Laughing Horse

16 articles

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Russell Hicks: A Fist Full of Ideas

24 Aug 20183 stars

Hour of masterful crowd work as comic figures it all out, whatever it is

Russell Hicks' tiny karaoke room in the City Café isn't meeting the demand of today's queue. Sizing up the packed room, and with the door still wide open, he addresses those waiting outside. 'I'll swap you for these guys if I don't like them,' he says…

Victor Patrascan: The Trouble With Being Born Romanian

24 Aug 20183 stars

A barrier-breaking gig with the occasional misstep

Comedian Victor Patrascan wants to break down the barriers between us and accept that there is no race but the human race. In The Trouble With Being Born Romanian, he explains that he's only considered 'Romanian' in Edinburgh whereas in his homeland…

Ahir Shah: Duffer

24 Aug 20185 stars

A magnificent hour about politics, family and a 1970s classic hit

You could never accuse Ahir Shah of lacking commitment to a routine. In Duffer, his running 'Bohemian Rhapsody' gag journeys from him recalling his father being falsely awestruck at his little boy's prodigious prose efforts, all the way through to the…

Ollie Horn Made Some Funny Friends In Japan

22 Aug 20183 stars

Our man in Japan reflects on racism, fame and identity

There are blow-up kawaii toys of Hello Kitty and teddy bears on the seats when you enter this karaoke party-sized room in the basement of a nightclub. Because it's a small space, and he's packed in punters most lunchtimes so far, Ollie Horn has added an…

Toby Adams: Tongue in My Head

22 Aug 20184 stars

Tackling the simple pleasures and the big things

With a quote from Stewart Lee ('a special experience') in his blurb, Toby Adams has a lot to live up, but he manages it. With his incredible command of the English language, Adams is clearly a highly-skilled wordsmith. In his early 50s, he knows what he…

Dave Green: Melt

21 Aug 20183 stars

A charming lo-fi set about fretting

Dave Green is one of life's worriers and this debut show perfectly captures that low level of anxiety that neurotics carry about with them on a daily basis. He conjures worry from a fear of letting stuff go, checking appliances are switched off, being…

The Ballad of Sarah Callaghan

17 Aug 20183 stars

Pent-up fury and searing rage blunted by a few weak gags

This year's Fringe show from Sarah Callaghan is about wanting to be in a gang. She desperately wants to fit in, to feel like she's got a family, to get respect and, if possible, a slot on mainstream telly, please. But watching lots of her jokes fall…

Struan Logan: Struan All Over the World

17 Aug 20182 stars

Uninspiring hour of travel anecdotes

When your entire family are sitting in the back row of your show, it's maybe not the best time for a reviewer to be in. However, the heckles from Struan Logan's clan become an amusing addition to an otherwise lacklustre hour. The Scottish comedian has…

Will Mars: Candid Café

16 Aug 20183 stars

Self-loathing, heartbreak and frequent punchlines

Will Mars has had a terrible year and it shows. He ambles on stage, glares at the room with his sad eyes and asks us not to clap. He's not earned any applause yet. This isn't a gimmick: if Candid Cafe is anything, it's soaked in self-loathing.

Daniel Audritt: Trying To Be Good

13 Aug 20183 stars

Achieving his best self as well as the finest comic he can be

What does it mean to be good these days? Daniel Audritt is working hard on being a better person, but is the title actually just a hint that he would far rather prefer to be a superior comedian? In a perfect world, of course, both goals could be…

Robin Morgan: Honeymoon

13 Aug 20183 stars

A smooth show that would benefit from a bit of mess

In a slim suit and pointy shoes, with a bowtie unfastened, Robin Morgan is fresh from his honeymoon. He got married to his teenage sweetheart a week before his Edinburgh Fringe run started, and feels a bit guilty for leaving her and their son…

Suzanne Lea Shepherd: You're Okay!

13 Aug 20182 stars

Material lets down capable New Yorker

You're Okay! has a promising premise. Suzanne Lea Shepherd and her Kansas family gather for Thanksgiving, and wind up visiting a strip club. An unlikely scenario, it would be a believable journey if it was written well, but Shepherd gives the impression…

Anthony Ayton: Kitchen Party Action

13 Aug 20183 stars

An honest show that's almost on the right tracks

Anthony Ayton always ends up in the kitchen at parties (hence the title). So he tries getting a party atmosphere going in this nightclub basement. Maybe it's just the crowd he's got in, but attempts to strike up banter don't go anywhere very good;…

Benji Waterstones: The Ayahuasca Diaries

31 Aug 20172 stars

A humdrum chat about drugs and wishes amounts to not a lot

In possibly the most compact and bijou room at the Fringe, some 25 souls squeeze into a back cupboard to get very up close and personal with Benji Waterstones. A junior doctor on his hols, he's here to regale us about the positive (or otherwise) effects…

Cheekykita: Somewhere in the Ether

31 Aug 20172 stars

Committed attempt to rouse a crowd with calculated nonsense doesn't quite succeed

Wistful, whimsical, carefree surrealism is one of the trickier comedy sub-genres to pull off in a live setting, and while you can only stand back and admire Cheekykita for commitment to the cause, sitting down for an hour of her shtick can be a mite…

Jen Wakefield: Girl in Da Corner

8 Aug 20173 stars

A promising show from a bright talent with a proud heritage

Jen Wakefield's Girl in Da Corner brings together character comedy and slam poetry in a novel show that finds a way to stand out. It's a very slick and accomplished 45 minutes that positively bristles with the sort of energy you wouldn't expect from a…