Reviews & features: Laura Ennor

85 reviews

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Tom Wrigglesworth: Utterly at Odds With the Universe

16 Aug 20133 stars

Down-to-earth humour based on comic's relationship with his granddad

Funny-sad shows about earthy but inspirational old relatives have been something of a vogue these past few years at the festival, so while you can hardly fault a man for wanting to tell what seems to be a genuine (if…

Hannah Gadsby: Happiness is a Bedside Table

13 Aug 20134 stars

Beautifully constructed and moving show that has an important point to make

A show that manages to be both cheek-achingly funny and genuinely touching is a rare thing, so make the most of this treat from Tasmanian comic Hannah Gadsby. To the uninitiated, her slurring way of speaking could almost have you believe she’s come to…

Dressing Down

13 Aug 20134 stars

Breakneck-paced sketch show is studenty, smart and artfully ramshackle

If you’re choosing one show to represent the breakneck-paced sketch genre in your viewing schedule this festival, make it this one. Studenty (OK, they just look too young to be this funny and clever), smart and artfully ramshackle, it’s everything a…

Birthday Girls: 2053

7 Aug 20133 stars

Sketch absurdity and eccentricity in spades

Birthday Girls are three fifths of sketchers Lady Garden: ringleader Rose, innocent-looking but not-so-secretly filthy Beattie, and Camille, who fills the trio’s ‘creepy idiot child’ role with aplomb. Their first show as a threesome has a lot going for…

Craig Campbell's Thrilling Mic Hunt

5 Aug 20134 stars

Brilliant Canadian raconteur treats us to jovial observational anecdotes at the Fringe Festival

‘Me falling off a log – you can’t get more Canadian than that,’ says Craig Campbell of an ill-fated sea kayaking trip, just one of many similarly cursed escapades he relates in a roundly entertaining hour of jovial observational anecdotes. And it’s true…

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Suzy Bennett

5 Aug 20133 stars

Too much information in a packed debut

Suzy Bennett’s debut solo show is a sweet and rather tragic affair. Bubbly and endearing, she’s a dab hand at getting the audience onside with some preposterous self-lampoonery, and it’s genuinely impossible to know how much of her dignity-free tale…

Chris Fitchew in Jack of All Trades

5 Aug 20131 star

Trashier than the trash TV it heavy-handedly mocks

Trashier than the trash TV it heavy-handedly mocks, this one-man cavalcade of awfulness gives camp comedy a bad name. Chris Fitchew lamely parodies a series of telly and celebrity types, from TOWIE geezers and Jersey Shore divas to Tom Cruise and…

Sam Lloyd: Fully Committed

5 Aug 20133 stars

Astonishingly intensive performance by the comedian behind Ted from Scrubs

Running at 90 minutes, Fully Committed is well over the length of your average Fringe offering – but then Ted from Scrubs can get away with that sort of thing. A gentle comedy at a gentle pace, it could probably do with losing those extra minutes, but…

Stephen Carlin: Gambling Man

5 Aug 20132 stars

Reformed comedian jokes about the temptation to go back

Stephen Carlin’s slightly mumbling, hesitant delivery is part of his shtick as a slightly surly, dysfunctional Scotsman; but often in this show the hesitations just feel downright awkward as he visibly aches for a reaction beyond polite laughter. His…

Gary Delaney 2: This Time It’s Not Personal

5 Aug 20133 stars

One-liner show making a virtue of naffness

Gary Delaney will make you laugh when you don’t even want to. There’s nothing big and not much clever about his lowbrow one-liners, but through groans and cringes aplenty, he’ll get you in the end, and probably with something very silly indeed. He…

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Josie Long - Romance and Adventure

22 Aug 20123 stars

New found cynicism provides counterpoint to bubbliness and irrepressible daft voices

Josie Long has turned 30, and it’s changed her – if her last show was full of wide-eyed idealism and exhortations to activism, she’s now become fully acquainted with disillusionment. And not just the kind when everything’s wrong and you don’t know what…

Miriam Margolyes - Dickens' Women

22 Aug 20123 stars

Appealing biographical show in the company of a true pro

Yelling with that unmistakeable voice and accompanied by the oh-so-refined tinkly piano of Benjamin Lee, Miriam Margolyes staggers onto the stage in the person of sozzled layer-out of the dead Mrs Gamp, from Martin Chuzzlewit. It’s a charming, gentle…

