Comedy, Reviews

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Sophie Wu is Minging, She Looks Like She’s Dead

10 Aug 20143 stars

Amusing monologue on teenage years from Fresh Meat from Kick-Ass actress

Sophie Wu is currently forging a decent acting career for herself, picking up supporting roles in the Kick-Ass franchise and Channel 4’s Fresh Meat. She wasn’t always so successful, though: in her teenage years, she suffered intense bullying at the…

George Ryegold: Iron Face in a Velvet Beard

10 Aug 20143 stars

Sturdily constructed and potent Edinburgh Fringe show from disgraced medic

Disgraced medic George Ryegold has an impeccable and reassuring bedside manner. He wears a fuzzy beard and corduroy jacket; his speech is peppered with avuncular Old Etonionisms (everything’s ‘bloody’ or ‘a bugger’); and his Radio 4-friendly voice is…

Ctrl+Alt+Delete

10 Aug 20142 stars

Stultifying and unedifying political performance poetry narrative

Amy Jones is a spunky white girl growing up in South London with pictures of Nelson Mandela and the Spice Girls in her bedroom. We discover this through the medium of student night poetry slam, home video and, in case we miss the point, a Spice Girls…

Adrienne Truscott: Asking for It

9 Aug 20144 stars

Aiming gags away from the victims for once

Having stood out in what was already a fairly feminism-centric Fringe last year, Adrienne Truscott (and her vagina) is back with another short run of her radical one-woman show about rape. Pantless and breathless, Truscott bares her body and soul in an…

Luisa Omielan

9 Aug 20143 stars

Party girl’s hybrid of winner v loser spills over at Edinburgh Fringe

Last year, we fell in love with Luisa Omielan, and this year she’s gone off us, because we’re not paying to see her (free) show. Like a restaurant owner slopping down plates grudgingly in front of Groupon customers, Omielan seems to resent her crowd…

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Will Adamsdale: Borders

9 Aug 20144 stars

A thematically cohesive, cleverly scripted and all-round charming Edinburgh Festival Fringe show

The Fringe programme is littered with self-indulgent, whiney, middle-class, white-boy comedians explaining, self-deprecatingly, their ineptitude. Will Adamsdale happily cops to this label and on the surface he offers a similar product: a shambling…

John Kearns: Shtick

9 Aug 20144 stars

Last year's Edinburgh Fringe Best Newcomer delivers a funny, contemplative follow-up

There's always going to be a certain level of expectation the year after you win the Best Newcomer award in Edinburgh. The queue on a rainy Sunday is around the block and, as it's free and unticketed, some of us won't get in. Kearns’ follow-up displays…

Andrew O'Neill - Heavy Metal: A History

9 Aug 20144 stars

Huge connection with a subculture results in massive pay-off for those in the know

From the black clad hordes, sporting Mastodon t-shirts and Mohawks, waiting in line you know Andrew O'Neill is preaching to the converted. The clue is in the title if the thought of anything heavier than Coldplay brings you out in a cold sweat steer…

Quint Fontana: I Remember Me

9 Aug 20142 stars

Washed up 80s pop star character energetic and fun, despite lack of originality

Quint Fontana is a washed up 80's pop star who wants to take you on a trip down memory lane. The scene is set with an audio collage of radio reports charting his rise to stardom and his inevitable fall from grace and descent into drugs and alcoholism…

The Marijana Method

9 Aug 20143 stars

Sweet and sharply improvised hour from 'health and happiness guru to the stars'

As the crowd trickles in, Marijana looks up from her meditation, looking serene in a peach silk kaftan, dousing the crowd with splashes of some kind of healing water. The soundtrack to an 80s daytime talk show warbles naffly in the background. A quick…

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Marcel Lucont: Is

9 Aug 20144 stars

Witty, intelligent and pitch-perfect takedown of British culture from Frenchman

Marcel Lucont is better than you, effortlessly so and over the course of the show through his musings, poetry and song this French bon vivant and raconteur explains why, mostly by highlighting the shortcomings of everybody who is not French. Arriving…

John Robins: This Tornado Loves You

9 Aug 20143 stars

A mixed and easy hour lifted by flashes of brilliance

One of John Robins' best routines is an astutely crafted parody of 'millionaire underdog' Stewart Lee. It's a brilliantly structured skit that skilfully punctures Lee's impudence, and it leaves the audience in pieces. It's just a shame that the rest of…

