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OLD JEWISH JOKES

Ivor Dembina | View Performers Biography

Comedy

Venue:Finnegan's Wake, 9b Victoria Street Edinburgh EH1 2HE
Phone: 0131 225 9348
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: FREE TICKETED  
Room: The Back Room
AUG 3-7, 9-14, 16-21, 23-27 at 13:30 (60 min)
Venue:The Counting House, 38 West Nicolson Street Edinburgh EH8 9DD
Phone: 0131 667 7533
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: FREE TICKETED  
Room: The Ballroom
AUG 21 at 16:15 (60 min)
 
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Return of the Fringe's all-time favourite, longest-running Jewish comedy show. Traditional Jewish gags plus revealing insights into life for the modern Jewish comic. **** (Scotsman), **** (Mirror), ***** (BroadwayBaby.com), **** (ThreeWeeks). Admission free, gentiles half price.


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News and Reviews for this Show

August 17, 2017  The List
Dodgy meets edgy as an old joke book is dragged out one more time

Among the swathe of contemporary stand-up types in town this August, there's an amusing spot of old-school going on in a pub backroom that's well worth investigating. Ivor Dembina started writing and performing jokes just at the moment when alternative comedy was taking hold in Britain. He was desperate to get in on some of that action, but his father warned against it, advising him to take his comedic inspiration from the big book of old Jewish jokes.

Over the course of an hour, Dembina shows just how close to the bone some of the old gear can be, though, admittedly, a lot of the time the targets are mithering women and their brow-beaten men. The narrative thrust centres around the night Dembina was drafted in to provide entertainment at a fundraiser to rebuild a synagogue's leaky roof. Trouble is that the rabbi keeps advising him about the topics that he shouldn't go near under any circumstances (pretty much everything including the Holocaust, Israel, money and sex).

In the end, you're fairly certain that Dembina will breach such censorious attitudes, but his ultimate pay-off might not be the golden moment that you feel everything is building towards. Whether you conclude that some of Dembina's material is edgy or dodgy will be a matter of opinion, but the Jewish gags book thrown at him by his father seems to be serving him well. Click Here

August 7, 2017  Broadway Baby
Ivor Dembina is very funny and manages to entertain the audience for an hour by conforming to as many stereotypes of a Jew as he can. Jewish comedy is not a new concept and despite Demina playing to stereotypes, he does so very well.

Dembina starts by telling lots of quick-form, traditional jokes. He is witty and his comic timing is perfect, with facial expressions adding to the comedy. This is something which many comics have moved on from, trying to do more anecdotal humour, yet this traditional manner suits Dembina well and provokes great responses from the audience.The comic repeatedly jokes that despite his three decades in comedy, this is only his second performance. It is clearly not true as Ivor has a fantastic repartee with the audience and knows how to deliver a joke.The majority of the show is based on a conversation with his Rabbi, who wants him to perform at his synagogue as part of a fundraiser for a repair to the building. The Rabbi discusses with Dembina what jokes he can and can’t make. The comedian goes on to base the remainder of the show on different areas which the Rabbi has asked him not to speak about. This is a very clever way of structuring the performance. While the jokes continue to be based on unoriginal cliches, they continue to work. Sometimes the old jokes are the best.


Audience interaction, at times, was coarse. His brilliant stage presence was let down in part by an introverted audience but moreso by an awkward atmosphere which was brought about when he began asking people about their religious beliefs. The lack of control Dembina had over this segment was evident. All in all, though, this is a fun hour full of jokes which Jews and Gentiles can enjoy alike. Click Here

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