompanying herself on the ukelele, has staged a preview of her new show to be taken up to the Edinburgh Festival.

Playing with the concept of cross-gender and drag, she dresses up in a beautifully tailored suit and, displaying great commitment, sports a slick man’s haircut – cut live on stage in a previous show at the same venue.

Songs for Swinging Ukeleles consists entirely of her own compositions, with anecdote and changes of costume, at one point re-applying her own shorn hair. The atmosphere created evokes a feeling of 1920s Weimar, though with less of the darkness associated with that era, and is refreshingly light and charming. The theatrical effect takes us gently into another world where we willingly suspend our disbelief.

As the title suggests, she sings of swingers (both of the sexual and dance kind), showgirls, sartorial elegance, love and her fear of joining the circus- she has been invited by a French one, it transpires.

Throughout the show, Vogue uses various devices to keep the audience participating and investing in the piece, and such encouragements are subtly and playfully done. She is a very engaging performer, cheeky without being crude and quite delightful.

The standout items, though, were the ones that struck a different note. The song on nightmares changed the tone of the piece reaching a deeper level, demanding a greater degree of attention, and her ballad on a date starting as a one-night stand and leading to a declaration of love added contrast.

The preview was performed in a South London pub, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, on one of the hottest nights of the year, thus attracting very little audience. Nonetheless, Vogue was able to sweep the small rather disparate group along and it was clear everyone had a very enjoyable night.
Both Vogue and the show deserve bigger crowds up in Edinburgh – she should do well.

Fiona-Jane Weston Click Here

July 25, 2014  
Review of The Silence of Snow: The Life of Patrick Hamilton
First review
 Click Here

July 25, 2014 Daily Mail
Article about Phil Mann: Not Funny Haha
Daily Mail's Pick of the Best Jokes at the Edinburgh Fringe

'My wife told me sex is better on holiday. That was not a nice postcard to receive!': As Edinburgh's Fringe starts, our pick of the best jokes...


By JOHN SELBY
PUBLISHED: 02:02, 25 July 2014 | UPDATED: 07:26, 25 July 2014



The Edinburgh Festival kicks off next Friday, with dozens of unknowns hoping to make their mark - just as John Bishop, Sarah Millican and Jack Whitehall did in previous years.

Here, some of the hopefuls share their favourite one-liners with JOHN SELBY…

Alex Edelman: My father was a magician. Well, not really. He just disappeared a lot.

Lloyd Griffith: The other day I sold my guitar to a man with no arms. I said: ‘What are you going to do with it?’ He replied: ‘Just gonna play it by ear.’

Stephen Bailey: My boyfriend’s a lot hotter than I am. He kind of looks like Keanu Reeves, if you squint your eyes. I feel like the only reason I managed to trap him is because he’s from Blackpool. I was probably the first person he’s met with a full set of teeth.

Wendy Wason: I’m getting old. I’m from a time when, if something went viral, it was a bad thing.

Alfie Moore: Violence is never the answer, we’re told, but what if the crossword clue is an eight-letter word meaning to cause intentional physical harm?

Anson Richards: Last Christmas I bought an advent calendar from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Big mistake. Every time I opened one of the little windows, someone told me to get lost.

Ian Smith: My friend used to own a fruit stall, but it went into liquidation. Now he owns a smoothie stall.

Lloyd Langford: Conditioner adverts tell you that coconut oil is really good for your hair. Well, it doesn’t seem to work that well for coconuts.

Chris Martin: How are we going to achieve global peace if the world can’t decide on one universal plug socket?

Jim Campbell: If I discovered a new animal, I’d call it a Quorn to mess with vegetarians.


Tom Rhodes: I like to hold hands at the movies, which always seems to startle strangers.

Paul F. Taylor: I reckon you could steal the roof off the Planetarium and no one would notice till morning.

Dave Griffiths: I found a chaise longue in a skip last week. There was nothing wrong with it — just one arm missing.

Joe Bor: My wife told me: ‘Sex is better on holiday.’ That wasn’t a very nice postcard to receive.

Paula Valluerca: What do you call two Spaniards playing soccer? Juan on Juan.

Phil Mann: I don’t like it when people put on make-up on the bus. A bus looks fine as it is.

Vikki Stone: I once got the sack from a lettuce factory. You could say my salad days are over.

Rebecca Humphries: I once had an argument with one of the Seven Dwarfs. He wasn’t Happy.

Lizzy Mace: Why does Djokovic scrub his floors clean? Because he’s no vac.

 Click Here

July 25, 2014 ThreeWeeks
Article about Lexicon Lady: A Woman of Lovely Letters
Nadia Brooks: Speaking about the words
Nadia Brooks is a ‘lexophile’ with a passion for
rhyming, alliteration and entertaining words; and she’s
coming to Edinburgh as the Lexicon Lady, promising
an hour of wordplay, with plenty of poetry, prose and
puns, and some free Love Hearts along the way.
A journalist by trade, Brooks arrived with her first
spoken word show at the Free Festival last August,
returning with a brand new show this year. We spoke
to the lady of lovely letters about taking her words off
the page, her dabblings with stand-up, and what we can
expect from the new show.

TW: I do “absolutely adore
alliteration, think rhyme is sublime
and like being foonsped spoolfuns
of spoonerisms”, as your blurb puts
it. So basically your new show is just
for people like me?

NB: Brilliant! Shall we start a ‘Fight
Club’ style organisation for like-
minded lexophiles? Although as we
wouldn’t be able to talk about it, we
might come a bit p-unstuck. Though
I do reckon there are plenty more
of the likes of you and I around here
than folks are letting on. I think a lot
of citizens secretly enjoy a good pun.
Words are fun. They’re very popular
with the populace. Also, Swizzels
Matlow have sent me a crate full of
Love Hearts to give away at the show,
so if that doesn’t get people excited,
well, I don’t know what will.

TW: You’ve undertaken an eclectic
range of creative projects, though
you seem most prolific as a
journalist. So what attracted you to
spoken word?

NB: I suppose journalism is my ‘day
job’ and a privileged day job it is too,
as I get to interview a lot of interesting
people and many personal heroes.
Though so far not Professor Stephen
Hawking, who I’d love to interview.
From an early age I knew I wanted
to spend my life writing and so I
would create humourous poetry.
My earliest gig was with a friend,
we took to the steps of one of the
primary school mobile classrooms
during dinner break and sang a
song I’d written. My teacher made us
perform it again to our classmates.
It was called ‘Pocket Fluff’. It was all
about that mysterious substance
that inexplicably appears inside
garments. It’s the dark matter inside
the black holes of haberdashery. I
know that doesn’t exactly make sense
but I love the word haberdashery.
Everyone does don’t they? I also like
mamihlapinatapai, saudade, fernweh
and jaunty.

TW: Is delivering your words in
public easier or harder than writing
an article and posting it into the
ether?

NB: It’s definitely much harder, so to
anyone who’s going to come along,
please be gentle with me. First and
foremost I consider myself a writer
and not a performer. For me the pen is
mightier than the s(poken)word. I feel
my written words speak better than I
do. Actually, I’d love to write things for
others to perform.

TW: Last Fringe you performed a
show telling stories of your travels
in America. How did that go?

NB: Brilliantly. It was my debut Fringe
show so I didn’t know if anyone would
turn up. I seemed to be a hit with the
Countdown viewership, students
and mature adults. It was an accident
that I did it. I’d written a book about
the 6000-mile solo American road
trip I did two years ago and a friend
who had performed at Edinburgh
suggested I do a show about it. I’m
currently looking for a publisher for
the book by the way, so if anyone
fancies the idea of a book that I like to
think blends Michael Palin, Professor
Brian Cox, Alan Bennett and Nelly Bly
please get in touch!

TW: Back to ‘Lexicon Lady’, where
did the idea for the new show come
from?

NB: I love how words weave meaning
thanks to the bountiful tapestry of
language. It’s better than the one in
Bayeux and not as moth-eaten. Also
I’m hoping the show might come to
the attention of Susie Dent, the word-
loving woman’s word woman. It’s my
dream to be her apprentice or even
just make her a cuppa really.

TW: The blurb promises poetry,
prose and puns. Is that the
alliteration thing again, or do all
three appear? How does it work?
Did you write the show in one go,
or does it bring together existing
poems and ponderings?

NB: There will be pithy poems,
poignant prose and perky puns as well
as a litter of alliteration.
Like many writers I always have a
notebook with me to note down
musings. I must look so quaint as
I’m scribbling away with such old-
fashioned implements. So the show is
a melded mass of messy meditations
made magnificent.

TW: Presumably you enjoyed your
Edinburgh Fringe stint last year?
What attracted you back?

NB: Indeed I did. Edinburgh is glorious.
It’s one of the best cities in the world,
probably even the universe, although
I bet the capital of Tatooine is a
blast, especially that cantina. When
I wasn’t watching the films of 007
as a youngster I used to listen to my
dad’s ‘Beyond The Fringe’ LP. So to be
lucky enough to be immersed in the
ace-ness of the Edinburgh Festival
is about as exciting as being a Bond
girl. I’m also hoping someone might
bring me a kaleidoscope which is
why I’ve referred to one in my blurb.
Kaleidoscopes really are spectacular.
A rainbow supernova in a twisty hand-
held tube - how do they do it?!

TW: Our reviewer last year said
your show “walks the line between
spoken word and very gentle
stand-up”. You’ve done some more
straight up comedy as well, I think.
Would you consider doing a show in
the Fringe’s comedy programme?

NB: My first ever stand-up gig was at
the Comedy Store in LA a few years
ago. It went quite well so I did open
mic nights in the States for a while
when I was over there doing script
supervising on feature films. Curiously
it led to me doing a French voiceover
for a Sarah Silverman sketch, which
was sadly ditched because I sounded
too young. I did more stand-up again
this year at Riot LA, an alternative
comedy festival in Los Angeles, and
was second runner-up in my heat of
Foster’s South Coast Comedian Of The
Year competition in May, which I didn’t
expect. The stand-up thing is more
just about having another avenue for
my words to wander down. Though
I’m probably too ‘young Thora Hird
meets The Littlest Hobo’ to be allowed
in the Fringe’s comedy section.

TW: You’re back as part of the Free
Festival. How did you find that
last year? Were the Free Festival
audience’s generous?

NB: The Free Festival is champion. Last
year the audience was very generous
- I donated all my bucket money to the
Make-A-Wish Foundation and so we
were able to fulfil a few wishes. This
year any loose change the audience
care to give will go to charity again.

TW: What are your top three
spoonerisms?

NB: First: A spoonerism evokes
laughter, shared laughter is common
ground and common ground is
grounds for peace. Which is why the
spoonerism balked into a war.
Second: When the ape tried to climb
to the highest bed, but he misjudged it
and fell instead, his monkey business
turned into bunky miss-ness.
And last but not least, Spam and June
of course!

‘Lexicon Lady: A Woman of Lovely Letters’
is on at Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters
from 31 Jul until 9 Aug. Click Here

July 25, 2014 Daily Mail
Article about Dave Griffiths: C U IN COURT (CNUT v FCUK)
Best jokes of Edinburgh Fringe 2014
 Click Here

July 24, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about The Crossroads
3 minute Interview
 Click Here

July 23, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Seriously Now!
The Petra Kindler Three Minute Interview

Tell us about your new Edinburgh Fringe show.

Same old, same old: German woman moves to Ireland, starts hearing pushy voices in her head, decides not to argue with them (because that would be mental, right?) but rather do exactly what they tell her and go into literary translation.

One day she is asked to give a talk about her line of work. Woman says fine, I’ve never given a talk before, why not; then proceeds to startle her audience with a rather peculiar life story instead. Because it’s a free event, people can’t demand their money back. Instead they laugh and cry and jump to their feet and demand more! The same keeps happening, even in bigger theatres and with paying audiences. The woman thinks: Seriously Now! Did these Irish people just pay a German to make them laugh? And cry? Now that is proper mental!

The woman sits down to collect her thoughts. Next thing she knows, she has applied for and been offered a slot at the Free Festival. Now she is preparing to make a Big Bang in Edinburgh, which kind of runs in the family (her brother-in-law, after all, is Sergeant Dave Beveridge, the chap who fires the one o’clock gun at Edinburgh Castle). You know yourself… that kind of story.


Why did you choose to perform as part of Laughing Horse?

Some time ago I’d been hit by a car (bear with me). Luckily for me, the driver was insured and guilty as fuck. The idea of taking Seriously Now! to Edinburgh coincided with the arrival of the injury compensation cheque. I went online to investigate my options and realised that I might be able to save an arm and a leg – again! Laughing Horse seemed to be the least dogmatic and most pragmatic of the free festival organisers, and so far I have found them to be very helpful and professional.

How do you describe your comedy to those that might not have seen you before?

Angela’s Ashes meets Angela Merkel: a confessional comedy performance on the joys and perils of cross-cultural creative work, on surviving homemade hurricanes – and on the challenging concept of having fun with a Hun.
Also touching on lighter issues such as the Inquisition, polka dots, stylish lesbian graphic designers, the difference between dental braces and therapy and a coerced visit to Ireland leading to romance, emigration and receiving robust nocturnal career advice from disembodied voices

Or in short: layered storytelling with lots of twist and turns and laughs and gulps. Intact attention spans required.


What advice would you give your seventeen year old self?

Fine, move in with that guy. But don’t marry him, you little twit!


If you were curating a stand up show for television, who would be your guests?

I want, I want, I want… David O’Doherty, Maysoon Zayid, Steven K. Amos, Sarah Millican, Omid Djalili, Bill Bailey, Jimeoin, Erwin Grosche, Reginald D. Hunter, Shappi Khorsandi, Sanjeev Bhaskar – heck, and James McAvoy because he is unsettlingly sexy and funny.
 Click Here

July 22, 2014 The Public Review
Article about Wild Card Kitty: The Showgirl Show
Public Review Interview
 Click Here

July 22, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Perfectly Goddamned Delightful
Interview with Pete
Peter Strong is a Brighton based poet and stand-up comedian. On his popular blog he suggests that he’ll gig anywhere, even up a tree. Luckily, during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, he and his comedy pall Dan have found a venue to share. Which is much more convenient for the audience.

It's self-deprecating, ranting, angry, cynical, interspersed with surreal and silly poetry. And it's funny. Honest.

“Dan Fardell and I are doing a double bill of stand up. We called it Perfectly Goddamned Delightful, from the Charles Crumb quote. He always used to say it ironically when R Crumb was a boy growing up. We thought it summed us up well. Both of us have stand up that while joke heavy has a downbeat edge to it. We make jokes about the darker side of life.”

Why did you choose to perform as part of Laughing Horse?
“For newish comedians the Free Festival really is the best way to go about it. LH run a free festival during the Brighton Fringe, which is where we're based, and we did some shows in it. They went so well that we decided to bring it up to Edinburgh. Being a free show really takes the pressure off in a lot of ways, and also it means we can do the festival without racking up a huge debt.”

How do you describe your act to those that haven’t seen you?
“It's self-deprecating, ranting, angry, cynical, interspersed with surreal and silly poetry. And it's funny. Honest.”

What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
“Think more about what you're doing. Don't just go and do something because it's expected of you! And lay off the fags, booze and drugs. At least for a few years yet.”

If you were curating a stand up show for television, who would be your guests?
“Off the top of my head? John Hegley, Simon Munnery, Rob Newman, Tony Law, Claudia O'Doherty and Mary Bourke. I'd probably think of ten others on the day and try and cram them in even though there's no time. I'd probably take over the TV station and fill it with people. And take over the world. Eventually.” Click Here

July 22, 2014 Chortle
Article about Carly Smallman: Made in Penge
Ten feminist fatales
Sexually aggressive abuse is, sadly, par for the course for almost any woman who dares have a public profile. Smallman did nothing more that appear in a stupid ITV2 show, for which she attracted such charming tweets as: ‘You are a fat whale I wish I could come into the studio and shoot you and the rest of those cunts.’ This is her response to that sort of vitriol. 17:30 Click Here

July 22, 2014 The List
Article about BattleActs Improvised Comedy
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 interview: Clive Anderson vs rising improv stars

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 interview: Clive Anderson vs rising improv stars



BattleActs, Austentatious and more quiz the Whose Line is it Anyway? host



Source: The List
Date: 22 July 2014
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 interview: Clive Anderson vs rising improv stars


As the stage version of iconic improv TV show Whose Line is it Anyway? debuts in Edinburgh, some rising stars of the adlibbing scene chuck questions at its cheeky host, Clive Anderson

David Allison, This is Your Trial: As an ex-lawyer, you will appreciate that what appears as a witty adlib may actually be the result of anticipating the responses of ‘witnesses’ or improv participants and some carefully planned prompts: how much is this cheating?
Clive: If you are cross-examining a witness or interviewing a guest, it is sensible to think what they may answer so you are ready with a follow-up question if necessary .Or a joke. The same could be true to a lesser extent in improv. I wouldn’t call it cheating to try to anticipate what might come up, but it is generally easier to come up with things as you go along.

BattleActs: If you could remove one thing from the world of improv what would it be?
Clive: The three Rs: repetition, repetition, repetition.

Baron Sternlook: In long-form improv, how important is it to be funny in comparison to creating a satisfying storyline?
Clive: As with everything in life, it is important to keep a balance. On a TV or radio programme you want to keep the jokes coming thick and fast, or the audience will switch off or turn over. In a longer form of improv, in the theatre say, you can take your time to develop a scenario but you hope to build to something satisfying to justify the time taken. But a joke or two along the way also helps.

Blind Mirth: What’s the least expected way improv has helped you in real life?
Clive: It allowed me to appear on radio and television.

The Cleek: What are you most looking forward to about reforming the show for Edinburgh?
Clive: I love the excitement of appearing in front of a live audience and working with a bunch of quick-witted performers.

Joe, Austentatious: How do I tell Rachel about my romantic feelings for her without upsetting the dynamic of the group?
Clive: You are bound to upset the dynamic of the group – for good or ill – by telling Rachel about your romantic feelings for her. But the vital question is whether your possible relationship with Rachel is more important to you than the group dynamic or not. I can’t answer that for you. Good luck.

John Hastings: McEwan Hall is taken over by 800 schoolchildren who want to fight you. You have to distract them with an improv game: which one would you choose?
Clive: ‘Stand, Sit, Lie Down’. Starting with everybody, including the audience, lying down for five minutes.

The Improverts: What, for you, has been the most inventive use of an audience suggestion?
Clive: In an early radio recording episode of Whose Line is it Anyway?, a member of the audience suggested I should be a chat show host. I have built a career on that.

Racing Minds: Who would be in your improv dream team?
Clive: Greg Proops, Steve Frost, Josie Lawrence and Angela Merkel.

Showstoppers: Do you ever get the urge to join in or do you prefer sitting behind the desk?
Clive: Opinion is divided on this. I have occasionally joined in with improv games and I think I have been fine. Everyone else thought I was better behind the desk.

