Sep - Review Catchup - Three Weeks / Scotsman
Are We There
Yet? - Opera Larks & David Barnard (Three Weeks) 'Are We There Yet?' Hopefully not,
because I'm not sure I've had enough! This performance is truly hilarious, blending famous
arias and songs from musicals we travel from country to country, following our heroines as
they make their way to Las Vegas. The circumstances arising are ordinary, but the songs
accompanying them are so well-known and their lyrics so wittily exploited that you find
yourself holding your belly in fits of laughter. The actresses interact with the audience
and truly make use of their reactions. Both are very talented with surprisingly good
voices, capable of singing both opera and mainstream jingles. The pianist is lively and
always interferes in the action at the right moment. Fasten your seat-belts...
Always Wanted to Know about Greece (But were afraid to ask) (Scotsman)
Manos plays the stereotype card cleverly,
flirting with those popular myths
before deftly dismissing them as the apocryphal
(another good Greek word) nonsense they are. Catch him now, before his inevitable
promotion to head waiter *** THE SCOTSMAN
The promotional material
for this informative presentation by Manos the Greek waiter does not augur well. Manos
beams out at us, the very embodiment of Harry Enfields Stavros. Surely, his act
cant really be that hoar? Thankfully, not.
True, like Stavros,
Manos is an expatriate Greek who has been living in London for a few years but he is still
in touch with what makes Greece tick. He riffs on how Greek children stay at home longer
than most; how Greece fought its smoking ban and won, and his mother countrys long
running hatred of Lord Elgin and Turkey (not necessarily in that order).
The comedy gods are
clearly smiling on him, for among the front row is a real-life Turk! He is a sporting chap
as well, playing among gamely when Manos cordially invites him and any of his countrymen
to f*** off before the show has even started.
In fact, Manos plays the stereotype card cleverly, flirting with those
popular myths all Greeks are homosexual, love their donkeys more than their mothers and
throw plates around at every available opportunity before deftly dismissing them as the
apocryphal (another good Greek word) nonsense they are. Catch him now as part of the Free
Fringe, before his inevitable promotion to head waiter.
19th Sep - Review Catchup - Scotsgay
Ben Lermans Size Matters
Laughing Horse @ Café Renroc
Ben Lerman plays the ukulele. Oh yes, he does indeed.
Passing well, too.
He is also a truly sick and perverted individual performing
songs that I feel sure he neither learned nor sang at mothers knee (unless he had an
extremely tolerant mother).
His pleasant singing voice combines with the product of
considerable manual dexterity on his small but perfectly formed instruments to fill the
converted subterranean bakery that adjoins Renrocs famed Rusty Water Department.
The cubby New Yorker sings of things he knows: love, loss,
pirates, chubby chasers, online dating and much more
And has the intimate
space rocking with not inconsiderable mirth.
Its the intimacy which makes it work. And why he
should be confined to the small stage if not a padded cell.
Contains strong language: not suitable for trendy bisexuals,
vegetarians or the politically correct. Enter this open sewer with an open mind!
As Edinburghers oft say of the last omnibus of the evening:
not to be missed!
19th Sep - Review Catchup - and more
reviews from Freecomedy.com
A Walking Advert For Free Abortions
Richard Coughlan with his pedantic stand-up instantly raised the bar for free performers
at the fringe. He mixed his ideas on the topical, political issues with emotional stories
very effectively, both warming the audience to him and engaging them. His lively, intense
wit combined with the mature material he used kept those watching in stitches throughout
the show. Richard is jaw-achingly funny and definitely not one to be missed!
The completely improvised show by the comedy group Adventure Incorporated
presents 40 entertaining minutes of hilarious scenes and scenarios. Being purely
improvisation means this show is different every time and bases itself around its audience
and their ideas. It makes for a fast paced and quick thinking set, but with comical pieces
of genius. Christopher Thursten, Chris Turner and Daniel Roberts are all extremely witty,
but perform a fluent show. Brilliant piece of lunchtime comedy at any level.
Circling The Drain
In an original and earlier time than their later show, Scurvy comedy bring Circling
the Drain: Scurvy comedy presents Mankind's Inevitable Spiral Towards Total
Destruction. Tony Dunn compares the afternoons proceedings, interacting with the
audience and with many a funny story. Lawrence Francis then mixes music with the humour of
his parodies and songs. Then Charles Duncan performs his stand-up routine to round off a
great array of talent. The gig is ended on one final note and involves all the comedians
and audience members, which finishes a very amusing comedy show.
Crimewhoppers the comedy stand-up by Karl Edrik tells all about his criminal past
into his new reformed life as a comedian. His style was engaging and his stories linked
well and kept it interesting all the way. It was only a shame more were not present,
however, it allowed for more audience participation and a more personal touch to his
approach. Extremely funny and a genuinely nice personality.
Dan Willis: Control-Alt-Delete
In what can only be described as a blast from the past, Dan Willis takes us through his
life and how computers have altered it. From his first computer all the way up to modern
day computer geek, we get all the information with the binary intact. Its not just
all computers though and even when it is, this talented comedian manages to keep all
involved. With his appealing on stage personality and humorous comedy, Control Alt
Delete is one for those lovers of technology and those who do not.
Demitris Deech: Hypochondriac
In his first show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Demitris Deech performs in his solo
show Hypochondriac. He shares the fact that he once held an ill-founded
anxiety about his health and his one unfortunate event at the doctors. He comes across
very friendly on and off stage and is proved with a very non offensive show where he
engages well with his audience. The humour is also very topical and based around some of
the events that have happened so far in his life. With many an award to his name and
already involved in BBC radio, this show is a good show.
Donald Mack is a Stereotype
Its not often a comedian has an excuse for being late to a gig, but re-writing the
whole show is perhaps one where they may be forgiven! Donald Mack came across as naturally
funny with a relaxed, yet invigorating performance. With intelligent comedy its
plain to see this is a man who knows what he is doing. Donald Mack is a
Stereotype is one to be enjoyed by all.
Inner Badger With a fast
paced set and a personality revolving around original and funny ideas, it makes for
exciting viewing. Julie Jepson in Inner Badger was a lively character,
chatting away before and during her show, gaining the audience on her side. This was
despite perhaps picking topics that are topical, but also borderline, she had us laughing
with her impressive comic timing. Not just jokes, she does all that could possibly make
you laugh, and she does it well.
Lewis Schaffer - Bigger and Blacker
In the lovely setting of the Counting House Ballroom we witnessed one of the most
outrageous comedians yet. Lewis Schaffer in Bigger and Blacker throws away all
boundaries and supplies the audience with a number of opportunities for laughter. With
jokes about his Jewish upbringing, Scotland and England and even Michael Jackson, this
American comedian really does push limits. However, for the most part of the show he had
the audience in stitches. Get rid of your standards, or he will for you!
Mason, Carroll and Graves
Bobby Carroll, James Mason and Luke Graves bring the self titled show Mason, Carroll
and Graves. The three comedians mix it up in their own unique way, however, each
manages to bring up laugh after laugh. Bobby Carrol was the compare for the afternoon and
as good compares do engaged with his audience one by one. He then introduced James Mason,
though slightly outrageous, entertained with his Alternative Stand up comedy. Following on
was Luke Graves who was very witty and extremely funny through-out. What links them all is
that they are slightly outrageous, yet so hilariously high-quality.
Moz and the Meal If
meat eating cannibals are up your street then this is without a doubt the show for you. We
are taken through the life of a human flesh loving Moz and his troubles with relationships
and problems it can cause. This is without a doubt the best prepared and perhaps the most
professional piece of acting you will see at any comedy show at this years fringe.
Incorporating a mix of voices, ideas, sounds and music the show flows effortlessly.
Moz and the Meal is maybe not for the biologically squeamish, however, this
dark humour brings about many a chuckle. Even if this is not your usual comedy show, this
brave one deserves to be admired.
Nick Wilty - Behind the Jokes
Now it certainly is not every day you get to listen to a comedian as experienced as Nick
Wilty is, describing his events in roughly 112 countries worldwide. In his show Nick
Wilty - Behind the jokes he does just that, describing how the jokes came about and
of course throwing in some stand-up as well. From being involved in the Icelandic syllabus
for English and street carnivals in Rio, this will keep all excited and laughing. This is
simply a relaxed and witty show for all those who want comedy.
Paul Sweeney and his Imaginary
Paul Sweeney with his brilliant, bubbly personality brought the audience a show bursting
with talent. He introduced fellow comedians Tania Edwards and Luke Toulson to the stage;
Tania with her cool, charming wit, and Luke with his very appealing and original humour.
Paul also entertained with his musical parody about being a vegetarian, showing a more
varied style of humour. The mix of music and comedy and the complementing characters of
the comedians made for a very amusing show and one of the highlights of the free fringe.
Posh and Trampy Do Some Comedy
Lou Sanders and Tania Edwards, a comedy duo based in London, bring to Edinburgh Posh
and Trampy Do Some Comedy. They have guest comedians every day, on this occasion
Luke Toulson, who introduced the acts and added to the feast comedy. He also features at
this years Fringe with the show Too many last cigarettes. It was obvious
that Lou and Tania enjoy their work and as good friends complimented each others
comic style. Though differing in their approach, they both worked with the audience well
and provided an entertaining show. This is brilliant pure comedy for all those who want a
SAJEELA KERSHI: BITCH GOT OWNED!
Sajeela Karshi, star of Bitch Got Owned, is an energetic and naturally chatty
woman who provided a very engaging stand-up routine. She effectively mixed a good dose of
comedy with an insight into a different culture. Sajeela has a very appealing personality
and lots of audience participation made the show enjoyable and not one to be missed!
Terrors Of The Black Museum
Ben Smith, Laurence Tuck and Dan Mckee all star in the comedy act Terrors Of The
Black Museum. We are involved in their task as they try to escape the horror inside
the museum and are taken along a dark, yet funny path. They all act out different parts to
the set, which adds to the plot and humour of the situation. This is certainly not just
acted out though, there are many humorous outlooks on todays society, but still the
plot remains water-tight. An original act for all free fringe fans.
