Comedy, Yasmin Sulaiman

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Comedians take on dramatic roles at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

22 Jul 2014

Lucy Porter, Richard Herring, Suki Webster and Russell Kane discuss swapping comedy for drama

‘It must be irritating for actors and directors because comedians muscle in everywhere,’ Lucy Porter muses. ‘We’re like, “yeah we’ll have a go at that, why not?” I think we are naturally quite reckless.’ It’s a good year for recklessness. Stand-up…

Shit-faced Shakespeare - Much Ado About Nothing performed with one actor drunk

29 Jul 2013

Shakespeare after one tankard too many at 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

At first glance, the Shit-faced Shakespeare premise might seem a tad gimmicky. Each night, in an otherwise straight-played Shakespeare production, one actor is required to perform their role drunk, yet somehow it turns out to be an unexpectedly…

Actor William Troughton on Graham Linehan's The Ladykillers

18 Oct 2012

The stage adaptation of the Ealing comedy classic also stars Shaun Williamson and Clive Mantle

Fans of The Ladykillers may have been sceptical when Graham Linehan’s stage adaptation of the film premiered last year. But the Father Ted creator’s version of the classic Ealing comedy – in which a gang of petty criminals occupy an old lady’s house as…

The Three Englishmen: Squares

15 Aug 20123 stars

Gently amusing sketches could do with more pep to fulfil likeable lads' potential

The Three Englishmen – there’s four of them actually – aren’t blazing a new sketch comedy trail in in this show. But it’s a gently amusing hour with some stand out moments of hilarity, thanks primarily to their musical skills. The boys welcome us…

Truth

13 Aug 20124 stars

Surreal character comedy from Angus Ecstatic creators

Vachel Spirason tells us multiple times at the beginning of Truth that he is a “storyteller”. For much of this bonkers 60 minutes, his story makes no sense at all – but trust that it all comes together satisfyingly in the end. With the invisible help…

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Rhys Darby: This Way to the Spaceship

11 Aug 20124 stars

Conchords star makes stratospheric rise

It’s likely that Rhys Darby has been able to fill this very large venue thanks to his success as hapless band manager Murray Hewitt on Flight of the Conchords. But he proves in This Way to Spaceship that he’s much more than Murray, though he throws out…

Damien Crow: The World According to Damien Crow

7 Aug 20122 stars

Grumpy goth's full run feels like a work in progress

The world according to teenage Damien Crow is an unjust place. His dad just doesn’t understand him, and his evil mother’s fake breasts just keep getting in the way. Worst of all, people misunderstand him because he’s a goth so he tries to explain…

Sad Faces Remember It Differently

7 Aug 20123 stars

Comedy foursome turn frowns upside down with slick, fun show

This is a blissfully timed show from comedy foursome Sad Faces, who have capitalised on Fringe success with their own BBC7 radio series in the past. It's a punchy beginning: we're hurtled into the Sad Faces' flat, where the four are having a ferocious…

Hannibal Buress: Still Saying Stuff

6 Aug 20124 stars

Artful segues and bad impressions from the US comic

2011 was Hannibal Buress’ first year at the Fringe and it was a dream one, with sell-out performances and a Comedy Award nomination for Best Newcomer. He claims to have been reluctant to return this year because it’s ‘just too many shows’, but on the…

Nick Mohammed is Mr Swallow: 2012

5 Aug 20123 stars

Radio 4 star returns with camp creation

Mr Swallow is probably character comedian Nick Mohammed’s most famous creation. This camp, easily distracted but infinitely cheerful northerner has enjoyed past Fringe success and a Radio 4 series, and Mohammed is currently working on a BBC TV show…

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The History Girls

5 Aug 20123 stars

Wuthering Heights meets Missy Elliott in this Pythonesque sketch comedy show

There’s something pleasingly old-fashioned about The History Girls, a sketch trio who all trained at the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris. Their sketches are unashamedly silly, drawing on the well of British tradition and sending it up in giddy…

Trevor Lock's Amateur Sex Tape Theory

5 Aug 20122 stars

A thoughtful treatise on sex tapes is foregone in favour of desperate joke-mongering

