Comedy, Yasmin Sulaiman

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Standby for Tape Back-up

18 Aug 20143 stars

Arresting performance/video installation mash-up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Like his fellow Aisle 16 poetry boyband-ers – Luke Wright, John Osborne and Joe Dunthorne, to name a few – Ross Sutherland's a talented guy. That's certainly evident in his Fringe show this year, Standby for Tape Backup, a mash-up of drama, comedy…

Robert Newman's New Theory of Evolution

18 Aug 20143 stars

Comedy veteran puts on engaging show but lacks spark at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Richard Dawkins comes in for a kicking in this show by veteran comedian Robert Newman – and it's a pretty funny one too. In 1993, alongside his erstwhile comedy partner David Baddiel, Newman was once the first comedian to sell out Wembley Stadium. This…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: BJ Novak of the US Office on debut short story collection One More Thing

15 Aug 2014

'There’s a story in my book called “Regret is Just Perfectionism Plus Time". That’s how I feel'

If you’ve ever watched the US series of The Office, BJ Novak’s face will be instantly recognisable as obnoxious temp Ryan Howard. A producer, writer and actor on the show (he landed the gig aged just 25, after producer Greg Daniels saw him at a comedy…

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…

Danish Face

7 Aug 20142 stars

Anna Andresen's comedy storytelling needs a bit more oomph at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

A great stable of accents and a thoroughly likeable performer isn’t quite enough to make this hour of comic storytelling stand out from the crowd. Anna Andresen tells us the tale of her brief move from London to New York, but the story as it’s told here…

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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…