Andrew Ryan - Ryanopoly

21 Aug 20122 stars

Uneasy, nervous act fails to break the banks

Having worked in a bank, Andrew Ryan knows all the tricks in the book of Getting Your Money, and he knows how to get the humour out of them, too. Many of the funniest moments in this show are borne of his playful sending-up of the rigid application of…

Meine faire Dame - ein Sprachlabor

16 Aug 20123 stars

Radical reimagining of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady gives much food for thought

Sitting down in the audience for Swiss director Christoph Marthaler's Meine faire Dame is something akin to entering a conversation class in a language you have no knowledge of. At first, it's completely baffling and you doubt you'll ever make sense of…

Mr Braithwaite Has a New Boy

14 Aug 20122 stars

Decent performances can’t redeem predictable Aussie farce

With this new comedy by Steven Dawson (who also directs and designs it), Melbourne’s LGBT-focused theatre company Out Cast Theatre plays lazily to the crowd, favouring lashings of none-too-subtle and none-too-imaginative cheap smut and broadly-drawn…

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Death Boogie

10 Aug 20122 stars

Political hip hop poetry musical is all sound and fury

Death Boogie is a political hip hop musical, performed by a dancing poet-rapper rhyming over his own beatbox loops, a double bass player and violinist, all against a backdrop of comic-strip visuals peppered with WHOAs, BIFFs and BOOYAKASHs. Sound like a…

Belt Up Theatre’s A Little Princess

9 Aug 20122 stars

Unengaging adaptation of a timeworn classic

Young York company Belt Up Theatre have been the toast of the Fringe in recent years for their immersive, intensive renditions of stories new and old, but it feels like things have gone off the boil slightly with this staging of Frances Hodgson…

Petya and the Wolf

7 Aug 20123 stars

Childlike in chaotic naiivety but enough depth to entertain all

Two Russian actors present this idiosyncratic physical retelling of the familiar tale of how Peter outsmarts the hungry wolf, soundtracked by a recording of the Prokofiev score with English narration. Although the story is simple enough for all ages to…

Eat $hit: How Our Waste Can Save the World

7 Aug 20123 stars

A(n extremely odd) musical with an infectious message

The Poop Project are here to talk to you about your poo – loudly, clearly, and with songs and jazz hands. And if you’re the squeamish sort, it’s even more imperative that you listen. Let’s be straight: the five performers in this show aren’t the…


7 Aug 20123 stars

Solid black comedy that explores the danger of privilege

An exclusive dining society, an intricate and arcane set of rules, and a fabulously deranged ringleader – these are the main ingredients in the meal served up by the St Andrews students calling themselves ‘The Catherine’s Club’. Playing on an endless…

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Markus Birdman: Love, Life and Death

7 Aug 20123 stars

Sentiment without the sugar in contemplative comedy piece

Nope, it’s not just a keeping-his-options open title scribbled down on the Fringe application form in March – Markus Birdman really is here to address the big things in life and what comes next. As well he might: having turned 40 and suffered an…

Would Be Nice Though...

6 Aug 20124 stars

Interactive show that skewers the job interviews process

Ever been to a job interview, looked around, and thought, ‘If this is the competition, God help me if I’m not in with a chance?’ Such thoughts may pass through your mind as you enter a real George Street office and are ushered through various stages of…

Chapel Street

6 Aug 20124 stars

Snappy double monologue delivered with panache

This exuberant new piece by Luke Barnes plays as two monologues: a boy and a girl stand side-by-side, the narrative snapping breathlessly back and forth between them as their worlds draw closer and closer and ultimately collide in the messy climax to a…

Craig Hill: Jock's Trap

5 Aug 20122 stars

Bitchy banter and camp cruelty

Craig Hill either is your bag or he isn’t. If, in the first spoken line of the show -- after the thrusting Madonna dance routine – you’re laughing uproariously at the mere implication of the word bum (as a verb), then you’re in the former camp. If not…

Michael Mittermeier: A German on Safari

5 Aug 20122 stars

Eddie Izzard's German protege is in desperate need of fresh material

The omens were good for Michael Mittermeier. Accompanied by Eddie Izzard’s endorsement, the German has toured widely in the Anglophone world and his publicity shots contain no lederhosen or sausages. It’s a shame, then, that Mittermeier’s set is as…