Comedy, Anna Millar

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Aidan Moffat, Cora Bissett and more contribute to Commonwealth Games 2014 arts programme

29 Aug 2013

Kieran Hurley, Janey Godley, Stephen Deazley, Random Accomplice and Paul Fegan also involved

As Glasgow launches its cultural programme for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, we round up a handful of highlights on the starting block

Briefs: The Second Coming

21 Aug 20133 stars

Aerial trickery, vaudeville, smuttiness and muscles combine for a brilliant bonkers show

Elaborate dick pouches, man-dogs and defecation are just some of the high – and low – lights of a Briefs show, as occasionally brilliant as it is totally bonkers. A fabulous Priscilla, Queen of the Desert-inspired opening sets the tone for an all-male…

Full programme announced for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

30 May 2013

New shows from Ontroerend Goed, Michael Nyman and Brendon Burns among highlights

After a month of being drip fed nuggets, the full Fringe feast has been revealed, with a whopping 2,871 shows performed by 24,107 artists in 273 venues across Edinburgh up for grabs. From X-rated puppet musicals and guerrilla style pop-ups to the London…

Bob Downe . . . Smokin'

22 Aug 20122 stars

Style over substance

From the minute he pirouettes onto stage all 70s gear, mega-watt grin and fake blonde hair, it’s clear Aussie’s ‘clown prince of polyester’ is having a ball, as he knocks out one karaoke hit after another and embarks on some name-that-tune competitions.

Man 1 Bank 0

17 Aug 20123 stars

Patrick Combs takes on the money men

Half the challenge of putting on a great show at the Fringe is about finding a great story, and Patrick Combs certainly has that. Better still, it’s true. A young man, with a sea of credit card debt, deposits a $95,093.35 junk mail cheque into his local…

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Holly Burn: The H Club

11 Aug 20123 stars

Eccentric sketches imbued with a liberating lack of reason

To say that Holly Burn is a bit bonkers, is like saying Edinburgh gets a bit busy during August. A familiar face on the Fringe scene, Burn’s barmy Geordie shtick seems to bemuse, confuse -- and when she hits the right note -- amuse her audience in equal…

The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle

8 Aug 20124 stars

Savvy set design and excellent soundtrack in provoking limbo-land tragicomedy

Eric Argyle died at 11.42am two days ago; yet here he is, heart aching, mind racing in a confusing laboratory-cum-limbo-land. The Life and Sort... is another highly accomplished piece from the team behind last year’s success Minute After Midday. 15th…

Josh Widdicombe

7 Aug 20124 stars

Fast-rising funnyman entertains with acute observational humour

‘The Guardian called me a geezer today’ announces Josh Widdicombe, as he wanders onto the stage, looking less ‘Geez a go’, more shaggy-haired boy next door. ‘So watch it, or I’ll knife you and that.’ He laughs, we laugh. If this fast-rising funnyman…


6 Aug 20123 stars

Nostalgic yet brave tale of a comedian past his prime, starring Les Dennis

It’s a brave man who takes on the role of an ageing, fading comedian. Braver still, if you’re Les Dennis – as well known for his Family Fortunes success, as his more recent foray into the dismal world of Celebrity Big Brother. Both are swiftly…

Milo McCabe: Kenny Moon This is Your Life

6 Aug 20123 stars

Bemusing character comedy from Milo and his dad

It’s all a bit barmy in the Gilded Balloon’s Billiard Room, as character chameleon Milo McCabe brings his unique brand of funny to this year’s Fringe. Irish comedy legend Kenny Moon (played by McCabe’s real-life father and New Faces star, Mike McCabe…

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Lie. Cheat. Steal. Confessions of a Real Hustler

5 Aug 20122 stars

Slightly underwhelming show from Paul Wilson, writer and star of BBC3'S The Real Hustle

It’s a tricky old business recreating small screen success on the theatre stage, but Paul Wilson, writer and star of BBC3’s The Real Hustle handles it with reasonable gusto, albeit in a far more confined environment. It was The Sting movie, which…

Lucy Porter - People Person

3 Aug 20122 stars

All sugar no spice: grit lacking from nice girl performance

Yes, yes: it’s easy to knock the nice girl act. But as her fans will attest, that’s exactly what Lucy Porter is. Far from ripping off the shackles of her ‘lovely wee lass’ persona, Porter embraces it with People Person. Back on the Fringe scene after a…

