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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…

Interview: 2011 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Adam Riches returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

22 Jul 2014

The comedian's character-based shows feature a lot of audience participation, so be warned

‘I was too tall to be Tigger, and I couldn’t be Goofy, so I was a waiter.’ Adam Riches is recalling his time as a 19-year-old working at Disneyland Paris. This part of our story doesn’t have a happy-ever-after: Riches was fired for being a little bit…

Bridget Christie: 'For now, there’s still plenty to be "banging on" about'

22 Jul 2014

The comic explains why she's sticking with feminism on her return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

I’m a professional idiot. That’s my job. On both my children’s birth certificates, next to ‘mother’s occupation’ it says ‘Hired Fool’. All I’m required to do is make people laugh. I’m not the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. I don’t work…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: comedian Lucy Beaumont

22 Jul 2014

'Johnny Vegas bigged me up and you need someone like that. There are not enough mentors in the arts'

On the cusp of her debut Fringe show, Lucy Beaumont is not one to follow traditional paths. Two years ago, struggling to find acting work, she ended up as a cleaner at the same university where she’d studied drama. The ability of her co-workers to tell…

Interview: Cora Bissett and Peter Arnott discuss Edinburgh Festival Fringe show Janis Joplin: Full Tilt

22 Jul 2014

The play stars Angie Darcy as the iconic 60s singer-songwriter and member of the infamous 27 Club

The way in which this part-concert part-play came together is fitting tribute to both the free and easy spirit of the age it remembers, and the wonderfully no-nonsense manner in which the late David MacLennan ran Òran Mór’s A Play, A Pie and A Pint…

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Interview: comedian Camilla Cleese comes to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

22 Jul 2014

'Six-foot blonde, slightly resembles John Cleese but not that much, thank God'

It’s a brave move going into comedy when your dad is John Cleese, but if you’re currently thinking that the offspring of celebrities get an unfair break because of their bloodline, you can forget that now. Camilla Cleese has the goods to back it up…

Interview: comedian Josh Ladgrove wants you to Come Heckle Christ

22 Jul 2014

The Aussie satirist is bringing his blasphemous show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

Of all the returning acts at this year’s Fringe, Jesus Christ might appear the most unlikely. Of course, Come Heckle Christ doesn’t feature the real Jesus any more than Jim Davidson: No Further Action is the work of the devil. Australian comedian Josh…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 10 strange, site-specific venues

22 Jul 2014

Featuring phone shops, police boxes, rickshaws, caravans and a boxing gym

A boxing gym An amateur boxing club becomes the set for this verbatim theatre piece based on interviews with Muslim female boxers, using a cast of 16–18-year-olds. No Guts, No Heart, No Glory, Sandy’s Boxing Gym, Craigmillar, 226 0000, 18–25 Aug…

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 interview: Clive Anderson vs rising improv stars

22 Jul 2014

BattleActs, Austentatious and more quiz the Whose Line is it Anyway? host

David Allison, This is Your Trial As an ex-lawyer, you will appreciate that what appears as a witty adlib may actually be the result of anticipating the responses of ‘witnesses’ or improv participants and some carefully planned prompts: how much is this…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Jessie Cave & Emer Kenny on friendship

22 Jul 2014

True friendship is 'being able to cry in front of them for no reason. Or emoticons.'

Comedy buddies Jessie Cave and Emer Kenny are tackling various things with their Fringe team-up including notions of friendship in this crazy, tech-heavy modern age. We paged them some questions on the subject and they faxed answers back Can you tell…

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Great British Bake Off star Glenn Cosby cooks up some recipes for the Edinburgh Festivals 2014

22 Jul 2014

'Irvine Welsh makes me think sweet rather than savoury and to include whisky and poppy seed'

Nick Barley, Edinburgh International Book Festival director: If you had to create a radically new national dish called the Referendum Pie, popular with Irvine Welsh as well as AL Kennedy, what ingredients would you use? Glenn: Irvine Welsh makes me…

Interview: Andrew Doyle brings his Zero Tolerance show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

22 Jul 2014

'Stand-up’s another form of theatre, people just tend to forget that you’re playing a character'

Returning to the Edinburgh Fringe this year, actor, writer and comedian Andrew Doyle will wear two hats. The former teacher brings his stand-up show, Zero Tolerance (his third solo hour), and Outings, a play based on real-life LGBT coming-out stories.

