Reviews & features: Comedy, Issue 583

66 reviews

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School of Comedy

16 Aug 2007

In this age of Asbos, hoodies and teenage gang warfare it’s probably illegal to encourage youngsters to swear and be rude in front of adults, but this is exactly what the grown-ups behind School of Comedy plan to do. The show is billed as ‘an adult…

Henry Rollins

16 Aug 2007

It’s a wonder Henry Rollins has time to sleep. When the Black Flag legend is not writing books, hosting his own television and radio shows, acting in Hollywood and hopping from gig to gig, he is performing his quick-witted spoken word pieces around the…

Jason Manford

16 Aug 20074 stars

Too much success early on in a career can be a double-edged sword. Jason Manford first came to attention two years ago with an inspired, Perrier-nominated debut in which he exploded various urban myths and apocryphal tales. As a fan of that auspicious…

Mark Watson

16 Aug 20074 stars

Mark Watson deserves his moment. Having proved to be one of the true innovators on the Fringe with his marathon comedy sessions, off-the-cuff novel writing and participation in daft quizzes, his solo hour of stand-up has grown in stature and scope in…

Jim Jeffries

16 Aug 20075 stars

You may consider yourself not easily offended. You may feel that nothing shocks you, and that there is nothing left to say that is truly controversial or distasteful. If this is the case consider yourself well and truly wrong. Since his appearance at…

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Josie Long

16 Aug 20074 stars

Josie Long is already holding court about nothing much as the sold-out audience squeezes in. She happily assures us that this is not to make it seem like a piece of avant-garde theatre, that she just likes to chat. Following on from last year’s runaway…

Hitlist - the best Festival comedy

16 Aug 2007

Kristen Schaal Winston Churchill roamed the Assembly Rooms last year in the guise of Mel Smith. He’s back for a ghost appearance in this superb show from one of America’s most delicate new comic talents. Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 27 Aug (not 20)…

Hannah Gadsby

16 Aug 20073 stars

Exploding smalltown ignorance

Sleepy-voiced, droopy-eyed and dressed in a uniform of cover-all black, Hannah Gadsby wants to bring us up to speed on her 28 years. Raised in a hick town in Tasmania, and made to feel in turns ‘big boned’, ‘retarded’ or ‘dykey’ when growing up, she now…

Lawrence Leung

16 Aug 20074 stars

Australian comedian Lawrence Leung is under the impression that he isn’t cool. Granted he stands awkwardly on stage, an adorable grin spread across his face and displaying a beard only a maths teacher could sprout; yet there is something undeniably…

Adam Bloom

16 Aug 20074 stars

The concept of downtime is unfamiliar to Adam Bloom. After charging onstage and whirling through five minutes or so of funny, friendly, filthy audience interaction, the act proper begins without a wasted nanosecond. Bloom has a sort of sunny fury…

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John Gordillo

16 Aug 20072 stars

Acclaimed comedy writer/producer John Gordillo is not happy. Not happy with his ‘fraught relationship’, with his permanently ill girlfriend, or the London tube system, or bagpipers let loose in Edinburgh. But most of all, he’s not happy doing a free…

Robin Ince

16 Aug 20073 stars

Emma Lennox

There is no harsher critic of Robin Ince than Robin Ince (and maybe some guy on the internet). With each sentence spoken Ince back pedals and breaks the phrase down, re-examining it in a self-effacing, ironic manner. In his show, Robin Ince Knew This…

Tim Key

16 Aug 20073 stars

Tim Key wanders distractedly onto the stage and silently but amusingly prepares himself, the long silence irresistibly amusing instead of embarrassingly awkward. He removes one of the many small notebooks secreted on his person and reads out the poem…

Liam Mullone

16 Aug 20073 stars

Liam Mullone thinks we live in a world that’s too inhibited by rules, laws and health and safety regulations. He’d rather we took the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants attitude of the heroic rabbits in his favourite book, Watership Down, and started living…

Rick Shapiro

16 Aug 20074 stars

Rick Shapiro is a five star comedian in a two star show. If you want structure, well thought-out lines, or even the assurance of sanity then look elsewhere. If, however, you’re prepared to sit through ten minutes of shambolic mutterings as our hero…

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Sarah Kendall

16 Aug 20072 stars

Back in the heady days of 2004, Sarah Kendall became the first woman to receive a Perrier nomination in nine years, and deservedly so. Having taken time out to trot the globe, she returned last year with a show that was worryingly patchy and left some…

Tripod

16 Aug 20074 stars

Australian musical comedy act Tripod could wring a few immediate laughs simply by virtue of their unlikely physical make-up. There’s the spindly, bespectacled guitarist who’s a dead- ringer for a young Maurice Gibb; the tall, excitable mop-top; and the…

Pete Firman

16 Aug 20073 stars

Pete Firman wanted to bring the curtain down on Hokum by swallowing a packet of lit cigarettes and regurgitating them one by one. He couldn’t because of the smoking ban and they threatened to shut down all the Underbelly venues if he’d hacked up the £50…

Miles Jupp

16 Aug 20074 stars

There are few things in life quite so satisfying than seeing a posh person throwing a bit of a wobbler. And so it’s with great pleasure that Miles Jupp brings us Everyday Rage and Dinner Party Chit Chat, a perusal of the moments in life when Jupp…

Joanna Neary

16 Aug 20074 stars

A consummate mistress of the quick change, over-stretched smile and rolling eyeballs, Joanna Neary cascades from one monologue to another with a very British kind of grace. Full of quirky imagination and charming clowning, she brings to life such varied…

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Rebus McTaggart

16 Aug 20073 stars

Ecclefechan’s one-man law spree returns with a new set with the plaudits from last year’s Fringe having gone straight to Rebus McTaggart’s head. Happily, the same couldn’t be said of character comic Richard Thomson. Presenting a similar premise to the…

Little Howard and the Magic Pencil of Life and Death

16 Aug 2007

5 Questions

5 great things about being small? Being able to tie people’s shoelaces together under tables; tricking people into thinking you’re further away than you are; winning at limbo dancing; being able to lie on the floor and know what the world looks like…

Chas Early

16 Aug 2007

5 words to describe this year’s show? Your very last chance, baby. 4 stand-ups/comedy acts who you think should be more famous in September than they are now? Josie Long, Gordon Southern, Isy Suttie, and Robin Ince, who is already a little…

Alistair Barrie

16 Aug 20073 stars

For someone who describes himself as a ‘twat’ and claims to suffer from low self-esteem, Barrie exudes a reassuring confidence that draws you into his world and holds you there. His show hangs around the loose theme that we’re all going to hell in a…

Francesca Martinez

16 Aug 20073 stars

Martinez tells us from the outset that she doesn’t do chit chat, and this sentiment prevails. Proselytising on politics, religion and other weighty topics, she sometimes veers close to mere soap-boxing with the albeit admirable force of her convictions.