The Birds and the Bees
To put it simply, Mark Butler in The Birds and the Bees is amazingly funny. In
his character role as a substitute teacher, he delivers the sex education lesson you never
received in a performance that was flawless and a joke was on the end of his fingertips
every single time. He also managed to interact well with his audience and yet did not move
off the direction of the show at a single point, which on such a subject would seem easily
done. I suggest you get down to this show early in order not to be left disappointed!
The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly
Sion James and guests perform at the Meadow bar in The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly
'Ride Again.' Sion is compare for the afternoon, talking with his audience but retaining
his own comic style at the same time. Special guests were Celia Pacquola and Imran Yusuf
who were both fantastic. Celia performs a highly acclaimed show at the Gilded Balloon and
brought original ideas to her set. It was then Imran Yusufs turn, with what was an
energetic performance, but with brilliant comic timing. With special guests every day,
youre in for a treat with this show.
1st Sep - Sound and Fury's Testaclese
and ye Sack of Rome - - Three Weeks Friends,
Romans, audience members, lend them your ears. For Californian vaudeville troupe, Sound
and Fury, deserve your undivided attention in this ingenious pastiche of Orphic myth. From
start to finish, the trio had the audience in stitches with this epic but nevertheless
bawdy tale of Grecian hero, Testaclese, played with churlish glee by the charismatic
Richard Maritzer. Armed with only a cheap assortment of props and costumes, including a
pair of ridiculous fake breasts, 'Sound and Fury', switched between physical humour and
lewd wordplay with masterful skill, enticing the audience, who were furthermore actively
encouraged to participate in the evening's performance. A historical screwball romp of
'Herculean proportions', 'Testaclese' will put a smile on the face of even the most
cynical of viewers.
1st Sep - Trying 2B Funny - - Three
Weeks Let's not lie. The title of this show is in no way comforting. As
Michael our first teenage comic pointed out, trying to be funny indicates that these kids
aren't funny. Which is very far from the truth. They were 100% hilarious. Heatham House is
a youth centre for children in Twickenham and surrounding areas, and boy has it done these
kids proud. There were a couple of blunders, and not every gag went down well, but I
laughed all the way through. Special mention has to go to Esther, rightly the headline
act. She was a natural comic, in a way that was refreshing. This was serious talent, watch
them now or pay for it later.
1st Sep - Bluto Balthazzar's School of
Surreal Sorcery - - Three Weeks Short of employing an extensive
network of audience stooges, I have no idea how Bluto manages the vast majority of his
tricks. In fact, even if there were such a network, these would still be very difficult to
explain. It appears, straightforwardly, to be magic. That's the charm of sorcery, and in
this instance it is presented by a refreshingly understated, indeed quiet sorcerer. Some
may find that the lack of showmanship gives the experience a shoddy, unprofessional feel,
but I reckon it creates an impression of intimacy and authenticity, rendering the act all
the more baffling. I'm sure in a few weeks time I'll still be trying to work out how he
did it. Great fun for all ages.
1st Sep - Raiders of the Lost Groove - - Three Weeks Never mind the Lost
Groove, it looks as though the three men of HabenGoods have raided B&Q for their
props. There's quite an industrial, hardware feel to this half hour of percussion; I
imagine it's similar to the results you'd get if you let three childish drummers play
about in a hardware shop for a few hours. That's no bad thing; this is inventive stuff,
and I couldn't quite keep the word 'Stomp' out of my head. These boys give us a trio of
eccentric characters, trying to outdo each other with whatever bits and pieces they have
to hand. Their strength is in playing so many objects - and yes, that includes a kitchen
1st Sep - Tyrannosaurus rex: A Pack of
Lies? - - Three Weeks Was
T-Rex a predator, scavenger, or was he in fact a pack-hunter? Obviously these are the
burning questions on everyone's lips nowadays and Matt Brierly attempted to uncover the
truth behind this age-old debate. I wouldn't say I was a dinosaur lover particularly,
however, I found myself becoming strangely compelled by the anecdotes and diagrams in the
show, which turned out to be less of a comedy, more of a palaeontology lesson;
nevertheless it was fascinating. Whilst the content was great, however, the overall
presentation lacked charisma and was very slow to start off. Ultimately, though it lacked
much comedy, it was good example of how far determination, and Bill Oddie, can get you.
1st Sep - An American redwolf in London
- - Three Weeks A humorous insight
into the life of a real Native American which breaks convention. Chuquai Billy treated the
audience to several hilarious impersonations and mini-sketches of both Western and Native
American characters with an energy that is lacking from many British stand-ups.
Unfortunately, his sidekick in this intended double-act had pulled out, and his struggle
to improvise and fill the time showed, but this likeable character was a hit with the
audience. Although some of his punch lines seemed to fall through the net, his
impersonation of an Asian mini-cab driver in London, among other great moments, provoked
genuine belly laughs. 'An American Redwolf In London' was insightful, poignant and funny.
Not bad for a free show over a pint.
31st Aug - The Taming of the Shrew - - Three
Weeks Clambering over and around the audience and into the bar, creating
complete havoc and making improvised banter, this is definitely how Shakespeare should be
done. Might I suggest a drink or two before hand - some dutch courage might be just the
thing to make it a truly authentic experience! You'll find none of that pole-up-your-arse,
nose-in-the-air RSC stuff here. Using much of the original script, ad-libbing where
appropriate, and giving huge ironic winks to the audience, Full Tilt will tell you the
story of the Shrew like you've never been told it before. With flamboyant cross-dressing
that even the gender-bending bard would approve of, this raucous, tongue-in-cheek
production will rock your socks - that is after the initial shock wears off!
31st Aug - The Cubicle - - Three Weeks Hen-nights,
terrifying wedding planners and eighties-style electro-bands fuel the themes presented in
this short play about the going's on of a men's toilet. It's a bit obscure how its plot
has exactly been "devised from people's thoughts scribbled on toilet doors", but
if it's so, the outcome's pretty impressive. The acting is good in general and it seems as
though they have made an effort to give some of the old stereotypes a new twist. Due to
the brevity of the show, there isn't much space for character development; the ending,
however, is very suitably tongue-in-cheek. Still, though funny and accurate in many ways,
this play doesn't quite escape the feeling that a bunch of students are simply having fun.
31st Aug - Radio Star - - Three Weeks A wonderfully playful
parody of the 1940s New York murder mystery genre, brimming with lovable stereotypes and
obscene innuendo, is the best one-woman show I've seen. Presented as a radio show,
complete with cigarette adverts promising to act as a cure for diarrhoea, cancer and
penile curvature, Tanya O'Debra boasts an incredible talent for parody and performance.
Deadpan, she slips effortlessly in and out of character, from Bugsy Malone-esque 'dolls'
to Irish police inspectors, never missing a beat. Complete with sound effects and
cliffhanger music, the effect is spot on. The dime-a-dozen clichéd plot has a surprising
amount of momentum, and garish sexual puns soon become side-splittingly hilarious. This
show is originality steeped in old-school - a winning combo.
31st Aug - Short Intention Span - - Three
Weeks Have you ever flicked through all the TV channels and thought to
yourself "there's nothing good to watch"? 'Short Intention Span' parodied
familiar TV programmes and adverts in a comic and wacky sketch show which did not lose my
attention. The scene where Will Jennings took on the persona of a creepy old man trying to
get a refund for 'too sufficient' condoms was hilarious. Creator Richard Soames' musical
comedy sketch song, 'Oh God, I'm Dating A French Arsonist' was equally entertaining. With
an invisible band, a sketch about removing gingers from the planet and a comic take on the
'Give Blood' advert, this was one of the better shows the Free Fringe has to offer.
31st Aug - Seething is Believing - - Three Weeks I've yet to see
another show this festival that kicked off by dividing the audience along anthropological
lines. This set the tone for an hour of better-than-usual repartee from two quite
different but equally competent comics who are both - though you wouldn't gather it from
their non-confrontational on stage attitudes - pretty pissed off about stuff. A catalogue
of life's irritations are assessed against a custom-made seethometer - a neat structuring
device that provides the framework for some interesting and quirky material that somehow
doesn't quite hit home. McCure's set lifts the tempo, with some killer ramblings on
fertility clinics and the class system, but overall, while this comedy is well-done and
decently amusing, it's nothing that extraordinary.
31st Aug - Obie: Living the Dream - - Three Weeks An hour of charming
Glaswegian banter, mostly about Glaswegians. Sound clichéd? Well, yes it was a bit but it
was also hilariously funny. Stand-up of ten years Obie (who's real name is John), took us
through the ways he proposed to better his life - get a girlfriend, a better job, get more
fit and be happier - in this side-splitting, feel good comedy show. As well as the
predictable sex jokes, this likeable comedian entertained the audience with a dark yet
comic take on children's' nursery rhymes. Animated and full of expression, his witty
impersonations (including one of a cross-eyed policeman with a lisp) had me in stitches.
This is laugh-out-loud comedy, with a strong theme that is carried through to the end.
31st Aug - Mason Carrol and Graves - - Three Weeks As free comedy goes,
this is a solid offering. On the bill are two comics and a compere, who between them do a
competent job of creating an hour's amusing respite from the rain outside. It is hardly
ground breaking stuff, but they do get laughs from the usual stand-up fare: sex,
relationships, obesity and the Daily Mail. Whilst Carroll livens things up with some
quick-fire banter between acts, Graves goes for a more personal, anecdotal approach.
Mason, the headliner, presents his material as a quiet barrage of understatement which is
heavy on the self-deprecation. He does, however, laugh too much at his own jokes. Looking
past all the filler, there are some rare moments of brilliance and originality here.