What Does the Title Matter Anyway?, Underbelly, Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, 6–19 Aug, 9pm, £16–£17.50 (£14.50–£16). Click Here

July 21, 2014 Buxton Fringe Website
Article about (Do you remember) Rock n Roll Radio ?
Buxton Fringe
Appropriately enough the sound of The Ramones’ 1980 hit This Is Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio usher us in to Roland Gent’s show. The 50’s American nostalgia as depicted in the song, though, seems a million miles removed from contemporary community radio, and not just geographically.
Roland Gent tells his autobiographical story as a journey, a journey from darkness into light; from discordant sound to rock ‘n’ roll radio.
A huge, likeable presence, Gent, at first seems nervous, which it is at odds with his physicality, emphasised as it is by his hooped t-shirt and very low ceiling. The paucity of the audience may account for his nervousness, but he never makes the mistake of blaming those who turned up for it being a small house. He is an inclusive comic, making sure that everyone is involved and having a good time. Several times he checks that his audience are comfortable with filth; it’s just as well they say ‘yes’ because filth comprises some of his best material. There is unalloyed joy in hearing (once again) the Today programme mispronouncing the name of the then Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. Gent trumps that with equally hilarious examples from Radios 2 and 5.
Stand up is, quite possibly, the hardest of all the performing arts because it relies on a degree of personal exposure; of establishing an instant relationship and rapport based on your own personality. Thankfully, Roland Gent’s personality is both likeable and very funny; and for all the bluster and swearing you sense there is a genuine empathy with those who have no escape from the depressing Salford estates where the community radio station is based.
What Gent does is create a temporary community out of his audience, and that temporary community celebrate together tiny victories as the Daily Express, Cabinet ministers, and various other powerful institutions are shown up for what they are. We are united in our ridicule; it may not change the world, but it makes us feel better.
So, if you have a spare 45 minutes go and see Roland Gent’s show. He deserves to been seen by more people; this would be electric with a full house. Providing you’re not offended by words that rhyme with sock, duck and hunt, you’ll be in for a liberating and uproariously comical evening.
Incidentally, doesn’t Max Clifford’s Tiny Penis sound like the name of one of those post-punk bands John Peel used to have in session on his show?
Malcolm Lomax
 Click Here

July 21, 2014 The Evening Standard
Article about Carly Smallman: Made in Penge
Hitting Back At The Trolls
Don't mess with comedians online; they have ways of hitting back. After Carly Smallman appeared on ITV2's Viral Tap in April Twitter trolls referred to her as "Miss Piggy" and "a fat whale". At first Smallman was upset and even started using a personal trainer to lose weight. Then she realised that she had the perfect vehicle to confront web misogyny and updated her forthcoming Edinburgh fringe show, Made in Penge, to address the issue. "I decided that they are just nasty men in their pants in their bedroom. My revenge is doing a good show," Smallman tells us. Did she ever consider retaliating on Twitter? "No, that would make me as bad as them - I'd just be like someone in their pants in their bedroom too."

July 21, 2014  
Review of Biff! Bash! Bosh! - FREE
Preview Performance - Earlsfield Primary School- 21/7/14
"Brilliant, Bonkers....perfect for kids!"
Mrs L Jefford - Teacher, 3J, Earlsfield Primary School

"Really funny and silly....I loved it!"
Amelie, nearly 7

"So funny...I loved it when he smashed the egg on his head!"
Devon, age 7 and a half

"The songs are really funny, and the alien was REALLY funny!
Victoria, age 8

"My favourite bit was Kevin the invisible pea..so funny! When can you come again?"
Alice, age 7 and a half



July 20, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Dave Griffiths: C U IN COURT (CNUT v FCUK)
3 Minute Interview
 Click Here

July 20, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Lexicon Lady: A Woman of Lovely Letters
The Nadia Brooks Three Minute Interview
According to her popular blog, Nadia Brooks is a writer, thinker, dreamer and a doer who knows that life is an adventure. She writes about philosophy, physics and astronomy as well as love, life and laughter. You should check the blog out, it’s really good. But not before you’ve read Martin Walker’s email interview with Nadia concerning her latest Edinburgh Festival Fringe show.

“Lexicon Lady: A Woman of Lovely Letters is a kaleidoscopic collection of a profusion of poetry, prose and puns from writer Nadia Brooks (me).

“From reports filed as a foreign correspondent, to scripts I supervise on movies... to the endless to-do lists, the tender notes to lost times and spaces, and the Post-its I put up around town urging people to smile... you’ll be charmed by this cheery catalogue of communication from a woman who works with words (that’s me again).

“Last year I performed my debut one-woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe where I detailed the stirring adventures and unexpected escapades encountered on a solo 6000-mile road trip around the USA.

“This year I’m looking at the lexicon of life through the literature of language.

“Absolutely adore alliteration, think rhyme is sublime and like being foonsped spoolfuns of spoonerisms? Then find victory in verse with the Lexicon Lady.

“What they said to me: ‘Thank you Nadia, you’ve changed my life,’ (Frank Skinner). 'I didn't expect that voice!' (Noel Fielding). 'Absolutely sterling work,' (my echo).”

Why did you choose to perform as part of Laughing Horse?

“My debut Edinburgh show, Tyke Rider, happened thanks to Laughing Horse letting me commandeer The Comedy Bus for a week last year. Laughing Horse is ace.”

How do you describe your comedy to those that might not have seen you before?

“Like a young Thora Hird meeting The Littlest Hobo on the arch of a rainbow.”

What advice would you give your seventeen year old self?

“Don’t worry, just have fun - in a few years’ time you’ll have a time machine and can rectify anything (but remember to learn the chords to Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode).”

If you were curating a stand up show for television, who would be your guests?

“Professor Stephen Hawking. Am a huge fan of his books but after seeing his work in the live Monty Python shows and on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight he can be certain (as certain as people working with the Uncertainty Principle can be) that if his work with black holes caves in, he can forge an astronomic career in comedy.
“Lucille Ball. Via the magic of holographic projection (Professor Hawking can hopefully help with this) and editing I’d love Lucy to re-enact The Two Ronnies’ Mastermind sketch with me.
“Alan Bennett. A truly brilliant writer with a cadence so charming I could listen to him read the phone book (even though it’s got too many characters and no plot).
“A pangolin. One of the world’s most endangered mammals. It’s a small scaly thing that looks like a cross between an anteater and an armadillo. Or as my friend describes it, a ‘human pinecone’.”

Broadway Baby Listing and Edinburgh Fringe Box Office:
http://www.broadwaybaby.com/shows/lexicon-lady-a-woman-of-lovely-letters/702036

Blog: http://allthewritenotes.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @write_notes

YouTube Clip: http://allthewritenotes.wordpress.com/comedy


By Martin Walker BBStandUp

Broadway Baby Stand Up Comedy Editor, Martin Walker, has been a critic and features writer for over 15 years. On joining Broadway Baby in April 2014, he began a series of 'Three Minute' and 'extended interviews' with comedians and popular entertainers. This year he's reviewing Stand-Up shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. He supports Hibs FC and lives with his wife and three year old son.
 Click Here

July 19, 2014 http://edinburgh.stv.tv
Article about Tricity Vogue: The Uke Of Edinburgh Awards
Do you want to play a ukulele on top of a woman's head?

Do you want to play a ukulele on top of a woman's head?

By Tom Collins on Saturday 19 July 2014

Do you want to play a ukulele on top of a woman's head?

Well you might be in with a chance at the 2014 Uke of Edinburgh awards hosted by Tricity Vogue.

Tricity Vogue has been a cabaret performer for ten years now.

Known as Heather Tyrrell by day, Tricity took her name from a 1960s brand of refrigerator.

"The name was given to me by my best friend," explained Tricity. "It was the brand of his childhood fridge. Tricity was a brand of electrical goods in the Sixties. The name of this model was Vogue and the name was just at eye height for a child.

"He decided that this would be his drag queen name when he grew up, but that didn't happen. He is now head of research at Edinburgh College of Art."
via STV via STV

Originally part of a seven-piece loose lounge jazz band, Tricity fell in love with ukuleles after some of her fellow performers pulled out last minute leaving Tricity and her singing partner with no alternative other than to use a collection of ukuleles stored in the back of her car.

"We had booked a show and my pianist couldn't do it and my singing partner had a car boot full of ukuleles," explained Tricity.

"So we decided that we would turn up in our evening frocks and say the band had stood us up then just whip ukuleles out.

"We received a huge cheer from the audience who were instantly charmed by the incongruity of these glamour girls and their ukuleles

"I then became completely obsessed over night with it. For years I’d been a singer without an instrument and suddenly I found myself with an instrument that I could get to grips with quite quickly."

Round about the same time Tricity began her love affair with the miniature Hawaiian guitar, she was invited to perform at an event celebrating the arrival of the Eurostar at St Pancras station in London.

"I decided that I would hold a ukulele cabaret," continued Tricity. "That was about six-and-a-half years ago and that has been going on every month since.

"A year later I decided to take to take it to the Edinburgh Fringe and it has now become a fixture cult hit."
(Shay Rowlan)
via STV via STV

Tricity has been performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival since 2009

This will be Tricity's fifth visit to the Fringe and over the years her ukulele contest has evolved into a tried and tested formula.

"I always begin with a massive sing-along where I get everyone in audience joining in, it’s usually you are my sunshine, which is kind of the ukulele anthem," said Tricity.

"I have a few spare ukuleles too thanks to the Ray Macintosh at Music Rooms in Edinburgh. So I give a few out to members of the audiences.

"I then reveal that those members of the audience who were brave enough to have a go will become the judges for the night’s show.

"They mark each performance out of four, one for each string on the ukulele, and each contestant has three minutes to perform."

"We then add up those scores, so the most you can get is up to 12 marks," adds Tricity. "The winner is the one with the highest score who gets to strum my head as a prize."

"This year I will be introducing heats, so it will be more fiercely competitive and vicious, potentially."
(Shay Rowlan)
via STV via STV

Tricity Vogue, Uke of Edinburgh Awards 2012 having her head strummed by Ewan Wardrop

Tricity has had a ukulele specially made into a hat that fits her head. It is the grand prize for the winner to play the instrument while it is still on her head.

"Sometimes I even remember to tune it," explained Tricity. "Phill Jupitus tuned my head for me last year. That was a personal highlight for me.

"He was outside waiting to do his show, because he was doing a gig where he wasn’t allowed on until last minute. He is a big ukulele fan,

"So we had a good old chat and had he told me my ukulele hat was out of tune. So I asked him to tune it for me."

This year's contestants include Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer, broadcaster Helen Arney and fellow ukulele player Lady Carol and Tricity is sure that this year will be the biggest and best yet.

She said: "We’re going to have humour; we’re going to have sweet music; we’re going to have riotous sing-a-longs; we’re going to have edge of seat tension, drama and competition; and all of it with ukuleles."
Tricity Vogue
via YOUTUBE via YOUTUBE
Tricity Vogue will hold her Uke of Edinburgh awards show at the Laughing Horse @ New Empire Bingo (Venue 110) on Saturday, August 16 at 4pm and 10.30pm. Admission is free and for more information please see the official Edinburgh Fringe Festival website.

 Click Here

July 19, 2014 Buxton Fringe
Article about First Class
'Highly Recommended' at the Buxton Fringe Festival
A teacher, a young mother and a professional tennis player are sat on a train. The respective journeys that lie ahead of them are not only life-changing, but the very stuff of life itself. This is a train journey to Manchester Piccadilly, stopping at guilt, blame, regret, depression, love, desire, and fear … and that makes for a long, emotion-packed journey within a relatively short space of time.

The three young actors - Joe Walsh, Maddie Haynes, and Erin Elkin – who embark on this journey are not only well-cast, but each of them approach their roles with dedication, commitment and performing skill that belie their years. Their characters start as vignettes, but grow in dimension and verisimilitude as the play progresses. Maddie Haynes as the tennis player faultlessly conveys the tension and pressure bearing down on the professional sportsperson. Joe Walsh perfectly embodies the stress felt by all teachers, especially when confronted with difficult pupils. The expressive and animated performance of Erin Elkin carries all the tragic hope and broken dreams of a young woman who ‘fell pregnant’ at a time when nice girls just didn’t do that sort of thing. All three of them deliver expertly-judged, naturalistic performances within a non-naturalistic setting.

This is essentially a series of interconnected monologues; for these three individuals exist in different times and the attitudes of those times inform their characters. Each actor also plays another character in another’s reality, as well as sundry other rail staff. This is ensemble theatre at its best; fully of precision in both characterisation and delivery, and subtle communication with an overlapping narrative that whipped the story along with a mordent wit that never over-embellishes the story.

James Beagon’s script is a masterpiece of understatement, leaving the audience to do just enough work to keep one step ahead, but never quite allowing them to second-guess outcomes. The only weak point in an otherwise faultless script was the ending, where the interconnectedness of all things is shown in a very literal way. It didn’t need it. The point had already been made, and very powerfully, too.

First Class (not sure about the title, either. Sorry) encapsulates what fringe theatre does best; maximum imagination with the minimum of resources. With three chairs, straightforward direction and simple lighting and sound, Relief Theatre guide us on a complex, subtle and at times deeply moving journey into the human psyche. In concentrating on the specifics of individual lives, universal questions form about what it means to be a parent, a professional, a human being.

First Class runs for two more performances (19th & 21st July) and is highly recommended.

Malcolm Lomax Click Here

July 18, 2014 
Article about Rik Carranza: Charming
Rik Carranza Three Minute Interview
The charming Rik Carranza returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe after a successful 2013. Martin Walker chatted to Rik via email about his show, and he explains why his comedy is like a world cuisine all you can eat buffet.

“I frequently get described as 'charming'. During last year’s Fringe it was from a Broadway Baby review ‘charming MC’ and a column from Kate Copstick ‘charming musician’. This got me thinking, am I charming or 'charming'. Am I the good charming or am I the bad charming. In my show I'll be using the charmometer 3000 to test out my material to work out which I am.”

Why did you choose to perform as part of Laughing Horse?
“The Laughing Horse were the first ones to give a spot for a fringe show in 2010 and since then they've always been very supportive.”

How do you describe your comedy to those that might not have seen you before?
“Like an all you can eat buffet. One of those world cuisine ones. I play guitar, have silly drawings, tell stories, one liners and play games, just generally try to have as much fun as possible.”

What advice would you give your seventeen year old self?
“Don't do it. Just don't.”

If you were curating a stand up show for television, who would be your guests?
“The one redeeming thing about the Blue Brothers 2000 was the closing scene with some of the greatest blues musicians playing together. I'd love to do the same thing but with comedy musicians. I'd have Mitch Benn, Bill Bailey, Stephen Lynch, Tenacious D, Axis of Awesome, Tim Minchin, Garfunkel and Oates, and Flight of the Conchords” Click Here

July 18, 2014 The Scotsman
Article about Clever Peter : Free-for-All!
One of the Scotsman's 8 Must-See Sketch Shows
Clever Peter: Free For All! Clever Peter bring their award-winning sketch style back to the Fringe. Their show includes new material and old favourites from their BBC Radio 4 series ‘Strap In – It’s Clever Peter’. We like to think they wear their matching jumpers even when not performing on stage. Click Here

July 18, 2014 The New Current
Article about Over It - Death, Anorexia & Other Funny Things
The New Current - Interview
 Click Here

July 18, 2014 British Comedy Guide
Article about Carly Smallman: Made in Penge
Carly Smallman talks to the British Comedy Guide
My name is Carly. I am a stand-up comic, and I am a size 16-18. I like to eat. I, like most people, have a complicated relationship with the way I look. I was never one of the 'pretty' ones at school. I've always been chubby, wore nerdy specs and have a little moustache that I get waxed when I am feeling rich, or feeling ugly and like "I can totally rock being a shit feminist (fuck it - nobody will ever know)". Click Here

July 18, 2014 Laughing Horse News
Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide
So, you’re going to Edinburgh for the first time to put a show on – and there’s now only two weeks to go until it all kicks off for another year of fun, performing and chaos, all wrapped up and deep fired in batter.

Laughing Horse and Free Festival Director Alex Petty, shares his tips on going to the chaos of the Edinburgh Fringe for the
first time...


1. Don’t Panic! – With only a little time left before you get in that car, plane or train to Scotland, it’s always natural to feel a bit anxious at this stage. This is only natural as there’s a lot to do get done and ready. What you should know is that everyone is feeling the same way, so don’t let it get the better of you. A far wiser man than I once said “It’s always chaos, every show, every venue – right up to the last minute. But somehow it always works out”, and that is very true, from the smallest one-man band, up to the mega-venues. Everything will work out when your show gets up and running, no matter how daunting it all seems at the moment.

2. Get into Town early if you haven’t been there before – Familiarise yourself with the layout of the city and it’s quirky nature, this will help you a lot through the month. You will find what looks like a left-turn on a map is actually a road eight stories below or above where you are standing. Get around the main hubs in the town to find where people hang out, and spend time to prepare for your show and how long it will take to get from A to B - Performers turning up straight away for their first shows usually end up struggling well into the first week getting to grips with the city and getting their publicity out and about. You will also find that wherever you go takes time, through packed streets and generally walking up a 45 degree incline on cobbled streets as rainwater flows down at you like a waterfall. Edinburgh was designed by Escher – it is possible to spend the entire month walking uphill, never walking downhill.

Every Single one of these people are lost...

3. Pace yourself - It’s a marathon not a sprint as they say, and treating every night as New Year’s Eve for 25 nights takes the toll on the most hardened of Fringe veterans. I know, I’ve done it myself and it’s not pretty by the end of August. There’s only so many times you can flyer all day, perform 4 gigs in the evening, drink all night and be at then be at the opening of a 6am opening bar to wash down your battered haggis with a few more pints before ending up in the Royal Infirmary…

4. Don’t worry about what others are doing – There are times it seems that everyone else is doing better than you, more reviews, more press coverage, award nominations and so on. These things will generally happen if they happen. A lot of performers often end up getting stressed about others successes, when in reality, what they should be doing is concentrating on putting a good show, and entertaining the audience in front of them. Do this and you will have a good Fringe, and remain a lot calmer by day 25.

5. Remember it is about a balance of work and play – A month of fun in Edinburgh can be the best thing in the world, but at the end of the month you will feel incredibly unfulfilled if you have sacrificed your show and not dedicated enough time to running, producing and promoting it. Likewise dedicating all of your time to your show will mean you miss out on a lot of what Edinburgh is about, and why we all come back year after year despite the fact it makes no logical sense to do so at all – the socialising, networking and all of the other madness that happens for the month.

6. See Some shows – it’s the biggest arts festival in the world, make sure you get out and see some shows as well as performing your own – something that is often overlooked by performers, and often something that leaves performers with regret at the end of the month. There’s so many big names that can inspire you as a performer, and so many different and experimental shows out there that you can only experience in Edinburgh – that’s what a Fringe is all about. See some Shakespeare for Breakfast, watch Hamlet on a Bouncy Castle, see a show in someone’s flat, a car or a lift - or whatever other nonsense is taking place this year (I’ve not managed to read this year’s programme yet, so these things may or may not be happening this year)

7. Take a proper day off – when you have a day off from your show, really have a day off. Especially if you are around all month. Get out of town and escape for 24 hours at some stage. It really does help you survive the Fringe and helps reduce stress or potential nervous breakdowns. Recharge the batteries and get your head straight while away from the chaos of the Fringe bubble that we all get trapped in. The Highlands are a short drive away, and there’s plenty of other places in Scotland to see if you have not visited before. If you get no further at least make the effort to get away from the chaos, relax on the Meadows, maybe a walk down the Water of Leith, chill out on Portobello beach, walk across to Crammond (but don’t get cut off by the tide!) – of if feeling energetic get up to the top of Arthur’s seat to really clear the head…

8. Always keep some flyers on you - You always get chatting to people around town about shows, and inevitably your show! Never be without some promotional material, whether it’s to plug your show in shops, cabs or cafes – for people you bump into on the Royal mile or at venues, for industry folk you get introduced to, or as a handy notepad for you to jot names and phone numbers down on when speaking to people.

9. And while you’re at it, remember to bring – Blue Tack for putting up posters. Blue Tack in shops in Edinburgh during August is rarer than hen’s teeth.

