Fringe

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Roll it in Sequins

20 Aug 20132 stars

Largely painful character sketch from the Heffernan/Fletcher duo

While the jokey revelation of the show’s title provides a mild hint of satisfaction, it really is much too little and far too late for this largely painful character sketch affair from Megan Heffernan and Sophie Fletcher. They introduce us to the…

Damian Clark in G'Damo!

20 Aug 20132 stars

Boundlessly enthusiastic Autralian comedian can't help being likeable

On paper it doesn't look like stand-up Damian Clark talks about much. This hour features birds and how annoying they are, cats and how inscrutable they are, buses and how uncivilised they are and the difficulties of finding affordable, desirable flats…

The Lock In

16 Aug 20135 stars

The Demon Barbers' hip hop and folk fusion raises the roof

Oh to be locked up in a pub with this lot. Some shows demonstrate great skill and technique, some offer strong musicianship, and some create the kind of atmosphere and energy that leaves you high on life. The Lock In does all three. Going out on a…

Cinefringe brings international and experimental screenings to the Edinburgh Fringe 2013

16 Aug 2013

'It's the middle ground between a film festival and the spontaneous, edgy feel of the Fringe'

Although it wasn’t founded specifically for that reason in 2010, one advantage of CineFringe (tagline: ‘The official film festival of the Edinburgh Fringe’) is that it brings a film presence back to August in Edinburgh, ever since the International Film…

We Will Be Free

16 Aug 20134 stars

Charming resurrection of folk theatre tradition, with political insight to boot

Mummers plays – informal folk performances with hundreds of years of British history – are seeing something of a renaissance in smaller British theatres, with Townsend Productions leading the charge. The chandeliers of the Assembly Rooms Ballroom jar…

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Alex Horne: Lies

16 Aug 20132 stars

A blip in a largely flawless Fringe career

For many years, Alex Horne has been one of those reliable Fringe comedy acts. With his natural stage presence allied to a fierce intelligence, he always produced shows that would make you think before the inevitable laugh came out; at its peak, the…

Seann Walsh

16 Aug 20133 stars

Some truly inspired moments amidst material very much by the numbers

There are a few moments in Seann Walsh’s set – which, predictably, is about how difficult blokes find it to grow up – where he seems to want more from his audience. He gestures to a guy in the front row who ‘hasn’t laughed since the wanking bit’; when…

The Rubberbandits

16 Aug 20132 stars

Difficult transition from Youtube to stage for the Irish rapping duo

Irish comedy rappers The Rubberbandits are a Youtube phenomenon, their song “Horse Outside” has been seen over 10million times. So how do you go about translating internet notoriety into a full festival set? Not one would argue by playing all your best…

Out of His Skin

16 Aug 20133 stars

2Faced Dance Company explore dark side of life

Each time 2Faced Dance Company returns to the Fringe, it has stepped up a gear. From a slightly immature start, it has blossomed into a professional company with strong dance technique and ambitious ideas. But in some ways, Out of His Skin is a bit too…

Jerry & Tom

16 Aug 20133 stars

Tarantino-esque hitman dramedy

There’s a shiver that runs down every critic’s spine when s/he hears the name ‘Tarantino’ in reference to a stage production. This word is invariably not used to describe something the Hollywood director has actually written; rather, it is shorthand for…

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Boris & Sergey II Perilous Escapade

16 Aug 20134 stars

The Balkan bad boys go straight to Hell in this unmissable comedy sequel

After the dramatic finale of their previous adventure, Boris & Sergey II Perilous Escapade, accompanies the infamous brothers on an unforgettable journey to the underworld that tests their unique brotherly bond to its limit. A mixture of physical…

Shelby Bond

16 Aug 20133 stars

Easy-going, affable and inclusive stage persona is a late-night hit

Given he’s got a late night spot in a dingy subterranean room in a city centre drinking hole, one assumes this American stand-up will be loud and brash and foul-mouthed enough to deal with anything a difficult, drunk nocturnal crowd will throw at him.

Garrett Millerick: Does it Matter?