30th Aug - Piff-Tacular - - Chortle http://www.chortle.co.uk/shows/edinburgh_fringe_2009/p/17282/pifftacular/review
30th Aug - Memories of a Free Festival,
in the Guardian - http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/aug/25/judging-eddies-free-festival-edinburgh-comedy
30th Aug - Ben Lerman Size Matters - - Fringe Guru (well, 4.5
stars but we haven't got a half star graphic!) http://www.fringeguru.com/editorial/reviews-09/ben-lermans-size-matters.html
30th Aug - Northern Talent - The Stage http://ed.thestage.co.uk/reviews/592
30th Aug - Mark Trenwith Be My Friend -
The Stage http://ed.thestage.co.uk/reviews/512
30th Aug - Laughing Horse Free Comedy
Selection - - Three Weeks I've grown to love these
shows. Presenting a smorgasbord of comedic talent, performing quick-fire sets full of
punchy, innovative material, these gigs are great for picking up tips. My highlights were
Geraldine Quinn ('Hex and the City' @ Underbelly) and Richard Coughlan ('A Walking Advert
for Free Abortions' @ Espionage). Quinn's flyer proclaims her a witch, who "would've
been burned alive in 1645", a perverted Australian songstress who ends her set with a
nihilistic, anti-heroic anthem (chorus: "The world is fucked; they're all cunts and
no-one cares"). Coughlan, an emaciated, barking whippet of a man, is full of
ferocious energy, snarling indignation and barbed-wire wit. A word of warning: don't
heckle this man if you value your pride.
30th Aug - Laughing Horse Free Pick of
the Fringe - - Three Weeks There
are different comedians every single day, but the quality never slips. With Tony Cowards
as the MC skilfully whipping the full house into a state of rapture in anticipation of the
evening's special guests, first up was Londoner Nik Coppin who effectively parodied his
own racial heritage and other observational humour down to a fine art. This was followed
by a narrative-based stand-up about a ghastly day of paintballing on his first comedown;
Welshman Elis James didn't waste a second of his fifteen-minute slot. Lastly came Cockney
geezer Nick Wilty whose dry and dirty humour didn't disappoint. If every show was as good
as today's it is worth paying your respects to!
30th Aug - The Seven Deadly Jokes - - Three Weeks There's surely a
certain satisfaction in having to clamber over a packed-out and eager midday audience to
reach your stage. Consequently, Hannah George and Ashley Frieze were in great spirits as
they stumbled through a cleverly conceived set. Despite a clumsy beginning they eventually
established that comedy education is their game, and in one hour a vague attempt to
categorize jokes into seven genres was made. This led to quick fire quips with a brand of
self-deprecating and fragile humour that was both raw and fresh. Don't expect even a
modicum of useful information, but learning was never required for laughter. So if they
sweep away the cobwebs, here's an act that should definitely return for another bout of
30th Aug - Parry and Allen's
Revoloutions - - Three Weeks
For a couple of comedians who love revolutions they both
express their ardour in different ways. Steve Parry found comedy a natural calling as a
ginger-haired gentleman, possibly the only sub-category of human who gets unfairly heckled
on a daily basis. Well-attired for the business, his rebellious zeal could be defined by a
professed undying hatred of Thatcher. Paul Harry Allen in contrast is more of a chipper
chappy who steals our laughs by playing his deliriously dreadful selection of seventies
thrift-store purchased vinyl. Ingenious jokes concerning the concept of stag gap-years and
rare Gary Glitter recordings ensued. These two guys are a funny old pair and I mean that
as a compliment!
30th Aug - Scurvy Stand-up Showcase - - Three Weeks It's in the nature of showcase events that they are of mixed quality and vary
from night to night, but the idea is that you get some real dross at the same time as
discovering something special. The best act was the former teacher Charlie Duncan,
Nietzsche t-shirt proudly on display.
30th Aug - The Laughing Penguin
Presents... - - Three Weeks Once
I had crept down flight upon flight of stairs, journeying deep into the bowels of Victoria
Street, I sat and anticipated with trepidation the free comedy that awaited me. Tony
Jameson proceeded to lure me into a state of calmness, his pleasing Geordie patter
assuring me that things might turn out all right. Standing in for Simon Donald, Gavin
Webster truly made me chuckle as he recalled the pitfalls of the large panda populations
of years gone by. Sean McLoughlin with his tightly wound angsty anecdotes, not to mention
genitalia, simultaneously amused and drew sympathy. As I emerged blinking in the glare of
daylight I realised there was nothing to be scared of...except maybe a real laughing
30th Aug - Mark Trenwith - - Three Weeks The fact that The
Outhouse is probably the most comfortable free Fringe venue in Edinburgh is a good start
for Australian comedian Mark Trenwith. He storms through his fifty-minute show, only
pausing to play projected video clips of sketches where he does outrageous things in
public. There are a few really audacious stunts pulled, like the sketch about his
childhood bully, which is probably as good as sketch comedy can get. The video clips are
the funniest part of his routine though, as, despite loads of on-stage energy, Trenwith's
stand-up is noticeably weak. Wearing a headset mic which looks a little out of place in
this small venue, Trenwith appears much better in his film clips than when performing live
30th Aug - Short Skirts - - Three Weeks The ladies dealt with
the low turnout extremely well, introducing everyone individually, and only bemoaned the
lack of a female presence. Shannon Woodford kicked things off with her obsessive
ex-girlfriend shtick, which was even stronger when delivered by her painfully
well-observed alter-ego persona later in the show. Marie Connolly and Halley Metcalfe both
focused on family eccentricities to great effect, with the latter's story of
conversational one-upmanship with her dad going down especially well. By the end of the
show, numbers had swelled, and as it is still early in the run, I'm sure this will be a
trend that continues.
30th Aug - Hattie and Tony rub it
Better - - Three Weeks The
idea of a comedy double act immediately brings to mind timeless twosomes such as Laurel
and Hardy or Morecambe and Wise. It's unlikely that Hatty and Tony will be ranked among
these legendary duos any time soon, but they do provide a cheerfully unpretentious hour of
lunchtime humour. The laboured, un-hilarious banter between them is the weakest part of
the show, but individually they show themselves capable of decent stand-up. Hatty muses on
the infuriating but lovable habits of the elderly, while Tony's parodies are slightly
hit-and-miss, although his impersonation of an egotistical new dad is spot-on. This pair
could be better, but at least they're unlikely to rub anyone up the wrong way.
30th Aug - Daniel Simonsen &
Mike O'Donovan - - Three Weeks Daniel
Simonsen's sublimely subversive comedy operates on the edge of a unique, neurotic
Scandinavian reserve - you're never quite sure how much is a genuine foreign naivety and
how much is cleverly feigned, although judging by the skill with which he deploys most of
his quiet, nervous, backhanded jokes, it's probably the latter. Impressively keeping a
slightly drunk and uninterested audience of people probably just sheltering from the rain
entertained, he's better than the second act on the bill, a depressive Australian with a
relentlessly downbeat set. Mike O'Donovan tries his best, but the unremitting gloom of his
set, though mildly funny, can't sustain the laughs Simonsen's does, and it makes for a
slightly disappointing end to the show.
30th Aug - A Years HArd Labour
- - Three Weeks This
interesting piece of new theatre focuses on six jury members and one oddball's attempt to
decide whether to send an asylum seeker back to Somalia. The style is compelling - the six
argue together but branch off into monologues and occasional visits to Frank, a man who
follows court cases for fun, and the discussion is captivating and sometimes funny. The
acting is solid with no weak performances, but there's a serious setback in the length of
the show. In a piece like this, where characterisation is key, there's simply not enough
time to absorb yourself in the production, and you're left thinking: "Was that
it?". This has the potential to be a lot better, but it's certainly not a bad start.
30th Aug - Lewis Schaffer - - The
30th Aug - Cabaret Whore - - Chortle http://www.chortle.co.uk/shows/edinburgh_fringe_2009/c/16971/cabaret_whore/review
29th Aug - Lewis Schaffer - -
29th Aug - Lewis
Schaffer wins the Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt award for best Publicity Stunt
which in it's two years of exisitnace has only been won by Free Festival acts. BBC & Chortle
28th Aug - Are We There Yet? - - The Scotsman http://www.edinburgh-festivals.com/viewreview.aspx?id=934
28th Aug - Mark Trenwith writes in Three
As a one man producer / promoter /
performer I was beginning to feel the strain of having too many hats to wear, and feeling
guilty for spending time on one task at the expense of another. Does one spend the day
begging reviewers to come to the show, making more pestering calls than a telemarketer? Or
do I take that 20 pound cab ride to that obscure gig in the middle of nowhere only to find
there's two people in the crowd (who are leaving the next morning anyway)?
-- Do I have that drink with that fast talking
promoter whose 'big chain of clubs' turns out to be a bunch of strip bars, or do I go out
and bravely flyer until I have no voice to actually perform the show I'm flyering for?
Adding further stress was the arrival of an enthusiastic non-performer friend who would be
distracting me from my precious Fringe schedule. On her first day we took an obligatory
free walking tour. I watched her laugh at street performers, point at buildings, taste
weird foods and my spirits suddenly began to lift.
Over the following days we went on ghost tours, went
to non-Fringe bars, met random locals, slept in late, and I became aware of how inside my
own head I had become. On the day she left, despite my lack of sleep, I was filled with a
vitality that led me to having my best performance yet!
So to anyone feeling stale, go buy yourself a hot
chocolate, hike up Arthur's Seat, and pat a homeless man. Spend time wasting time and
you'll be amazed how much better you'll feel. And for punters, email this article to your
boss back home - and demand another day off to come play with us.
27th Aug - The Good, The Bad and the
Cuddly - - Three Weeks The
clue is in the title with this one. Laughing Horse stalwart Siôn James holds the reigns
in this enjoyable comedy triptych, warming up the afternoon crowd with a cheerily sweaty
blend of smut and anecdotes. The second act, Stuart Hudson, pulls out his misanthropic
weirdo schtick - it's not bad, but overlong and the tone's too Eeyorish for the show.
Finally comes Imran Yusuf and he is - I cannot stress this enough - fantastic. Eloquent,
quick-draw and punchy, this guy's one of the best acts I've seen at this year's Fringe.
Sniff him out, for I suspect he won't be free for long. With the line-up changing every
day, this is a super way to spend an hour.