10. Pack ready for any weather, and leave your flat ready for anything Edinburgh can throw at you dry spells (occasionally), plenty of grey skies (daily) and rain (a lot), followed by a thick fog that rolls on off of the sea, and then back to sun for a while. It’s not only possible to get all of those types of weather on the same day but often in the same hour. Most venues lack air-con and have terrible ventilation, meaning you can turn up in layers and raincoats, shivering and wet, and within seconds you are hot, sticky, sweaty and sweltering. Basically, pack for any weather and be prepared!

11. Try to have at least one good meal a day – it’s very tolling on your system to live off of take-aways and beer for a month, and many do as it is so busy to actually sit down and cook something better, or contains those funny green things called vegetables that are so rare north of the border. You will feel it by the end of the month if you don’t. If all else fails a Fruit Smoothies, Berrocca and Vitamin pills each day will help to fend of the Scurvy…

Saved the Life of Many Fringe Performer

12. Snack in Style - Edinburgh is awash with good places to grab a bite, be it the legendary baked potato shop just off the Mile, which dishes out portions bigger than your head, or curry emporium Mosque Kitchen which serves the best curry in town from the back of the Mosque (entrances opposite The Counting House and on Potterrow). You can also pick up a variety of street food this year at the Free Sisters, a barbecue at the Pear Tree, grab a pie at the almighty Pie Maker on South Bridge, or try the Hog Roasts at the two Oink shops. Fruit Smoothies and healthy options at Hula Juice bar at the bottom of Victoria Street is also a good tip for something to increase your vitamin intake.

13. Don’t listen to your own advice and ignore suggestions 1-12. See you in Rehab on August 25th….

You can catch the Laughing Horse's Edinburgh Fringe shows at 22 Venues around Edinbrugh from July 31st to August 24th - all of the shows are on www.freefestival.co.uk

 Click Here

July 18, 2014 Get West London
Article about My Sister Says I'm Special
Local girl at Edinburgh
 Click Here

July 17, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Phil Mann: Not Funny Haha
Phill Mann Three Minute Interview

The Phill Mann Three Minute Interview


by Martin Walker on 17th July 2014



Phil Mann is stand-up comedian, actor and writer. As a comic he has performed open-mic, club nights, gong-style competitions and yes, his own hour long shows too. Martin walker catches up with him via email as he prepares his 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show.



It contains some personal information about various spanking parties, or forced rap battles I’ve endured.



“Every show I’ve ever done gives me a weird headache and leaves me feeling tingly. This show is no different. It’s a stand-up show that involves a lot of jumping up and down and my own congenital idiocy. It contains some personal information about various spanking parties, or forced rap battles I’ve endured. And other more oblique sections like where I dance the entire history of art. It also features time travel, weird shouting and a live version of dating app Tinder using a foam stick.”

Why did you choose to perform as part of Laughing Horse?

“The free Fringe is the real Fringe. You’ll find all the actual Fringe acts on it. It stands for and supports those who are making the new up-and-coming work you can’t see on TV or at big arenas. It’s the best option for anyone performing and it’s the best option for anyone coming to see shows, too. My improv show BattleActs has been on the Free Fringe for yonks now, so I feel very at home there. Also horses don’t really laugh so I thought that was ironic.”

How do you describe your comedy to those that might not have seen you before?

“Most of it takes place in mid-air whilst I am horizontal. It’s very silly, fast, and I am a massive idiot. Some people think it’s quite smart, but they are wrong.”

What advice would you give your seventeen year old self?

“There’s no future for you in hardcore thrash metal. And also your lyrics about autumn trees are beautiful but no one in the hardcore thrash metal scene appreciates that. Stop putting so much effort into the dance moves: No one in hardcore thrash metal is willing to learn the dance moves. Yes, that fool’s motley is historically accurate for Elizabethan England but no one in the hardcore thrash metal scene appreciates that. Stop referring to hardcore thrash metal performances at “Occurrences in Angry Sound.” If you want to be successful in hardcore thrash metal you’re going to have to stop drawing on yourself with a pen and get a real tattoo, take off that hat, wipe that stupid grin off your face and buckle down whilst pulling your socks up and vice versa and write some vomit-gargling heavy beatdowns.”

If you were curating a stand up show for television, who would be your guests?

“Ok so the show would be that there’s a mic but it’s in a public toilet on Hampstead Heath and anyone can talk into it and if you’re really entertaining then lots of people will come and listen while you talk.”

Edinburgh Fringe Box Office link: https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/spitfire-free

(Phil has taken over the slot from another company that has dropped out and the EdFringe website haven’t updated the page yet)
Website: www.phil-mann.com

Twitter: @philmann
Facebook: /philmannUK


By Martin Walker BBStandUp

Broadway Baby Stand Up Comedy Editor, Martin Walker, has been a critic and features writer for over 15 years. On joining Broadway Baby in April 2014, he began a series of 'Three Minute' and 'extended interviews' with comedians and popular entertainers. This year he's reviewing Stand-Up shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. He supports Hibs FC and lives with his wife and three year old son.
 Click Here

July 16, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about MommAutism--A Love Story
Jennifer Belander Three Minute Interview
 Click Here

July 16, 2014 chortle
Top of the Puns. Nine of our shows selected by chortle for their Punsational titles
we're obviously very Punny here - with nine of our shows listed in this Chortle top 10 of pun laden show titles (a list which actually contains a gee more than ten shows). Punderful. Click Here

July 16, 2014 Beyond the Joke
Article about Eric Lampaert: Testiculating (waving your arms around talking b*ll*cks)
Bruce Dessau talks to Eric Lampaert
Sometimes small can be, well, if not beautiful, then quite fun. I’ve recently been enjoying presenter Alex Zane’s stand-up show on London Live, Funny Rotten Scoundrels. It’s certainly no Live at the Apollo and it does not really feature household names but that sort of works in its favour. It makes a change from the ubiquitous Widdicombes, Walshes and O’Briains. They are lovely, of course, but they might as well share a cab as they shuttle from 8 out of 10 Cats to Mock the Week to QI. Funny Rotten Scoundrels, filmed at the Century Club, has trawled the circuit and come up with some refreshingly different acts. One of those is Eric Lampaert, who has a likeable oddness about him. A little bit Paul Foot, a tiny bit Noel Fielding. He looks like a wasted Russell Brand and delivers an amiably quirky view of life. The last routine I saw him do was a rap about the strange lump on the back of his head that neanderthal man also had – "I'm a mixed race fossil". Now that’s something you don’t hear every day. - See more at: http://www.beyondthejoke.co.uk/content/907/edinburgh-fringe-preview-eric-lampaert#sthash.022lcLel.dpuf Click Here

July 16, 2014 The list
Article about Twonkey's Private Restaurant
Twonkey get's the Lists annual big fat festival bribes off to an early start
The List's Big Fat Festival Bribe is a time-honoured tradition in which hungry Fringe performers send small tokens of appreciation/promotional merchandise/tat to us in exchange for a brief mention in one of our three free Festival editions (plus online coverage via our Bribe Blog and social media). Gifts in the past have included cakes, pants, towels, toy tractors, toy animals, coasters, more cakes, dog calendars, scarves, List office invasions, more pants, crab paste, a personalised oil painting and pants filled with cake.

Normally, we'd make this announcement ourselves, but Big Fat Festival Bribe veteran Mr Twonkey has fired the starting pistol this year by sending us a fantastic cherub bottle-stopper (pictured above), with the promise of greater gifts in store. His surreal cabaret show, Twonkey's Private Restaurant, is on at Espionage from 31 Jul–24 Aug (not 12 Aug) at 8.45pm, and is absolutely free.

See how easy that was? Mr Twonkey just got free publicity by sending us a glorified cork. Click Here

July 16, 2014 The Guardian
Article about Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?!
Edinburgh Festival - The Unmissable Stand-ups, with Free Festival's Luisa Omelian
The Guardian looks at this year's unmissable stand-ups, including the Free Festival's Luisa Omelian Click Here

July 16, 2014 Diva Magazine
Article about I Am Not Malala
Sadia Azmat talks to Diva Magazine
head of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (1-25 August), we quizzed some of the hottest performers on the bill. First up, Sadia Azmat. Click Here

July 15, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about MargOH! Channing is TIPSY!
Broadway Baby Top 10 Cabaret Shows
MargOH! Channing is Tipsy has been on the Top Ten List for Broadway Baby for 3 weeks now. Fabulous Click Here

July 15, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about MargOH! Channing is TIPSY!
Broadway Baby Interview
Interview with James Harding from Broadway Baby Click Here

July 15, 2014 Open Theatres
Article about Madame Señorita
EDINBURGH/SPAIN: Paula Valluerca puts the passion back in fashion with Madame Señorita
Paula Valluerca is a theatre maker, actress, singer and physical theatre performer based in London, where she completed her studies at the London International School Of Performing Arts (Lecoq-based) with a post-graduate course in Creating Theatre and Performance. She is originally from Vitoria in Spain’s Basque Country. She is currently working at English National Opera as a physical theatre performer for the 2014 production of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. She also has her own company Intuitive Creatures, an international theatre group that has performed at London theatre festivals. Click Here

July 15, 2014 LOL London
Article about Don't tell anyone about Sarah Callaghan
LOL London Interviews Sarah Callaghan
Sarah Callaghan has been tipped by TimeOut as one of the comedy class of 2014 for her fresh, unpretentious take on life as an early-20s Londoner. She’s got one of our favourite jokes about spiders too.

Sarah’s no stranger to the Edinburgh Fringe but this is her first full hour and we’re excited to see what this newcomer can do. Click Here

July 15, 2014 Chortle
Article about Nathan Cassidy: Date of Death
Nathan Cassidy talks about Goals. (They're so hack)
It’s the age-old debate isn’t it? Is the biggest Festival in the world a good thing for comedy or the death of the clubs? With everyone, comedians and audiences focussed on one Festival, the rest of the world seems to stop, the clubs are empty and if you’re not at the Festival you’re no-one. Well I was at the Festival, and I’m someone, someone who will now look back over the Festival and rate the key performers between 1 and 5 stars, then mention someone you may not have heard of, to prove I care about the small man. Click Here

July 15, 2014 Chortle
Our fair share of mad shows...
Our fair share of mad shows... 3 Free Festival shows on this Chortle run down of the more barking shows at the Fringe. (2 Laughing Horse and one Heroes)... Click Here

July 15, 2014 The British Comedy Guide
Article about Carly Smallman: Made in Penge
Judge My Jokes, Not My Looks
My name is Carly. I am a stand-up comic, and I am a size 16-18. I like to eat. I, like most people, have a complicated relationship with the way I look. I was never one of the 'pretty' ones at school. I've always been chubby, wore nerdy specs and have a little moustache that I get waxed when I am feeling rich, or feeling ugly and like "I can totally rock being a shit feminist (fuck it - nobody will ever know)".

I don't turn heads in the street, but sometimes I look pretty bloody lovely. Like most people, however, the way I look bears little relevance to the job I do. I am paid to make people laugh. It's fucking awesome.

I always felt lucky to be in an industry where I thought that as a woman - hell, as a PERSON - it doesn't matter what you look like as long as you can entertain people. As far as I know, it is not within the job description of a comedian to have a perfect face and to be thin. Countless talented comics who we see regularly on our television screens and in the nation's comedy clubs tell us that. Just look at national treasures like Stephen Fry, Sarah Millican, Bill Bailey, Dawn French and countless others - all hilarious, all inspirational, and all have, in my opinion, 'normal' faces and bodies.

I like to think of comedy as a meritocracy. Regardless of your gender, race, age, sexuality, physical or mental health, it's your talent and hard work that leads to success, and the support of the general public. Yep... that's how I LIKE to think of this industry. Recently I was proved wrong.

This year I made a television show called Viral Tap for ITV2. It was met with a mixed reception and, regardless of your opinion of its quality, I think I did a decent job considering I was writing for an audience who are not normally the audience I play to. I had to tailor my jokes to meet a specific brief given to me by producers and commissioners. At times it was a tough thing to do whilst maintaining my integrity and remaining true to myself, but I did the best I could and, on a professional level, I was happy with my performance.

Viral Tap. Image shows from L to R: Matt Richardson, Caroline Flack, Carly Smallman. Image credit: Yalli Productions.Why then, have I spent the last 4 months trying to rebuild my confidence so that I can go out of the house without trying on multiple outfits and fretting about it tirelessly? Why have I spent countless nights crying and occasionally panicking about having sex with a boyfriend who loves me, because I irrationally fear he is going to be disgusted by me?

It all started on the night the first show aired. Within seconds my phone was buzzing like crazy - I was being inundated with Twitter notifications. The worry I had felt about my performance on the show was pointless, it turned out. Nobody was commenting on that. All of the tweets I was receiving (all directly mentioning me using the @ sign) were about the way I look. Here are just a few of them:

@carlysmallman you would be pretty if it werent for your deformed mouth and tongue. I cannot bear to look at you

@itv get Miss Piggy aka @carlysmallman off the air

@carlysmallman ur so fat ur arms are bigger than vin diesels

@carlysmallman you are a fat whale I wish I could come into the studio and shoot you and the rest of those cunts

Shocked? So was I. Especially when I searched for the names of the male comics on the show and, while there were still some very nasty and offensive messages directed at them, as far as I could see any abuse they received was related directly to their performance and jokes. All of the abuse sent my way was about the way I look.

Carly Smallman. Now, I'm not saying that a lot of the British public are sexist (although some really are), but what I will say is that Twitter has given a lot of angry people a platform to directly contact anybody at all with some very hateful and hurtful comments.

I reported some of the more offensive and threatening tweets to Twitter. They did nothing. The offenders were not violating Twitter's terms and conditions.

I am sad to say that female comics have to prove more than the fact that they are funny. They have to prove that they are funny whilst additionally being judged by some on the way that they look.

Sadly, some members of the general public - those we work so hard to entertain, week-in, week-out - cannot accept seeing a normal looking woman on their screens or on stage (as a stag group this weekend proved when I was shouted at for being "fat and ugly" before I'd even opened my mouth).

Not all comedy is going to be enjoyed by all people. I'm sure many out there think I'm completely unfunny. If you have an opinion on the jokes I make or what I have to say, that is totally your right as an audience member. But making comments personal? About the only face and only body a comedian has? That should always be unacceptable.

It has taken me a while to regain my confidence, but I now feel more empowered and defiant than ever toward those who judged me. I try to remember that a lot of these people are probably depressed or lonely, and that I have done a great thing by taking a gamble on making a career out of what I love most. That's why I have written my new show Made In Penge - to speak out about online abuse and draw attention to the fact we still have a long way to go to reach true gender equality ... and it has jokes. Loads of jokes.

Do I have to be slim to be funny? Fuck no. Click Here

July 15, 2014 Time Out
Article about Ant Dewson and Mark Silcox: Life in the Bus Lane
One to Watch - Mark Silcox
Read Time Out's comedy profile of Mark Silcox and see him at the Free Festival Click Here

July 14, 2014 Buxton Fringe
Article about Nathan Cassidy: Date of Death
Buxton Fringe Review
I loved this show.

So what’s in it? Well getting a date of death obviously, but you have to wait a while for that. Before that there’s that Phil Collins, not the actual one, but you hear snippets of songs and learn of his role in the low point of Nathan’s life. There are other comedians too . . . are they better or is it that they just sell more tickets? No bitterness there then. There’s more of course, and it is all woven together into a great evening’s entertainment.

From the contrived opening to its sentimental closing this show is full of ideas, wit and work. Nathan has clearly put a lot of time and effort into this and it shows. His timing is spot-on, and has enough confidence in his work to go with some improv en-route – especially if you’ve been to see an improv show just before seeing him.

Destined for that other Fringe, there is one more chance to catch Nathan (13th) and this is the best thing I’ve seen at this year’s Fringe. There’s also the offer of £5 to members of the audience at the end of the show. What’s not to like?

Did I say I loved this show? Click Here

July 14, 2014 Chortle
Article about Matt Price : The Maryhill Dinosaur
Matt Price talks Storytelling on Chortle
I've been a fan of storytelling for many years. And by that I don't mean storytelling as an excuse for not being a good stand-up. Or storytelling because you only have ten minutes of material at best and feel that by adopting a more earnest tone and a theme that you can get away with doing an hour. Or indeed men with big beards and baritone voices reciting fables. I mean telling a story, with peaks and troughs and with a beginning middle and end. Something that is well constructed, draws people in and makes them laugh. Actually, the pay-offs can be numerous. I love a narrative and I love comedy so I've always felt, well why not combine the two? Click Here

July 11, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Over It - Death, Anorexia & Other Funny Things
Robyn Perkins - Three Minute Interview
 Click Here

July 11, 2014 Nerdalicious
Article about Death Shall Have No Dominion
What Remains of Richard?
 Click Here

July 11, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about My Sister Says I'm Special
Broadway Bay Interview
 Click Here

July 10, 2014 Fringe Review
Article about MargOH! Channing is TIPSY!
Fringe Review Top 20 Cabaret Show's to see
MargOH! Channing is Tipsy made the Fringe Review Top 20 Cabaret shows to see. Fantastic! Click Here

July 10, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Twonkey's Private Restaurant
It’s a little Dadaist café
This year, Paul Vickers returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with his cabaret creation, Mr Twonkey, in Twonkey’s Private Restaurant. In a piece that contains no spoilers, Martin Walker talks to Paul about making people laugh.

“It’s like that little Dadaist café in that sleepy little street in Switzerland where the revolution started.

“It’s my most accomplished work to date it. I feel I am finding my voice and not just my singing voice I mean my actually inner voice witch as you can image is absolutely terrifying for me.

“It’s essentially me running my own restaurant with a bunch of stragglers’ from the back of beyond. Will I go out of business? What’s on the menu? Who’s dining tonight? Those kind of questions get answered, sort of, through absurdist song and story. It’s a patchwork table cloth interwoven with some real laughing frog moments.”
“It’s like that little Dadaist café in that sleepy little street in Switzerland where the revolution started.”

How do you describe your act to people who haven’t seen you before?
“No different to the way I would describe it to people who had seen it before. In fact it’s a new show so only a small hand-full have seen it. I hold no prejudice to Twonkey virgins I would treat them with the same sprit. I like to be a little misleading and mystifying so that people are surprised or horrified when they turn up for the show.

“The whole key to good entertainment is surprise never give away too much its damaging. So I would say it’s a one-hour pow-wow of song, dance, fairytales and black magic.”
You use a lot of props. Do your ideas come from the prop, or do you find a prop to fit your idea?

“The idea usually comes first, but now weight can play a part. I use a bag, it is about four and a half foot by two made from durable polyester with a zip pocket and a telescopic handle. This year has been all about keeping it light. It can be difficult if I go for a drink after the show with a bag that size, people just don’t want be around you you're an inconvenience and an eyesore.
“So this year when I have an idea that needs a prop I think I’ve got 110 litres to play with tops. For example I have funny routine with a heavy silver kettle has been cut from the show. After all I’m not a department store.”

Why did you choose to be a cabaret performer and how did you get started?
“I was told to do it by close personal friend they said: what have you got to lose you can sing like sugar and know how to turn it on.”

If you were curating a comedy show for television, who would be your guests?
“Jeff innocent, Lewis Schaffer, Myra Dubois, Chewbacca and Kristen Schaal.

