Jay Richardson

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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…

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…

Kevin Bridges – We Need to Talk About . . . Kevin Bridges

9 Oct 20143 stars

Autobiographical self-awareness and emotional honesty from Glaswegian stand-up

While it's virtually taken for granted that an arena comic will pen an autobiography sooner rather than later, Kevin Bridges appreciates that he's ridiculously young to be reminiscing about his life. Now 27, more than a third of this book passes with…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Italian comedian Francesco de Carlo

31 Jul 2014

'I aim to lose my tan, improve my English and inflate my belly with your beer’

By the close of the festival, the ‘expressive, surreal and slightly Mediterranean’ Francesco de Carlo aims to ‘lose my tan, improve my English and inflate my belly with your beer’. As part of a group of comedians who’ve brought stand-up to Comedy…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Andrew Maxwell takes on the Scottish Independence referendum

28 Jul 2014

'Nationalism is folly, it always ends in violence... Borders and flags are just false nonsense'

The comic with arguably the Fringe’s ‘most quintessential Edinburgh name’ is grasping the thistle of Scottish independence, with his show title, Hubble Bubble, a misquote from Shakespeare’s Scots play, adding ‘an extra layer of bullshit’ that Andrew…

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: Ivo Graham discusses Bow Ties and Johnnies

25 Jul 2014

The Old Etonian tackles his public schooling and having 'a genuine relationship with issues'

Show titles Ivo Graham has reluctantly rejected include Privately Educated, Sexually Active and the brilliant Eton Mess. His debut, Binoculars, traced the 23-year-old’s distinct lack of success with girls and was, according to his father, his ‘one…

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 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: comedian Paco Erhard on being the Worst. German. Ever.

22 Jul 2014

'A lady called me “the worst German ever”. Which was funny as, historically, I do have competition'

Paco Erhard’s return to the Fringe balances irreverent, provocative social satire with more personal insight, such as his formative decision to hitchhike out of Germany: ‘the most pivotal hours of my life; intense fear, hope, doubts and dreams’.

Glenn Wool bring's greatest hits set to 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

15 Jul 2014

Wool's Gold features material from comedy troubadour's 20-year career

Of no fixed abode, Glenn Wool is one of a select band of stand-ups who ply a global comedy circuit, travelling continent to continent, acquiring cautionary tales of exotic misadventures and invasive customs officials as he goes. Just back from Japan…

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Adam Buxton presents BUG - XL Recordings special

8 Jul 20143 stars

The music video enthusiast combines nerdy enthusiasm with impish wit and glee

Paying homage to the XL Recordings label, this fond tribute inhibited the nerdily enthusiastic Adam Buxton from showcasing any terrible music videos. But they weren’t missed. Instead, between groundbreaking promos for the likes of the Prodigy, Radiohead…

Interview: comedian/actor Aries Spears on Schwarzenegger, race and Project Spears

13 Jun 2014

'I talk about relationships, sex, politics: those are the rebounds, assists, the defence of my game'

Performing in Glasgow for the first time, Aries Spears admits that everything he knows about Scotland comes from Braveheart. But the American stand-up and sketch actor isn't too concerned. An accomplished impressionist, Hollywood's cultural imperialism…

Interview: Vladimir McTavish and Keir McAllister look at the state of Scotland

21 Mar 2014

The pair's long-running independence show is evolving as the referendum draws near

Regardless of what happens on September 18, Vladimir McTavish and Keir McAllister have no doubt that the public is more engaged with the independence referendum than when they began performing their Look at the State of Scotland shows in 2012. ‘We had a…

Interview: Bridget Christie on success and becoming an unlikely feminist icon

24 Feb 2014

2013 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner takes A Bic for Her on UK tour

Having previously considered downsizing her comedy career, Bridget Christie has experienced a massive surge in popularity. Jay Richardson chats to a seemingly unlikely feminist icon. Seven months after she debuted A Bic for Her at the Edinburgh Fringe…

