Last Updated on Sunday, 05 August 2012 21:24
(and a half)
Rhys Darby is an exceptional comedian – from the opening sequence of the show to the final dance as the audience leave – there is never a let up in the infectious energy of his performance and the audience were in stitches with his clever balance of witty banter and physical activity.
After the success of Matthew Osborn’s ‘cul-de-sac’, in 2011, Shopping Centre has generated some understandably high hopes and, with Osborn’s decision to perform his play as a monologue, expectations have been fuelled further (he being an award-winning stand-up in his own right).
For me, however, Shopping Centre did not entirely deliver on the promise it held. There is no doubting Osborn’s considerable dramatic ability and the play is certainly not without humour, but anyone looking for the enjoyably offensive, upper-class toff from his stand up shows should perhaps look elsewhere.
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 August 2012 21:26
Geeky songstress and physics graduate Helen Arney, the experiments guy Steve Mould and stand-up maths comic Matt Parker make up the trio of self-proclaimed nerds that guide us through the Festival of the Spoken Nerd. The specifically scientific jokes create the kind of laughter that only intellectual comedy can provide, the kind that leaves you looking around smugly to see who else got the joke. Although the show is broken up into individual sets based around each performer, the troupe have a friendly camaraderie throughout that is infectious, spreading through the audience. Sly asides and raised eyebrows from the two not performing fend off any lagging moments.
Matt Parker is the kind of guy you wish was your maths teacher, especially since his set somehow ends in a minor explosion, much to the delight of everyone in the room. Helen Arney’s ukulele-based songs provide a charming humanity and vulnerability to the in-depth physics topics she covers. Steve Mould provides more fire (literally) with his enthusiastic explanation of harmonics with several ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the audience. The show ends on an energetic musical number, combining all three performers with more fire and chemistry (both literal and figurative), ending the show on a high note.
Festival of the Spoken Nerd is an exceptional example of what a show about science should be; informative, but also human, vulnerable and exceptionally witty and funny.
Festival of the Spoken Nerd,
Venue 150 (EICC)
1-7 August, 20.30
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 August 2012 12:15
No subject is safe in this adolescent sketch show that takes on paedophilia, premature ejaculation, suicide, infanticide, pantomime and, of course, gimps. A regular act at the Edinburgh Fringe since 2009, it’s a bad taste show that is often funny, sometimes not so funny, and almost always offensive.
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 August 2012 12:09
It takes a certain crazed genius to concoct a show based on a wager over whether it is possible to make a letter travel 50 miles within an hour using only methods that were available in the 18th century. And Tim Fitzhigham, an endearing British eccentric, is exactly the man for the job.
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 August 2012 12:02
Nominated for last year’s Fosters award Josh Widdicombe had some high expectations to meet, his mixture of stand up and improvisation was funny but may fall below some people’s expectations of the “one to watch”.
His punch lines were delivered well and you will certainly get a laugh at this show, however the pressure or the fact it was an early show at the Fringe left something lacking from the young comic. The self-confessed introvert started the show with confidence; although this ebbed during the show.
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 August 2012 21:27
Fresh from hosting the 2012 Melbourne Comedy Festival TV Gala, Australia's favourite comedy duo return to Edinburgh with their newest production, The Inheritance.
It takes a certain artistry to turn puppetry and musical theatre into comedy gold. Fortunately, this multi award-winning Australian duo are more than up to the challenge. Inspired comedic timing and perfect scripting make this a must see show for anyone looking for a good chortle.
Last Updated on Saturday, 04 August 2012 17:33
She has taken two years off from comedy having babies (pregnant twice in the same tax year no less) but Lucy Porter is back this year - thank goodness - for her show in the Comedy Stand. I thought it quite a small venue for such a big name, but the intimacy of the venue more than makes up for the lack of glamour.
Last Updated on Saturday, 04 August 2012 15:33
As a first foray in to the world of stand-up comedy ‘Michael Jackson touched me’ is by no means a disgrace. Wright proves himself to be quite affable in an energetic, goofy sort of way, and even his worryingly serious obsession with ‘Jacko’ cannot detract from his likeability.
Last Updated on Saturday, 04 August 2012 15:16
For most people (including me) the idea of watching a mime performance is about as tempting as opting for major dental surgery without anaesthetic. But The Boy with Tape on his Face (Sam Wills) will amaze you with his comedy and inventiveness, all the while with his mouth taped firmly shut.
Last Updated on Saturday, 04 August 2012 14:39
Long time fan of Scrubs, I saw tickets for this appear months ago and ordered early – which I’m glad about as this performance was a sell out. Turns out acapella is cool.