Broadway Baby Listing and Edinburgh Fringe Box Office: http://www.broadwaybaby.com/shows/twonkeys-private-restaurant-free/700540
Website:http://twonkey.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter:https://twitter.com/twonkeys
Podcast:https://soundcloud.com/paul-vickers

YouTube Clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogPdiwxhLT0

By Martin Walker BBStandUp

Broadway Baby Stand Up Comedy Editor, Martin Walker, has been a critic and features writer for over 15 years. On joining Broadway Baby in April 2014, he began a series of 'Three Minute' and 'extended interviews' with comedians and popular entertainers. This year he's reviewing Stand-Up shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. He supports Hibs FC and lives with his wife and three year old son.
 Click Here

July 10, 2014 comedyblogedy.com
Article about The Crossroads
Exclusive Video for Comedyblogedy
 Click Here

July 9, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Over It - Death, Anorexia & Other Funny Things
Dave Chawner - Broadway Baby Interview
 Click Here

July 9, 2014 Chortle
Matt Price speaks to Chortle
 Click Here

July 9, 2014 John Ashdown-Hill
Article about Death Shall Have No Dominion
t What Remains of Richard? at Edinburgh Fringe
 Click Here

July 9, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Perfectly Goddamned Delightful
Interview with Dan
This Edinburgh Festival Fringe why not watch two men as they try to recapture their long lost youthful idealism by mocking their own lives and the lives of others. Martin Walker meets one of the two, stand-up comedian, Dan Fardell.

“The show is called Perfectly Goddamned Delightful, it's myself and my friend Pete Strong doing our first shared hour of comedy! Pete's style is angry pessimistic diatribes punctuated with sharp comic poetry, and I'm more of a self-deprecating gag-merchant. Pete hates the world and I don't realise the world hates me.”

Why did you choose to perform as part of Laughing Horse?
“We performed with them at the Brighton Fringe and had a great time. And when some late cancellations came up we leapt on them and were fortunate enough to be awarded a nice one. Laughing Horse has a lot of great venues at Edinburgh and The Newsroom is certainly one.”

Why did you get into performing comedy and how did you get started?
“I was always obsessed with comedy, but poor health kept me out of most aspects of life for a long time, killing most of my self-belief in the process. However as my health improved one friend in particular kept hassling me to give it a try, to my increasing, despair-fuelled irritation. One day his Facebook status read ‘Just done my first stand-up gig’. He had gone out and done an open-mic night just to goad me into it. It worked. Within a month I'd done my first gig and haven't looked back.”

Tell us your best, worst experiences as a comedian.
“Best experience is either my first gig, the local new-act night I recently compered where both Seann Walsh and Joe Wilkinson showed up to do new stuff. Or the debut show of Perfectly Goddamned Delightful at the Brighton Fringe.

“Worst experience is probably doing the Up The Creek competition last year the night after a great gig at the Komedia in Brighton, and just getting virtually nothing out of the crowd, being in fact the first act of the evening where the compere James Redmond had to warm the crowd up again before letting the next act on. It's just embarrassing when it happens.”
If you were curating a stand up show for television, who would be your guests?

“Peter Cook, Woody Allen, Garry Shandling, Bill Hicks, Joan Rivers, Louis CK, Sarah Silverman, Norm MacDonald, Jerry Seinfeld and Harry Hill. It'd be a long show with a large budget, not least the cost of contacting the afterlife.” Click Here

July 9, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Alpha Fail
Three Minute Interview with Alpha Fail's Cormac Friel
 Click Here

July 8, 2014 Giggle Beats
Article about Outrageous, Courageous, Highly Contagious: Israeli Style Improv
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: our improv picks
There’s over 70 improv shows to choose from at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe; here’s our selection of five shows for lovers of spontaneous fun:

The free show choice is Lamabati, a six strong troupe of guys from Tel Aviv. Expert in both short and long form Improv, they’ve been gigging to appreciative audiences around Europe for more years than they care to remember.

Expect plenty of references to their homeland, sit back and enjoy the fun as the Middle East meets the East of Scotland. Click Here

July 7, 2014 FRANKIES FRINGE FOCUS & LAUGH OUT LONDON
Article about Hatty Ashdown : Hurry Up Hatty
various - podcasts & interviews
see here for a podcast about my show 'possibly of interest ' by producer Howard http://possiblyofinterest.tumblr.com/post/92040387063/ep17-hattyashdown

Interview for laugh out london - http://laughoutlondon.co.uk/2014/06/20/edinburgh-fringe-2014-interview-hatty-ashdown/

my podcasts for laugh out london - http://laughoutlondon.co.uk/2014/07/14/hatty-ashdown-to-present-edinburgh-fringe-podcasts/
 Click Here

July 7, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about White Man's Burden
The Inder Manocha Three Minute Interview
Not sure what colour you are? Think you might be a latent racist? Relax. Cultural identity, political correctness and causing offence are given an original and hilarious spin by the award-winning comedian Inder Manocha in his Edinburgh Festival Fringe show.


“The show is called White Man’s Burden. It’s about expectations around my cultural identity, political correctness and causing offence. Who decides what is racist? That kind of thing.”


Why did you choose to perform as part of Laughing Horse?

“Obviously the costs are lower than a big, commercial venue and Laughing Horse are easy to work with. I particularly wanted a club-feel to the room. You get that with them.”


Why did you get into performing comedy and how did you get started?

“By accident. Someone suggested I have a go. I had left my previous job and didn’t really know what to do.”


Tell us your best and worst experiences as a comedian.

“My first gig was a disaster. I was heckled after ten seconds. I was so disorientated coming off stage I walked into the sound room and stayed there confused. My best experience was probably reaching the final of a competition after my second gig. It was a strange turn around.”

If you were curating a stand up show for television, who would be your guests?

“Dylan Moran and Sue Barker.”

Broadway Baby Listing and Edinburgh Fringe Box Office: http://www.broadwaybaby.com/shows/white-mans-burden/702437

YouTube Clip: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVO1dvXcUCs Click Here

July 3, 2014 Female Arts
Article about La Niña Barro
Interview with Flavia D'Avila
 Click Here

July 3, 2014 BroadwayBaby
Article about Madame Señorita
The Paula Valluerca Three Minute Interview
´My first contact with the comedy world happened when I suddenly realised that whenever I thought I was being tremendously serious and dramatic, people found me funny´ Click Here

July 2, 2014 
Article about The Silence of Snow: The Life of Patrick Hamilton
Silence of Snow confirms London transfer
"The Silence of Snow: The Life of Patrick Hamilton" will transfer to London straight after this year's Festival. Performing at the Old Red Lion Theatre from 25th September 2014.

July 2, 2014 The Public Reviews
Article about BattleActs Improvised Comedy
EdFringe Preview 2014: BattleActs

EDINBURGH FRINGE PREVIEW: Battle Acts



BattleActs! is an award-winning, late-night comedy show that has built a reputation for outstanding improv around the UK. We had a chance to catch up with the guys and ask a few questions before this year’s Fringe.

You are Fringe veterans, what has been your experience in the past?
The best of times; great reviews, great audiences, tomfoolery and the worst of times; being stage-invaded by men dressed as bananas, a national newspaper once described my naked body as the lowlight of the entire Fringe.

What made you decide to bring a show this year?
We can’t keep away. We have a load of return audience that we only see when we’re in Edinburgh and we miss them.

Can you tell us about the show?
It’s a no-holds-barred laugh riot where two teams of comedians are pitched against each other to compete for the audience’s affection, with a terrifying voting system and a series of increasingly difficult comedy tasks.

What do you think sets your show apart from all the other Fringe offerings?
It’s a battle of the wits in the literal sense; there aren’t many genuinely competitive events at the Fringe, and we do it with comedy. That and we spend most of the show horizontal and in mid-air.

What’s the show that you don’t want to miss at this year’s festival?
A Young Man Dressed as a Gorilla Dressed as an Old Man Sits Rocking in a Rocking Chair for 56 Minutes and Then Leaves… 6 - one performance only, it’s unmissable!

What one piece of advice would you give to Fringe newcomers?
Performers: Work! It’s the most fun job there is but you gotta treat it like a job; a stupid, hilarious, heart-breaking, idiotic job, but a job nonetheless.
Audience: Don’t stop seeing things. Get up and see a show at 9:00am, keep seeing things until 1:00am. Don’t sleep.

BattleActs! will be at Maggie’s Chamber @The Free Sisters @22:00 as part of the Laughing Horse Free Fringe Click Here

June 30, 2014 ITV
Article about Over It - Death, Anorexia & Other Funny Things
ITV Fixers
 Click Here

June 30, 2014 Chortle
Article about Andy Field is a Giddy Man Child
Why am I doing a Free Fringe show? Because I Can
Andy Field writes about taking his show to the Fringe on Chortle Click Here

June 29, 2014 Yorkvision
Article about Hurt & Anderson: Bringing Sketchy Back
Interview: Hurt and Anderson
Interview with Hurt and Anderson about Bringing Sketchy Back, Comedy inspirations and the Free Fringe Click Here

June 26, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about How not to pedal an ocean
Broadway Baby Three Minute Interview
 Click Here

June 26, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Wild Card Kitty: The Showgirl Show
The 3 minute interview: Wild Card Kitty
Wild Card Kitty presents a showcase exploring the glamorous world of being a showgirl in show business. Mixing deadpan humour, character comedy and cabaret seamlessly, she makes the sexy look funny... (please click link for full article and interview!) Click Here

June 26, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Infinitely More Deluded
The Victor Pope Three Minute Interview
“My best experience is probably at the free fringe in 2010 when my mum came to see my show. After refusing to take me seriously as any kind of performer for most of my life, thinking me far more suitable to the family trade of systems analyst, she turned to me and said – ‘Actually, Steven – which is my real name - you're quite good at this`." Click Here

June 26, 2014 
Article about Free fall
Interview :)
 Click Here

June 24, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Matt Price : The Maryhill Dinosaur
3 minute interview
 Click Here

June 21, 2014 John Fleming's increasingly prestigious blog
Article about Matt Price : The Maryhill Dinosaur
John Fleming blog
 Click Here

June 20, 2014 
Article about Ray Fordyce's Brunchtime Banter (Part 2)
Broadway Baby 3 Minute Interview
A quick 3 minute email interview for Broadwaybaby.com Click Here

June 15, 2014 Tweet of Malgosia Skawinski friend of Bacon
Article about Pope Head [The Secret Life of Francis Bacon] by Garry Roost, Directed by Paul Garnault, Music: Matthew Williams & Eddie Gray
Magnificent
malgosia skawinski ‏@solamiga

Today the magnificent @garryroost owned us in his "Pope Head" one man show. Fantastic.

Reply
Retweeted
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June 14, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Carly Smallman: Made in Penge
The Carly Smallman Three Minute Interview
Carly Smallman has sung her funny songs at some fabulous venues. From comedy clubs, to arts centres, to the Hammersmith Apollo to her living room... Martin Walker asks about her ITV2 show and latest offering for the Edinburgh Fringe.

Talent is talent regardless of willies or foofs or indeed anything else.
“This year I will be performing my show Made in Penge. After my debut last year I realised that everyone - the venues, promoters, PR people - was making money apart from the performers, and so this year I am performing as part of the free festival above a pub.

“My show isn't completely written yet but I'm very excited about it, as it has the potential to be a great fun hour about how achieving your dream isn’t always as great as you imagine it will be.”

Tell us about your TV show, Viral Tap.
“Viral Tap is the ITV2 show that I've been shooting this year alongside Caroline Flack and Matt Richardson. People send in their clips and our panel chat about them. It's great fun to make and has been an incredible learning curve both professionally and personally.

“Along with success can come some pretty horrendous backlash - I've been relentlessly abused on twitter about my weight and the way I look since the show first aired, and that ugly side of celebrity culture - even though I'm not remotely a celebrity - is something I hope to explore in my show this year. As Sarah Millican wrote in an incredible article earlier this year - we are comedians! We are paid to be funny and that's it. The rest is just fluff.”
You're a stand up, musician, actor and presenter - but what’s your first love?

“Stand up for sure! It's such an honest art form and the beauty of it is that you can talk about whatever you like, in whatever way you like without censorship. I think we need more of that in the world - a bit of straight talking. Plus, and more importantly, it's fun!”
Do you have a view on the BBC axing BBC3 and were they right to announce that they'll be no more all male panel shows?

“I think that the BBC have made a complete boo boo by axing BBC3 at a time when the comedy scene is this vibrant and exiting. No amount of online content will reach as many viewers as a television show.
“As far as whole 'women on panel shows' thing goes the BBC can do what they like. Talent is talent regardless of willies or foofs or indeed anything else.”

Who would be the guests on Cary Smallman's Comedy Roadshow?
“Oh gosh so many! Tony Law, James Mullinger, Rachel Parris, Matt Richardson, Queen Mo'Nique, Sarah Millican, John Kearns... is this list allowed to be endless? There are so many awesome people doing amazing things out there it's hard to choose!” Click Here

June 11, 2014  Playboys with Hunchbacks.
Review of Twonkey's Private Restaurant
Another home run
‘A chariot made from garlic bread, will disappoint in years ahead’
He’s done it again folks. Paul’s latest show, Twonkey’s Private Restaurant, is another home run. You might think we would say that, but it’s just plum true. Nor did it come as a major surprise. Parts of the show have been previewed at one-off gigs, on youtube or Soundcloud, and the Paul & Pierre album. If a skit had been road-tested, we’d have seen it. We’re here, we’re there, we’re everyfuckingwhere, we’re Team: Playboys With Hunchbacks!
And full marks to Brighton for providing this classic cabaret with a Full House on opening night! If you’ve seen Twonkey before, you’ll know what to expect. If you loved it then, you’ll love it now. If you weren’t sure then, you’re just a show or two away from what is known to Fringe hipsters as a ‘Twonkey Epiphany’. Expect a busload of good reviews come August, although Three Weeks probably still won’t get it. ‘Three Weeks’, incidentally, is a reference to the length of the Fringe Festival, which is always closer to four weeks, and shows what clueless arseholes they actually are.
Every year Paul (& Friends!) somehow manages to come up with another bunch of great new tunes. The previously previewed Pissed As A Postman and Mother Shipton are both showstoppers. And they’re joined by a couple of new ballads and a few more Paul & Pierre tracks, all of his usual high quality. The ships wheel is back, with a whole new set of sexual predictions, just as funny as previous years (even if nothing can top the snail in Great Yarmouth). Other great additions are a (fictional) account of a youtube parody of a new track, and a song which is given a huge build up only to consist of just two barely-sung sentences. And it all ends with a new version of 2011′s Hot Beryl! We even learn of a Hawaiian Beryl: half beer, half gin with a pineapple chucked in.
There’s also evidence that as Paul approached part #5 in his Twonkey Pentalogy, he had a look at other #5s just to see if/where they went wrong. He may have watched Prometheus (Alien #5) and its DVD extras. How so? Well the film revisits props from the original Alien known as ‘Space Jockeys’. Mr. Twonkey has used that description literally as the origin story for puppet Chris Hutchinson. Prometheus (so bad it was almost good) was also the first sci-fi from Ridley Scott since Blade Runner, the film which gave Paul’s band Dawn of the Replicants their name.
Twonkey herself gets no mention in the show whatsoever now. Having said that, Private Restaurant is probably more consistent to its own theme than Twonkey’s ever been before. Food and hunger are never far from a sketch or a song. Mother Shipton, a real life fortune teller, got no introduction before she was discussed. Maybe Brighton are a more knowledgable audience and would have known all about her. The show lasted a mammoth 55 minutes, so is likely to see a few snips before the Edinburgh Festival. We’re glad it’s not up to us what bits to drop as there were no saggy sequences whatsoever.
We hope Paul has enjoyed his Brighton Fringe Private Restaurant debut. He has delivered another classic hour of cabaret and you should be counting the days till it’s next performed at the Edinburgh Fringe. We are! The new songs are wonderful, most of it is funny, and much of it is priceless.
Hell, we even left the show with wood! Which is quite an achievement at our age. This may have something to do with the new Twonkey album ‘Giddy World‘. An album review will be the next bus at this stop. We’ll leave you for now with this teaser pic: Click Here

June 10, 2014 The Edinburgh Reporter
Article about BattleActs Improvised Comedy
Edinburgh Festival Fringe – BattleActs
BattleActs will return for their 5th consecutive Edinburgh Fringe at the Laughing Horse Free Festival. Having built a reputation for outstanding improv, awards, rave reviews and a hardcore cult following around the UK BattleActs are bringing their award-winning, multi-five-star late-night comedy party to the Laughing Horse for free.

The show sees two teams of fearless improvisers pitched against each other by a ball-busting compere. Each team attempts to prove their worth and battle it out for the ultimate prize: the audience’s respect!

Facing a terrifying voting system, a high-octane mix of seemingly impossible challenges and incredible physicality the teams battle against invisible giants, improvised Shakespeare and the limits of physical pain. No two shows are the same, with forfeits, (which can see you dancing on live mouse traps) and themed nights to keep everyone on their toes!

BattleActs were awarded the StageWon Editor’s Award in 2012, were recommended by the Independent on Sunday as part of their weekly “Top 10 Comedy Acts in the UK,” TimeOut Critic’s Choice and Spiked Online claimed BattleActs were 2013’s “Best Free Show”

BattleActs have previously performed at the Comedy Store, London Zoo, the Camden Roundhouse. They recently performed at the Vault Festival in London’s Waterloo – selling out the entire run of 500 tickets before their opening night.

BattleActs: 22:00 (Duration: 60 mins), 2nd – 24th August (not Mondays) 
Laughing Horse Maggie’s Chamber @ The Free Sisters, Cowgate. Click Here

June 8, 2014 
Article about Absolutely
Absolutely - Flaming Locomotive
 Click Here

June 5, 2014 Perth Theatre Review
Article about Absolutely
Absolutely - Flaming Locomotive
What makes a person decide to become a performer? What are the influences that shape that performer? How does an introvert become a clown in the world famous Cirque du Soleil? Find out More: Click Here

June 3, 2014 Free Festival News
WELCOME TO THE 2014 PROGRAMME
We have now launched our new site, and our new programme for August 2014 - have a look around! Click Here

May 22, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Feminism for Chaps
Broadway Baby preview review
Watts’ comedy isn’t racy, but, like the comedian itself, a bit fluffy with well-intended, well-reasoned polite outrage. He’s just the chap for the Guardian-quoting, bag-for-life toting, kale and quinoa-eating, close-the-pay-gap-campaigning sort. If you named your child Shulamith or Luce, you’ll find a lot to like here. Click Here

May 20, 2014 Chortle
Article about Perfectly Goddamned Delightful
Perfectly Goddam Delightful with Dan Fardell and Pete StrongBrighton Fringe review by Steve Bennett
Even on its first public airing, this is a robust hour of material from Dan Fardell (pictured) and Pete Strong – a confident, gag-packed show that delivers solid laughs. Both acts, admittedly, have some way to go before they dazzle with brilliance, but they prove themselves a safe quartet of hands, with some moments of real flair.

Initially, it appears as if poet Strong has cloned the spirit of Tim Key as he languidly takes to the stage to an atmospheric backing track, downs an heroic quantity of booze, then takes an age deliberately fiddling with the microphone until he produces his notebook of verse.

This, though, is an aberration, and he soon establishes himself as his own man. A depressed, misanthropic man who sees no speck of hope in the blackness of human misery, admittedly, but his own man nonetheless. And thankfully he’s channelled that bleakly nihilistic attitude in to cathartically funny material.

The poems, as it transpires, are something of a minority factor in a set in which he muses entertainingly on the futility of existence. The attitude is well-judged, walking a fine emotional line with an assured step that ensures the laughs from the right places, even if the writing needs some polish.

