Reviews & features: Comedy

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Mark Restuccia: The Diary Of A Serial Internet Dater

20 Aug 20131 star

Comedian's badly written and dreadfully delivered drivel on internet dating failures

Mark Restuccia’s show from last year was titled How to Succeed at Internet Dating and his follow-up might properly be (though isn’t) called How to Fail at Internet Dating. Having met upwards of 1500 women online, the comic found himself shut out of…

Simon Munnery: Fylm

20 Aug 20134 stars

Fringe regular appears in a film/theatre mash-up with high gag rate

Gleefully playing with the conventions of sketch comedy, Munnery’s latest ‘fylm’ mixes super lo-fi animated cut-outs with his own disembodied talking head. The setup is a complex affair and it takes Munnery some time to explain, although he does so…

Chris Kent: Second Fix

20 Aug 20133 stars

Irish comedian offers an unashamedly straightforward hour of stand-up for his Fringe return

Cork resident Kent has been pottering about the Irish scene quite successfully in the last few years not least having won a few competitions. However his luck seemed to run out last year when he caught an attack of mumps here at the Fringe - though it's…

Ian Smith - Anything

20 Aug 20132 stars

Smith tantalisingly gets it right in places only to misjudge it in others

Rather than the nebulous 'anything', 'repetition' seems to be the theme of Ian Smith's solo hour. Sometimes it works, others not so much. Ostensibly a series of recollections of his life, Smith covers the everyday ephemera of horsing around with…

Ahir Shah - Anatomy

20 Aug 20133 stars

Cerebral humour succesfully displayed at the Free Fringe

Ahir Shah deliberately chose to leave the bigger venues circuit in order to take part of the Free Fringe, giving him more flexibility and greater control over his budding career. Stuck in a warm little attic, jam-packed, the freshly graduated comedian…

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Gamarjobat (ga-ma-jo-bat) Rock Out!

20 Aug 20134 stars

Mime, magic and tomfoolery showcased in a pretty tidy hour of great fun

It doesn't feel like the Fringe if you haven't seen Edinburgh regulars and mohawk-sporting Japanese clowns Gamarjobat – even if it's just doing their shopping on Nicholson Street. It's one of those rare Fringe shows where it really doesn't matter how…

Helen O'Brien: Bronagh's Big Weekend

20 Aug 20132 stars

80's nostalgia act is more of a storytelling piece than an out-and-out comedy show

Was there a clerical error committed when Helen O’Brien’s show was popped into the comedy section of the Fringe programme? As a piece of nostalgic fare about the mid-1980s, it hits one or two spots, but it’s more of a one-woman storytelling piece with…

Silky: It Was This Show or Have Kids

20 Aug 20133 stars

Honest, heartfelt, slickly-delivered, irresistible and, yes, occasionally disturbing stand-up

Silky has made a reputation for himself by singing gently disturbing songs and this is the lure for his 2013 show. It's a trap. What Silky is really peddling is honest, heartfelt, slickly-delivered, irresistible and, yes, occasionally disturbing…

Tim FitzHigham: Challenger

20 Aug 20134 stars

Multi-awarded, world record-holding comedian returns to the Fringe with tales of superhuman feats

You'd be forgiven for thinking that Tim Fitzhigham is a bit on the bonkers side. He's rowed the English Channel in a bath tub, paddled the Thames in a paper boat, run 40 miles in 40 degree heat wearing a suit of armour, and it seems that most of his…

Adam Strauss: The Mushroom Cure

20 Aug 20133 stars

Erudite and affecting script with a note-perfect rendition

Adam Strauss offers up a confessional monologue about his struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and his attempts to overcome it with therapy, medication and, naturally, psychotropic drugs. With a note-perfect rendition of an erudite and affecting…

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The Coin-Operated Girl: A Sex Workers Real Life Revelations of Frivolous Fornications!