27th Aug - Nick Wilty - - Three Weeks Part travelogue, part
stand up comedy, Nick Wilty's offering is both interesting and funny. An old-school London
geezer who's been to all four corners of the globe, he tells tales of his various
adventures and of the many stages upon which he has plied his craft. This is not intended
to be a conventional show of jokes; instead, this is a sort of behind-the-scenes look at
the life and times of a seasoned comedian. A typical story involves his telling of how
during his time on the other side of the Atlantic, he won an award for Best New Canadian
Comedian and was then promptly deported for not having a work permit. His wry sense of
humour keeps things entertaining throughout.
27th Aug - Iszi Laurence - - Three
Weeks Iszi Lawrence claims that it takes two hours, locked away in the
bathroom, to bleach-dye her hair. I'm not surprised. It explodes upwards from her brow
like a conflagration in dry grass, giving her a permanently astonished look, as if she's
just seen the falling Icarus, or can't quite believe how amused people are by her
material. Some of her pay-off lines, for all their earnestness, are almost apologetically
delivered; this merely adds to her charming mien. Too many comedians snarl, wild hounds
unleashed. Iszi Lawrence smiles, laughs: she enjoys the joke with you. She's also a
comedian of ideas, promoting herself as the acceptable face of modern atheism, in direct
contrast to Richard Dawkins's acetic disdain. A future headliner.
27th Aug - Simon Jenkins plus One - - Three Weeks At the tender age of
21, Simon Jenkins gives Daniel Sloss a solid run for his money in the 'young comedian'
stakes with a breezy, natural on-stage presence that many twice his age would envy. His
anecdotes and manner belie his age, and his witty brand of cheeky audience banter mixed
with fast-paced anecdotes ensured that laughter was never far from the room. His 'plus
one' for the evening came in the form of Matt Rudge, a similarly chirpy and affable young
comic who, while resorting to puerile asides that sometimes didn't work, possessed a
friendly and promising stage presence which engaged and entertained the audience. An
evening of promising and impressive stand-up; Sloss, this is how it is done.
27th Aug - Stand-Up Monkey Poet - - Three Weeks Matt Panesh does
stand-up poetry, the content of which is fairly boisterous, but also always honest and
authentic. It's clear his heart and soul have been poured into this show, and that he
feels passionately about the subjects addressed. Regrettably, I found that the format of
his poetry often acted as a barrier to the true meaning and the humour within. Really well
written and rehearsed stand-up has a poetry of its own: it thrives on its timing and sense
of rhythm. The traditional rhyming poetic style used here was just a little clunky, and
sometimes required stepping out of the poem for clarification. The show has plenty of
excellent insights, I'm just not convinced this is the best way of delivering them.
27th Aug - 9 to 5 Idiot - - Three Weeks My heart broke for
Roland Gent; his first date in the Edinburgh Fringe, there were four people in a pub
basement and one of them was a reviewer. The miniscule audience made him sweat to find
family-friendly gags and we sensed he was uncomfortably adapting his material. Yet Gent
grafted to keep us with him and ignore the awkwardness of the situation. He reached the
fifty-minute mark having been as amusing as could ever have been expected before two
drunks rumbled in. There was a sharp improvement in the performance, with some quality
concepts and neat lines, but all too late. Gent is obviously capable of much more; so give
the salesman a moment of your time.
27th Aug - A Tribute: Gielgud's Ages of
Man - - fringeReview http://www.fringereview.co.uk/fringeReview/3118.html
27th Aug - Lynn Ruth Miller is guest
Editor for Three Weeks http://edinburgh.threeweeks.co.uk/feature/7850
27th Aug - Lynn Ruth Miller's Fringe
Tips in Three Weeks - -http://edinburgh.threeweeks.co.uk/feature/7859
27th Aug - Desiree Burch answers Three
Weeks Quick Quiz http://edinburgh.threeweeks.co.uk/feature/7850
BURCH - 52 MAN PICKUP
A fifty-two man pickup? Doesn't sound like a show for the faint-hearted. New
Yorker Desiree Burch combines card games and comedy in her stand-up based on her chaotic
sex life. The show was a hit at the NYC Fringe, so looks set for similar success in
Edinburgh. Desiree took a few minutes out of her schedule to take on the ThreeWeeks Quick
Q1: What is your 2009 show
Sex in the city that never sleeps, with the same person twice. In 80 minutes I go through
my entire hilarious, random, quixotic sex life by playing it out through a series of card
games. Each card in the deck is a person, a story and a bit of wisdom I encountered in the
night, and I play a series of games with the audience so they can help me win in the end,
or at least figure out what the hell happened.
Q2: Why should we come and
Cause I know more about sex than you. Perhaps you can tell me a little about the 'love'
Q3: If your show was a
superhero, what would his or her super power be?
Instant and total revelation.
Q4: What are you most looking
forward to about this year's Edinburgh Festival?
Getting to meet people from all over the world, and discovering the little kinks and
quirks that make them exactly the same as everyone else.
Q5: What are you least
looking forward to about this year's Edinburgh Festival?
Standing outside in a corset in the rain to hand out postcards, with my tits all perched
up on display, sopping wet like the saddest birthday cake ever. Though it could be
Q6: What advice would you
give to an audience member coming to the Fringe for the first time?
Be easily wooed.
Q7: Other than your own show,
what's your hot show tip for Edinburgh 2009?
Some other solo performance goddesses that I know, Carolyn Castiglia, the inimitable Marga
Gomez, and the nothing short of phenomenal Cynthia Hopkins, who I am eager to meet.
Q8: Describe your show in
The Naked Truth.
26th Aug - Stuart Mitchell in East
Kilbride News - click
26th Aug - Keira Murphy: Lyre Burd - -
26th Aug - Cabaret Whore - -
26th Aug - Bitch Got Owned - - One4Review http://www.one4review.com/Comedy_/comedy2009/bitch_got_owned_.htm
26th Aug - Nik Coppin: Loquacious - - Hairline http://hairline.org.uk/2009/08/25/nik-coppin-loquacious/
26th Aug - Mark Trenwith - The Stage http://ed.thestage.co.uk/reviews/512
26th Aug - The List's pick of the free
"In a festival where Ricky Gervais can charge
whatever he wants for a show in the Playhouse and sell out comfortably, as well as
expecting to pay £10 for a half-decent comedian nobody's heard of, it's nice to see the
free alternatives still going strong.
A main part of that strength would be the brilliant Beta
Males' Picnic () whose silly but smart sketch show
manages to be just as clever and quipful as Idiots of Ants or Pappy's Fun Club. Looking
the part in waistcoats too, and with a matching air of grinning eccentricity, few free
acts are so charming and so prepared.
Jay Foreman preforming as part of the The
Complete Guide to All Human Knowledge in 59½ Minutes () is similarly impressive compared
to both his free peers and more established acts, singing simple songs with wonderful
lines of thought that Flight of the Conchords wouldn't turn their noses up at. And the
more songs about Dick Van Dyke, the better."
26th Aug - A Year's Hard Labour - - The List http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/20439-a-years-hard-labour/
26th Aug - A Trubute - Gielguds Ages of
Man - - The List http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/20434-a-tribute-gielguds-ages-of-man/
26th Aug - The Cubicle - - The List http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/20406-the-cubicle/
26th Aug - 52 Man Pickup - -
The List http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/20349-52-man-pickup/
26th Aug - No Parole: family is a Life
Sentance - - The List http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/20160-no-parole-family-is-a-life-sentence/
26th Aug - The Works of Fate - - The List http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/20438-the-works-of-fate/
26th Aug - Accidental Dog Detective - - Chortle http://www.chortle.co.uk/shows/edinburgh_fringe_2009/a/17161/the_accidental_dog_detective/review
25th Aug - Giacinto Palmeri - - The Scotsman http://www.edinburgh-festivals.com/viewreview.aspx?id=834
24th Aug - Cabaret Whore - - Broadway Baby - click
24th Aug - Taming Goldfish - - Broadway Baby - click
24th Aug - Cabaret Whore - -Time
24th Aug - Cabaret Whore - -
The Skinny http://fest.theskinny.co.uk/article/97058-cabaret-whore
23rd Aug - Piff-Tacular - -
Three Weeks It's a guilty pleasure to watch magician John van der Put
perform as his alter ego, Piff The Magic Dragon. His style in a nutshell: Van der Put
grumpily walks onto the stage wearing his full dragon costume and directs his audience to
the fire exits, first pointing to the rear of the room, then the sides and finally to his
frowning dragon face. I'm not sure whether you'd call him a magician or a comedian in
character as he flits between delivering his typically deadpan humour and performing
impressive magic tricks. Over the course of his show, van der Put develops a sweet rapport
with his audience, eventually leading to raucous applause, though not before Piff's grand
23rd Aug - At Home with the Ham Yard
Tourists - - Three Weeks I
wouldn't necessarily pay to hear Ben Fogle being called a 'posh bastard', but since it was
gratis it was pretty funny. The mere mention of the adventurer might give some clue as to
just how random a double act Ham Yard Tourists are, delivering a show of pure and utter
nonsense. They are like a free buffet: some of their material is crap, a bit like quiche,
and then there are Ben Fogle jokes, which, like sausage rolls are guaranteed
crowd-pleasers. I'd been wondering how long it would be before I heard a joke about Josef
Fritzl and dungeons, clearly the sausages-on-sticks of the comedy world. Turns out I
didn't have to wait too long.
23rd Aug - The Beta Males Picnic - -
Fizzing with energy and a manic inventiveness, 'The Beta Males Picnic' is a delightfully
daft way to get your lunchtime fix of comedy. This comedy quartet play off the crowd and
each other with natural ease, attacking the well-constructed sketches with a fearless
confidence and great comic timing. Their surreal brand of slapstick has been practised and
polished until it shines, and their use of recurring sketches, especially the gloriously
funny moon-landing ones, and a short comic play at the end gives the show a sense of
structure that it might otherwise lack. Fresh, fun, and free to see, there's really no
reason not to go and enjoy 'The Beta Males Picnic'.