It’s not a good day for Trevor Lock. Faced with a particularly quiet audience, he seems flustered, and his material – which is in the main well-written and funny – suffers because of it. Last year, Lock and his girlfriend visited a nudist beach in the…

The sex-themed shows that turn Edinburgh into sin city during August

16 Jul 2010

Pole dancers, prostitutes and rampant bedhoppers at the 2010 Fringe

'Coming back from seeing the second Sex and the City film,’ says live artist Bryony Kimmings, ‘I was absolutely disgusted.’ And she’s not the only one groaning about the latest instalment of this once groundbreaking explicit comedy about the sexual…

Over the Grump: Jenny Eclair

25 Feb 2010

Backed by a new generation of fans Jenny Eclair is arriving into the best years of her career. The Grumpy Old Women star tells Yasmin Sulaiman why she’s now returning to stand up.

G3: The Ginge, the Geordie and the Geek

24 Aug 20093 stars

Brave and occasionally sinister

The damp, scruffy interior of The Caves seems like the ideal location for this brave and occasionally sinister sketch show. As accomplished actors, the members of G3, are able to effortlessly embody the many characters they create, ranging from a…

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4 Poofs and a Piano

24 Aug 20092 stars

A seemingly inexhaustible supply of sexual puns

The four poofs of Jonathan Ross's house band are affable enough but their hour of musical comedy is suffocated by a seemingly inexhaustible supply of sexual puns. A few energetic dance routines - after which these pre-Brüno stereotypes nearly collapse…

Jason John Whitehead

24 Aug 20093 stars

This rambling show needs a little more coherence

JJW is having a crisis: now in his 30s, his body clock is ticking but he has no real affection for kids, and a string of jokes about beating other people's children compose the core of this routine. His quirky delivery steers him past slower moments but…

Alistair McGowan

21 Aug 20093 stars

Back to the 90s

Next to more recent TV impressionists such as Kevin Bishop and Peter Serafinowicz, Alistair McGowan is a positive veteran. Some 13 years after his last Edinburgh run, he proves that he’s still able to draw on his vast repertoire of voices to comic…

Idiots of Ants

20 Aug 20093 stars

Glitches mar a slick show from comedy savants

Idiots of Ants aren’t having the best of nights: their projector is on the blink and their performance feels rushed. Killer lines are mumbled through and some of their sketches fall flat with this audience who are rightly expecting something a little…

The Gadabouts

18 Aug 20092 stars

Their general affability is wasted on this largely disappointing show

A man down on last year’s praised line-up, The Gadabouts’ Matt and Joe are clearly talented performers but their general affability is wasted on this largely disappointing show. There are a handful of highlights hidden in the duo’s haphazard hour of…

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Foil Arms and Hog

18 Aug 20093 stars

Deliriously funny and at times unexpectedly dark

The sketch form is taken back to its pleasingly gimmick-free basics here by Irish trio Foil Arms and Hog. While some of their routines are based on familiar formats, their best work is deliriously funny and at times unexpectedly dark. If their future…

Simon Munnery

18 Aug 20093 stars

A comfortingly familiar Fringe fixture

With his erudite allusions and penchant for the silly, Munnery’s AGM has become a comfortingly familiar Fringe fixture. This year, the comedian switches from family stories to a supermarket-themed mini opera, before delving into the bucket of…

Felicity Ward

16 Aug 20092 stars

Tales of poor Aussie upbringing lack bite

There’s no denying that Australian comedian Felicity Ward has stage presence. There’s something about her that’s instantly likeable, from the butter-wouldn’t-melt way she breathes numerous expletives to the sweetness with which she interacts with the…

Luke Wright

16 Aug 20094 stars

His concerns may be petty but the poetry is not

You’ve got to hand it to Luke Wright. Since his first solo Fringe show in 2006, he’s come back to Edinburgh every year with a new collection of withering poems, each of which dissects the highs and lows of his chosen profession with equal menace and…

Pippa Evans

16 Aug 20093 stars

Wicked musical comedy in every conceivable way

The ease with which Pippa Evans slips between her psychotic characters in this cabaret-style show is an instant reminder of why she was shortlisted for an if.comedy Best Newcomer award last year. However, there is an element of patchiness about her…