Comedy, Reviews

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Casual Violence: The Great Fire of Nostril

21 Aug 20143 stars

Fun and absurd comedy undermined by underwritten script at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Everyone, it seems, would rather hear a story featuring evil conjoined twins rather than one about a happy gherkin and so the hapless narrator Ridley loses out to his unseen voiceover narrator rival. Young Roger Nostril is distraught when his father is…

Devvo's Deal or No Dealer Gaymeshow

21 Aug 20142 stars

Disjointed gags and rap songs fail to impress at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

As occasional E4 and YouTube personality Devvo takes the stage, the first thing he does is announce he has a reviewer in tonight. When he demands that I identify myself, I reluctantly put up my hand. My expectation is for some light banter before he…

Dizney Rascal

21 Aug 20143 stars

Wavering taste levels let down Rebecca Humphries' musical comedy

Sing-a-long versions of Disney songs are played on a big screen as the audience files in. It’s a nice touch to set the mood and introduce Rebecca Humphries’ musical comedy. The show starts strongly with a number taking us through the history of Disney…

Goose (An Odd New One-Man Comedy Whodunit)

21 Aug 20143 stars

Detective comedy delivered by human whirlwind at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

For one solid, breathless, sweating hour, Adam Drake doesn’t let it drop for a single second. If awards were given out for the comedic results of energy and memory alone, Goose would be snapping up every award in town. Maybe not the best poster one, but…

Jonny Awsum: Sexy Noises

21 Aug 20143 stars

Musical comedy is feelgood frivolous fun at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Jonny Awsum bounds on stage grinning from ear to ear, a mischievous twinkle in his eye, an acoustic guitar strapped round his neck. And the feelgood vibes never relent through this hour of musical comedy. The songs are similarly cheery and you can't…

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Joseph Morpurgo: Odessa

21 Aug 20144 stars

Exquistite one-person multi-character act at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

There are surely few one-person multi-character acts at the Fringe with as much talent to burn as Joseph Morpurgo. His Odessa hour has ambition by the bucketload and he possesses both the dramatic and comedic tools to carry it off with ease. Starting…

Neil Hamburger

21 Aug 20143 stars

Gregg Turkington's monstrous creation is a true original at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Neil Hamburger could well be a once-in-a-lifetime comic. For sure, Gregg Turkington’s monstrous creation is a true original, a man who thinks he should be a showbiz legend but has been worn down by failure and his own self-loathing to the point where…

Rat: Induction

21 Aug 20144 stars

Shrewd and funny sketch show hits the mark at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Rat are already standing on stage, bored and dejected, as the audience file in, hellishly inane muzak playing on a loop over the soundsystem. The trio (Alistair Donegan, David Newman and Camilla Whitehill) are trapped, waiting for an unspecified…

Tim Key: Single White Slut

21 Aug 20144 stars

Comedian returns to 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe to upturn comedy conventions

After winning the Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2009 and producing one of the finest comedy-theatre-poetry-bath shows in Fringe history with Masterslut, Tim Key popped by last August to perform his latest work-in-progress. The result one year on is the…

Alun Cochrane: (Me Neither)

20 Aug 20144 stars

Comedian returns to Edinburgh Festival Fringe with yet more brilliant no-frills stand-up comedy

There are many things that you can rely on during an Edinburgh August: aggressive flyering and passive-aggressive rainfall being two. A third is that Alun Cochrane will deliver a warm and witty hour of comedy (probably at his second home of The Stand).

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Chris Turner: Pretty Fly

20 Aug 20143 stars

Gags and impressive ad-libbing abound in archaeologist's comedy show

Chris Turner has a little warning sign ready to let us know that a pun is on the way. Holding the microphone at a higher, slightly awkward angle is the cue for his crowd to brace itself ahead of a spot of wordplay that will either make us laugh out loud…

FrightFest 2014: Housebound

20 Aug 20144 stars

Gerard Johnstone's riotous debut skilfully mixes horror and hilarity

Hollywood could learn a thing or two from Kiwi first-time writer-director Gerard Johnstone, who casts two exquisitely expressive ladies in his deliriously funny and downright scary haunted house horror. A combination of fantastic performances and a…

FrightFest 2014: Wolfcop

20 Aug 20143 stars

Fun, furry retro horror from writer-director Lowell Dean

Some films take on a life of their own before they are even released, with the internet going into overdrive before anyone's seen the first frame of footage (recent examples being Snakes on a Plane and Sharknado). Wolfcop now joins these illustrious…