23rd Aug - A Personal War - - Three Weeks The premise for 'A
Personal War' is interesting- seven different people individually recall their experiences
on the night of the Mumbai terrorist attacks. Although the acting is somewhat clichéd,
the chilling real life footage of the shootings that is interwoven between the separate
monologues adds a haunting depth to what could otherwise be construed as passé. This
poignant tribute reaches a height in the final ten minutes during the interaction of the
seven characters, whose emotional rapport with the audience brought on tears, standing
ovations and a shocking blast of reality. Capturing the hesitant desire to renew oneself
and love again lies at the core of the play and makes one regret the fact that it is only
on for a limited run.
23rd Aug - A tribute - Gielgud's Ages of
Man - - Three Weeks Calling
all Shakespeare lovers! George Innes is back and has a special treat for you! Seamlessly
interlacing John Gielgud's 'Ages of Man' and excerpts from the great Shakespearean actor's
personal correspondence, Innes' solo performance is powerful and flowing. Exploring the
concepts of youth, maturity and old age, carefully chosen sonnets and speeches serve to
complement Gielgud's own journey through life. From Romeo burning with young love beneath
Juliet's balcony to old and broken Lear grieving beside his daughter's body, there is
enough of the Bard's great works in there to please everyone. Although perhaps a tad long,
the script is expertly delivered and its message clearly communicated - that in the end,
all men age as nature dictates.
23rd Aug - 52 Man Pickup - -
The List http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/20349-52-man-pickup/
22nd Aug - No Parole - - Hairline - http://hairline.org.uk/2009/08/20/no-parole-family-is-a-life-sentence/
22nd Aug - No Parole - -
The List http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/20160-no-parole-family-is-a-life-sentence/
22nd Aug - Jessica Delfino - (well
three-and-a-half stars but we don't have the technology here for half a star) - Fringe
22nd Aug - Accidental Dog Detective -
- The Skinny http://www.theskinny.co.uk/article/96817-the-accidental-dog-detective
22nd Aug - Piff the Magic Dragon -
- One4Review http://www.one4review.com/Others_/other2009/magic_reviews_.htm
(last review at bottom of page of reviews)
22nd Aug - Murder for Profit and
Pleasure - - One4Review http://www.one4review.com/Comedy_/comedy2009/murder_4_profit_.htm
22nd Aug - Short Skirts - - One4Review http://www.one4review.com/Comedy_/comedy2009/short_skirts_.htm
22nd Aug - Beware of the Dogs - - Three Weeks As all three
cast members don burqas - at the climax of a performance highlighting the pervasive
oppression and abuse of women - they open themselves to accusations of insensitively
courting controversy. Yet 'Beware Of The Dogs' has all the ingredients necessary for
ground-breaking political theatre: it is intense, provocative, challenging, and a little
shocking. Unfortunately, it falls short of achieving this status. At little more than ten
minutes long, the piece moves on too quickly to fully explore the deeply troublesome
issues it raises. Consequently, the structure seems slightly disjointed, if not a little
rushed. Nonetheless, the cast are capable of making brutally honest observations on our
society, though they must avoid needlessly creating drama off the stage.
21st Aug - Sarah-Louise Young on Fresh
Air - http://www.freshair.org.uk/2009/08/20/interview-sarah-louise-young/
21st Aug - A diplomatic Incident and
Free Fest comic Yariv in the Independant - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/pandora/pandora-only-israeli-comic-in-diplomatic-incident-1775224.html
21st Aug - Free shows in Fringe
Director's spotlight, plus comment from Free Festival organiser Alex Petty in The Scotsman
20th Aug - Hari Krishna and the
Philosopher's Stoned - - Three Weeks As
is perhaps evident from the title, this routine dealt with issues of drugs and spiritual
enlightenment delivered in a bohemian style by Karl Edrick. The anecdotes were engaging
and it was clear he has lived an extremely colourful life, however, I felt that many of
the stories could have been told much more effectively. As it turned out, the sheer
implausibility of many of his life events, rather than the delivery, were the most
entertaining part of the show. The set slowed down towards the end rather like the last
desperate drag before stubbing out. Not the worst show I've seen by a long shot, but don't
expect to come away with a new-found perspective of the world.
20th Aug - Jo Romero - - Three Weeks Ever wondered
what an AA disco was like? Full of sweets, caffeine and angry people, according to Jo
Romero. Taking us through the perils of alcoholism, Christian dating and lack of sex,
Romero gives an eccentric and funny performance. Her interaction with the audience gives
this show a fun and intimate feel whilst also giving her the chance to try out a scene she
has written for 'Eastenders' involving Nigel Harman's character and nudity. There were a
few awkward points in the show but Romero recovered well by having an unabashed approach
to the material. A thoroughly likeable woman, Romero has a light-hearted approach to the
more serious matters in life. No Benylin / Night Nurse cocktail needed to enjoy this.
20th Aug - Pig with the Face of a Boy - -
Three Weeks The idea of an "anti-folk" band with an accordion
raises major questions, which are thankfully soon answered by 'Pig With The Face Of A
Boy'. Their off-beat silliness charms from the start with a ditty on safety hazards in the
London underground, and they quickly move onto urges to eat placenta and embrace sheep.
This left some of the audience a touch bemused, but most in fits of laughter at the sheer
invention and wit of Dan Wood and Donald Newholm. Both are accomplished musicians,
entertaining as much with their playing as their jokes. It's well worth slinging a few
pennies into their enormous hat; these boys are in danger of making 'anti-folk' the new
20th Aug - Zip, Zap, Zop - - Three Weeks This lightning-fast whirlwind of sketches from Scottish three-strong
group How Do I Get Up There? just about leaves enough gaps to have quite a few laughs.
Some scenes show signs of brilliance, such as finding out what Noel Edmonds really hears
from the banker, and a cruel but entirely accurate portrayal of Glasvegas front man James
Allan. Others are a little predictable, and some go for some very cheap laughs, which let
them down somewhat. However, if these were simply cut out, we'd have an intelligent,
lively and, crucially, very funny sketch show on our hands. Probably wise to catch them
now whilst they're free, as they're surely destined for bigger things next year.
20th Aug - Hot Air - - Three Weeks - This
is the kind of show the Free Fringe does very well; it's short and simple, sweet and fun.
A pair of amateur criminals, brought together by an internet chatroom, meet outside their
latest target and work up the courage to begin. Nothing much happens after that, but the
winning performances and sharp script keep things entertaining, as the tensions mount and
the pair's many neuroses threaten to ruin everything. It soon becomes apparent that they
are each motivated more by their own strange fetishes than by greed, and despite the
surreal set up they each have a wistful desperation about them that rings very true. 'Hot
Air' is a charming oddity that's well worth your time.
19th Aug - Shorts Skirt - - One4review http://www.one4review.com/Comedy_/comedy2009/short_skirts_.htm
19th Aug - Heresy Project - - A
locals Guide - Be afraid... Be very afraid..... for the two comedians
brave enough to put on a show with this title, let alone the content within the show.
The advertising for the show is not subtle "...makes Richard Dawkins look like the
Archbishop of Canterbury" screams the poster. This show is clearly not for people
with imaginary friends!
I've taken a keen interest in the god debate in recent years, so this is my kind of show
and I knew it would be.
The show pulls no punches. Zero. Imagine the most blasphemous thing you can possibly think
of, then add willies to it. And Donkeys. With willies. For every major religion.... So,
you get the idea of the content. On to the show itself.
The show is a well presented and well prepared hour which makes good use of mulitmedia
without being overly flashy and dependent on it. But what impressed me most was the
preparation that has obviously gone in to preparing the dialogue itself. The two comedians
did have their scripts on stage to refer to, just in case they went off track but they
didn't take too many peeks so it never took away from the show itself.
What we ended up with was two passionate comedians talking about something that they
believe in with a good on stage rapport as well as a natural talent for being funny.
Although there is a lot of goofiness and a fair bit of equating people they don't like to
other people they don't like (Christian Voice are a bit like the BNP apparently) some of
the central arguments of the atheist perspective are put across quite well, in a
simplified, offensive kind of way.
So... if blasphemy is your kind of thing, go and see it. If it's not, don't.
The Heresy Project: Kill Your God is on at Espionage at 20.40
19th Aug - Shaggers - - A
Marcel Lucont: An absolute class act both times. He's got some cracking on stage banter as
well as some great prepared material. He has his own show at the Underbelly around 10pm,
which I'll hopefully get a chance to see before the end of the fringe.
Dan Willis: Solid shagging stories from an experienced comedian. He's on quite regularly
so there's a good chance you'll see him if you head down. If not he's got a solo show
around 6pm in Espionage and he comeres "Northern Talent" in the Meadow Bar.
Lewis Schaffer: Got to gives him kudos for pushing the boundaries. He managed to get about
10 eopl eot walk out with his humour but alos provided me with the best joke to repeat to
all my sick and twisted mates (which I'm not repeating on here). His show, which is
definately not for the feint hearted or easily offended is on at the Counting House at
Nik Coppin: My lodger for the fringe... superb compere (he'd kill me if I said anything
else but it's true). He also has a solo show at Espionage at 7.20pm.
Ben Dover: Porn star, but also a pretty competent stand up judging by his preformance.
Alhtough I have friends who went to his show last night and apparently a few people walked
out it was so bad! Funny how comics can kill one night and die the next. Pretty good based
on what I saw though.
19th Aug - Matter of Tact - -The Scotsman http://www.edinburgh-festivals.com/viewreview.aspx?id=544
19th Aug - Anthology - -The Scotsman http://www.edinburgh-festivals.com/viewreview.aspx?id=502
19th Aug - Nick Wilty: Behind the Jokes - EdFestMag http://www.edfestmag.co.uk/fringe/comedy/1376-nick-wilty-behind-the-jokes
19th Aug - Lewis Schaffer answers the
Three Weeks Quick Quiz
LEWIS SCHAFFERHis show is called 'Bigger And Blacker', but I'm not sure that Lewis Schaffer is
actually that big - and he's definitely not black. He is, however, a Jewish New Yorker
with a penchant for political and social satire. He tells ThreeWeeks about his Fringe show
in eight bite-sized chunks...