A deliberately repetitive segment about life being a lake of shit doesn’t have the payoff the audience’s investment demands, typical of a performance that can dwell too much on the downsides before the tension-relieving gag. And the joke about ‘how come Tony Benn died and Katie Hopkins lives?’ is a clumsy reworking of Bill Hicks’s take on musicians.

But Strong largely knows his own voice, and once the bumps are ironed out should deliver a consistent and distinctive 20 minutes.

Fardell, too, finds humour in his depressed state: poor, single and plagued by wretched thoughts – it’s clear the Perfectly Goddam Delightful show title is darkly ironic. Though i there’s actually a chipper edge to Fardell’s manner that these circumstances wouldn’t immediately suggest. Perhaps that’s because, as he later admits, he no longer lives quite the lonely, aimless existence in a miniscule bedsit that he first claims.

But so what if this winningly self-deprecating comic is not a stickler for narrative consistency. The joke clearly rules his work, and he fair packs them in, writing with the efficiency of the slickest American comic to ensure that every morsel revealed about himself is the kernel for a tight one-liner. So even if the quality is variable, the audience is never far from some sort of a laugh – and, as it happens, never all that far from a big one, either.

For there is some inventive writing on display here, from an obvious craftsman who chisels every idea into the best shape it can be. It’s refreshing to see a relative newcomer display such diligence, setting him a step above those with rambling sets that seem more like simply talking out loud than showcases for sharp ideas. Fardell is definitely on the right course for better things both in comedy and, from the basis of what he tells us, his life. Click Here

May 17, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Nathan Cassidy: Date of Death
Nathan Cassidy 3 minute interview
 Click Here

May 17, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about The Rat Pack stand-up comedy
The Nathan Cassidy 3-minute interview
 Click Here

May 13, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Twonkey's Private Restaurant
This show is mind-boggling from start to finish.
This show is mind-boggling from start to finish. Mr Twonkey (AKA Paul Vickers) dressed up, messed up and fessed up to looking a bit homeless. It was a dialectic of the believably unbelievable. During the first song, a hot-air-balloon containing ‘Sophie the Aeronaut’ was swung from a stick and Mr Twonkey’s mic cable propelled props off the table. We glanced sideways and raised our collective eyebrows.

Even if you don’t enjoy the the music, you certainly won’t be able to help yourself sharing Mr Twonkey’s enjoyment.
The atmosphere changed from nervous to pure confusion and on to an acceptance of the crazy and quirky antics of the Private Restaurant. The hodge-podge of props, costumes, and strange songs played on Mr Twonkey’s mp3 player felt like the stuff of a primary-school kids party. Any stiff upper lips were determinedly creased into smiles as the nonsensical performance unfolded. Hanratty, the disgusting, balding cat/hyena/racoon, was full of surprises. He talked, sang (sometimes in Spanish), made squelching noises, and generally made his views known whether or not Mr Twonkey got the microphone to his whiskery mouth in time. Mr Twonkey’s other two side-kicks, a lion-jockey who bore an uncanny resemblance to him and a green… thing… with legs, chatted and flirted. If anything, they were a tad more conventional than Hanratty and Mr Twonkey .

From the song Ooooh Trifle, which consisted mainly of those two words, to the more lyrical Hot Beryl; Half Beer, Half Gin, the music was absurd to say the least. Anyone with sensitive ears or perfect pitch be warned. Even if you don’t enjoy the the music, you certainly won’t be able to help yourself sharing Mr Twonkey’s enjoyment. He closed his eyes and danced like a stag at a karaoke club. If you’re lucky, you might get to clutch a pair of Primark knickers or get intimate with a plastic pumpkin. Anything’s possible…
 Click Here

May 13, 2014 The Burton Mail
Article about Over It - Death, Anorexia & Other Funny Things
Award Won For Stand Up Show
News Story Click Here

May 12, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of Playback Impro
Playback Impro
Brighton review:Playback Impro


by Johanna Makelainen on 12th May 2014
Five actors in their pyjamas create a show from audience anecdotes, bringing them to life with their expressions, postures and words. The idea of playback impro is simple: audience members tell stories and which the actors reflect back to them in a particular style. A tale of a drunken sailor made it seem like an easy task. But how do you become an angry wasp? You grab a stool, place it on your forehead and start chasing the target with it of course. The performance was spontaneous, ingenious and thoroughly entertaining.
One hour was way too short for this treat.
The cast proved to be solid professionals. The five strong London-based group were Julia Munrow, Kelda Holmes, Chloe Conquest, Nathan Allenby and Roderich Millan – a good mix of experience and playful enthusiasm. If I had to pick a favourite, it was young Chloe. The performance of the night goes to Kelda for her hilarious drunken Irish women, but there are no weak links. It’s evident from the quality of the performance that group have been working together for over a year.
Different formations and styles kept it interesting and soon we got used to the impro lingo: ‘short form’ is a brief moment in life, ‘free form’ means the actors decide the style and so on. We had normal chorus, diamond chorus, split chorus, pairs, and what not, with styles ranging from horror to opera. I still feel out of breath just thinking about it. Wearing identical pyjamas was a stroke of genius. It acted as an ice-breaker, dissolved gender and age, and guided the audience to the world of bedtime stories.
The show ended in an amazing medley, which formed an absurd yet intriguingly coherent narrative.
We were fortunate to have a selection of really funny stories from the audience - a 21st birthday party where a guy dressed as a caterpillar decides to drink a bottle of expensive perfume. Or a girl who cuts off her great grandmother’s plait with scissors and places the hair on her doll. The loose theme seemed to circle around childhood misdemeanours. The show ended in an amazing medley, which formed an absurd yet intriguingly coherent narrative.
Those audience members who don’t like to be involved can rest easy as well. There is no hackling or pressure to perform. But most were more than happy to see their memory played back to them. This was one of the few shows at the Brighton Fringe that I really didn’t want to end. One hour was way too short for this treat. There are still two more chances to catch the show at the Quadrant. It’s free and the afternoon matinee time means that kids can go too. So what are you waiting for? It doesn’t get any better than this.
________________________________________

By Johanna Makelainen JojoMakelainen
Johanna Makelainen is a Copywriter from Finland, the land of weird and wonderful cultural oddities. Her interests range from metal to multimedia art, Bukowski to burlesque and sideshows to Shakespeare.
 Click Here

May 12, 2014 Broadway Baby
Article about Playback Impro
Playback Impro
Playback Impro
Playback+Impro
by Johanna Makelainen on 12th May 2014

Five actors in their pyjamas create a show from audience anecdotes, bringing them to life with their expressions, postures and words. The idea of playback impro is simple: audience members tell stories and which the actors reflect back to them in a particular style. Production company A Drunken Sailor made it seem like an easy task. But how do you become an angry wasp? You grab a stool, place it on your forehead and start chasing the target with it of course. The performance was spontaneous, ingenious and thoroughly entertaining.

One hour was way too short for this treat.

The cast proved to be solid professionals. The five strong London-based group were Julia Munrow, Kelda Holmes, Chloe Conquest, Nathan Allenby and Roderich Millan – a good mix of experience and playful enthusiasm. If I had to pick a favourite, it was young Chloe. The performance of the night goes to Kelda for her hilarious drunken Irish women, but there are no weak links. It’s evident from the quality of the performance that group have been working together for over a year.

Different formations and styles kept it interesting and soon we got used to the impro lingo: ‘short form’ is a brief moment in life, ‘free form’ means the actors decide the style and so on. We had normal chorus, diamond chorus, split chorus, pairs, and what not, with styles ranging from horror to opera. I still feel out of breath just thinking about it. Wearing identical pyjamas was a stroke of genius. It acted as an ice-breaker, dissolved gender and age, and guided the audience to the world of bedtime stories.

The show ended in an amazing medley, which formed an absurd yet intriguingly coherent narrative.

We were fortunate to have a selection of really funny stories from the audience - a 21st birthday party where a guy dressed as a caterpillar decides to drink a bottle of expensive perfume. Or a girl who cuts off her great grandmother’s plait with scissors and places the hair on her doll. The loose theme seemed to circle around childhood misdemeanours. The show ended in an amazing medley, which formed an absurd yet intriguingly coherent narrative.

Those audience members who don’t like to be involved can rest easy as well. There is no hackling or pressure to perform. But most were more than happy to see their memory played back to them. This was one of the few shows at the Brighton Fringe that I really didn’t want to end. One hour was way too short for this treat. There are still two more chances to catch the show at the Quadrant. It’s free and the afternoon matinee time means that kids can go too. So what are you waiting for? It doesn’t get any better than this.
By Johanna Makelainen JojoMakelainen

Johanna Makelainen is a Copywriter from Finland, the land of weird and wonderful cultural oddities. Her interests range from metal to multimedia art, Bukowski to burlesque and sideshows to Shakespeare.

Playback can be funny, sad, silly, moving, amazing... and always about you. 'Playback Impro' plays back moments and stories taken from the audience on the spot. Come and tell a story or moment from your life and actors will play it back... or sit back and let others tell theirs. Interactive if you want it to be but no compulsion to join in. Totally spontaneous live theatre with the audience as the star.
Call Sheet
 Click Here

May 12, 2014  Fringe Guru
Review of Is He A Bit Simon Jay?
Fringe Guru
Who exactly is Simon Jay? It’s surprisingly hard to say. The real Simon Jay is both a very capable actor and an enormously likeable young man, judging by the ten minutes he spent chatting with early arrivals before his solo play began. But there’s also a fictional Simon Jay, who recently passed away at the age of 90, after a life marred by tragedy and shared with few friends. If you’re confused, I can’t say I blame you – but hang in there, because it makes a kind of sense by the end.

But you’ll need to pay attention, because this is a script full of layered riddles and subtly-linked narratives. The story’s told backwards, starting with the fictional Jay’s post-mortem, and a series of questions posed in his later life are addressed once we learn about his earlier years. Many of the answers are the type you’d never have guessed, but feel you somehow knew all along. Written by Jay himself in partnership with Scott Payne, the monologue is admirably subtle, constantly surprising – and really rather clever.

It’s so clever, in fact, that I wish it had taken itself just a little bit more seriously. There’s an offbeat surrealism to much of the plot which – for me at least – proved an occasional distraction from what could have been a very human tale. The recurring theme of sewage also didn’t quite do it for me, although it must be said that it’s far from the most egregious example of toilet humour you’ll find at this year’s Fringe.

The real Jay is a confident performer, who switches between dozens of roles and still makes each one his own. Even the pastiches, like the overblown health guru Dr Strepsils, have enough about them to be interesting – and parts of the performance have an improvised feel, in a completely positive way. Given that he’s dressed the whole time in a business suit and tie, he’s also surprisingly convincing in the female roles. The very posh woman trying to learn to use email was my favourite creation of all.

But my one real disappointment with this play is that it has a Simon-Jay-shaped hole at its heart. We never actually meet the fictional protagonist – and while I realise that’s entirely the point, I found I couldn’t quite build a mental picture of what he’d have been like to talk to. Encompassing a man’s whole life in the space of 60 minutes was always a challenging proposition, and as soon as you have a handle on one Simon Jay, you’ll find you’re being introduced to a much younger and quite different one.

But the real Simon Jay – the actor – is a man I’d like to see more of, too. This is a witty, engaging piece of free theatre, and well worth catching on one of its many dates here in Brighton. Click Here

April 23, 2014 Culture Northern Ireland
Article about IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT?
The Antrim comic completes an impressive debut solo stand up set at the Black Box
Nestled in Belfast’s bustling Cathedral Quarter, the Black Box is one of the city’s quirkier venues. It is also a proudly independent one when it comes to staging and fostering local creative talent. Its front lounge, the Green Room, is an especially intimate space of cosy armchairs, clustered tables and stylish wall coverings.

Stand-up comedy in such close quarters can be a risk. There is nowhere to hide – all eyes are trained forward, waiting, expectantly, to be amused. Credit must go then to Luke McGibbon for producing an hour’s worth of promising material to a tightly assembled Green Room gathering.

Describing himself as an ‘occasional jape merchant’, McGibbon’s punters, at a fiver per head, certainly get their money’s worth. The gags and quips are, mercifully, more frequent than occasional. Blessed with an eager crowd, McGibbon’s friend Neil Dickson gets the proceedings underway.

A merchant in banter rather than japery, according to the event’s Facebook page anyway, not all of his routine hits the mark, but Dickson is self-effacing and enthusiastic; he is impossible to dislike. One filthy tale involving a traffic warden gets a good reception, as does the first of the night’s prostate funnies (yes, there’s more than one).

It is not entirely clear whether Dickson is reading his own material on purpose or because he has forgotten it, but the sight of him retrieving a wedge of scribbled notes from his pocket is actually quite amusing. As a motor-mouthed opening gambit, and with the benefit of a sympathetic audience – though he laments the lack of any willing hecklers – he does more than enough to warm up McGibbon’s spot.

There is a faint air of endearing confusion to the manner in which the main act arrives on stage, stuck somewhere between a strut and shamble, before extravagantly tossing a handful of paper confetti in the air.

This is his solo debut and he appears ready to put in the work. Good-natured and somewhat awkward, he cleverly places his humour against these two traits, delivering a standard mix of juvenile fare – incest, circumcision and, of course, prostate exams – with a cheeky, slightly embarrassed grin. But there’s more to his act than teenage sniggering.

Working from a list of topics taped to the wall for all to see, including Russell Kane’s ‘dead relative’ theme, McGibbon immediately engages an audience member (christened ‘Tony’ for the duration) with a tacky friendship bracelet and a series of cue cards upon which he calls from time to time. Checking off each topic as it falls, he has clearly done a respectable amount of preparation.

His slate is broad enough to take in a charming tale of childhood in a post-conflict Northern Ireland. Seeking clarification from his father on the difference between Catholics and prostitutes, he is left with one key question: ‘Why do prostitutes have their own estates in east Belfast?’

Indeed, one of McGibbon’s main strengths is his drily articulate asides. ‘I don’t know why anyone in Northern Ireland would want to remember the 70s,’ he mutters, when the subject of throwback nights comes up. Biology students are the world’s best lovers, he goes on to suggest, because they know where everything is. ‘As long you’re cut in half and visible from the side.’

It is witty stuff and, at times, darkly knowing. ‘My room mate is addicted to drugs,’ he says, recalling the time he decided to intervene and hide his friend’s syringes. It was not well received: ‘Turns out he really loves that insulin.’

Some jokes may be swiftly jettisoned, others need polishing. That said, McGibbon’s main opponent would appear to be his nerves, a familiar obstacle to any stand-up. There is talent here, however, right down to the charmingly naff finale in which [SPOILERS, REDACTED]. there is much to work with here. Click Here

April 17, 2014  Herald Sun
Review of GAME ON
Matty Grey in Age-Less 2: Game On
IT’S not every day one gets shot at by a hail of nerf bullets fired by littlies and their parents while wearing little yellow ducks on one’s head.

Thankfully, the only injury this reviewer suffered was a sore jaw from laughing so much.

Matty Grey, that hardworking, marvellous, multicoloured maestro of munchkin merrymaking produces a masterclass of audience interaction with this show for under-10s and their parents that has them in stitches from the get-go.

Grey’s show, Age-Less 2: Game On, contains his patented high-impact recipe for mirth with precise doses of magic, trivia, silliness, gross-out jokes, sight and sound gags, and outright chaos.

The narrative of Grey being sucked into Game Land and how he got home provides him with an excuse to actively involve his young audience members into all manner of good-natured and hilarious high jinks.

There was everything from passing the parcel, to playing with colourful giant robots, to hitting giant yellow balls throughout the theatre to shooting at innocent reviewers.

Grey also throws in some serious and sobering notes during his performance.

During the trivia sections of his show the kids demonstrate a frightening, encyclopedic knowledge of modern video games and video gaming culture. Conversely, they also demonstrate an alarming ignorance of written literature.

Grey then informs his audience that we humans have spent an aggregate of 200,000 years playing the computer game, Angry Birds, and wonders how much more productively we could have spent that time.

Parents would do well to bring their kids to this wonderfully entertaining and educational show, and to heed Grey’s salient message about the dangers of using touch technology as de facto pacifiers, and the benefits of kids playing outdoors. Click Here

April 13, 2014 Mostly Nocturnal Scribbler - Stirred Poetry
Article about Finding Me (Take Me As I Am)
Non Prompt Poem Brought to you by Hangover and New Bra Power
("Ok so I have had a marvellous weekend of poetry an misbehaving with the powerful lyrical political poetry dynamo Steph Pike, we poeted as a an opener for the wonderful Carol Robson’s show Finding Me the show is is by turns informative, amusing and a powerful reminder of our capacity to change ourselves and live the lives we were truly meant to. I mentioned her on the radio show today highlighting the fact she has done all the AMAZING adventurous intellectual things she has done after fifty lives do have second acts" Click Here

April 10, 2014 Knutsford Guardian
Article about Dave Griffiths: C U IN COURT (CNUT v FCUK)
King Cnut saves the day for Dave
 Click Here

March 28, 2014 Free Fest News
PR & Directing deal for Performers
Julian Hall’s Edinburgh PR seminars & directing service

Julian Hall - comedy critic for The Independent and The Stage, author of the Rough Guide to British Cult Comedy, and veteran of 11 consecutive Edinburgh Festivals - is offering PR and directing services for acts going to the 2014 Fringe. And what's more, he's offering Free Festival acts a discount on his normal rates.

"After all this time taking notes on acts for reviews, and sharing their festival ups and downs in conversation, I realised how alike the comedian and critic roles are: we're constantly pitching stories that we hope people will want to hear. It was with this in mind that I started to offer one-off PR sessions a few years ago."

"Branching out into directing will allow me to use my experience in another proactive way and apply ideas more directly to willing acts."

"Whether you choose PR services, directing, or both services, it's always useful to have someone stand outside of what you do to help tweak things and this, of course, applies to actors, writers, comedians and journalists etc."

"The first question you'll probably have is 'will you be able to review me as well?' and the answer is no, however that doesn't mean the publications I write for can't send someone else."

"The second and third questions will probably be 'what do I get?' and 'for how much?'"

So...

What you'll get:

Introductory one-to-one sessions will last for 90 minutes, costing £60 (£45 for Free Festival acts) and will cover the following:

Writing and disseminating your press release; creating a coverage checklist to juice as much PR potential out of your act as possible; how to take targeted follow-up action to outlets where you are most likely to get coverage (from listings to diary stories to features, and reviews); devising photo opportunities and media stunts and so on.

Ongoing PR:

While I can impart enough to get you started and on course, it can be useful to have someone around to help put some of the ideas generated into action and to chase up journalists.

For this kind of activity I would charge:

£10 per hour
£8 per hour for Free Festival acts

Most tasks would take an hour, so, for example, chasing up a feature idea might involve contacting some journalists by phone a few times before reaching them, or crafting a firm-but-friendly email to chase others. Setting up a photocall is more intensive, and seeing through a stunt from start to finish would be at least half a day's work. You might prefer to set a budget limit for press activities and I can let you know what that is likely to cover.

The initial sessions will take place by arrangement, ideally in a central London location. Past sessions have been conducted in the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall, London.

Telephone sessions for those not within easy reach of London will be considered.

All payment methods accepted, invoices can be provided.


Directing:

This is a new venture for me and I have set the rates accordingly. What you want from the sessions can be steered by you, but I would envisage watching your set as much as possible and giving feedback on content, timing, momentum levels (avoiding lulls), pushing key audience response buttons, script editing etc. Much of this you will already instinctively know, but a second opinion will help to finesse your hour.

Cost:

5 x 2.5 hour sessions for £200 (£175 for Free Festival acts) with top ups at £20 an hour thereafter (£15 an hour for Free Festival acts).


