Brian Donaldson

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Carl Donnelly: Now That's What I Carl Donnelly Vol. 6

31 Jul 20144 stars

Consistent Edinburgh Festival Fringe hour with moments of pure hilarity

Carl Donnelly was as surprised as anyone when his solid yet unspectacular stand-up act gained a spot on the Edinburgh Comedy Awards shortlist last Fringe. Little did observers know that the London comic was harbouring much pain with his marriage having…

New show Potted Sherlock runs at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2014

The complete works of Sherlock Holmes condensed into 70 minutes for an entralling show

With news that Benedict Cumberbatch is returning as the supersleuth of Baker Street, while Ian McKellen is set to play a ninetysomething Holmes obsessed with cracking one final case, it seems that we just can’t get enough of Arthur Conan Doyle’s clever…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: comedian Katherine Ryan considers the choice we make

25 Jul 2014

'In the UK, you actually have a choice to put your tits away. And, well, maybe you should’

Katherine Ryan has come a long way since making her Fringe debut in 2011. Having made a name for herself with 20-minute sets packed with song parodies and frank material about her own life and the celebrity landscape she viewed all around her, Ryan…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 shows about death

25 Jul 2014

Featuring Jim Davidson’s Funeral, Tony Law, Lost Voice Guy and Robin & Partridge

Jim Davidson’s Funeral Having faked a fight to get publicity last year, Ellis & Rose walked off with the Malcolm Hardee Award for their spirited endeavours. This year, they’re dancing on the Fringe’s grave by hosting a night of various japes in a…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: 5 hotly-tipped sketch comedy debuts

25 Jul 2014

Featuring Aunty Donna, Gein's Family Giftshop, Massive Dad and zazU

Aunty Donna. Not, in fact, a polite family lady, but a trio of quite-rude, variably hairy Aussie chaps called Broden, Zachary and Mark. That nation’s Herald Sun said they produced ‘uproarious, high-octane comedy’. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, 1–25…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: Alan Davies sees the importance of Little Victories

25 Jul 2014

The comedian and QI regular's second comeback show is a reflection on childhood

Alan Davies recently announced that his forthcoming Edinburgh gigs will contain no material whatsoever on the independence referendum. Unless people want to have a show of hands, that is. Given the right royal stooshie that occurred when he previously…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: comedian Stephen K Amos finds his Fringe groove

25 Jul 2014

'I can ask the audience the awkward, challenging questions. Ultimately, though, they’ve got to laugh

Stephen K Amos seems to have found his Fringe groove, annually playing to an appreciative crowd at the Stand with a show that he will tour later in the year and hosting a chat show at the Gilded Balloon. Those separate events help him indulge his chief…

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…

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…

Programme highlights from the 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

17 Jul 2014

Including Lauren Child, Julian Cope, Tony Parsons, Irvine Welsh and Jacqueline Wilson

Lauren Child One of this year’s guest selectors, multi-award winning author and illustrator Lauren Child takes part in three events. The creator of Charlie and Lola, and Clarice Bean discusses her gadget-heavy Ruby Redfort Trilogy (9 Aug), before…

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The 20 best shows at the 2014 Edinburgh Festivals

15 Jul 2014

Stuck to know what you must see this festival? Here's 20 suggestions from across the festivals

The James Plays. Edinburgh International Festival. Sofie Gråbøl, Blythe Duff and Jamie Sives are among the actors appearing in Rona Munro’s highly anticipated historical trilogy.

Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2014: Past winners reveal what the top comedy prize means to them

15 Jul 2014

Featuring Brendon Burns, David O'Doherty, Tim Key, Russell Kane, Adam Riches and Bridget Christie

Brendon Burns (2007) Before winning the Edinburgh Comedy Award, what was the best thing you had ever won? I’m not sure I’d ever won anything before that, beyond sporting trophies as a kid. Of the other nominees on your shortlist, can you name one…

Site specific theatre highlights at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

15 Jul 2014

Conventional theatre spaces too run-of-the-mill? How about a boxing gym, a beach, bed or bus?