16 Aug 20133 stars

Safely left wing and pretty obvious rhetoric from the angry comic

It's a wonder that Garrett Millerick doesn't burst a blood vessel during his show; particularly as he has to get this annoyed every night for almost a month. He's a very angry young man. He's 30, unmarried (though he came close), lives with a bunch of…

Ménage à Trois

16 Aug 20134 stars

Claire Cunningham’s dance piece is an ode to love not yet found

Claire Cunningham’s exploration of her 20-year relationship with crutches is a bold piece of theatre. Not because Cunningham brings to the stage a style of dance that many won’t have seen before, but because she shares her own feelings about her…

Shirley Gnome

16 Aug 20132 stars

Not-so-well-crafted filthy material leads to a dull show

After the third song focused on below the belt activities you start to wonder whether the whole show's going to be like this. The answer is quite simply, yes. The level of the filth isn't the problem, there are many good acts on the Fringe gloriously…

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Micheal Che: Cartoon Violence

16 Aug 20134 stars

The New York comic shows skill at delivering solid material in front of a tough crowd

At the end, this tough, young, sharp comic who came up from New York City’s projects apologises for it being a ‘strange show’. Michael Che is referring to the row of humourless hecklers in the front who piped up intermittently, occasionally in a…

Shit-faced Shakespeare

16 Aug 20133 stars

Enjoyable contrast between robustly delivered performance and cackhandedly mangled drama

Of all the comedy twists the works of the Bard have been given over the years, this inspired one is a potentially perfect fit for a late night at the Fringe. The idea is simple: a Shakespeare play is staged in an entirely serious manner by the cast…

Mat Ewins: Once Upon a Time in the Jest

16 Aug 20132 stars

Comic's routine finds itself wandering aimlessly into mediocrity

He wants to be different and to do the best he can – warm sentiments that occupy the core of Mat Ewins’ time-lapse history lesson. But this routine, delivered with the best intentions in the world, finds itself wandering aimlessly into mediocrity.

Rob Carter: Murder (and other hobbies)

16 Aug 20132 stars

Musical comedy from Mr. Nice guy trying to act tough

Rob Carter is ‘a real bad arse’, he announces in clipped West Sussex vowels. Swathed in John Lewis cashmere, fresh from a ten grand drama school course, he is all too aware that his anecdotes about an ‘anarchic’ childhood (running away from his…

Killers

16 Aug 20133 stars

An insight into murderers' minds

Bathed in harsh white spotlights, three of Britain’s most notorious killers – Dennis Nilsen, Ian Brady and Peter Sutcliffe – sit in front of the audience, reading letters they’ve written to admirers from their prisons or secure hospitals. But if you’re…

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Esio Trot

16 Aug 20134 stars

Delightful Roald Dahl adaptation by Cambridge students

Roald Dahl’s tale of two lonely people brought together by a tortoise was adapted for the stage by Cambridge University’s Ryan Ammar and brought to Edinburgh by the Uni’s ADC Theatre. The script bolsters the slight story by amping up the villainy and…

Pat Cahill: Start

16 Aug 20132 stars

Hard to find a footing in this hasty hodge-podge of a show

Pat Cahill begins by explaining how it’s hard to start – though in fact once he gets going it’s hard to stop him. It’s all too rushed in this confused jumble of a show, with erudite observations flying by amongst inane remarks, without giving the…

Simon Evans: Leashed

16 Aug 20133 stars

Successful material about everyday things

Simon Evans has a mightily long list of television appearances and writing credits to his name and, as a result, draws a large crowd. His familiarity with the limelight and comfort with chatting with an audience leads to him eating up a large chunk of…

Terry Clement: Din Time 8

16 Aug 20132 stars

Innocent, happy go lucky persona that doesn't quite hit the mark

Hallucinatory comic Terry Clement brings his first full-length show to the Fringe all the way from Canada, unclassifiable humour chaotically in tow. From his opening gambit – a parody spoken word piece in which he describes idly watching a turtle on a…

AntiGraham

16 Aug 20133 stars

The sketch crew Graham on the right tracks to produce a jaw dropping Fringe set

Not sure what sketch crew Graham did to have a negative applied to this year’s almost-eponymous show title, but the positive outweighs any genuine downsides to this sprightly hour. You may recognise the quartet from their School of Comedy days and with…