Philip Roscoe - I Spend Therefore I Am: the True Cost of Economics

18 Feb 20143 stars

An easy to grasp analysis of how economics has infiltrated every aspect of modern living

A straightforward, easy to grasp analysis, Philip Roscoe's politically charged denunciation of economics' primacy in the modern world highlights the dire consequences of applying a market mentality to such areas as car safety, organ donorship…

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Joke Thieves: The show that encourages stealing material

29 Jan 2014

The show lets comedians 'duplicate, spoof, parody, deconstruct or destroy' other comics' sets

There’s a tacit understanding on the comedy circuit that plagiarism is one of the worst crimes a comic can commit. But at Joke Thieves, acts have to swap routines – each does five minutes of their own material before reproducing five minutes by someone…

Interview: comedian Keiron Nicholson of BBC Radio Scotland series Backpackers Anonymous

16 Sep 2013

'All of the stories involve me being an idiot in some way'

Travelling tales can be a great resource for any comic but Keiron Nicholson's routines from the six months he spent roaming South East Asia earned him a BBC Radio Scotland series. Backpackers Anonymous was so-called 'because all of the stories involve…

Interview: David Baddiel on how being misunderstood is almost part of the job

29 Jul 2013

The comedian, author and one-time chart-topper makes a long-awaited return to the Edinburgh Fringe

Even after selling out Wembley Arena with Robert Newman in 1993, initiating the era of massive comedy gigs in the UK and prompting Janet Street-Porter to famously declare comedy ‘the new rock’n’roll’, David Baddiel ‘never really felt in my soul…

Dundonian Paul Pirie brings stand-up to 2013 Edinburgh Free Fringe

29 Jul 2013

When funny bones meets focus

A mainstay of Scottish stand-up who decamped to Essex, Paul Pirie has always possessed a maverick streak. Expelled for constantly clowning around in school, the Dundonian dedicated his job at Primark to cheering up depressed colleagues and customers. A…

Comedian, storyteller and writer Janey Godley to release debut stand-up album

19 Jul 2013

Janey Godley is Ungagged is the Glasgow comic's first album despite 18 years in the business

Eighteen years a stand-up, Janey Godley is only now releasing her debut album. Recorded at the Comedy Cafe Theatre in London last month, Janey Godley is Ungagged will appear on CD and audio download, a mixture of new material and greatest hits. The…

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Gallery: World Press Photo exhibition 2013 visits Edinburgh Festival

18 Jul 2013

Free exhibition of some of this years most important photographs

Founded in 1955, the annual World Press Photo contest has showcased some of the most striking, shocking and memorable pictures in photographic history. But as visitors will discover when the exhibition of winning entries returns to Edinburgh, the…

'The Comedy Explorers' Alternative Comedy Club' and 'Comedy and Cocktails'

15 May 2013

Jay Richardson talk us through the hot new comedy clubs in Glasgow

The current slow-down in gig attendances, suggesting even comedy isn't recession-proof, puts new nights under pressure to be distinctive. Two ambitious ventures launched in Glasgow recently take diametrically-opposed approaches to persuading punters…

Matt Haig - The Humans

17 Apr 20134 stars

Astute, drolly hilarious and beautiful insight into what it is to be human

As Matt Haig acknowledges at the end of this marvellously humane and very funny fifth novel, both The Humans and his writing career originated in a breakdown that became a breakthrough. Recovering from severe panic attacks by reading and crafting…

Luke Wright - Mondeo Man

22 Feb 20134 stars

Poetry collection with a rich strain of empathy from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe favourite

Performance poet Luke Wright’s Cynical Ballads was an unquestioned highlight of the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe, earning gushing reviews for his witty, unsparing view of modern England. Several pieces from that show are reproduced here in his debut poetry…

Sanderson Jones brings his atheist church services to Glasgow

20 Feb 2013

The innovative comedian is appearing as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival

Sanderson Jones is one of stand-up’s great innovators, an irrepressible ideas man. Over a predictably faltering Skype connection, the strikingly tall, bearded, sometime face of the IKEA ads, admits to occasional gremlins during a tech-comedy gig the…