Edinburgh Festivals 2014: Game of Thrones-themed events

22 Jul 2014

George RR Martin, Joffrey, Lady Olenna Tyrell, Jory and Orell take on the capital this summer

Collapsing Horse Not in fact a reference to the nag which got chopped in half by the Mountain (his idea of a post-joust warm-down), but the Irish theatre company which features Jack Gleeson aka the late and little lamented King Joffrey. That’s him…

Interview: Daniel Kitson-endorsed comic Tom Shillue to make his Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut

22 Jul 2014

'What I’m trying to do for this show is take many little stories and weave them together'

Last year, comedian and storyteller Tom Shillue embarked on a project to record a dozen spoken word albums over 12 months. While many people assumed it was a short-lived gag, Shillue saw it through to the bitter end. ‘It was exhausting,’ he says. ‘The…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 music highlights

22 Jul 2014

Featuring Withered Hand, Niki King, Asian Dub Foundation and RM Hubbert with Emma Pollock

Withered Hand The self-deprecating Dan Willson (he slagged his own voice off at an Usher Hall anniversary bash earlier this year and says his kids are the band’s toughest critics) gets set to receive the acclaim of others with tunes from breezy latest…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 shows that straddle contemporary dance and physical theatre

22 Jul 2014

Featuring Maria Addolorata, Pss Pss, Missing, Malasombra and Origin

Maria Addolorata Italian duo Carlo Massari and Chiara Taviani are C&C Company, and here they deliver an intense investigation into coping with pain. This piece has already won an award in France, and is the first chapter in their proposed Trilogy of…

Interview: alternative comedy forerunner Andy de la Tour on returning to stand-up

22 Jul 2014

The comedian will be ending a 20 year absence by appearing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

Andy de la Tour hadn’t performed stand-up for 20 years when he started to feel its pull again. ‘If you don’t do stand-up, you can still get on with your life, but there’s something about it which you miss. It’s the buzz, the adrenaline, the rush. A…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 misleadingly named comedy double-acts

22 Jul 2014

Featuring Twisted Loaf, McQueen, Toby, Ladies Live Longer and Lazy Susan

Twisted Loaf: Half-Baked One of the hot tips from the free roster this year, Nina Smith and Libby Northedge had the Funny Women Award in their back pockets for a year. Half-Baked is their debut hour. You decide if they are indeed ‘blisteringly funny…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 family-friendly circus acts

22 Jul 2014

Featuring The Little Big Show, Freedom Family Circus and Comedy Allsorts

The Little Big Show A global assortment of clowning and comedy promising ‘ginormous laughs’ in a small space. For ‘kids and very big kids’. That’s you lot. Assembly George Square Gardens, George Square, 0131 623 3030, 31 Jul–24 Aug, 10.45am, £10…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Swedish comedian Tobias Persson

22 Jul 2014

'I'll be discussing life, death, money, love, marriage. Though I might have the inevitable knob gag'

In vitro fertilisation might seem like a cold, clinical and invasive subject for stand-up. But as Tobias Persson explains, his show is about ‘the basic human struggle to achieve a goal. Discussing life, death, money, love, marriage etc. Though I might…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Russian comic Igor Meerson

22 Jul 2014

‘If you say “My wife left me because I drank all her perfume” in Russia, no one knows you're joking'

As one of the first Russians performing stand-up, Igor Meerson elaborates on the difficulties of introducing the new art form at home. ‘If a man stands on stage and says “hello, my name is Peter. My wife left me because I’m an alcoholic and yesterday I…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Parisian comic Yacine Belhousse

22 Jul 2014

'My major inspiration comes from Monty Python. And Eddie Izzard as far as stand-up is concerned'

Lately supporting Eddie Izzard on tour, Parisian comic Yacine Belhousse specialises in ‘surreal stand-up based on everyday life. I start with a simple idea and digress. I’ll always tell a story and sometimes play with dialogue or characters, like say, a…

A bit of the hard stuff: six controversial comedy shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

22 Jul 2014

Featuring Dangerfield: Sex with Children, AIDS: A Survivor’s Tale and Kitten Killers

In the maze that is the Edinburgh Fringe, sometimes the best plan for an act is to simply think up a controversial title in order to sell tickets. Gavin Webster clearly couldn’t come up with one, so the popular Geordie comic brings us, quite literally…

Interview: DJ Tom Loud re-installs his Hot Dub Time Machine at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014

21 Jul 2014

'I want to hear The Beatles and Beyonce and maybe a bit of Skrillex all in the same night'

The secret is very much out. Now on its third Fringe appearance, if you’ve not already been, you might have had someone telling you that you ‘really, really should’ – and that someone could be from any variety of walks of life, too. But that’s the thing…

Big Fat Fringe Bribe blog 2014: Chelsea Manders - Don't Tell My Dad

21 Jul 2014

The Canadian comedian buys some exposure with a classy bottle of icewine

Despite trying to emphasise the tongue-in-cheek nature of our Big Fat Fringe Bribe, there are always one or two performers who go above and beyond with their payola. Possibly not realising that she could get away with an ornamental bottle-stopper…