The Alternative Comedy Experience 2013 UK tour
Stewart Lee brings his merry band of acts back for more
It feels like the festival, looks like the festival and it might even smell like the festival. And yet The Alternative Comedy Experience is done and dusted before the middle of July and off to the cutting room for the bods at Comedy Central to shape many disparate comedic elements into a distinctly non-Live at the Apollo stand-up TV affair. Once you see the final product you’ll be utterly amazed at the lack of cut-aways to highly-amused minor celebrities as the camera seems intent to focus on the actual comedian. Strange, disorientating stuff.
Anyone still in some doubt that Stewart Lee isn’t the godfather of modern stand-up merely has to take note of this showcase in which he gathers together some leftfield-ish UK/Ireland-based comics and lets them loose on their own material in front of a knowledgeable Edinburgh crowd. Among those doing their thing are established figures such as curly-haired social commentator and cricket fan Andy Zaltzman, double act Ginger & Black (one’s ginger, the other is black), Hattie Hayridge (she was in Red Dwarf, you know), Robin Ince (speccy, bookish), rising talent Nish Kumar (his tale of taking his dad to a wholly inappropriate movie is a joy to behold), the unique Paul Foot, the thoroughly curious Lou Sanders, Big Train and Jam veteran Kevin Eldon (pictured) and angry young Alfie Brown.
And that’s merely scratching at the surface of a line-up that is both vibrant and never ever going to appear with Mickey Mac and his roadshow of comedy.
The Stand, Edinburgh, Mon 8–Fri 12 Jul.