Comedy, Reviews, Issue 611

83 articles

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The Wackness

21 Aug 20083 stars

COMEDY/DRAMA Jonathan Levine’s follow-up to the surprisingly good horror film All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is another voyage into nostalgic romanticism and teenage growing pains. This time Levine is pining for his lost youth with a film set in 1994…

Scott Capurro

21 Aug 20083 stars

A mix of the inspired and the obnoxious

It’s been said that the older people get, the less worried they are about causing offence. Scott Capurro, veteran of some 15 Fringe summers, has clearly decided to go for broke this year, trampling all over every sacred cow and totem of political…

Kristen Schaal & Kurt Braunohler

21 Aug 20084 stars

Schaal and pal delve into surreal corners

A warning is gently dispatched: Double Down Hearts will break our minds. Co-written in reverse chronological order by Kristen Schaal, of Flight of the Conchords fame, and Kurt Braunohler, her ‘gift’ of a comedy partner, the play pastiches the melodrama…

Michael McIntyre

21 Aug 20082 stars

The accent is on over-familiarity

Last year, Michael McIntyre apparently harangued two judges on the if.comedy panel for doing this nation the great disservice of not handing him the award on a plate. Still, he could at least reassure himself of his genius with all those flattering star…

College Road Trip

21 Aug 20081 star

Aiming for the generational conflict of Freaky Friday, director Roger Kumble’s family-comedy-drama focuses on trust issues between high-flying teen Melanie (Raven-Symoné) and her over-protective father, police chief James Porter (Martin Lawrence). When…

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Janey Godley

21 Aug 20083 stars

Family tale from straight-talking Glaswegian

The title of this show, Domestic Godley, doesn’t refer to the cooking, cleaning, dinner parties ‘domestic goddess’ stereotype. Janey Godley’s candid stand-up is specific to her east end of Glasgow upbringing and subsequently eventful life. With a…

Carol Leifer

21 Aug 20081 star

A Fringe debut to forget

Of course, it’s daft to generalise, but when heavily-anticipated American stars have come across to the Fringe they’ve either blown us away or totally bombed. In the happy former camp are Demetri Martin, Kristen Schaal and Doug Stanhope. In the…

Jason Cook

21 Aug 20085 stars

Finding comfort and joy in the darkest of places

It’s his birthday today, so you’d expect Jason Cook to be in party mode. His sister has even showed up for Joy in this tiny and packed Stand back-room. But while we pile out onto the street having hugged strangers and armed with paraphernalia that would…

Aeneas Faversham Forever

21 Aug 20085 stars

Dreadfuls give us a daring, playful and epic tale

A trio of Victorian gentlemen humourists, the Penny Dreadfuls bring you the visually resplendent, aurally pleasurable Aeneas Faversham Forever, one of this year’s most scrumptious and comically edifying Fringe treats. Something shadily undefined yet…

Get Smart

21 Aug 20083 stars

After the financial/emotional excremental woes of Evan Almighty and Dan in Real Life, comic Steve Carell shores up his career with a safe property: Peter Segal’s tent-pole blockbuster revamp of 1960s spy spoof Get Smart. Maxwell Smart (Carell) is an…

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Step Brothers

21 Aug 20083 stars

COMEDY ‘Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream’ is the George W Bush quotation which opens new Will Ferrell comedy Step Brothers. Such crude expression sets the tone for a sporadically funny but generally gross comedy in…

Ahir Shah & Alex Maple

21 Aug 20083 stars

Raw talents in unfettered mayhem

A few years back, a show entitled It’s a Shambles won the Perrier Best Newcomer award. If that moniker hadn’t already been snapped up, it could so easily have applied to this ramshackle affair. And yet, rather than making this an hour of difficult…

The Meeting

21 Aug 20084 stars

Hanging loose with sketches and site-specific silliness

Two disgruntled men get up and walk out of The Meeting just minutes before a mysterious mobile phone twitters away. The beauty of this site-specific gem is that it’s not immediately certain whether these are an unfortunate series of two events or subtle…