Ongoing PR & Directing joint package:

£500 (£450 for Free Festival acts): covers ongoing PR plus the standard directing package, plus one extra session (so 6 x 2.5 hour sessions).

Contact: juleshall@hotmail.com Click Here

March 20, 2014 Culture Northern Ireland
Article about Alan Irwin - Party Hard
Culture Northern Ireland
Alan Irwin's Party Hard is his second hour-long set and listed, conspicuously, as a preview for the Edinburgh Festival. This is usually comedian short-hand for 'I've cobbled together about half an hour's worth of material and will busk the rest'. Happily, this doesn't seem to be the case here.

Irwin bounds onto the stage, exhibiting real energy and presence, his voice ringing around the room. The change is palpable from the last time that I saw him. There is a newfound confidence, perhaps a reflection of the newer set or perhaps because he knows more what he wants to do with his comedy.

Irwin opens with a conversational anecdote about meeting Van Morrison on the Ormeau Road and inviting him to a house party, where nobody recognises the musical malcontent. So far so Call My Bluff, but in his next breath he reveals this to be a lie, 'but I have done lots of other things'.

It's a measure of how far Irwin has come as a performer that we go along with him and that we're not upset by the revelation – we're waiting for the next lie.

The truth behind Irwin's set is that he's trying hard to convince you that he's not a fun guy at all, and he is an exemplary young fogey. His cultural references – to Blur's Parklife, N.W.A.'s Straight out of Compton and 'the D.J. Fatboy Slim' – are heroically archaic. Irwin is 24-years old. "Straight out of Compton" came out a year before he was born.

He convinces too with his none-more-square interest in Hitler's strategic disappointments in the Second World War. It's here, in fact, that he really shines: this narky, pooterish pedantry is his comic voice, and if elsewhere his obvious affection for Louis CK shines through – 'I'm a white Protestant in Northern Ireland. It doesn't get much better than that' – it's the moments like his 'one pen solution to the Middle East peace process' that showcase his gifts as a writer and performer.

Against all the evidence, and even his own testimony, it turns out that Irwin is a fun guy after all. Several days later he will win the 2014 Chortle Student Comedy Award Belfast Heat at Queen's Comedy Club – a major player in the making. Click Here

February 24, 2014  Rip it up
Review of An Elephant in the Room
Review: An Elephant in the Room
Wee Leggie opened the show to a full house and a captive audience, sharing the stories and songs of baby boomers that spent their children’s inheritance on world tours and modern medicine. As the title suggests Leggie took us on a comic adventure and spoke the unspoken, nothing was out of bounds.

The audience chuckled their way through story and songs from euthanasia, being a migrant, incontinence, stationary fetish and his own style of bush walking adventures. Leggie didn’t want to sing songs of love, but he did sneak in a love song of his mum and dad’s dependency and need for linen napkins.

A poetic and singing performance that had the whole crowd participating. An evening of fun and frivolity with all leaving with a smile on our faces, check it out Adelaide!

Rating: 3.5
Edel Perth & Kathryn Barclay
AN ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM continues at Directors Hotel until Sat Mar 1 and The Singing Gallery until Sat Mar 8. Click Here

February 24, 2014  Rip it up
Review of An Elephant in the Room
An Elephant in the Room
Mon Feb 24
Words By The Fix
Posted In Reviews
Wee Leggie opened the show to a full house and a captive audience, sharing the stories and songs of baby boomers that spent their children’s inheritance on world tours and modern medicine. As the title suggests Leggie took us on a comic adventure and spoke the unspoken, nothing was out of bounds.

The audience chuckled their way through story and songs from euthanasia, being a migrant, incontinence, stationary fetish and his own style of bush walking adventures. Leggie didn’t want to sing songs of love, but he did sneak in a love song of his mum and dad’s dependency and need for linen napkins.

A poetic and singing performance that had the whole crowd participating. An evening of fun and frivolity with all leaving with a smile on our faces, check it out Adelaide!

Rating: 3.5
Edel Perth & Kathryn Barclay
AN ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM continues at Directors Hotel until Sat Mar 1 and The Singing Gallery until Sat Mar 8. Click Here

February 24, 2014 Rip it up
Article about An Elephant in the Room
An Elephant in the Room
Mon Feb 24
Words By The Fix
Posted In Reviews
Wee Leggie opened the show to a full house and a captive audience, sharing the stories and songs of baby boomers that spent their children’s inheritance on world tours and modern medicine. As the title suggests Leggie took us on a comic adventure and spoke the unspoken, nothing was out of bounds.

The audience chuckled their way through story and songs from euthanasia, being a migrant, incontinence, stationary fetish and his own style of bush walking adventures. Leggie didn’t want to sing songs of love, but he did sneak in a love song of his mum and dad’s dependency and need for linen napkins.

A poetic and singing performance that had the whole crowd participating. An evening of fun and frivolity with all leaving with a smile on our faces, check it out Adelaide!

Rating: 3.5
Edel Perth & Kathryn Barclay
AN ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM continues at Directors Hotel until Sat Mar 1 and The Singing Gallery until Sat Mar 8. Click Here

February 13, 2014 
Article about Absolutely
Absolutely at Fringe World
 Click Here

February 13, 2014 720 ABC RADIO Perth
Article about Absolutely
Absolutely at Fringe World
Allan Girod's is a small and entirely winning one-man show at this year's Fringe World.

How do you overcome your fears, your inner nerd, to do the things that scare and satisfy you the most? How can medieval total war games give you a coping strategy for stress? And what is it like to be headhunted by Cirque du Soleil for leading role?

The very tall Allan Girod, who wowed the critics in his first one-man show 'When Harry Met Harry' at fringe festivals in Canada and Australia, shares the story of his journey to overcome his introverted, anxious side to realise his goal of acting success in this small and deeply personal performance.

From awful, painful teenage days in suburban Perth where, like probably everyone in his audience, Allen has the wrong clothes, wrong address, and earnestly tries, and fails, at the social nightmare that is the year 10 dance, we're on his side.

This isn't a laugh a minute performance but a confidently told story of a life journey and taking risks when they're terrifying, dotted with comic detail throughout. I was charmed. Click Here

February 10, 2014 Chortle
Article about Harriet Dyer: Barking at Aeroplanes
Harriet Dyer: Barking At Aeroplanes - Gig review by Steve Bennett at the Leicester Comedy Festival
‘Exploring the thin line between eccentric and the mental’ is perfect comedy ground for Harriet Dyer, who seems to have lived her entire life on that interface. Her instinctively funny stand-up is packed full of weird and wonderful incidents from her strange life so far – yet however outlandish the tales, they all have an absolute ring of truth.
She is a curious, larger-than-life personality with a vibrant, scatty delivery busting with peculiar energy. The fact the anecdotes haven’t been perfectly honed endears this kooky force of nature further, as she excitedly regales us with her stories.

Some could have more than a tinge of tragedy – a suicide attempt, for example or a yarn that begins ‘the first time I tried to get sectioned…’ – but they all have a heightened absurdity that revels in the oddness of her existence. And it’s not just her life that’s celebrated as strange, everyone from school chums to her dad seems to have stumbled straight out of a David Lynch film. The way she paint it, her native Cornwall might as well be Twin Peaks – and it makes for compellingly weird scenarios.

Dyer has a delightfully offbeat delivery that matches the tales, with little filter between brain and mouth that means she vocalises internal conversations and veers off on entertaining tangents as synapses spark. ‘She’s got funny bones,’ Kevin Bridges is quoted as saying on the show’s blurb – and it’s impossible to disagree. She’s certainly a natural comic insomuch as it’s difficult to see her functioning in any normal job.

That said, Dyer is not the finished product yet. Two opposing forces pull at her work: the need for a stronger sense of direction on some of the tales, and also the confidence to be able to wander freely wherever her easily distracted mind takes her, sure in the knowledge she’ll hit laughs. This is an early outing of the show, and for the moment she seemed concerned with getting her thoughts, written on notes by her side, in order. That’s perhaps right, as once the framework is learnt, she can then choose to ignore it.

But she’s an endearingly bonkers, naturally exuberant personality (she can even use the phrase ‘what the Dickens!’ without it feeling forced) who seems certain to become a comic force to be reckoned with when it comes to first-hand anecdotes. Click Here

February 10, 2014 Chortle
Article about Harriet Dyer: Barking at Aeroplanes
Harriet Dyer: Barking At AeroplanesGig review by Steve Bennett at the Leicester Comedy Festival
‘Exploring the thin line between eccentric and the mental’ is perfect comedy ground for Harriet Dyer, who seems to have lived her entire life on that interface. Her instinctively funny stand-up is packed full of weird and wonderful incidents from her strange life so far – yet however outlandish the tales, they all have an absolute ring of truth.
She is a curious, larger-than-life personality with a vibrant, scatty delivery busting with peculiar energy. The fact the anecdotes haven’t been perfectly honed endears this kooky force of nature further, as she excitedly regales us with her stories.

Some could have more than a tinge of tragedy – a suicide attempt, for example or a yarn that begins ‘the first time I tried to get sectioned…’ – but they all have a heightened absurdity that revels in the oddness of her existence. And it’s not just her life that’s celebrated as strange, everyone from school chums to her dad seems to have stumbled straight out of a David Lynch film. The way she paint it, her native Cornwall might as well be Twin Peaks – and it makes for compellingly weird scenarios.

Dyer has a delightfully offbeat delivery that matches the tales, with little filter between brain and mouth that means she vocalises internal conversations and veers off on entertaining tangents as synapses spark. ‘She’s got funny bones,’ Kevin Bridges is quoted as saying on the show’s blurb – and it’s impossible to disagree. She’s certainly a natural comic insomuch as it’s difficult to see her functioning in any normal job.

That said, Dyer is not the finished product yet. Two opposing forces pull at her work: the need for a stronger sense of direction on some of the tales, and also the confidence to be able to wander freely wherever her easily distracted mind takes her, sure in the knowledge she’ll hit laughs. This is an early outing of the show, and for the moment she seemed concerned with getting her thoughts, written on notes by her side, in order. That’s perhaps right, as once the framework is learnt, she can then choose to ignore it.

But she’s an endearingly bonkers, naturally exuberant personality (she can even use the phrase ‘what the Dickens!’ without it feeling forced) who seems certain to become a comic force to be reckoned with when it comes to first-hand anecdotes. Click Here

February 10, 2014 Chortle
Article about Harriet Dyer: Barking at Aeroplanes
Chortle Review - Leicester Comedy Festival 2014
‘Exploring the thin line between eccentric and the mental’ is perfect comedy ground for Harriet Dyer, who seems to have lived her entire life on that interface. Her instinctively funny stand-up is packed full of weird and wonderful incidents from her strange life so far – yet however outlandish the tales, they all have an absolute ring of truth.

She is a curious, larger-than-life personality with a vibrant, scatty delivery busting with peculiar energy. The fact the anecdotes haven’t been perfectly honed endears this kooky force of nature further, as she excitedly regales us with her stories.

Some could have more than a tinge of tragedy – a suicide attempt, for example or a yarn that begins ‘the first time I tried to get sectioned…’ – but they all have a heightened absurdity that revels in the oddness of her existence. And it’s not just her life that’s celebrated as strange, everyone from school chums to her dad seems to have stumbled straight out of a David Lynch film. The way she paint it, her native Cornwall might as well be Twin Peaks – and it makes for compellingly weird scenarios.

Dyer has a delightfully offbeat delivery that matches the tales, with little filter between brain and mouth that means she vocalises internal conversations and veers off on entertaining tangents as synapses spark. ‘She’s got funny bones,’ Kevin Bridges is quoted as saying on the show’s blurb – and it’s impossible to disagree. She’s certainly a natural comic insomuch as it’s difficult to see her functioning in any normal job.

That said, Dyer is not the finished product yet. Two opposing forces pull at her work: the need for a stronger sense of direction on some of the tales, and also the confidence to be able to wander freely wherever her easily distracted mind takes her, sure in the knowledge she’ll hit laughs. This is an early outing of the show, and for the moment she seemed concerned with getting her thoughts, written on notes by her side, in order. That’s perhaps right, as once the framework is learnt, she can then choose to ignore it.

But she’s an endearingly bonkers, naturally exuberant personality (she can even use the phrase ‘what the Dickens!’ without it feeling forced) who seems certain to become a comic force to be reckoned with when it comes to first-hand anecdotes. Click Here

February 8, 2014  Herdmu.com
Review of James Loveridge: Funny Because It's True
James Loveridge: Funny Because It's True - Review
A while back, I once read somewhere that the best nights are usually ‘unplanned, random and spontaneous’. Last minute get-togethers with old friends, spur of the moment holidays and random evenings with good company are all things that a lot of people – young, old, boring, exciting – thrive on.

As you may or may know from being a De Montfort University student, DSU Elections are in full swing and the campus centre has never been so busy. While three friends from my Media Production course and I had just finished breakfast, we were being approached left right and centre, getting asked the same thing: “hey guys, sorry to bother you, but have you voted yet?”. ‘Yes’ was always the answer. So when another young man approached us, our first instinct was to say (or shout) ‘WE’VE ALREADY VOTED’ – but his reasoning for approaching was different that what we assumed. Laptop in hand, he came over, telling us about his comedy gig that was taking place that evening at a local bar and venue called ‘The Looking Glass’. Naturally, Emily, Ash, James and I asked ‘where?’ in unison, and after being given directions – he continued on his quest to get us to come to his comedy gig.

James Loveridge, born and raised in Essex – a great starting topic of jokes, I might add – is in Leicester as part of Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, which he kicked off, and is playing two nights at The Looking Glass. With an open mind, we set out to see James perform his stand-up and needless to say, we are all extremely and pleasantly surprised.

Having only an hour to perform his material, James put on an undeniably great performance in the basement of The Looking Glass, telling stories from growing up, going to school, having the most bizarre sexual encounters and travelling the world. While most comedians nowadays stick to a starting point of ‘so my wife…’ or ‘my girlfriend the other day…’, James says that there haven’t been any ‘rocky moments’ in the relationship yet for there to be any comedic moments – cue laughter from most of the males in the audience. The stories he tells are true, which is the reason behind the show’s title ‘Funny because it’s true’. There are no false recollections. No over-the-top encounters with weird and wonderful people… well… he has met a lot of weird and wonderful people in his time, but nevertheless, you are automatically drawn to his inexplicable way of storytelling that gets you doubled over laughing in seconds.

With a few moments in time where he interacts with the audience, you get that sense of realness from James as a comedian and someone who is generally interested in connecting with the people who is interested in him. Even down to the moment where there seemed some sort of dance-orientated rampant stomping coming from upstairs, James didn’t fail to impress us with his quick wit with the Anne Frank-related joke that split the audience in half, and determination to continue, proving to us his professional showmanship.
I appreciate good comedy when I see it, having watched comedy shows on TV from a young age, I would add James Loveridge to the list.

James is back in The Looking Glass tonight for another round of ‘Funny because it’s true‘ and after having met and spoken to him after the show, I recommend that you go down, watch the show and understand wholly what I mean when I say that James Loveridge is a truly talented (and downright hilarious) comedian, and a man with a freaky resemblance to Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia… Last night was aprime example of spontaneous and last minute nights being the best. Click Here

January 20, 2014 Cracking the Fringe
Cracking the Fringe talks to Free Festival Director Alex Petty
With interest in free shows at the Edinburgh Fringe growing every year, we decided to interview Alex Petty, who runs Laughing Horse, about applying to the Free Festival. Click Here

January 16, 2014 LIVERPOOL LIVE
Article about SCOTTIE ROAD THE MUSICAL - From Primark to Prison.
SCOTTIE ROAD THE MUSICAL - LIVERPOOL
Scottie Road The Musical is the story of Caz and Britney and their musical misadventure from Primark to prison. The show written by the leading ladies themselves (Keddy Sutton and Gillian Hardie) launched at the Unity Theatre. Our reviewer Tanith Facey donned her curlers and UGG Boots to see the show…
Having had a glimpse at what Caz and Britney could do at last year’s Vogue Ball in Liverpool, I was very keen to see what this comical pair could achieve in their own theatre production. Written and performed by Keddy and Gillian, this was going to be their ultimate showcase and I have to admit, my expectations were quite high.
The intimate venue didn’t give the girls any room for error as we were up close and personal. You can quite often get lost amongst cast and staging in a larger production but not today. Bear in mind that on stage there are only two chairs and a screen for backdrop.
So what’s the story? Two perfectly stereo-typed Scouse girls with curlers in their hair throughout the whole show, wearing UGG boots and leggings and at one point prison issue onsies! They tell their story through a mixture of song and theatre of how a fight that broke out in Primark, resulted in their doing time in the local women’s prison. They entertained us with how they cope with life behind bars and how eventually they plan their escape.

From the moment they stepped on stage the audience were giggling. You can see how well they work together and how well rehearsed they were because their comedy timing was spot on. I loved how they involved the audience, which is quite a big risk in a show like this, but not only did they do it well, the curve balls that they threw (you never know how an audience member is going to respond) demonstrated how witty and skillful they can be. They cleverly put their own comical lyrics to Broadway Show songs and both of their singing voices really are fabulous.
So if you are into comical Scousisms, Broadway show melodies, a bit of audience participation and some very down to earth Liverpool humour, this production is for you. The duo need commending on bringing a simple story to life in the way they did, well written and well executed. I couldn’t help but imagine grander scenery for each of the storyline venues they were trying to depict and a chorus line of girls in curlers behind them when they were dancing and belting out their songs. I hope someone spots how talented they both are and gives them an opportunity to bring their show to an even bigger stage.
Well done Keddy and Gillian! Overall a good night of entertainment and giggles!