Ivo Graham: Bow Ties and Johnnies

20 Aug 20144 stars

Talented young comedian delivers fine hour of comedy at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

As a successful young Etonian, Ivo Graham has probably not had much experience of re-sits. Yet, here he is asking a group of lads in his front row to re-arrange themselves to avoid any further disruption. Being a child of privilege this should almost…

James Acaster: Recognise

20 Aug 20143 stars

2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show fails to live up to majesty of previous form

Last Fringe, a chance encounter with James Acaster’s father led him to berating me for only awarding his little boy four stars. Let’s hope our paths don’t cross again this August once papa Acaster gets wind of this three-star slating. The fact remains…

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Jim Holland: Shoegazing

20 Aug 20142 stars

Entertainingly awkward shuffle around comedian's quirks at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

‘Anything an extrovert can do, an introvert can do more awkwardly.’ That’s the mantra of Jim Holland, Portsmouth-born shy guy. He also believes that real integrity is persevering with a thing you love, even if no one else will like it. He drops in this…

Josh Howie: AIDS: A Survivor's Story

20 Aug 20144 stars

Comedian on top of his game and unafraid to test crowd's limits at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Calling your show AIDS: A Survivor’s Story is one thing. Riffing for an hour on and around the disease which had a generation permanently on edge is a tough sell. At one point, Josh Howie even claims that his agent baulked when he first proposed this…

Kevin Day: Standy Uppy

20 Aug 20144 stars

Delicious line of black comedy runs through show at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

It’s been seen many times before that a comic returning to the Fringe after a decade or more’s absence proves to be less than match-fit for a gruelling August. A steward’s enquiry won’t be necessary after Kevin Day’s run of Standy Uppy is over; he’s…

Natasia Demetriou: You'll Never Have All of Me

20 Aug 20143 stars

Fun hour of comedy with help from comic Mae Martin at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

It's hard to imagine that Natasia Demetriou has much of a clue as to where this show is going, and she has the air of someone flying by the seat of her one-piece tuxedo. It's pretty joyous knockabout stuff though, despite, or perhaps because of its…

Rachel Parris: Live in Vegas

20 Aug 20143 stars

Charismatic musical comedy show at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe lacks hilarity

It can be hard to strike the right note in musical comedy, but Rachel Parris is definitely in key as she returns to the Fringe with Live in Vegas. The premise of the show is a night of entertainment in a seedy hotel, with Parris playing an array of…

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WitTank: Old School Secrets

20 Aug 20143 stars

Smart, psychotic and very funny twisted world presented by comedy trio

The moments of insanity scattered throughout WitTank’s new show make Old School Secrets a must-see. There is no reason why a boisterous Shania Twain should be visiting a boarding school to perform at their New Year’s Eve party but Naz Osmanoglu pulls it…

Alistair Green: Nobody's Twisting Your Arm

19 Aug 20142 stars

Thin material from self-confessed loser at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

It’s ironic that comedians often become rich, overpraised successes by playing the hapless, dateless, penniless non-starter. Alistair Green peddles the line of self-confessed loser and outsider who ‘used to have hope’, and he certainly lays out a varied…

Conor O’Toole's Manhood

19 Aug 20143 stars

Clever and witty writing let down by clumsiness at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

‘It’s quite difficult to fill a show at noon,’ says Conor O’Toole, ‘when apparently a lie-in is the best free show on the Fringe'. Luckily for him, the pillow troupe and duvet ensemble appeared to have been let out early, with the fundamentally likeable…

Jonny & the Baptists: The Satiric Verses

19 Aug 20143 stars

Catchy, political songs from musical comedy double act at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Musical comedy double act Jonny & The Baptists (aka Jonny Donahoe and Paddy Gervers) got an unlikely publicity boost earlier this year. After setting out on their 'Stop UKIP' tour and releasing a video on YouTube, the party sat up and took notice…

Mark Watson: Flaws

19 Aug 20144 stars

Superb show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe ensures a decade on comedian remains at the top of his game

The Thomas the Tank Engine theme song is playing on repeat, the audience are blowing whistles and popping balloons at random and Mark Watson is stumbling around the room followed by a man demanding that he tweet about this experience. It’s both an…