Q1: What is your 2009 show
'Lewis Schaffer - Bigger And Blacker' is 5O minutes of a middle-aged Jewish New Yorker now
living in Peckham telling you how much he hates you. It shouldn't be fun or funny but it
Q2: Why should we come and
"The best festival show you'll see for free - and maybe the best you'll see at any
Q3: If your show was a
superhero, what would his or her super power be?
Superman, because he couldn't walk but never gave up trying. He's probably still trying
and he's dead. That's Lewis Schaffer. He's dead but doesn't know it.
Q4: What are you most looking
forward to about this year's Edinburgh Festival?
I'm looking forward to spending hours annoying complete strangers by asking them to see
me! That part is as fun as getting on stage.
Q5: What are you least
looking forward to about this year's Edinburgh Festival?
The end of the Festival. I loved the Festival so much last year that I went into an
emotional tailspin that would make my mother envious, and she is the Queen of Emotional
Q6: What advice would you
give to an audience member coming to the Fringe for the first time?
Wear less clothes around town, because it gets hot inside the venues and because you'll
look good to me.
Q7: Other than your own show,
what's your hot show tip for Edinburgh 2009?
Go see Reginald D Hunter, Andy Zaltzman, Jo Romero and Geordie John Smith - but not if
you're drunk. They can be drunk but you'll need to be sober. See my show for free, then
pay to see theirs. Worth it.
Q8: Describe your show in
"Lewis Schaffer hates" :)
18th Aug - A Peculiar River - -
Three Weeks The central
feature of this play is given away by the title (and I'm not referring to any river) but
for admirers of the strange - such as myself - this peculiar production was a tantalising
treat! Dark comedy, melancholy music and colourful costume made for a thrilling theatrical
experience based loosely on Shakespeare's problem play 'Measure for Measure'. This
original script by Dug Williams deals with madness in a madder world, stylishly satirizing
society, and dealing with a family full of eccentrics; be prepared to experience some
beautiful bewilderment. If you like corruption and champagne then you will like this weird
and well-delivered play. Best of all is that enjoying this debauched debacle won't cost
you a penny!
18th Aug -Arthur Fowlers Allotment
- - Three Weeks
Although inexplicably listed as theatre at The Counting
House, this is in fact a free comedy show in the beer garden of The Pear Tree. Confused? I
was, but once the show actually began it became clear that this is a fairly traditional
show featuring a selection of different comedians. Today's show included the excellent
comedy musical techniques of Tom McDonald, some great sketches from 'Beta Males Picnic', a
hastily sanitised stand up routine from Marc Hogan and some funny tricks from 'Piff the
Magic Dragon'. The acts were all very good, and the beer garden is lovely. Unfortunately
the compère was a weak link, serving to kill the mood, and sapping the good will built up
by the performers.
18th Aug - Divorce: The Truth - - Three Weeks The title of 'Life After Divorce: The Truth', gave me cause to feel
apprehensive as I entered the Laughing Horse @ Espionage; I imagined a clichéd ridden set
moaning about marriage and probably menstruation. I was pleasantly surprised then, when I
was presented with an anecdotal set complemented by a number of inverted witticisms for
good measure. As he focuses on the life he is able to live now he is free from the
constraints of marriage, Kevin McCarron reveals himself to be a genuine, thorough and
amusingly clever comic who gently coaxes the laughter out of the audience. He doesn't
induce fits of uncontrollable laughter, but one is feel tickled and entertained, as
McCarron exudes his natural, comforting charisma, putting you at ease with his far from
17th Aug - 80's Movie Flashback 10
Questions - London is Funny http://www.londonisfunny.com/edinburgh/8651/10_Questions:_80s_Movie_Flashback
17th Aug - Sajeela Kershi on the
Edfringe.com blog http://edfringe.wordpress.com/2009/08/08/sajeela-kershi-whatever-happens-i-know-its-going-to-be-eventful
17th Aug - Hatty & Tony rub it
Better - - The New current
16th Aug - Rent-a-Toast - - Three Weeks - Though perhaps the worst named show at the Fringe, this combination of
comedy song and sketches is a real gem nestled inside the dark belly of Espionage. Most
impressive is the fresh talent of Jay Foreman, whose personality and manner with the
audience are as charming as his lyrics are funny. On his guitar he leads you through an
eclectic range of subjects, from illegitimate Japanese babies to why he's glad John Lennon
died. Foreman on his own would be a great show, but his act is broken up by consistently
amusing, sometimes brilliant sketches. Nothing at all to do with toast, or with anything
in particular, but who cares? Sap up this young talent before it's old and expensive.
16th Aug - Ben Lerman - - Three
"My name is Ben Lerman and I play the
ukulele." It's an introduction that does not instantly cause alarm. Beware though, as
this façade of innocence is happily deconstructed through myriad self-composed songs
centring on Lerman's own uncouth experiences. A hilarious cover of Natasha Beddingfield's
'Unwritten' emerges as a call for mankind to be 'Unshaven'. Next up is a witty critique of
Manhunt, a men's dating site, portrayed through 'This Little Piggy Went To Market'.
'Multiple Orgasm Pam' extols the virtues of female satisfaction, whilst Karl Lagerfield is
deemed, "crazier than hell" owing to his Amish-esque catwalk collections.
Ultimately, Lerman's musings are always unforgiving, never modest and usually with a
sexual undertone. Wordplay at its most hilarious!
16th Aug - Mark Butler - - Three Weeks - was the case when
Mark Butler united his audience in horror as he dragged 16 year old Emma up to the front
to demonstrate putting a condom on a banana. His show takes the form of a filthy school
sex education lesson and I spent the entire time terrified that I would be hauled from my
third row aisle seat to embarrass myself in front of the rest of the 'class'. I don't
think it's an improvement on Monty Python's sex education sketch in 'The Meaning Of Life',
but a braver person than me might be able to relax and enjoy the jokes.
16th Aug - Clean Free and Kiwi - -
16th Aug - News at Tenish - - FreeComedy.co.uk -
16th Aug - Apocalypse Wow - - FreeComedy.co.uk -
16th Aug - Speed Bumps - - FreeComedy.co.uk -
16th Aug - Heresy: Kill Your God- -
Project - Kill your God
16th Aug - Iszi Lauwrence - -
16th Aug - My Name is Chris Henry - - FreeComedy.co.uk -
my names Chris Henry
16th Aug - It's Got Jokes in - -
got jokes in it
16th Aug - Gag Hole - -
15th Aug - it's Got Jokes in - -
15th Aug - Mugging Chickens - Fringe
15th Aug - Cheese Badger - Fringe Report
15th Aug - A Personal War - - Fringe review http://www.fringereview.co.uk/fringeReview/3042.html
14th Aug - No Parole - - Three Weeks The play was like a
Pedro Almodovar film on speed: outlandish, fraught, comic and underlined by a Hispanic
pulse; all ingredients for a gripping production, but one that did not fulfil its promise.
A new autobiographically-based, one-man show about a son's relationship to his fraudulent
identity-shifting Peruvian mother, it's a potentially hilarious and tragic piece, and,
dealing with issues about immigrants' displacement and the ties of family, it raises
interesting questions. However the delivery is where this production falters. Though Carlo
D'Amore is endearing, his overblown, quick delivery, and blurred physicality means
characters are hard to discern and nuance doesn't seep through, denying an emotional
impact, instead producing a clichéd veneer.
15th Aug - Piff-tacular - - EdFestMag http://www.edfestmag.co.uk/fringe/kids/1285-piff-tacular
14th Aug - Choose Your own Edventure - - Fringe review http://www.fringereview.co.uk/fringeReview/3034.html
14th Aug - A Personal War - - The
14th Aug - Free Fest
organiser Alex Petty, Nik Coppin, Nick Wilty, Isabel Heartag, The Pear Tree
Courtyard, on 'You and Your's' on Radio 4 http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00ly564/You_and_Yours_14_08_2009/
(starting at 27mins ish) - will probably disappear over the next week as iplayer
13th Aug - Free Fest organisr Alex Petty
on Free Shows on the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/8197789.stm
13th Aug - Piff-Tacular in the New
12th Aug - Cabaret Whore - - Three Weeks Trailer-trash, librarians, reality starlets and the French: if you happen to
be sensitive about any of these subjects then perhaps this one-woman show is not for you.
Then again, a little bit of crudeness shouldn't surprise anyone who goes to see a show
with 'whore' in its title. However, there is plenty of wit in it and Sarah-Louise Young
does have an impressive voice. Some of the jokes might seem a bit worn, but there are
quite a few clever moments, like the rant by a French cabaret singer who has a bone to
pick with Édith Piaf. This is not a place to find meaningful theatrical experiences, but
it's a good accompaniment to some drinks with friends.
12th Aug - Ben Lerman - - Three
Weeks My name is Ben Lerman and I play the
ukulele. Its an introduction that does not instantly cause alarm. Beware
though, as this façade of innocence is happily deconstructed through myriad self-composed
songs centring on Lermans own uncouth experiences. A hilarious cover of Natasha
Beddingfields Unwritten emerges as a call for mankind to be
Unshaven. Next up is a witty critique of Manhunt, a mens dating site,
portrayed through This Little Piggy Went To Market. Multiple Orgasm
Pam extols the virtues of female satisfaction, whilst Karl Lagerfield is deemed,
crazier than hell owing to his Amish-esque catwalk collections. Ultimately,
Lermans musings are always unforgiving, never modest and usually with a sexual
undertone. Wordplay at its most hilarious!
12th Aug - About Comedy Stand-up Courses
- - Three
Weeks This course, led by Kevin McCarron, has to be one of the best on
offer. The students, including a policeman and a Dutch porn addict (if his act is to be
believed), had all travelled into Edinburgh especially for the course. Notable was the
relaxed and uncompetitive atmosphere, in no small part down to Kevin, who focused on
helping each participant to find a personal style, coached them on how to edit their
material and explained how not to fall out with comperes (particularly by not bumping into
them on their way on and off the stage). The course culminated in impressive performances
that night at a Free Festival venue with radically improved acts. Pricey, but everyone
seemed delighted with the experience. Highly recommended.
