Reviews & features: Carmody Wilson

24 reviews

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WitTank

12 Aug 20115 stars

A dazzling display of sketch genius

A sketch show to make even the most po-faced Fringe-watcher break out in hives of hysteria, WitTank takes comedy to brilliantly berserk new levels. An unlikely kleptomaniac, a sinister headmaster, a sugar freak and an unhappily-housed grandfather are…

Eric Lampaert

12 Aug 20112 stars

An engaging but ultimately flat Eric

Bounding onstage with a winning grin and infectious enthusiasm, Eric Lampaert quickly warns the audience that he has a short attention span. He needn’t have bothered with the warning. What seems like a promising show is hopelessly derailed by Lampaert’s…

Tom Stade: What Year Was That?

8 Aug 20113 stars

Whimsy and shock humour make for easy, if not entirely guilt-free, laughs

Gripping the mic, MC-style, Stade is a salty Everyman. Saying what no one else dares say and with much better timing, he’s the buddy your wife fancies but doesn’t want around. There are a few misses, but gags about marriage, famine and national pride…

Des Clarke - Des Comedy Jam

8 Aug 20114 stars

Hilarious patter will leave both locals and out-of-towners in a good place

With jokes coming fast and a wit as sharp as a knife, Clarke will leave you in a good place. Illustrating the difference between Scots and the rest of the world, Clarke tirelessly delivers memorable zingers while keeping up a stream of hilarious patter…

Jeff Leach: A Leach On Society

8 Aug 20112 stars

Energetic gross-out comedy with possibly divisive material

After a promisingly energetic opening, Leach lost momentum due to drunken heckling and had trouble getting the audience onside. His material, dealing mostly with emergent sexuality and humiliating experiences, is divisive and makes for uncomfortable…

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Chef!

23 Aug 20104 stars

Crazy dance, sight-gag comedy and lots of laughs

Billed as a beat-box action comedy, Chef! is all it claims to be and more. A mystical chef, outrunning two bumbling, black-clad fighters, finds his way to a modern kitchen, where crazy dance, sight-gag comedy and lots of laughs ensue. Choreographed to…

Shazia Mirza

20 Aug 20103 stars

Atheists, parental pressure and sex chronology gone wrong

Shy comedy fans, beware. In this small venue, there’s no hiding, and she’s not afraid to go all the way to the back and accuse you of being a Guardian reader, or middle-aged or gay. If these things don’t deter you, then Mirza’s laid-back set of…

Colin Hoult

16 Aug 20104 stars

Creepy, disgusting and unsettling

A great opening gag involving unintelligible sounds and an unwanted baby sets the tone for the next hour. Hoult plays characters from the fringes, who are by turns, creepy, disgusting and unsettling. There’s the movie lover from Nottingham and his…

Jarred Christmas

11 Aug 20104 stars

Personal set from personable stand-up

With a surname like Christmas, it’s a no-brainer that this Kiwi had to grow up defending himself. And defend himself he does, about his penchant for dance, Michael Jackson fandom and less-than-svelte physique. The jokes come quickly and easily, and…

Summat an' Nowt

21 Aug 20082 stars

Olivia Neville has got a rich cache of characters and uses her talents well, but one can't help but feel that she's wasted an opportunity here to really lampoon Lancashire. The title of the show suggests something other than the amusing sketches she…

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Pluck

21 Aug 20084 stars

A brilliant mix of high comedy, astonishing musicianship and a touch of romance, Pluck give us a re-imagined telling of the musicians who stayed behind on the Titanic in spite of a strange intruder, string rivalry, and well, the obvious sinking of the…

Des Bishop

14 Aug 20082 stars

An early move to Ireland from New York was probably the best thing to happen to Bishop's career as his routine is full of fond pokes and jibes at the people of the Emerald Isle. Less well done are his recoveries from unexpected audience banter and the…

Stuart Black

14 Aug 20083 stars

Based on the negativity of the nightly news, Black's show gives thanks for the pallor of British holidaymakers and offers advice on how to seduce a girl from Somerset. His delivery is embittered but askance and his punchlines are as world-weary as you'd…

Nick Revell

14 Aug 20082 stars

A simple premise of topical worries fill out a set that feels more like a catch-up with a funny pal than an hour of stand-up with a complete stranger. Revell's easy, conversational opening belies the raging tirades that make up the latter half, and for…

Luke Toulson

14 Aug 20083 stars

There's a local theme to this show with Toulson waxing comedic on the merits of Scottish soldiers and performing a 'Scot Off' competition with the audience. It's lucky he owns up to his less than stellar impersonations, and he more than makes up for…

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Isy Suttie

14 Aug 20084 stars

Beginning with a song and spiel about early career goals, Suttie takes her crazily well-crafted characters and choruses to their hilarious musical conclusion and has a grateful audience laughing all the way. A particular highlight is Suttie's…

Howard & Mimi

16 Aug 20073 stars

Playing anthropomorphised pets, the duo of Haverstock and Gold weave a funny tale of new relationships, hissy fits and dog breath. Mimi’s (the cat) world is turned on its head when Howard (the pooch) and his master Nick move into her mistress Jane’s…

Craig Hill

16 Aug 20073 stars

Crazed musical energy makes Hill’s comedy infectious, and smarty-pants audience interaction makes it hilarious; some of the funniest bits come from his savaging of hapless crowd members who refused to answer his questions. Whether it’s memories from a…

Kate McLennan

16 Aug 20073 stars

Using her voice and body movements to play eight characters is just one of the interesting feats of McLennan’s performance. Good timing, simple story structure and comic instincts are others as she takes us through the agonies and ecstasies of preparing…

Ismo Leikola

16 Aug 20074 stars

How funny is observational comedy with a Finnish accent? Very funny, actually. With comedy so low-key and off-the-wall it comes right out of nowhere, his style is decidedly un-energetic, but with a priceless delivery. Leikola is a Scandinavian Mitch…

Carey Marx

9 Aug 20073 stars

Holding a teddy bear aloft, Marx says, ‘I’ve got a new rape joke,’ and then proceeds to cast aspersions on little people, religious fanatics and his poor girlfriend, nicknamed ‘Elbow Face’. Scapegoating the bear when his more offside jokes fail to…

Breaking the Seal

9 Aug 20073 stars

As far as Australian accents go, Larah Bross has got one of the best. Add to this Russian, New Jersey, and downtown Montreal, and you’ve got the basis for some desperate and down-and-out alcoholics living it up in Scotland. Bross takes broad…

Tara Flynn

9 Aug 20073 stars

Standing alone on stage amid the heart-rending cries of Kate Bush, Flynn clutches a comic from her childhood and encourages the audience to embrace her time-travelling adventures. Full of anecdotes about growing up in rural Ireland, she lampoons sham…

Rob Deering

9 Aug 20074 stars

Deering giggles a lot during his own set, and it’s no wonder: he’s a funny man. His offbeat mix of late-night-presenter and cheeky teenager pushed all the right buttons. The best parts were the musical interludes with manic, sonic panic delivered with a…