Andrew Doyle does Whatever It Takes

3 Aug 20123 stars

'Bad Catholic' Doyle's has prayers answered

Former teacher and ‘predatory’ homosexual Andrew Doyle has all the makings of a class act. Having doled out cards asking us what we think is ‘most likely to turn on’ our fellow audience members, he’s off on a rambunctious verbal riot of smarts and…

The most infamous Fringe controversies

22 May 2012

As the Edinburgh Fringe launches its 2012 programme we recall some of our favourite Fringe scandals

Festival sinners As the Edinburgh Fringe launches its 2012 programme we recall some of our favourite Fringe controversies Kangaroo Theatre raised religious sensitivities in 2006 when the company staged the notoriously scandalous sex scenes of DH…

Interview: Zach Braff, writer, director and star of All New People

2 Feb 2012

The Scrubs and Garden State star discusses his new theatre production

‘I’m still Jenny from the block,’ says Zach Braff after a moment’s reflection. ‘Even now I feel a bit underground in the acting world.’ For those who enjoyed Braff (and 20 million viewers around the world did) as the lovable JD in US comedy drama…

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The Muppets' most memorable moments

1 Feb 2012

A gallery of clips from our favourite frog and his friends

The Muppets have a string of movies to their names already, including The Muppet Movie, The Muppets Christmas Carol, The Muppets Take Manhattan, and The Great Muppet Caper. Never ones to shirk away from serious film, darling, they’ve also had cameos in…

Jemima Levick on Steel Magnolias revival

1 Feb 2012

The theatre director aims to retain the humour and tenderness of Robert Harling's original script

‘I would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special,’ says Dolly Parton as brassy hairdresser Truvy in the 1989 film adaptation of Steel Magnolias. The country singer led a cast of big name Hollywood hitters that included…

Hot 100 2011 - No. 49 to 1

16 Dec 2011

The definitive list of Scottish creative talent

The Hot 100 is the definitive list of Scottish creative talent. From fashion designers to performance artists, everyone who has made a sizeable splash in 2011 has a place in this countdown. It’s for people who’ve created a buzz, but it’s also about…

Rich Hall

23 Aug 20113 stars

Political bashings a definite highlight

With his gravelly drawl and laidback delivery, Hall is easy company. His American/‘Scots’ comparisons have a crowd-pleasing ring, so too a funny skit about bears (particularly the Yogi variety), but his political musings and reflections on the world’s…


23 Aug 20113 stars

Hyper, pop comedy lacks some focus

Even the most precious mainstream music-lover should raise a smile at a mash-up of Radiohead, Lady Gaga, Madonna and The Doors, as pop princess Pistol and sex, drugs and rock’n’roller Jack tell tales. Not consistently funny enough to be great comedy and…

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Humphrey Ker is Dymock Watson: Nazi Smasher!

16 Aug 20114 stars

Swashbuckling success story

As part of Fringe staple trio and Radio 4 stars The Penny Dreadfuls, Humphrey Ker offered audiences something of a theatrical comedy masterclass. Here, he flies solo in swashbuckling style. It’s 1943 and war’s most unlikely hero, Dymock Watson, has been…

Markus Birdman: Dreaming

16 Aug 20113 stars

Acutely funny observations on our dreams of living happily ever after

Birdman takes us through his ponderings on our dreams of living happily ever after, and all that lies between. There are some acutely funny observations on parenting, growing up and caring less, with Birdman only occasionally losing momentum by…

Wil Hodgson

16 Aug 20113 stars

Sharp comedy about life as he knows it

Gone is the pink Mohawk of yesteryear, in is some sharp (albeit not of the razor kind) comedy from this year’s ‘Care Bear-loving skinhead’, as our affable host spraffs lyrical about life as he knows it, from his friends down the pub to tits, cider and a…

How to be Awesome

15 Aug 20112 stars

Lou Sanders' high energy can't save a set of lacklustre jokes

‘I’m a bit of shambles’ reveals Lou Sanders as she takes to the stage. Highly energetc Sanders may be, but her material – letters sent to the show, chit-chat about her stepdad, a limp ‘how awesome are my props’ set – fail to hit the mark. Sure, there…

Paul Daniels

8 Aug 20113 stars

You’re going to like this . . .

‘Do I look better than Donald Trump?’ asks Paul Daniels as he walks on, wigged up. He shouldn’t be here, really. The Sun newspaper has run a story saying he’s been hospitalised at the hands of Sooty and a flying piece of pizza. Silly tabloids. The…