4 charismatic men, with amazing (and, to some extent, unexpected) voices leapt onto the stage, full of energy, and proceeded to run through everything from 80’s classics to favourite theme tunes in their own inimitable style.
Last Updated on Saturday, 04 August 2012 14:23
Tiffany Stevenson returns to Edinburgh with a show revolving around getting older and her fear of becoming invisible. Whilst the premise of her show may not be original, she often veers off topic, therefore not getting caught in the stereotypical trap of self-pity associated with aging. She touches on a variety of issues from racism, to the class system and magazine culture.
Last Updated on Saturday, 04 August 2012 13:44
Funnier and more irreverent than ever this commander of comedy returns to the Fringe with a 5 star show.
Engaging the audience throughout, Jim Jefferies is a master of comedy. Very funny and charismatic, his brand new show “Fully Functional” dredges new depths of offensiveness as he reveals all the worst characteristics of his on stage persona – disrespect for women, racism, atheism, fattism, chauvinism and xenophobia.
Last Updated on Saturday, 04 August 2012 12:50
Danielle Ward pours everyone a Gin and Tonic from a teapot at the front of the stage as the audience shuffle in. It’s a nice, quirky touch. The audience, sufficiently relaxed, settle back as she eases in with the performance. It really is a very slow ease, peppered with obscure film references that slightly sail over the heads of the audience. A quiet titter punctuates the conclusion of several flat punchlines, but Ward’s charming self-deprecation deters any awkwardness.
Last Updated on Saturday, 04 August 2012 12:44
There is always a little tension when you first take your seat at an improv show; you are looking forward to the performance but at the same time secretly hoping you are not singled out and asked personal questions. However, this feeling disappears as soon as the members of The Noise Next Door come out. They burst energetically onto the stage and immediately put the audience at ease with their charismatic and endearing manner, creating an atmosphere of fun and laughter.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 August 2012 22:28
Chris Martin is a bit of a rough diamond, but he has delivered a breezily enjoyable show which has given him plenty of opportunity to sparkle.
One of the rising stars of the Edinburgh Fringe scene, Martin has followed up last years professional debut solo show Chris Martin: No. Not That One, which announced, "here I am, look at me", with Spot the Difference which leads on with, "okay, here I am again, what’s for dinner?"
Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 16:43
Mark Watson is the Welsh, Jewish, London-born, ham-eating, novelist and comedian with the vast knowledge of stick insects, British monarchs and capitals of the world, who has made appearances on Mock the Week, Never Mind the Buzzcocks (and certain ads for pear cider), has a sideline in teaching, animal management and multiplying numbers in his head and has encountered trouble securing a mortgage. Or is he? Surely a quick Google search ought to clear up the situation... but wait! Watson makes a shocking and rather serious allegation: Not all of the information on the internet is one hundred percent accurate.
Last Updated on Friday, 27 July 2012 09:23
Comic campaigner Mark Thomas brings his politics home, with tales of opera and his parents’ bungalow in his new show. Words Jackie McGlone
If The Jeremy Kyle Show had been on television when Mark Thomas was growing up, the award-winning comedian and investigative journalist says his dysfunctional family would have been its stars. “We’d never have been off that programme,” he says.
Indeed, Thomas, 49, is about to reveal a great deal about his troubled relationship with his father in the show he’s bringing to the Edinburgh Fringe, Mark Thomas: Bravo Figaro! which, he says, is the most deeply personal show he’s ever done. And that’s saying a lot since for Thomas – who is never lost for words – the personal is the political and vice versa.
Comedian Tiffany Stevenson talks about living in the real world, women becoming invisible with age, and sitting on Annie Lennox's knee as a child. Words Jay Richardson
Tiffany stevenson grew up surrounded by fame. Her father was Wembley Stadium's box office manager.
“So from an early age I was around celebrities,” she explains. “I don't get starstruck meeting anyone. I used to go into my dad's office, get out my pencils and paper, and sit on Annie Lennox's knee as she was getting ready.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 20:21
The affable Phill Jupitus is indulging in work overload with three very different shows. Words Mark Fisher. Image Idil Sukan
These days, we know Phill Jupitus as the affable team captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, a man blessed with an enthusiast’s knowledge of pop music and a maverick’s taste for anarchic comedy. Wind back the clock to the 1980s, however, and you’d find an entertainer who went by the name of Porky the Poet and was an active player in the Red Wedge alliance of left-leaning entertainers.
Since then, the 50-year-old father of two has done everything from acting in the West End production of Hairspray, to DJ-ing on BBC Radio 6 Music, also finding time to turn out a book, Good Morning Nantwich: Adventures in Breakfast Radio.