20 Aug 20133 stars

Miranda Kane's warmly and enthusiasticly introduces us to the world of escorts

Whatever else this show is, it's certainly uniquely interesting. Since Belle De Jour's revelations about the sex industry, stories of escorts have piqued the interest of both sexes. The room is full and (presumably) not for titillation purposes - though…

Eilish O’Carroll: Live Love Laugh

20 Aug 20133 stars

A funny look at human drama from the Mrs Brown's Boys star

Fans of Mrs Brown’s Boys might go into Live Love Laugh expecting the shenanigans the hit TV programme has become known for - Elish O’Carroll’s Winnie McGoogan is the centre of some of the crudest and outrageous moments. So it’s actually a surprise in…

Gavin Crawford - A Bummer Abroad

20 Aug 20134 stars

Canadian character comedian mixes impressions, music and monologues with great success

This Canadian character comedian presents a disparate and unexpected show with impressions, music and monologue. Taking its inspiration from all sorts of areas, the only linking factor it seems is that they simply draw from Crawford's own points of…

Colin Hoult: Characthorse

20 Aug 20134 stars

Animated and multi-talented performer manages to tap into the innocence of a child's imagination

Colin Hoult regresses back to his childhood self in order to take us all on a highly amusing action packed adventure through the town of Snottingham, accessed through his old bedroom wall. He paints quite the vivid picture of his journey, frequently…

Jessica Fostekew: Moving

20 Aug 20133 stars

Assured and bubbly performance on the travails of setting down and domesticity

Domesticity and the travails of settling down are the topics of Jessica Fostekew's show. She takes us through meeting and moving in with her boyfriend, who happens to be a hoarder (operating at a television reality show level, she tells us), and their…

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Stand-up for Russia and PaulMooners celebrate good causes at the Fringe 2013

20 Aug 2013

John Bishop, Ed Byrne, Stephen K Amos and Joe Lycett among charitable comedy performers

PaulMooners, A Fullmooners Moontacular  This week a benefit gig is being thrown for the highly regarded comedy director, Paul Byrne, who was recently diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and is currently undergoing treatment in London. The line-up includes…

Foil, Arms and Hog - Late Night Irish Sketch Comedy

20 Aug 20133 stars

Lovable Irish cheeky chappie trio

Sketch trio Sean Finegan (Foil), Conor McKenna (Arms) and Sean Flanagan (Hog) have made a decent name for themselves in their native Ireland. And it’s easy to see why, their hyperactive knockabout comedy is an hour of solid entertainment with a decent…

Major Tom

20 Aug 20134 stars

A funny look at people's competitive nature and the judgemental society we live in

Performer Victoria Melody got the idea of entering her basset hound Major Tom into competitions but quickly became disheartened by how low he scored with judges. Another brain wave hits: she too will enter competitions, but as a beauty queen. The play…

The Bravery Test

20 Aug 20134 stars

Touching spoken-word comedy show about sibling worship

Angus Dunican is not your average stand-up. Not for him are casual observations about electrical appliances or the difference between the sexes. Instead, he litters his deeply personal story about growing up aspiring to be his brother with such astute…

Roll it in Sequins

20 Aug 20132 stars

Largely painful character sketch from the Heffernan/Fletcher duo

While the jokey revelation of the show’s title provides a mild hint of satisfaction, it really is much too little and far too late for this largely painful character sketch affair from Megan Heffernan and Sophie Fletcher. They introduce us to the…

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Damian Clark in G'Damo!

20 Aug 20132 stars

Boundlessly enthusiastic Autralian comedian can't help being likeable

On paper it doesn't look like stand-up Damian Clark talks about much. This hour features birds and how annoying they are, cats and how inscrutable they are, buses and how uncivilised they are and the difficulties of finding affordable, desirable flats…

Fringe comedy debut: Birthday Girls

16 Aug 2013

Former Lady Garden members perform Edinburgh Fringe 2013 debut

What do you think might work out as the best piece of advice you receive ahead of your Fringe debut? ‘Don’t read reviews!’ We read this in an article by Josie Long on advice when coming to the Fringe and we think it’s a good idea as it makes it easier…

Fringe comedy debut: Neil Hickey

16 Aug 2013

The comedian appears for the first time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013

What do you think might work out as the best piece of advice you receive ahead of your Fringe debut? To just do your show your way and not worry what others think. For example, it would be terrible to gear myself toward what I assume the Foster’s Award…

Fringe comedy debut: Terry Clement

16 Aug 2013

The comedian appears for the first time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013

What do you think might work out as the best piece of advice you receive ahead of your Fringe debut? I've been told to avoid the local marijuana for fear of potency. What do you expect will be the least useful piece of advice? Being told to avoid…

Alex Horne: Lies

16 Aug 20132 stars

A blip in a largely flawless Fringe career

For many years, Alex Horne has been one of those reliable Fringe comedy acts. With his natural stage presence allied to a fierce intelligence, he always produced shows that would make you think before the inevitable laugh came out; at its peak, the…