Reviews & features: Comedy

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Liam Mullone: Game Over

22 Aug 20133 stars

One of the more enjoyable stage presences you'll see at the Fringe

In Liam Mullone’s poster image, his facial strain is so tight with unrestrained rage that his glasses look as though they are about to explode with the force. On stage, his fury has been boiled down to a manageable level of barbed annoyance, as the…

Jigsaw - Jiggle It

22 Aug 20134 stars

A tight little sketchy bundle

From their entrance – charging onto the stage pursued by an unseen threat – to their exit 50 minutes later, Dan Antopolski, Tom Craine and Nat Luurtsema barely pause to catch breath while delivering a rapid-fire series of sketches that consistently hit…

Kai Humphries: Shameless!

22 Aug 20133 stars

Salt-of-the-earth stand-up

Kai Humphries considers himself to be shameless and not, as he points out, in the sense that he’s from the Geordie equivalent of the Chatsworth Estate. Instead, he means that he’s prone to being a bit naughty. But really, he appears to be a genuinely…

Slightly Fat Features

22 Aug 20133 stars

Ensemble buffoonery and a grand finale

A coming together of circus skills, comedy and chaos, Slightly Fat Features strikes a bizarre balance between the brilliant and the banal. Maybe that’s the point, but you can’t help but think if they stuck to the former, it’d make for an even better…

Marcus Brigstocke

22 Aug 20133 stars

The comic's 2013 act is a refreshing change from previous years, even if it doesn't always work

He may have badly damaged his leg during an energetic performance right at the beginning of his Fringe run, but experienced campaigner Marcus Brigstocke throws himself fully into his hour here. This year, he has opted to change tack from his previous…

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Sam Fletcher - Drawn-out Jokes

22 Aug 20133 stars

A slice of his loveable lo-fi comedy from 2012 Best Newcomer Award laureate

Making the leap from the Free Fringe and a Best Newcomer Award from 2012, ‘Fletch’ brings us another slice of his loveable lo-fi comedy, merging a bit of technology with some pencil drawing. We start off with him poking fun at sketches of our host…

Nathaniel Metcalfe: Enthusiast

22 Aug 20134 stars

Making comedy hay with triviality

Enjoy an hour of storytelling at its finest with the curious Nathaniel Metcalfe. Guilty of having a little too much time on his hands, he has developed a series of bizarre fascinations with less-than-gripping subject matters over the years (trivia about…

John-Luke Roberts: Broken Stand-Up

22 Aug 20133 stars

Refreshingly random stand-up

A welcome deviation from the numerous observational comedy shows at the Fringe, the talented John-Luke Roberts performs a refreshingly random set aided by his various quirky (and extremely well-drawn) illustrations and props. He occasionally slips…

Chris Coltrane: Compassion is Subversive

22 Aug 20132 stars

Political comic never quite hits the mark

As he steps on stage in front of a full house, Chris Coltrane enquires if we are all aware that this will be a political comedy show. Duly warned, the audience endures a long hour of idealistic views and Tory-bashing begins. Part activist and part…

Mat Ricardo: Showman

22 Aug 20133 stars

An potent act aided by a showbiz-slick performance

Mat Ricardo has done his time and served an apprenticeship in street clowning and reaching the Fringe stage, he has an act that is potent aided by a performance that is showbiz-slick. It’s hard not to fault a magic act (in this case, a juggler) if they…

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Briefs: The Second Coming

21 Aug 20133 stars

Aerial trickery, vaudeville, smuttiness and muscles combine for a brilliant bonkers show

Elaborate dick pouches, man-dogs and defecation are just some of the high – and low – lights of a Briefs show, as occasionally brilliant as it is totally bonkers. A fabulous Priscilla, Queen of the Desert-inspired opening sets the tone for an all-male…

Adam Page

21 Aug 20133 stars

Multi-instrumental comedy from the hirsute, high-spirited Aussie

Adam Page has an almighty beard and he’s not afraid to use it. The high-spirited Australian’s show starts with a cacophonous demonstration of loop pedals and a request that the house lights go down because people – apparently – make him nervous. If…

Comedy Fringe Debut: Juliette Burton

20 Aug 2013

Comedian's debut solo show is 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? ‘Go for it!’ After two years of performing as part of a comedy duo, I was offered the chance to perform my debut solo show at the Gilded Balloon this…

Fringe comedy debut: Ronny Chieng

20 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? ‘Adapt to Edinburgh's weather by bringing outerwear that repels water but is easy to take off, and is warm, but not too warm.’ After considering my…

Fringe comedy debut: Phil Ellis

20 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? ‘FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T DO IT!’: most comedians. What do you expect will be the least useful piece of advice? ‘Always remember that the…

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Fringe comedy debut: Jacob Edwards

20 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? Make sure you take sun cream. As everyone knows, the Edinburgh Festival is usually a month of prolonged and intense sunshine. During previous visits…

Fringe comedy debut: Ivo Graham

20 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? The show is hardly going to benefit from any work in the last couple of weeks before the Fringe. Devote all your time to thinking up funny answers to…

Comedy Fringe Debut: Al Lubel

20 Aug 2013

American 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? Showing up is 80%. So you better do more than show up. What do you expect will be the least useful piece of advice? Showing up is 80%. So just show…

Fringe comedy debut: Benny Davis

20 Aug 2013

Human Jukebox appears for his debut solo show 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? One word: plastics. What do you expect will be the least useful piece of advice? One word: Dracula. Imagine this is September: looking back at…

Fringe comedy debut: Paul Currie

20 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? Never mix up ‘flyering’ and ‘fisting’ up the Royal Mile What do you expect will be the least useful piece of advice? Fisting works just as well as…

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Fringe comedy debut: Chris Fitchew

20 Aug 2013

The comedian presents his debut solo show at the Fringe 2013

What do you think might work out as the best piece of advice you receive ahead of your Fringe debut? Avoid the late night bars! What do you expect will be the least useful piece of advice? Avoid the late night bars! Imagine this is September…

Fringe comedy debut: Dan Cook

20 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? Remember to change your pounds to Euros. What do you expect will be the least useful piece of advice? Crying in front of an audience elicits…

Joke Thieves

20 Aug 20133 stars

A decent mixed line-up of performers nicking each other’s sets

The practise of joke-stealing is so frowned upon in modern comedy circles, it’s bewildering to think that it’s become the central concept in a show – and a successful one at that. On the evening of this sold-out performance (many audience members had to…

Alexei Sayle

20 Aug 20135 stars

A masterclass from the alternative comedy pioneer

Without naming any names, a number of British comics who were big in the 80s and 90s have returned to the stand-up stage. Their comeback appearances merely proved that they made a wise move stopping in the first place. With this breath-taking hour…

Brendon Burns & Colt Cabana

20 Aug 20133 stars

Enjoyable hour of wrestling-themed entertainment

Brendon Burns and Colt Cabana Sit in a Fifty-Seater Around Midnight and Provide the Commentary to Bad Wrestling Matches is, as Burns quickly points out, not a misleading title. Aussie comedian Burns is right at home with his audience of Lycra-loving…