Out of Water. Live art clashes with music and rubs up against theatre in probably the earliest show at the Fringe. Stories of endeavour are interwoven with haunting music, lifeguard drills, calls for help and struggles for breath featuring a score by…

Shows inspired by key women in history at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

15 Jul 2014

Shows based on Jane Fonda, Margaret Thatcher, Bette Davis, Janis Joplin and Zelda Fitzgerald

Margaret Thatcher: Queen of Soho. You’d think there might have been a section of the Fringe programme solely dedicated to the Iron Lady by now. But until then, the true blues can go purple with fury at Matt Tedford’s interpretation of Lady Mags as a…

Behind the scenes at the Edinburgh festivals

15 Jul 2014

Insiders reveal the preparation put into one of the world's largest cultural events

Jamie Mitchell. Fruitmarket Gallery manager on getting art into the space. The process of an exhibition coming together can spread over a long time frame. Early on it’s about broad strokes, but the closer it gets, it’s more about specifics and we’ll be…

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Sketch comedy duo The Pin return to 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

15 Jul 2014

Double act of Alexander Owen and Ben Ashenden return to Fringe

If you consider some of the great double acts in comedy history, you might notice a significant disparity in height. Vic Reeves towers above Bob Mortimer; not for nothing did Eric Morecambe continually call his partner Little Ern; and Bernie Winters was…

Profile: Louise Welsh and Irvine Welsh set for 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

15 Jul 2014

The two Scottish writers share more than a surname

Louise Welsh and Irvine Welsh are among modern Scotland’s top literary talents. If you’ve been paying close attention, you’ll also have spotted that they share a surname. Yasmin Sulaiman digs around for more astonishing coincidences between the pair

The New Zealand shows at the 2014 Edinburgh Festivals

15 Jul 2014

Including Generation of Z, Mau: I am, Witi Ihimaera, Black Grace anf The Troubles

The Generation of Z hurls you head first into a world ravaged by the undead. Fight for your future as you journey through a battle against extinction. Set within a maze-like security containment depot swarming with terrifying zombies, you're in the…

'It’s about doing a big, sod-off gig that touches everyone in the venue’ - Lee Evans interview

15 Jul 2014

‘I aim to put on a show where people say, “For 3 hours, I forgot about all the rubbish in my life"'

It’s an incredible 21 years since Lee Evans won the Perrier Award, and here he is back drenching the capital’s stages in the month of August with his high-energy brand of physical comedy. Although the humble art of stand-up was cultivated for a dimly…

Documentary highlights from the 2014 Edinburgh Just festival

15 Jul 2014

The event formerly known as the Festival of Spirituality and Peace

The event formerly known as the Festival of Spirituality and Peace goes from strength to strength and with talks, exhibitions, music and workshops around various venues, Just will be equally as prominent and hectic as any of the other festivals around…

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King Creosote - From Scotland With Love

14 Jul 20144 stars

Kenny Anderson's doc soundtrack unsentimentally captures Scotland throughout the 20th century

Do you remember a Scotland where the beaches were permanently packed during the ‘Glasgow fortnight’, where people jostled for space in Saturday-night dance halls while attempting a demure courting ritual, and where striking workers with massive banners…

5 things you might not know about comedian Bruce Morton

11 Jul 2014

The award-winning stand-up has worked on Channel 4, BBC Radio 4 and the Greater Shawlands Republic

1 In 1988, Bruce Morton became the inaugural winner of the So You Think You’re Funny? crown, a title claimed the following year by Phil Kay. Rhona Cameron and James Kirk are the other Scots who have taken that particular prize, and we could add…

My Comedy Hero: Derren Brown on Louis CK

8 Jul 2014

Mentalist Brown singles out the American stand-up for his ability to 'make us look at life anew'

Hopefully not being a comedian gives me licence to name someone who is well established. I can’t offer the names of any cool, underground subversives. He may still not be quite a household name in the UK but he’s undoubtedly at the top of the tree: my…

Interview: Theoretical Zombiologist Doctor Austin on the rise of Zombie Science

19 Jun 2014

On fast zombies: 'I can’t run very quickly now, so why would catching a disease improve that?'

Cultural interest in the zombie tends to go through peaks and troughs, usually related to news that George A Romero is about to unleash his latest army of flesh-eaters. But nowadays you can barely turn a metaphorical corner without a zombie hurling…

Robin Ince prepares to take you In and Out of His Mind

17 Jun 2014

The comedy boffin is pals with Brian Cox, has a TED talk under his belt and loves Rik Mayall

Long considered one of the cornerstone British comics you turn to when you want your brain nudged as well as your funnybone tickled, Robin Ince is back in town with a show entitled In and Out of His Mind. For this touring work, the former showbiz…