11th Aug - Lots fo female comics in the
Times - many of them Free Festivalers - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article6792872.ece
12th Aug - Rob Deb - - Three Weeks Charmingly
self-deprecating throughout, Deb himself describes the format of the show as
"tangential". I will not disagree, but Deb's amiability manages to keep the
crowd on board throughout his many digressions. The material, albeit aimed at a particular
(geekier) audience, was strong enough, but the delivery was sometimes lacking, seeming
unrehearsed. The unvarnished approach has its benefits, in that the material was clearly
fresh, and Deb was versatile enough to adapt his routine to the room, plus, the Q&A
session at the end displayed how confident a stand-up he could be. In summary, if you have
ever tried to bed an elfin princess by lying about your character on World of Warcraft,
then this is the show for you.
11th Aug - Lynn Ruth Miller at the BBC
Radio Cafe http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/edinburghfestivals/2009/features/festivalcafe/b00m0jc8/
11th Aug - Posh and Trampy do some
Comedy - - Three Weeks They
say you should never judge a book by its cover and that is good advice when applied to
this show. Despite the trashy sounding title, the standard of humour on offer has
aspirations to the upper classes of comedy. Genuinely funny jokes combined with personable
styles of delivery to create just the right atmosphere for some brilliant banter. Both
comediennes were possessed of likeable qualities, and Lou Sanders in particular had a very
engaging glint in her eye. Jekyll and Hyde is a quirky little venue where punters enjoy
spending time basking in its bizarreness; the benefits of free comedy of this standard, as
well as the intoxicating effect of the bar will surely prove alluring to the lunchtime
11th Aug - It's got Jokes in - - Three Weeks Meet Hannah, Catie
and Lou - possibly three of the most uninhibited but very funny young ladies providing
laughs aplenty for free this Fringe. Hannah George (and her booming, female-Blessed style
voice) succeeded as the glue holding everything together, and her excellent natural
ability to recover maintained momentum when some jokes were less well received than
others. Catie Wilkins may have failed to extract intimate details of audience members' sex
lives but the remainder of her stage time was great entertainment. Lou Sanders had the
best comic timing, particularly with her anecdote regarding bizarre train announcements
about an ill-stocked buffet carriage. Complete with risqué jokes, unintentionally funny
technical difficulties and quirky personas, 'It's Got Jokes In' was well worth a visit.
11th Aug - Dan Willis - - Three Weeks Imagine your
favourite teacher or lecturer from the past - were they likable, friendly, and passionate
about their subject? This is Dan Willis. Clearly, an enthusiasm for computer programming
is helpful in a stand up show about such a subject, but whether this is enough is open to
question. Still, whilst Willis' show isn't exactly a riot, his amiable manner and great
delivery mean passing an hour in his company is not at all unpleasant, and there's a
chance you may even learn something. His tendency to wander off the subject is more
endearing that it is annoying, and whilst it isn't necessary to know anything about
computer programming to enjoy this, it is certainly helpful if you are, like him, a self
confessed geek, and proud of it.
10th Aug - Sol Bernstien - Metro http://www.metro.co.uk/metrolife/edfest/article.html?Festival_For_Free:_Sol_Bernstein&in_article_id=717363&in_page_id=300
10th Aug - Ophelia Blitz and Mike Amato
in the Times story on smut at the Fringe http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/specials/edinburgh/article6787628.ece
10th Aug - Lynn Ruth Miller Interview -
Festival Previews http://www.festivalpreviews.com/blog/4229/the-comedic-sage-lynn-ruth-miller/
10th Aug - Beta Males Picnic - - The Scotsman http://www.edinburgh-festivals.com/viewreview.aspx?id=252
10th Aug - Moroccan Disco Spokesman -
10th Aug - Bitch Got Owned - The Stage
9th Aug - Mildy Terrible Revenge of
the slightly Evil Brainwashing Puppets - Edinburgh Festival Mag http://www.edfestmag.co.uk/fringe/kids/1210-mildly-terrible-revenge-of-the-slightly-evil-brainwashing-puppets
9th Aug - Matter of Tact - - London is Funny http://www.londonisfunny.com/edinburgh/8617/Edinburgh_Review:_Iszi_Lawrence
9th Aug - 10 Questions with Geek Night
Out - London is Funny http://www.londonisfunny.com/edinburgh/8591/10_Questions_with..._Geek_Night_Out
9th Aug - 10 Questions with Sajeela
Kershi - London is Funny http://www.londonisfunny.com/edinburgh/8596/10_Questions_with..._Sajeela_Kershi
9th Aug - Anthology - One4Review http://one4review.com/Comedy_/comedy2009/anthology_.htm
9th Aug - All About Me - Three
Weeks Could you do three shows a day for an entire month? Most casts would
refuse to. Lynn Ruth Miller jumped at the chance, and she does it alone and in style. 'All
About Me' is a collection of stories from Miller's own life as a child in depression era
America. Her beautifully told tales evoke memories that at times overcome her with emotion
and as an audience member you can't help but be moved. Sometimes the pace drops but you
really won't care, because she's totally captivating. With her you laugh and very nearly
cry while listening to this fascinating oral history. However don't be fooled: Lynn Ruth
is not an old fogey, she's bursting with energy, slightly wacky, but always wonderful.
9th Aug - Le Petite Mort: - The Scotsman http://www.edinburgh-festivals.com/viewreview.aspx?id=243
9th Aug - Apocalypse Wow - Three Weeks - Combining the
insincerity of Blair with the pretension of Cameron, comedian Dougie Hastings depicts the
shortcomings of fictional political leader William Hampstead in this satirical
character-based comedy. Taking the form of a resignation speech to the press, Hastings
draws on current affairs such as war, terrorism and the economic crisis - craftily
adapting them to create a dark dystopian vision of future Britain. Although enjoyable and
somewhat witty on occasion, the show felt disjointed at times due to the choppy, uneven
nature of the character's blundering delivery. Overall, while generally well scripted and
acted, 'Apocalypse Wow!' fails to do what it so boldly suggests in its title, to wow.
9th Aug - Crimewhoppers - Three Weeks - In this show, Karl
Edrik tells the story of his life, from the early days as a 'disruptive' school pupil in
the Shetland islands to his experience as a law graduate on the run for drug trafficking.
In case any police are reading, Karl has served his time and is now an up-standing citizen
giving back to the community as a stand-up comedian, though in truth he is better at
telling stories than writing jokes. You will enjoy the Indian parable about the perils of
alcohol and the tale of evading Interpol in Paris, but you are unlikely to contribute much
more than the odd sympathetic chuckle to the proceedings. Nonetheless, not an unpleasant
way to pass an hour.
9th Aug - Katrina and the Wives - Three Weeks - A likeable
comedienne, Katrina engaged her audience with her friendly disposition despite having only
a handful of gags. Impersonating seven wives ranging from a posh Amy Winehouse to a
depressed communications trainer, Katrina quickly confirmed her ability as an actress.
Unfortunately, the comedy was often bland and uninspired, her spontaneity with audience
responses wasn't as sharp as it could have been, and her wife resources were a little
disappointing and lacked much topicality. However, the intimate audience were definitely
on her side, and happily joined in when she wrapped up the show with a witty rendition of
'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life'. Katrina with some more exciting ideas
may one day ride the big comedy wave.
9th Aug - Bitch Got Owned - Three Weeks - A comedy show with
the name 'Bitch Got Owned' was not the most appealing prospect, but it turned out to be a
fairly enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. The comedienne at the helm was Sajeela Kershi,
whose anecdotes mainly focussed on her Indian upbringing and a controversial previous show
she was involved in. She came across well, but her routine lacked structure, some of the
stories were confusing, and her requests for audience participation were a little
ambitious, leading to a rather unsuccessful attempt to get us all to dance around the
room. Not a must see show, but to give her the benefit of the doubt, Sajeela admitted that
this was the first performance and improvements were to be expected.
9th Aug - Myth-Illogical Improv - Three Weeks - The funny thing
about improv shows is that, although every performance is unique, at the same time they're
all strangely similar, drawing on the same basic format to produce a brand of humour that
centres on random scenarios and rambling narratives rather like a game of
consequences. Bristol's Goats In The Shell prove themselves experts in this genre, seizing
on audience suggestions with energy and charisma, and conjuring an original array of comic
characters as they construct their unscripted 'myth'. Despite their quick-thinking skills
and imagination, however, the results are ultimately amusing rather than side-splitting.
Hardly ground-breaking stuff, but an enjoyable enough lunchtime diversion, especially as
it doesn't cost a penny.
9th Aug - Nik Coppin: Loquatious - Three Weeks - Listening to him
rant about a bad ThreeWeeks review he once received was the only time I felt slightly
awkward during Nik Coppin's set; not sure whether he has amazing intuition or it was just
a coincidence. With his desperation to make friends, and his beaming smile - which takes
over his whole face - he puts his audience at ease from the outset of his show, which, as
its title 'Loquacious' might imply, sees the comedian spending an hour talking bollocks.
Not that this is bad; his anecdotes from his travels around the world are genuinely
amusing, as is his repartee with the crowd, but it was easy to see that Coppin was, in
this preview week, still testing what worked.
8th Aug - Gill Smith in Article in the
Telegraph - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/edinburgh-festival/5989525/MPs-expenses-set-to-dominate-Edinburgh-festival-comedy.html
9th Aug - Butch Got Owned - Charley and
the Fringe http://charlyandthefringe.blogspot.com/2009/08/bitch-got-owned.html
8th Aug - Free Festival Preview - The
8th Aug - Lewis Schaffer and publicity
stunts - The Scotsman
8th Aug - Freeing the Fringe - Free Fest
organiser Alex Petty on the Free Fest in the Scotsman http://www.edinburgh-festivals.com/viewpreview.aspx?id=223
8th Aug - Garden Detectives -
-Three Weeks Even
on the sunniest day we've had in a month there were quite a number of children contentedly
inspecting the interactive displays at the Garden Detectives' exhibition in the NMS.