 Click Here

January 16, 2014  The Public Reviews
Review of SCOTTIE ROAD THE MUSICAL - From Primark to Prison.
SCOTTIE ROAD THE MUSICAL - UNITY THEATRE, LIVERPOOL
Scottie Road the Musical’s return to the Unity Theatre kick-starts the New Year with a bang, as Keddy Sutton and Gillian Hardie don their Uggs and rollers once again to give audiences another chance to see where it all began for their brilliant creations, Caz and Britney. Scottie Road follows the duo’s madcap antics as they journey from ‘Primark to Prison’.
The return is a triumph. Sutton and Hardie build an almost instantaneous rapport and their conversational style ensures the audience feels very much part of the show. From the moment they step on stage it is clear that Sutton and Hardie have great chemistry together and apparent ad libs frequently show just how naturally funny and quick-witted both performers are. Not a second is wasted and there are laughs to be had in every line, expression or impression, with Sutton proving to be particularly adept at the latter.
Caz and Britney take the audience through snippets of their time in prison, often via the medium of song. There are well crafted parodies from shows such as Chicago, Les Miserables and Evita and for musical theatre fans it is a treat to hear these recognisable songs reworked with such flair and ingenuity. Highlights include Hardie’s raucous rendition of ‘Master of the Scouse’ and a particularly hilarious version of ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’. Both performers possess excellent voices and could easily be leading ladies in any of the shows they have drawn inspiration from.
The West End’s loss is currently Liverpool’s gain however and the audience certainly appreciated the many references to Liverpool landmarks and celebrities. Sutton and Hardie strike the right balance however to ensure familiarity with the area is a bonus rather than a necessity and there is plenty for everyone to relate to and enjoy.
In lesser hands Caz and Britney could simply be caricatures and although at times they are brash and over the top, there is a certain charm and warmth to the pair that makes it impossible not to root for them.
With two hilarious shows to their names, the presence of Caz and Britney guarantees a great night and Sutton and Hardie have all the ingredients of a classic comedy partnership. With tickets selling fast and an ever increasing reputation, it is to be hoped that Sutton and Hardie become regular fixtures on the stages of Liverpool and beyond. Click Here

January 11, 2014  WHAT'S ON STAGE
Review of SCOTTIE ROAD THE MUSICAL - From Primark to Prison.
SCOTTIE ROAD THE MUSICAL - LIVERPOOL
Scottie Road - The Musical tells the story of pasty eating, pyjama wearing Scouse scallies, Caz 'n' Britney, who following an unfortunate incident in Primark with a £1.00 ring and a girl called Shaz, end up in prison. What follows are two hours of laughter, madness and a good selection of West End hits modified the Caz 'n' Britney way.
Gillian Hardie and Keddy Sutton are the geneses behind these lovable rogues. Having worked together since 2008, these characters have just got bigger and better, and have created quite a following. As soon as these two walk onto Unity 2 stage, the audience instantly cheer, and the evening flies by, with Sutton and Hardie frequently having to stop to let the cheering and clapping die down before returning to the script. It is clear that the pair are very comfortable working together, often going off script and including the audience as much as possible.
As well as talented comic writers and performers, their vocal ability also shines. It seems that nothing can faze the duo and in some parts of their act put me in mind of a young Eric and Ernie with their easy way with the audience and their comic timing. They are definitely an act to watch out for and easily the funniest women on the circuit. Click Here

December 1, 2013 The Independent on Sunday
Article about Dave Griffiths: C U IN COURT (CNUT v FCUK)
Comedian gets the last laugh over FCUK logo row
 Click Here

August 22, 2013  Three Weeks
Review of Who Ya Gonna Call?
Who Ya Gonna Call?
“This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.” Since ‘Ghostbusters’ came out in 1984, what the world has been missing is ‘Ghostbusters The Musical’, and it’s finally happened. Whether you’re a ‘Ghostbusters’ aficionado (Level Three) like the Superfan theatre company, or just a Level One fan of slapstick and song, there’s something in it for everyone. Filling their show to the brim with super nerdy jokes (and ectoplasmic goo) the three cast members recreate the 80’s classic with homemade props and beautifully improvised humour and songs. The highlight is undoubtedly the reconstruction of the iconic ‘Ghostbusters’ montage, with cardboard newspapers and lots of intense running on the spot. The only thing that could’ve improved this show is a cameo from Bill Murray himself. Click Here

August 22, 2013  Three Weeks
Review of Who Ya Gonna Call?
Review
“This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.” Since ‘Ghostbusters’ came out in 1984, what the world has been missing is ‘Ghostbusters The Musical’, and it’s finally happened. Whether you’re a ‘Ghostbusters’ aficionado (Level Three) like the Superfan theatre company, or just a Level One fan of slapstick and song, there’s something in it for everyone. Filling their show to the brim with super nerdy jokes (and ectoplasmic goo) the three cast members recreate the 80’s classic with homemade props and beautifully improvised humour and songs. The highlight is undoubtedly the reconstruction of the iconic ‘Ghostbusters’ montage, with cardboard newspapers and lots of intense running on the spot. The only thing that could’ve improved this show is a cameo from Bill Murray himself.
Wilkie House Upstairs, until 24 Aug, 5.15pm.
tw rating 5/5 | [Elizabeth Jewell] Click Here

August 22, 2013  Who Ya Gonna Call?
Review of Who Ya Gonna Call?
Review
“This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.” Since ‘Ghostbusters’ came out in 1984, what the world has been missing is ‘Ghostbusters The Musical’, and it’s finally happened. Whether you’re a ‘Ghostbusters’ aficionado (Level Three) like the Superfan theatre company, or just a Level One fan of slapstick and song, there’s something in it for everyone. Filling their show to the brim with super nerdy jokes (and ectoplasmic goo) the three cast members recreate the 80’s classic with homemade props and beautifully improvised humour and songs. The highlight is undoubtedly the reconstruction of the iconic ‘Ghostbusters’ montage, with cardboard newspapers and lots of intense running on the spot. The only thing that could’ve improved this show is a cameo from Bill Murray himself.
Wilkie House Upstairs, until 24 Aug, 5.15pm.
tw rating 5/5 | [Elizabeth Jewell] Click Here

August 19, 2013  Three Weeks
Review of Over It - Death, Anorexia & Other Funny Things
Three Weeks Review 2013
 Click Here

August 19, 2013  Edfringereview
Review of Rauls Were Made To Be Broken
Edfringereview.com
"enlightening"
"Genuine clever inventiveness"
"For some fresh, funny and meticulously contemporary comedy this is the perfect production"
"Human Happiness is by and large a witty and clever show with an ultimately edifying message at its end."
"Master of Audience engagement"
"delivered with a wit, confidence and joyous energy" Click Here

August 19, 2013 
Article about Rauls Were Made To Be Broken
Human Happiness: An Alien Concept review
"Delivered with a wit, confidence and joyous energy"
"Genuinely clever inventiveness"
"Human Happiness is by and large a witty and clever show with an ultimately edifying message at its end."
"For some fresh, funny and meticulously contemporary comedy this is the perfect production"
"provides a lot of fun as well as some more serious food for thought."
"Enlightening"
"One has to admire the ease with which the comedian manages to constantly draw upon fresh material and slickly weaves this into a mesh of several core jokes,"
"The material which he offers flourishes with his sheer enthusiasm" Click Here

August 19, 2013  Islington Gazette
Review of James Dowdeswell - Wine, Ale and I
Review from the Islington Gazette
Review: Camden Fringe Festival, NW1

After a brief pause for libation, up came James Dowdeswell, whose vaguely booze-themed show told the alcohol-tinted tale of a man who grew up a pub in the west country; it’s even called Wine, Ale and I – a pun on the 80s classic film starring Richard E Grant.

Witty, meandering tales were his stock in trade; from wine-tasting in France to smuggling a giant hot dog outfit across borders in a comedic cold war style, it was enthralling, enjoyable stuff.

His audience participation was fantastic too – getting to know all corners of the crowd and bantering them without being too harsh, so everyone was happy to join in. By the end of the night the Stoke Newington native had pretty much invited us all out to his local; the Three Crowns.

Two great acts, for next to nothing and nothing not to like.

I absolutely love the Camden fringe, it should be applauded and everyone should vow to go to at least one show each year.

**** stars

Jon Dean
Monday, August 19, 2013
2:38 PM Click Here

August 13, 2013  Fringe Review
Review of James Dowdeswell - Wine, Ale and I
Wine Ale and I - Fringe Review from Camden Fringe
Camden Fringe 2013
Wine, Ale and I

Recommended Show

Venue: The Camden Head

Low Down
Stand-up comedian and actor James Dowdeswell (as seen on Ricky Gervais’ Extras and Russell Howard’s Good News) fills a happy hour with anecdotes, funny facts, and why he loves his ale and wine.

Review
James Dowdeswell does a good line in self-deprecation. With a likeable persona and a gift for storytelling and ad lib, this kind of subject matter is tailor-made for his special sort of talent.

Dowdeswell tells us what’s it’s like to grow up in a West Country pub, what Bristol has taught him about beer, what he’s learnt from pub experiences in Wales to Ireland to Newcastle and back again, and why Pinot Noir is his tipple of choice. We’re also offered some colourfully eccentric facts about booze, a whole host of inspired accents and accurately-drawn people-impersonations, as well as some witty anecdotes from a family trip to Bordeaux on a wine-tasting holiday.

This latest show from this stand-up comedian is a light-hearted look at the world we live in and how a healthy appreciation of wine and ale can make our experience of the world that much better. It’s a solid gig, from the enlightening tales of his youth through to his knack of pleasing and involving the audience. It’s a receptive audience, and he gets a lot of laughs from his brand of intelligent, observational comedy. An audience invitation to join the host-comedian in the pub downstairs after the show is a fitting one, as is the show’s setting – above a boozer.

It’s a friendly hour of conversation about booze as well as being a lesson in how best to bond with complete strangers within the confines of a pub that’s far from home. Dowdeswell, in his own slightly awkward, half-embarrassed way, takes us on a tour of his travels and observations, and it’s a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Click Here

August 12, 2013  The Skinny
Review of Anil Desai's Another Night at the Movies
Anil Desai: Another Night at the Movies

Review by Vonny Moyes.

Published 12 August 2013

There's something different about Anil Desai; he's either one of the most gifted impressionists I've ever seen or his face is channelling some sort of witchcraft. Either would be impressive, really. It's a full house tonight, but by the end of the show there will have been more people on stage than bums on seats. He starts the hour conversing about our favourite movies and his domestic grumbles, before using this as a vehicle to launch into something really special.

Being the first to admit he looks nothing like Robert De Niro, he gets us to count to three before morphing into him so completely, it's downright spooky. It's not enough for an impressionist just to nail the voice these days; the character has to permeate their every fibre, and Desai is utterly undetectable. It's even more extraordinary as he melts into 50 different stars in the space of minutes.

He interlaces them flawlessly into charming anecdotes and observational riffs on Indians in space. The audience is utterly captivated; his chameleonics draw as much gleeful gasping as riotous laughter. One of the most impressive parts is a three way discussion between some very famous stars – this artifice works really well, and leaves me wishing the rest of the hour incorporated such intelligent playfulness. He has the talent to make it work. Desai's show is a real treasure of the free Fringe, and a show I would happily pay a decent amount to see. Cheaper than hitting the flicks, and infinitely more fun, so what are you waiting for?
 Click Here

July 28, 2013 The Scotsman
Article about Shit of the Fringe
Shit of the Fringe is a show to see!
My favourite comedy concept this year: Shit of the Fringe, a late-night showcase on the Cowgate “for all the great comedians who have got bad reviews, and deserve more!” Ah, but do they mean “deserve more bad reviews”? (In which case you should heckle "them, Late N Live style). Or do they mean “deserve better reviews”? (In which case you should be nice, maybe.) Either way, it’s a great idea, although perhaps one that could only apply to comedy. Can you imagine how tragic a late night show called Shit Burlesque or Shit Improv would be? I can. I’ve been to both. They just didn’t call them that." - The Scotsman Click Here

May 12, 2013 Wigs and Gowns - Fashion Law
Article about Dave Griffiths: C U IN COURT (CNUT v FCUK)
KING CNUT - Fashion For The Fearless
 Click Here

April 12, 2013 Jyllands-Posten - Denmark
Article about Dave Griffiths: C U IN COURT (CNUT v FCUK)
Small man in open war against the clothing giant
 Click Here

April 12, 2013  Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Review of GAME ON
Matty Grey in Age-Less 2: Game On
There is no doubt that the biggest kid in the room during the show was Matty Grey. With the temperament of the Amazing Jonathan, gaming experience of classroom full of primary school kids and props of the Reject shop and Popcultcha combined, I knew I was in for an awesome show.

Matt's show is like a living comic book/computer game, with oodles of audience participation which everyone really does enjoy. To be honest, the grin didn't leave my face from the time we had to chase him up a flight of stairs at the beginning of the show, right through to the real-life version of a game that takes us all back to the 80s with plastic guns and some ducks (yep you know what I'm referring to Nintendoholics)at the end of the show.


Kids of all ages were bursting with laughter at the Mario, Tetris, World of Warcraft, Angry Birds and Pacman references.
Unfortunately it's not at the festival much longer, but make sure you try and get there before it finishes up (yeah you can even take a kid or two along if you like) Click Here

January 23, 2013 Granary Theatre
Article about The Rooftops of Paris
Granary Theatre: The Rooftops Of Paris

The Rooftops of Paris
January / 23 / 2013

A cold evening in Cork in January requires a good reason to step away from the fireplace, and this last week has had many an electric blanket turned up to the maximum. Theatre is one of those things that can always warm the heart and the soul however, along with a few hot ports and a bit of banter.

Upon hearing about Strive Theatre Group’s new play “The Rooftops of Paris”, and that the venue for this piece being the lovely Nancy Spain’s on Barrack Street, I decided to brave the elements for the evening. I was not disappointed. Having met Production Manager Andy Weston earlier in the day, he had advised that I “wrap up warm” due to the performance being outdoors, and I heeded his advice, with all manner of layers that my Mammy would have been happy with. They were needed as it was a bitterly cold night, but I can assure you that the performance made it worthwhile.

The play concerns itself with a young couple recently moved to Cork, where they have put themselves on “the property ladder” with the acquisition of a new house. The couple are expecting their first child, are are enjoying the benefits of the “Celtic Tiger” with Charlie working in a bank, and Cara, a child-minder, able to stay at home in preparation for the baby.

The trials and tribulations of those young people who had grown up in the Celtic Tiger is the drama of the play, as they get their first real taste of the real world; soaring house prices; rising mortgages; loss of friends and acquaintances; and the inevitable inclusion of the most Irish of problems: alcohol.

Cara is played by Paula Wheldon, and amicably so. The characters penchant for the purchase and acquisition of new things, and non understanding of the fiscal consequences of this, is beautifully crafted in the script and well-realised in the performance.

Charlie is played by Aidan Moriarty, a young man who has consistently shown good promise where he applies himself to his craft. His staccato delivery of his frustrations and Hiberno masculine silence help shape the flow of the character as we share his dramatic journey.

The optimism shown by Charlie in his new surroundings are first questioned by local bar man, Tom, played by Danny Hale. Hale’s thoughtful approach to the character endears him to the audience and makes the friendship between this newcomer and the local that much more believable.

Working for the bank as he does, Charlie soon loses his lofty notions of Ireland in the boom and the realization of the imminent collapse of the property market drives him to the drink in an attempt to escape from the reality of his situation.

References to the great Irish Writers and Poets are personified in the character of John, Tom’s brother, a poet recently returned from London, who regales the pub with a few of his own verses before moving to the old classics. Daithí O’Donnell delivers these poems with aplomb, allowing MacArtain’s beauty with words come to the fore.

Some light comedy is a welcome relief in places where the subject matter takes on the more ominous tones. The most obvious of this is the explosion of enthusiasm from Aoife Bradley upon the audiences return to the auditorium for the second act. Her overly cheery child-minder is almost a caricature but is reigned in at the last, making is a plausible and hilarious comic character.

It is the writing and direction that make the piece stand out however. There is a rhythm to the piece that is masterfully crafted, well-understood by the actors and confidently directed and communicated. The poetry and use of language mixes colloquial and officious parlance in a manner I can only describe as Irish, and the inclusion of the many great Irish writers in the play show an appreciation for the past masters that the work exemplifies.

To book e-mail andyweston16@gmail.com

Runs January 21st-26th (excl Thursday 25th) @ 8pm

Tickets €5 Click Here

January 23, 2013 Granary Theatre
Article about The Rooftops of Paris
Granary Theatre: The Rooftops Of Paris

The Rooftops of Paris
January / 23 / 2013

A cold evening in Cork in January requires a good reason to step away from the fireplace, and this last week has had many an electric blanket turned up to the maximum. Theatre is one of those things that can always warm the heart and the soul however, along with a few hot ports and a bit of banter.

Upon hearing about Strive Theatre Group’s new play “The Rooftops of Paris”, and that the venue for this piece being the lovely Nancy Spain’s on Barrack Street, I decided to brave the elements for the evening. I was not disappointed. Having met Production Manager Andy Weston earlier in the day, he had advised that I “wrap up warm” due to the performance being outdoors, and I heeded his advice, with all manner of layers that my Mammy would have been happy with. They were needed as it was a bitterly cold night, but I can assure you that the performance made it worthwhile.

The play concerns itself with a young couple recently moved to Cork, where they have put themselves on “the property ladder” with the acquisition of a new house. The couple are expecting their first child, are are enjoying the benefits of the “Celtic Tiger” with Charlie working in a bank, and Cara, a child-minder, able to stay at home in preparation for the baby.

The trials and tribulations of those young people who had grown up in the Celtic Tiger is the drama of the play, as they get their first real taste of the real world; soaring house prices; rising mortgages; loss of friends and acquaintances; and the inevitable inclusion of the most Irish of problems: alcohol.

Cara is played by Paula Wheldon, and amicably so. The characters penchant for the purchase and acquisition of new things, and non understanding of the fiscal consequences of this, is beautifully crafted in the script and well-realised in the performance.

Charlie is played by Aidan Moriarty, a young man who has consistently shown good promise where he applies himself to his craft. His staccato delivery of his frustrations and Hiberno masculine silence help shape the flow of the character as we share his dramatic journey.

The optimism shown by Charlie in his new surroundings are first questioned by local bar man, Tom, played by Danny Hale. Hale’s thoughtful approach to the character endears him to the audience and makes the friendship between this newcomer and the local that much more believable.

Working for the bank as he does, Charlie soon loses his lofty notions of Ireland in the boom and the realization of the imminent collapse of the property market drives him to the drink in an attempt to escape from the reality of his situation.

References to the great Irish Writers and Poets are personified in the character of John, Tom’s brother, a poet recently returned from London, who regales the pub with a few of his own verses before moving to the old classics. Daithí O’Donnell delivers these poems with aplomb, allowing MacArtain’s beauty with words come to the fore.

Some light comedy is a welcome relief in places where the subject matter takes on the more ominous tones. The most obvious of this is the explosion of enthusiasm from Aoife Bradley upon the audiences return to the auditorium for the second act. Her overly cheery child-minder is almost a caricature but is reigned in at the last, making is a plausible and hilarious comic character.

It is the writing and direction that make the piece stand out however. There is a rhythm to the piece that is masterfully crafted, well-understood by the actors and confidently directed and communicated. The poetry and use of language mixes colloquial and officious parlance in a manner I can only describe as Irish, and the inclusion of the many great Irish writers in the play show an appreciation for the past masters that the work exemplifies. Click Here

January 23, 2013 Granary Theatre
Article about The Rooftops of Paris
The Rooftops Of Paris
The Rooftops of Paris
January / 23 / 2013

A cold evening in Cork in January requires a good reason to step away from the fireplace, and this last week has had many an electric blanket turned up to the maximum. Theatre is one of those things that can always warm the heart and the soul however, along with a few hot ports and a bit of banter.

Upon hearing about Strive Theatre Group’s new play “The Rooftops of Paris”, and that the venue for this piece being the lovely Nancy Spain’s on Barrack Street, I decided to brave the elements for the evening. I was not disappointed. Having met Production Manager Andy Weston earlier in the day, he had advised that I “wrap up warm” due to the performance being outdoors, and I heeded his advice, with all manner of layers that my Mammy would have been happy with. They were needed as it was a bitterly cold night, but I can assure you that the performance made it worthwhile.

The play concerns itself with a young couple recently moved to Cork, where they have put themselves on “the property ladder” with the acquisition of a new house. The couple are expecting their first child, are are enjoying the benefits of the “Celtic Tiger” with Charlie working in a bank, and Cara, a child-minder, able to stay at home in preparation for the baby.

The trials and tribulations of those young people who had grown up in the Celtic Tiger is the drama of the play, as they get their first real taste of the real world; soaring house prices; rising mortgages; loss of friends and acquaintances; and the inevitable inclusion of the most Irish of problems: alcohol.

Cara is played by Paula Wheldon, and amicably so. The characters penchant for the purchase and acquisition of new things, and non understanding of the fiscal consequences of this, is beautifully crafted in the script and well-realised in the performance.

Charlie is played by Aidan Moriarty, a young man who has consistently shown good promise where he applies himself to his craft. His staccato delivery of his frustrations and Hiberno masculine silence help shape the flow of the character as we share his dramatic journey.

The optimism shown by Charlie in his new surroundings are first questioned by local bar man, Tom, played by Danny Hale. Hale’s thoughtful approach to the character endears him to the audience and makes the friendship between this newcomer and the local that much more believable.

