Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Edinburgh Fringe 2011 – #Edinburghpicks

I have said it before, but it is worth pointing out again, that I am no reviewer of comedy. But I am excited to be going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival again this year and thought I’d share some of my excitement. This will not be an inclusive list of who I am seeing (I plan to see 40-50 shows) but a few of the shows I am most looking forward to and why. I have decided to see some new (to me) acts this year, so if you have any comments/reviews of them do let me know.

(There are hyperlinks to their edfringe.com page if you click on their names if highlighted).

Firstly it has to be one of my favourite events… (the rest are not necessarily in order of preference)

Karaoke Circus

Even if you are not a fan of karaoke (I am not usually), I can guarantee that this is a fun night. And this year there are three, 22nd – 24th August. For those who don’t know karaoke circus is obviously a karaoke night, but with a difference. For a start there is a live band. Martin White, Danielle Ward, Foz Foster and David Reed will accompany comedians and audience members as they sing their hearts out. The performances will be judged by Dan Tetsell and The Baron. Everything is taken with a pinch of salt, the songs can be funny, tragic or brilliant but the atmosphere is what does for me on this night. No matter how well/wrong the performances go the audience is 100% behind the person on stage. I have in the past at London/Edinburgh KC seen Robin Ince, Michael Legge, Jim Bob, Tim Vine, Josie Long, The Penny Dreadfuls, Pappys, Al Murray, Andrew Collins just to name a few. I know Chris Addison has performed and I hope to see him do so this year. It is silly fun, there is beer and a cabaret style atmosphere. Certainly a late show I recommend to anyone lucky enough to be at the fringe for those dates (it starts at 1am by the way). Tickets are only available directly from the Pleasance website here.

Dead Cat Bounce

I have not seen this act before. I am planning to see them based purely on their fringe brochure description and that a friend has said I will enjoy them as much as I hope I will. COMEDY ROCK! The Independent said “Spinal Tap-esque Brilliance”, what more could you want? They are on at 10.30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard.


What do you get if you put three great comedians I have seen before together in one room doing “smart, funny sketches” – jigsaw! This show has a trio of delight with the fabulous Dan Antopolski, Tom Craine AND Nat Luurtsema. Talk about value for money! They are on at 5.45pm at Pleasance Courtyard.

Joanna Neary

Having only seen Joanna Neary do short sets at Latitude and in London I was thrilled to find out that she is doing Edinburgh Fringe this year. This is a lady who knows how to do character comedy. I have seen Pans Person and her Sex Education Teacher, I can’t say anymore without spoiling it (she also stars in Ideal on BBC 3). Just trust me and go and see her at The Stand Comedy Club V at 3.50pm.

Chris Cox

The mind reader who can’t read minds. I saw his show Mind Over Patter and was frustratingly but happily confused and left wondering how he did that. Check him out on youtube or on his website here. Fatal Distraction promises to be mind blowing fun, on at Pleasance Dome at 7.10pm.

Barry and Stuart

While on the subject of magic/illusionists/mentalists, I have to point out that Barry and Stuart have not one, but two shows this year at the fringe. Entitled Show and Tell, the first (The Show) will be a great and usually gory magic show at 10.15pm at Udderbelly Pasture. The second show (The Tell) follows at midnight where they reveal al the secrets behind the show. Finally we will get some answers! (Note there is a discount if you book the show and the tell, look on The show dates for details).

Tara Flynn

Is a very talented lady and is truly spoiling us this year, bringing us her show Big Noise to the Voodoo Rooms at 5.05pm for FREE! See her funny, twisted and bizarre songs and then go and buy the album from iTunes. Do it!

Colin Hoult

A hilarious character comedian who I saw on a whim last year having seen him in Gutted the musical. I was so glad I did. He must be the next big thing, His characters are diverse and the whole show draws you in a flies by (well it did last year). I can’t wait to see more. On at 7.05pm at Pleasance Courtyard.

Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire 2: Back in the Habit

This show was so good that I went twice last year, and it is different every time. See two forty something year old men rant about what is wrong with the world today and then let them decide if your anger is pointless or righteous. Lots of fun and lots of shouting. Don’t let them try to put you off seeing this show. On at The Stand V at 2.35pm (I have booked this one already, it sold out last year).

I was disappointed this year that I wouldn’t get to see either The Penny Dreadfuls or Pappys do their sketch shows, however all is not lost. All three Penny Dreadfuls are doing solo shows which I plan to see with very high hopes. Thom Tuck Goes Straight to DVD, David Reed Shamblehouse and Humphrey Ker is Dymock Watson – Nazi smasher. I am also thankful that Matthew Crosby is bringing us Adventureparty.

I plan to follow a few recommendations from friends this year as well as seeing many of my favourite acts. Some of those new to me are Carey Marx, Nick Helm (although I’ve seen a short set), Mark Olver and Tony Law (If I manage to get up that early, it starts at midday). Plus a few more.

Oh and make sure you check out Skeptics on the Fringe for some great free events including Devil’s Advocate the panel game show and special events such a ghost walks and space talks (see their FB page for more information).

It is going to be a busy few days.