By peering through holes at stuffed mice, catching magnetic cartoon fish and smelling a
sunflower, it is hoped that visitors will learn something about what lurks, crawls or
grows in a British garden. The exhibition is small but there is plenty to keep you
occupied and it is easily accessible in a buggy. Contributors to the visitors' book had
reached the consensus that those aged between three and seven would enjoy themselves best;
their general comments varied from the best children's exhibition we've been
to to POO.
8th Aug - Pig With the Face of a boy - - Skinny
7th Aug - Cabaret Whore - -
Edinburgh Guide http://www.edinburghguide.com/festival/2009/edinburghfringe/cabaretwhore
7th Aug - Laughing all thw way to
Bancruptcy - Lewis Shaffer comments in the Scotsman
7th Aug - Lewis Shaffer's fist fight,
the 80's Movie Flashback and Bobby Carrol all on Chortle http://www.chortle.co.uk/news/2009/08/07/9420/fist_against_face
2nd Aug - Giacinto
Palmieri chortle Article http://www.chortle.co.uk/correspondents/2009/08/03/9395/the_jokes_on_me
2nd Aug - Bobby Carroll and Tyson Boyce on 'London is Funny' http://www.londonisfunny.com/edinburgh/8478/10_Questions_with..._Bobby_Carroll_and_Tyson_Boyce
30th July - The Free Festival Footballers in the Evening News http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/scotland/Comedy-outfit-to-challenge-Hibs.5508012.jp
29th July - The Lists to
5 free shows - the top four are Free Festival shows http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/19272-top-five-free-fringe-shows/
27th July -
Free Fest Football Match on Edinburghguide.com http://www.edinburghguide.com/forums/edinburghartsandentertainment/edinburghfestivalfringe/3695
23rd July - Ben Lerman listed in the top LGBT shows at the Edinburgh
fringe in The List http://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/19080-lgbt-edinburgh-fringe-highlights/
17th July Ben Lerman in the Jewish Telegraph- download here
12th July - Free Festival returning to Edinburgh reported on
24th June -
Heresy review in the Skinny - Click here
23rd June - Proud to be Italian - Chortle Article by Free Fest act
Giacinto Palmieri http://www.chortle.co.uk/correspondents/2009/06/23/9153/im_proud_to_talk_about_being_italian
- Europe Up Close.com "The annual Laughing Horse Free Comedy Festival
is back this year and is a guaranteed riot. And yes, its free".
22ndJune - Piff-tacular - Fringe Guru reccomends Piff-Tacular at the
21st June -
Informed Women UK - "Laughing Horse Comedys Free Festival will
be organising lots of great events for free for practically the whole month of August.
Thousands of hours of free events including comedy, theatre, live music and
childrens shows. Click here for details "
16th June - Three Weeks on the Free Festival: "...I actually sleep sounder at
night knowing the Free Fringe and Free Festival exist. Partly because they have provided
an exciting comedy alterative within the Edinburgh Fringe, where, while it's true there's
some dross, there are also many gems.
And more importantly, because their existence has
proven that fears at the start of this decade that the comedy strand at the Fringe was
getting too commercial and would ultimately lose its edge were unfounded. What's great
about the Edinburgh Fringe is that there'll always be someone somewhere with a new idea,
or a grand plan, or a different way of doing things, and that will help the world's
biggest cultural festival reinvent itself all over again. It doesn't matter if some in the
Fringe community don't think the new idea is a good one - the festival is big enough to
accommodate everybody - but it's the regular introduction of fresh thinking and new
approaches that ensures that, despite inevitable commercialisation in the centre, the
Fringe remains as refreshing, innovative and rebellious as ever"
14th June - Free Festival Act Lewis Shaffer nominated for a Malcolm
Hardee Award for the best publicity stunt of the Fringe, and Gill smith,
Free Fest act from 2008 and 2009 recieved a retrospective award from last year http://www.malcolmhardee.co.uk/PublicityStunt.pdf
- The Top 5 free Fringe shows - Two of our shows, "A personal
War" and "Shaggers" (at number 1 ans 5 if the printed order
is relevent) listed as the best Free shows in Edinburgh by Scotland on Sunday,
alongside one at the Pleasance, and one at the Underbelly, so we're in good company! And
an outdoor fasion show which sounds interesting too... full details here:
11th June - Review of Mascha and Vascha from the Devizes Arts
Festival: "The first thing that strikes you about
the show is how faithfully the two characters, playing old women with absurdly exaggerated
proportions, resemble cartoon characters in the style of Monty Python's Terry Gilliam Then
comes the quiet and measured humour from artful mannerisms and the often witty script as
they share memories that collide with anticipation and hopes for the future. Finally, a
sense of the ridiculous overlays the whole performances and the two women shuttle between
doleful frailty and youthful slapstick. The show, performed by Lily Sykes and Hanna
Pyliotis, explores the ned for companionship, the dread of loneliness and the power of
hope. It is visually rewarding, with almost as much emphasis on unspoken expression as the
spoken word, and uses simple but effective sound effects and props The genteelnes of Lily
Sykes' character Mascha contrasts with Hanna Pyliotis's robust character, Vascha, and this
dissonance is sustained throughout the performance. It is an amusing commentary, taughtly
directed by Michiko Miyazaki Gaulier, who, with the two players, devised and wrote this
imaginitive piece." - Devizes Gazette and Herald
11th June - The Free Festival listed in the Guardian's pick of 50 Free
things to do around the UK this Summer - click Here -
Don't worry if you missed out on tickets for the
Edinburgh Festival catch a performance at the (free) Fringe Festival
instead (6-30 August).
10th June - Free Shows Covered in the Fringe launch for the first time
- the Fringe'slaunch noted not only notes a quarter of shows at the Fringe this year are
free, but also mentions Free Festival shows "A
personal War" about the terror attacks on Mumbai, and "The Black Swans" about political power in britain
- full release, here: http://www.edfringe.com/story.html?id=2803&area_id=307
plus coverage in The Scotsman,
The BBC, What's
on Stage. And many more that mention the prolferation of free shows and A Personal
10th June - Free Festival Comedian Lewis Shaffer makes the news and
upsets Edinburgh Comedy Awards boss by with a spoof press release about the
comedy awards. See: Chortle
4th June - Chortle mentions our launch before it even happens as they
start to buld thier database of all Fringe Comedy - click
25th May -
Free Festival Act Lynn Ruth Miller Awarded "Star of the Fringe" award at the
Brighton Fringe along with being nominated as "Best Female Act",
"Best Intternational Act" and "Best Cabaret Act". (The Latest /
Brighton Fringe) Full details of all of the awards: http://thelatest.co.uk/7/festival-awards-2009
18th May - LBC Radio
Interview with Lynn Ruth Miller - Download Here
16th May - BBC Radio
Interview with Lynn Ruth Miller - Download Here
- Free Festival Act Andrew J. Lederer talks about how buraucract and Big Budgets
are Killing the Edinburgh Fringe (The Scotsman) - http://news.scotsman.com/opinion/Andrew-J-Lederer-Bureaucracy-and.5270449.jp
12th May - Lynn Ruth Miller's Aging is Amazing Redux reviewed
on Chortle during the Brighton Fringe (Chortle) - click
11th May - Heresy: Kill
Your God reviewed at the Brighton Fringe (Three Weeks)
Comedy duo Rick Molland and Sully O'Sullivan wage an unadulterated war on world religion
in an hour of blasphemous comedy that would have Jehovah, Allah and Zeus joining forces to
smite them - the heathens! The sceptics incite religious hatred, endorsing aesthetic
martyrdom and blowing yourself up in the name of nothing, doing little or no damage. These
sacrilegious infidels, high-priests of impiety, preach atheist propaganda, presenting an
argument against the existence of God which is both hilarious and surprisingly well
supported. The show holds interest for all - non-believers for its comedy, the parish for
its picketing potential and fundamentalists for its legitimate targets. I have faith the
sinners will deliver again, convinced that if hell does exist it is missing two devils.
10th May - Lynn Ruth
Miller: Aging is Amazing Redux reviewed at the Brighton Fringe (The Latest)
word of mouth buzz around this stripping granny spread so fast the venue could
have been filled three times over, and many were turned away. For those lucky enough to
squeeze in, Ohian 75-year-old Lynn Ruth Miller lived up to the hype. She began with a song
and a strip - down to a lace teddy - and continued to misbehave riotously; flirting with
men, sitting on my friends knee, bombarding the audience with condoms and
incontinence pads, getting us to sing along and charming our socks off. We were taken
aback by her energy - when this 20-something reviewer went home to bed, Lynn went on to a
12.30am gig. Moving, hilarious, inspirational and everything you hope for from a fringe
show; if you didnt catch her this year, make sure youre there when she returns
10th May - Heresy: Kill
Your God reviewed at the Brighton Fringe (The Latest) Not
for the easily offended, this was a show/lecture from comedians and self-proclaimed
militant atheists Rick Molland and Sully OSullivan that made compulsive
viewing. Well researched and presented, it was a determined,
planned-out and non-stop attack on all beliefs, which although not laugh-out-loud funny
had the presence of a fascinating presentation given by people who feel passionately about
their subject. Culminating in their scientific experiment testing the
existence of any god by systematically abusing three faiths soundly and waiting to be
struck by lightning, their goal was not to offend but simply state their case. It just so
happens that their case is for a very controversial argument, leaving a slight sting like
an unexpected slap in the face.
May - Iszi Lawrence: Matter of Tact reviewed at the Brighton Fringe (Three
Although an excited audience packed the venue, creating the kind of
buzzing atmosphere common to standing room only events, there unfortunately remained
enough space between the persistent comic's act and the audience's reception to it for
awkward silences to remain comfortably seated; the absence of consistent laughter became
increasingly clear. That said, though there was an age range in the audience that would
have appeared blizzard-like on a scatter graph, Lawrence did manage to unite her audience
on occasion with her truly eclectic repertoire grounded in sometimes engrossing, but more
often humorously tasteless anecdotes. Truly hilarious or not, with free entry, the punter
was always likely to get the last laugh.
You can have a look at some of last years
news and reviews - click here for 2008's press and reviews!