Jess Robinson: Mighty Voice

9 Aug 20142 stars

First-rate music and impressions entertaining become overbearing

‘I am what I am,’ Jess Robinson booms with a vocal power that would move mountains. But she is what she is not, powering through a series of first-rate impressions of celebs from Jordan to, among those most effectively, Kate Bush, Liza Minnelli and…

Danny Buckler: Punch

9 Aug 20143 stars

Quality patter that instantly engages in hour exploring fantasy vs reality of life

Russell Brand is right there's definitely a certain air of Tony Hancock about Danny Buckler. A dreamer who's constantly disappointed by how life lets you down. You might be the hero in the film that plays within your head but the truth is you're often…

I Am Not Malala

9 Aug 20143 stars

Short but sweet set about identity from British Asian Muslim at Edinburgh Free Fringe

In 2012, Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was shot after protesting the Taliban ban on girls attending school. Since then her visibility to the world has increased with TV appearances and a slew of international awards. Sadia Azmat takes a look at…

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Foil, Arms and Hog

9 Aug 20142 stars

Likeable enough trio suffer from acute lack of originality

You’ll find nothing especially wrong with affable Irish sketch trio Foil, Arms and Hog. You’ll go along and be vicariously charmed by how much fun they seem to be having on stage; you’ll be swept up in the merriment of the battle of the mimes, or the…

Jonny Lennard: Tale Blazer

9 Aug 20143 stars

Deconstructing the bedtime story in a mature and clever hour of comedy

Former Cambridge Footlights member Jonny Lennard professes to have always had an overwhelmingly cynical take on life. School was no walk in the park for someone who empathised with snowmen to the extent of seeing a snowscape as a mass of raining flesh.

Tony Law

9 Aug 20144 stars

Comic lunacy almost tempered by real life at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show

Tony Law is apologetic for not being fully prepared: 'if I go over here, don't think I’m looking at my notes, I'm just checking on my beverages!' It seems surprising that he prepares anything at all. Law is simply a force of funny. Bounding on stage in…

Angela Barnes: You Can't Take It With You

9 Aug 20144 stars

A fizzy and fun Fringe debut exploring major life events

Angela Barnes is 37 years old, something that she seems just a wee bit hung up on judging by the amount of times she actually mentions her age during her hour-long debut set at Pleasance Courtyard. Luckily, those years of experience have left this fizzy…

Le Flop

9 Aug 20142 stars

Clown theatre silliness flags too often for late-night slot

Despite some fun interactions between this five-piece, Le Flop’s first Edinburgh show is hard work, and it only lasts 50 minutes. Their silly antics have promise but – although the slightly inebriated audience gives them the benefit of the doubt to…

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A Kitchen Nightmare

8 Aug 20142 stars

Impressionist Liam Hourican covers a lot of ground with sparse material at the Edinburgh Fringe

In an hour with a handful of impressions that impressively and accurately skewer the target, Gerry Adams, Micky Rourke and Peter Stringfellow are among those taking their turn in the satirical spotlight. Liam Hourican, who’s been in Very Important…

Excited!!!

8 Aug 20141 star

Puerile, predictable and unfunny comedy songs by Suns of Fred at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Australian musical trio Suns of Fred present an hour of countless songs adorned with well-honed choreography. Unfortunately, almost without exception, their songs are puerile, predictable and unfunny.   Kicking off with a song about bread, the boys…

I am, I am

8 Aug 20143 stars

Slighty patchy musical comedy but never too long to wait for next laugh

Apt that this one’s happening in a late night corner of the Student Union, as what’s happening in this show is exactly what you’d expect to be going on after midnight in a bar normally for students. Two twentysomethings are spilling pints down…

Sean McLoughlin: I Will Prevail

8 Aug 20143 stars

Neurotic comedian has no need to worry about his performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

You could argue pretty compellingly that neurosis can be grist to the mill for stand-up, and Sean McLoughlin fuses the former with the latter in a self-deprecating and accessible set. Telling the audience that 'it's going to get darker before it gets…

Figs in Wigs: Show Off

8 Aug 20142 stars

Comedy quintet exploring social media malaise at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Need to be surgically removed from your branded phone/tablet/social networking site? Figs In Wigs' mischievous cabaret Show Off explores this modern malaise, from deadpan dance routines where they crash into each other (too busy tweeting) to…