Working for the bank as he does, Charlie soon loses his lofty notions of Ireland in the boom and the realization of the imminent collapse of the property market drives him to the drink in an attempt to escape from the reality of his situation.

References to the great Irish Writers and Poets are personified in the character of John, Tom’s brother, a poet recently returned from London, who regales the pub with a few of his own verses before moving to the old classics. Daithí O’Donnell delivers these poems with aplomb, allowing MacArtain’s beauty with words come to the fore.

Some light comedy is a welcome relief in places where the subject matter takes on the more ominous tones. The most obvious of this is the explosion of enthusiasm from Aoife Bradley upon the audiences return to the auditorium for the second act. Her overly cheery child-minder is almost a caricature but is reigned in at the last, making is a plausible and hilarious comic character.

It is the writing and direction that make the piece stand out however. There is a rhythm to the piece that is masterfully crafted, well-understood by the actors and confidently directed and communicated. The poetry and use of language mixes colloquial and officious parlance in a manner I can only describe as Irish, and the inclusion of the many great Irish writers in the play show an appreciation for the past masters that the work exemplifies.

To book e-mail andyweston16@gmail.com

Runs January 21st-26th (excl Thursday 25th) @ 8pm

Tickets €5 Click Here

January 23, 2013 
Article about The Rebel Rouser
DUKES DIARY “TV & THEATRE CRITIC”
This show is a roller coaster ride of pure neuralgia oops sorry nostalgia. DUKES DIARY “TV & THEATRE CRITIC”

August 3, 2012  Broadway Baby
Review of CeilidhKids at the Fringe - FREE!
Gay Gordons For Grandchild And Grandma
 Click Here

May 26, 2012  FringeGuru
Review of Who Did I Think I Was?
Who Did I Think I Was?

Upstairs at Three and Ten (venue website)
Theatre
25-26 May, 1:00pm-1:50pm, 7:00pm-7:50pm
Reviewed by Richard Stamp
As the script points out early on, Who Did I Think I Was? is a play about "two men sharing digs"; but forget any thoughts of college capers, because these men are father and son. Both have suffered tragedies, and both have ended up alone - though both have a lot of happy memories to share. And both are played by a single actor, Peter Henderson, which means their stories are told through a series of interleaved monologues spanning several years.

As I know from reviewing his previous work, Henderson does comically annoying mannerisms very well. In this case, as the father, he sneezes, grumbles continually, and describes everything he's doing out loud; it's to Henderson's credit, both as actor and playwright, that he has the courage to repeat the same joke over and over and make it funnier every time. But of course, Dad has hidden depths - he flew a Spitfire in the War - and the script brings out a few moments of thought-provoking tenderness, though I did feel this aspect of his character could be more strongly played.

The son, perhaps, is more fleshed out: he's got an interesting and predictably troubled past, which emerges in measured doses over the course of the play. He has a few comic moments of his own - including a thoroughly passable Mick Jagger impersonation - and at one point rescues a flagging pace with a glorious rant on the annoyances of sharing someone else's space (though I'm totally with his dad on the right way to hang the toilet roll). Generally, though, the son's had a difficult life, and it's his story we learn the most from - particularly when the script cleverly meshes his comments with his father's, giving us a second perspective and a subtler point of view.

If I've one criticism of Henderson's generally-impeccable performance, it's that the two characters aren't clearly enough distinguished: they're a bit too much "like father, like son". The younger man could do with a few mannerisms of his own, and perhaps a more obviously different physical presence, to complete the illusion of two people on stage. The script also suffers a little from having two endings, as each of the men's personal stories comes to a close - it leaves the final scene feeling like a postscript, which is a shame, because it's really what carries the whole message of the play.

Overall, though, Who Did I Think I Was? is a compelling piece of theatre, which is bound to improve even further as Henderson develops into his role. I'm not sure it has a particular moral - except for obvious one that life can be hard, and we need to face it together - but I'm not sure that really matters, either. It's a story worth telling, about characters whose fates came to matter to me, and the bittersweet ending is delivered with just the right amount of manly emotional reserve. No need for me to reserve my praise, though: Henderson's impressed me in the past and, emphatically, he's done it again. Click Here

May 26, 2012  Fringe Review
Review of Who Did I Think I Was?
Who Did I Think I Was?
Billed as "A tragicomedy of a father and son being together again", Peter Henderson returns to Brighton Fringe in a "one-man two-hander", playing both father and son.

There's something Meldrewish about Henderson as the father but he's darker and prepared to dive even deeper into the intolerance and irritation of later life. This is a show that is finely observed and there's a lot of detail that will finesse even further over a longer run.

It's staged with simple economy and there's a marvellous sense of someone past it and thwarted. The son is haunted, and wonderfully overlapped with his older relative. Henderson is equally believable as both dad and son. A son moving back in with his dad at 48 - a bachelor pad for two. Memories, secrets, a life gone astray, this is a well crafted monologue from a professional in charge over almost every millisecond onstage. Almost, there are a few slips, some some parts are more completely crafted than others.

Two single gentlemen sharing digs one is reminded of the classic father-son polarity that has been expounded by British Television comedies such as Don't Wait \up, and even in the music of Cat Stevens. But this is more refined, deeper, beter observed.

The son leaves us in no doubt as to his irritations with his father in a delightfully delivered rant. A father and a son thrown together, united in their differences, grudging accepting even as they reject.

Dad and son of course look rather alike and this lends weight to this comedy of differences, and it's a testament to Henderson how quickly we as audience can switch between the two, sliding from one into the next episode/chapter. Dad really is dad and son is a sharply realised chip off the old block (on the dad's shoulder as well).

Monologues such as this are sadly becoming rarer on the fringe. They feel traditional, straightforward and unfussy. This is well observed writing, direct acting without need for theatrical gimmicks. A simple set up that works: a highly accomplished performer playing two closely related people, evidencing two contrasting takes on life, connected by life's unplanned circumstance. It would make a good radio play but the live action gives us added visual comedy that needs very little movement. This is the comedy of vocal delivery and inroom or at-table gesture and playing with simple daily objects.

I'd like to see the script delivered in a less hurried way in places. We need time to take it all in and silence is an authentic part of every thinking human being.

It's a rich picture - that is what we are given, and we are the better for this hour at the Three and Ten. I can imagine some reviewers not getting the mastery here. It's very well crafted work, a character piece about a father and a son with troubled pasts, uncertain futures and shared angst in the present. I found the father more caricature than the son who feels a bit richer and more realistic in the way he is portrayed.

A sparse audience weren't up to the task of giving this the laughter response it needs and deserved. There were also many poignant moments, especially at the end. Henderson delivered anyway under tough circumstances and more than held his own in a show that deserves a much bigger audience. Crisp writing, fine character acting, and a father and son who deserve each other ! Strongly recommended.
Reviewed by Paul Levy 26th May 2012
 Click Here

May 9, 2012 Yahoo Music Blog
Yahoo Music Blog "Dynamic Duos — Two For The Price of One!"
The following is a list of musicial duos -- that's two people who work together -- currently still on the active roster, according to their most recent profiles. The excitement these duos bring to their fans is incalculable. However, thanks to Y! Music's proprietary software, I am able to rank them in terms of their greatness....

#13 - Frenchy and the Punk: Steampunk's hardest-working duo? Making inroads the old-fashioned way -- endless touring and hauling merch -- F&P prove that three chords and the truth are fine for awhile but eventually the kids want more glamour in their lives. Who was more punk that Edith "I Regret Nothing" Piaf? Sid Vicious? Click Here

April 3, 2012 Edge NY
Article about MargOH! Channing is TIPSY!
MargOH! Channing is Tipsy
MargOH! Channing is Tipsy is in the tradition of Victor Hugo’s "Notre-Dame de Paris" Ms. Channing marries the sublime and the grotesque in a show that transcends its comedic trappings to become the portrait of a woman whose dreams have been dashed but whose hope springs eternal.

Her whispered and wistful rendition of "Everything Changes" was devastating. I only wish it had come later in the show, because for me it was climactic.

Throw in an earnest tribute to Amy Winehouse, a couple of glitter-dipped back-up singers, and a duet with Ms. DeBarge, and "MargOH! Channing is Tipsy" became a hilarious hodgepodge of performance art, stand-up comedy, cabaret, theater, and drag. We are allowed to see MargOH! at her best and at her worst, somehow at the same time. It’s that fine-tuned duplicity that makes her so real.

Watching the performance was like seeing a cat thrown from a roof: you pity it, you fear for it, you witness its desperate flip-flopping. But then it lands on its feet, and you marvel at the grace of it all.
 Click Here

April 3, 2012 Edge New York
Article about MargOH! Channing is TIPSY!
Bitch can sell a song

 Click Here

April 3, 2012  Broadway Baby
Review of Heavy Petting: Hammer Time
Review
 Click Here

April 3, 2012  The Skinny
Review of Anil Desai's Another Night at the Movies
Anil Desai: Another Night at the Movies

Review by Vonny Moyes.

Published 12 August 2013


There's something different about Anil Desai; he's either one of the most gifted impressionists I've ever seen or his face is channelling some sort of witchcraft. Either would be impressive, really. It's a full house tonight, but by the end of the show there will have been more people on stage than bums on seats. He starts the hour conversing about our favourite movies and his domestic grumbles, before using this as a vehicle to launch into something really special.

Being the first to admit he looks nothing like Robert De Niro, he gets us to count to three before morphing into him so completely, it's downright spooky. It's not enough for an impressionist just to nail the voice these days; the character has to permeate their every fibre, and Desai is utterly undetectable. It's even more extraordinary as he melts into 50 different stars in the space of minutes.

He interlaces them flawlessly into charming anecdotes and observational riffs on Indians in space. The audience is utterly captivated; his chameleonics draw as much gleeful gasping as riotous laughter. One of the most impressive parts is a three way discussion between some very famous stars – this artifice works really well, and leaves me wishing the rest of the hour incorporated such intelligent playfulness. He has the talent to make it work. Desai's show is a real treasure of the free Fringe, and a show I would happily pay a decent amount to see. Cheaper than hitting the flicks, and infinitely more fun, so what are you waiting for?
 Click Here

April 3, 2012  The Skinny
Anil Desai's Another Night at the Movies



Review by Vonny Moyes.

Published 12 August 2013


There's something different about Anil Desai; he's either one of the most gifted impressionists I've ever seen or his face is channelling some sort of witchcraft. Either would be impressive, really. It's a full house tonight, but by the end of the show there will have been more people on stage than bums on seats. He starts the hour conversing about our favourite movies and his domestic grumbles, before using this as a vehicle to launch into something really special.

Being the first to admit he looks nothing like Robert De Niro, he gets us to count to three before morphing into him so completely, it's downright spooky. It's not enough for an impressionist just to nail the voice these days; the character has to permeate their every fibre, and Desai is utterly undetectable. It's even more extraordinary as he melts into 50 different stars in the space of minutes.

He interlaces them flawlessly into charming anecdotes and observational riffs on Indians in space. The audience is utterly captivated; his chameleonics draw as much gleeful gasping as riotous laughter. One of the most impressive parts is a three way discussion between some very famous stars – this artifice works really well, and leaves me wishing the rest of the hour incorporated such intelligent playfulness. He has the talent to make it work. Desai's show is a real treasure of the free Fringe, and a show I would happily pay a decent amount to see. Cheaper than hitting the flicks, and infinitely more fun, so what are you waiting for?
 Click Here

April 3, 2012  The Public Reviews
Review of Always Be Rolling
.
Always Be Rolling looks likely be one of the best from the Free Festival this year Click Here

April 3, 2012  Spoonfed
Review of Lou sanders in Another Great Show Again
Review
 Click Here

April 3, 2012  London is Funny 4
Review of Lou sanders in Another Great Show Again
Review
 Click Here

April 3, 2012  The Skinny
Review of Lou sanders in Another Great Show Again
The Skinny Review
 Click Here

April 3, 2012  Brighton Moon
Review of Feminism for Chaps
Review of preview - Brighton Moon
It isn't fashionable to be a feminist, least of all a male feminist. At least female feminists only have to worry about Jeremy Clarkson fans dismissing them. Male feminists, well, apparently they are hated by the feminists too.


I went to this fully expecting an hour of 'hey, guys, tell her her bum doesn't look big in that! Hahahaha!' such was my prejudice when I read the blurb. I honestly thought I was going to be in for an hour of thinly veiled misogyny dressed up as comedy. To my delight, I was wrong.


This was a genuinely funny, cerebral bit of stand up that addressed real issues of inequality at its roots... Click Here

April 3, 2012 Buxton Fringe
Article about Feminism for Chaps
Buxton Fringe review
The thing I expected from this show, given the title, was a bloke with a twiddly moustache, cravat, and waistcoat sitting with a glass of whisky lamenting something along the lines of; “Ahh, yes, women. Funny things, aren’t they? Oh, go on then, they can have the vote. It’ll keep them quiet.” Luckily, I was actually completely wrong for once. The show comes in the form of an hour of very lovely, very funny stand-up comedy from a man who seems to be a much nicer version of Boris Johnson...

His work is good, solid observational comedy with the right amount of ranting. Recommended to any men who aren’t quite ready for Germaine Greer, and any women who really want a bit of a giggle at the expense of the patriarchy. Click Here

April 3, 2012 Fringe Guru
Article about Feminism for Chaps
Buxton Fringe preview review
You may or may not define Watts as a feminist, but you can’t dispute that he’s a chap. Wilfully overdressed in a summer-weight jacket, and constantly sweeping back his coiffed-but-unruly hair, he’s the kind of fellow you instantly warm to yet expect to be useless at everything. In fact, he turns out to be a pretty handy comedian...

Watts is very enjoyable indeed. The first few minutes of this show are among the most outright hilarious I’ve seen in Buxton, and there are comic highlights sprinkled throughout the rest of the hour, including a classic dilemma of political-correctness and a lengthy scene set at a sex party. At the end of the day, a terribly nice man talking about an orgy simply can’t fail to be funny. Click Here

April 3, 2012 Arts Award Voice
Article about Rik Carranza: Charming
Interview with Rik Carranza
During my time in Edinburgh last year, by chance I came across Rik Carranza. Doug Segal recommended him to me, and as he was free I figured I had nothing to lose. I am so glad I went, for Rik was charming, talented and definitely a bit a hidden gem in the fringe.

I wrote at the time that I would pay to see a full hour of his material, and this year he is back, bringing that full hour to you, but still not charging for it, which is a definite win if the quality is the same as last year!

I got the opportunity to speak to him before the start of the Fringe, and that interview is available to read below.

—-

Hi Rik!

First, could you introduce yourself a bit for the reader?

I’m an Edinburgh based Scottish/Filipino stand up comedian. More accurately - raconteur, troubadour, lover of dinosaurs. That feels a bit short. I always feel like there should be more to an introduction. I guess I like long walks along the beach, laughing and watching movies with friends. That better? I may have lied about the walks along the beach bit. I hate getting sand in my shoes.

When did you first decide to get into comedy?

September 2009. A drunk conversation in a pub. I mentioned I wanted to try stand up sometime and one of my friends drunkenly said, ‘Bet you £1 you won’t do a show at next years Fringe.’ So I did. Jokes on him. I’m a £1 up.

Where do you take your inspiration from when you work? Do you have any role models?

Being Scottish I have to say I take a massive amount of inspiration from Billy Connolly. I think every comedian in Scotland over the last 30 years grew up listening to and loved the Big Yin. He always makes it seem so effortless!

Though I didn’t start as one myself, I’ve always been a fan of musical comedy acts, especially the likes of Tenacious D and Bill Bailey. Nowadays I listen to Stephen Lynch, Garfunkel and Oates, and Bo Burnham amongst others. Seeing acts like them have fun and doing their own thing is what really inspires me.

How many times have you been to Edinburgh, either as a performer or just to watch shows?

I was born in Edinburgh so I’ve never not known the Fringe. Thought it does feel strange looking forward to it rather than complain about how slow the buses are as a result of it.

As a performer this is my 5th year as a comedian. I was an actor in a theatre show back in 2007 with some friends which was lots of fun but very different from the experience of doing comedy. Nowhere near as much drinking and self loathing.

You are doing another free show this year. Why do you go down the free route instead of charging? Are there benefits to one approach over another?

Money. It’s a lot cheaper to put a show on at the Free Festival and you get to keep what money you make in the bucket. Definitely a benefit there.

I also think the Free Festival gives opportunities to acts who aren’t represented yet or necessarily have the backing to do a paid for venue. The great thing recently is that acts that have done well at free shows; Doug Segal, Imran Yusuf, Juliette Burton, Austentatious, Abigoliah Schamaun, have gone onto do even better at paid venues. It’s a true meritocracy where those who work hard can really make their career progress.

How would you describe your show to the reader?

I’m frequently described as charming; a charming MC, a charming musician. The show this year will get the audience to help me find out if I am ‘good’ charming (like Will Smith) or ‘bad’ charming (like Jaden Smith). I perform songs, jokes and drawings and ask the audience to judge whether I’m one or the other.

Basically I put the power with the audience and let them really judge me. We’ll see how it goes but probably wasn’t the best idea.

You play guitar in your shows, when did you first learn to play? Would you say you are more a comedian or a musician?

I got my first guitar for Christmas when I was 15. The first song I learned to play was Just Looking by the Stereophonics. Before that I dabbled in trumpet, trombone, french horn and drums. It was guitar I fell in love with though and have been playing it ever since. I’ve always enjoyed playing and writing music and have definitely been a musician longer than a comedian. I would like to think I’m a balance of both now though.

Are you a full time comedian, or do you have another job?

I wish I was full time, and I hope to get there one day! I do have a day job but if I told you what it was I’d have to kill you. I’m James Bond. I’m not.

Being based in Scotland, do you think the comedy circuit is different to that in London, or England more generally?

I don’t think it’s that different. It’s smaller but that’s more reflective of the population size of Scotland. As a result everyone on the Scottish circuit knows each other and it can be a really supportive place.

I have started gigging down south more and have enjoyed my experiences so far. I do look forward to doing more soon.

Have you noticed any changes in the festival throughout the years?

Size. It’s really become this huge behemoth. Every year there are people who say that the Fringe isn’t doing well but every year it seems to get bigger and bigger. More acts, more audience, more buzz.

The biggest and most important change for me though was the Aberdeen Angus Burger stand. You used to get a performers discount. Not anymore.

Do you think there will always be demand for live entertainment?

Absolutely. It’s like music. Some people love listening to the prerecorded album, but it doesn’t compare to the raw energy of a live performance. The great thing about live performance as well, is that you can, and will, see things you wouldn’t see on TV. Like me. At The Counting House. 19.30 every day (apart from Mondays).

Are there any shows you are looking forward to at Edinburgh (that aren’t your own) that you’d like to recommend to the reader?

Juliette Burton: Look at Me, 14.45 at the Gilded Balloon. I’ve seen a preview of this and it’s a fantastic show with a really important message.

Hot Dub Time Machine is always great fun. I’ll be going on Friday night.

Apart from that I’m also planning on seeing Bec Hill, Abigoliah Schamaun, Jojo Sutherland, Richard Gadd, The Colour Ham and Mitch Benn.

There’s way too many for me to list on here though! I will be tweeting (@rcarranza) all through the Fringe though with suggestions so following me would be a good idea (@rcarranza). You should totally do that (@rcarranza).

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Rik Carranza is being performing 1-24 August (not Monday's) at 7.30pm, at The Laughing Horse, @ The Counting House (Venue 170)

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