Fool Koller

21 Aug 20083 stars

Wet feral fun from Dutch pratfaller

The ambit of what has not yet been done shrinks ever smaller. Pity the poor alternative comedians, clutching at auxiliary originalities as the pool of unprecedented material ebbs to nothing: slicker, quicker jokes, more postmodernism, cynicism…

Jason Byrne

21 Aug 20084 stars

Totally insane, bloody funny

Several things will probably happen at a Jason Byrne gig. A teenage boy in the crowd will squirm while Byrne guesses what he gets up to behind closed bedroom doors. Audience members get assigned surreal characters, based around something Byrne’s caught…

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New Art Club

21 Aug 20083 stars

Some tame stuff in their extra ordinary world

When you are dubbed the ‘Morecambe and Wise of dance’ that has to be a mixed blessing. It’s certainly going to get you some press attention and interest from audiences who wouldn’t normally consider seeing any kind of dance, but the downside is obvious…

And On Your Left… Ruth Bratt

21 Aug 20083 stars

Memorably madcap bunch of characters

It’s been a mixed bag of a Fringe for female character comics, but Ruth Bratt’s collection of mad hatters certainly puts her in the top bracket. Set up as a road trip around the sites of Edinburgh, the show introduces a tour guide who is a mixture of…

Bad Dog Variety

21 Aug 20082 stars

Oddball creations lacking in bite

A show presented in the form of the worst cabaret show you could have the misfortunate to see has plenty of potential, but something just doesn’t quite gel with Bad Dog Variety. Our two German hosts Christian and Barnard (all the way from Antwerp? The…

Paul Kerensa

21 Aug 20082 stars

Failing the great playlist challenge

Although lots of love and forward planning have clearly gone into Paul Kerensa’s show, his fuddy duddy, granny-friendly material taints the brighter, more likeable stuff. Taking his cue from Dave Gorman, he designed a show around a comedy challenge by…

Umbrage Swain

21 Aug 20084 stars

New Romantic heroes stand and deliver

The New Romantic Gentleman Thief (looking uncannily like Eddie Izzard dressed as Adam Ant), his Cure-loving sidekick and Tina Fray (an excellently faux innocent Millie Reeves) swash and buckle in battle with evil baddie The Darkness (no, not Justin…

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Arthur Smith’s Arturart

21 Aug 20083 stars

Artistic venture with knob gags

Winner of last year’s Spirit of the Fringe if.comeddie award, Arthur Smith’s Arturart returns with another explosion of what its creator describes humbly as a ‘vanity project’. Situated at 15 Queen Street, the fiftysomething stand-up veteran’s…


21 Aug 20083 stars

Giving clowning a modern twist

After five minutes of classical music in a strictly straight-faced, show-off virtuoso style, from a string quartet in coat-tails and white bow-ties, the first signs of slapstick start to appear. It’s from the Spanish mime and physical theatre troupe…

Badly Ranted Thoughts Via the Magic of Song

21 Aug 20082 stars

A cult alternative to stand-up-by-numbers

Doktor Cocacolamcdonalds is a crowd divider of a man. One half remains stony-faced, mentally working out what else they could have spent that tenner on, and the other ends up laughing slightly hysterically at his brand of freak or unique comedy. Wearing…


21 Aug 20084 stars

Non-gratuitous meanderings for art’s sake

Don’t worry, there is no gratuitous nudity in Nude, just two actors flexing and posing their naked bodies in close proximity to the front row. But it’s all done in the name of art, and the context of a life drawing class, in which the reluctant audience…

Dan March

21 Aug 20082 stars

Stuffy MySpace dramedy

Social networking may rear its fashionable head in this one-man comic play from Dan March, but it’s the more timeless topic of fatherhood that’s really up for appraisal. It is, ostensibly, a true story. March, a struggling actor, really did have a…