Reviews & features: Marissa Burgess

177 reviews

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Doctor Brown: Because

29 Aug 20134 stars

Show full of the unexpected is lapped up by the audience

It's not often that you get pelted with olives during a show. But then of course as we've come to realise over the last four years at the Fringe, Doctor Brown's shows are full of the unexpected. Anyone who has seen or at least heard about him before…

Adam Buxton: Kernel Panic

29 Aug 20134 stars

Maximum stupidity and joyous silliness from tech-heavy video show

The title 'Kernel Panic' is derived from the technical term when everything with your computer goes pear shaped. It's the one thing that certainly doesn't happen in Buxton's show – apart from the obligatory 'oh no the macbook's crashed gag'. But then…

Nick Hall: Live!

22 Aug 20133 stars

Promising debut in trying circumstances

There are some spaces at the Fringe that really shouldn’t be used as venues, and this is one of them. There’s nothing but a vague partition to separate the show from the diners in this spot’s restaurant, while its main bar runs alongside the audience…

Akmal

22 Aug 20133 stars

An engaging but often obvious hour

He may be little known on these shores but, on Australian TV, Akmal is a familiar face; though not, he notes, quite as ubiquitous as Adam Hills. Much of his material concerns how he moved Down Under at the age of ten with his orthodox Christian parents…

Paul F Taylor Presents The Greatest Show in the World Ever

22 Aug 20134 stars

An unhinged, dizzying but quality hour

Having picked his show title for the Fringe brochure back in March, Paul F Taylor spent the intervening months searching for a mysterious Chinese man to buy The Greatest Show in the World Ever from. Cue a dodgy accent and a not-so-mysterious looking…

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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…

Eric and Little Ern

20 Aug 20134 stars

Hugely enjoyable piece of comedic theatre, more than just a tribute to Morecambe & Wise

Ernie Wise lies in a hospital bed in the final moments of his life. In waltzes his white coated doctor, picks up his notes, turns to the audience and with a gentle push up the nose of his thick rimmed spectacles becomes Wise's 15-years-dead comedy…

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…

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…

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…

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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…

Garrett Millerick: Does it Matter?

16 Aug 20133 stars

Safely left wing and pretty obvious rhetoric from the angry comic

It's a wonder that Garrett Millerick doesn't burst a blood vessel during his show; particularly as he has to get this annoyed every night for almost a month. He's a very angry young man. He's 30, unmarried (though he came close), lives with a bunch of…

Shirley Gnome

16 Aug 20132 stars

Not-so-well-crafted filthy material leads to a dull show

After the third song focused on below the belt activities you start to wonder whether the whole show's going to be like this. The answer is quite simply, yes. The level of the filth isn't the problem, there are many good acts on the Fringe gloriously…

Simply the Jest

16 Aug 20134 stars

Good solid writing and delightfully silly sketches

Simply the Jest perform pared down almost prop-less sketches, which is probably a very good thing given that there are nine of them and there's barely enough space on the stage. It's a gag in itself on the rare occasion that they all perform in the same…

Leeds Tealights: The Ultimate Indoor Experience

16 Aug 20133 stars

Fringe experienced foresome aren't afraid to plunge into the dark side

This is one of the most slickly choreographed sketch shows at the Fringe, it's a feat of co-ordination that no one falls off the tiny stage. This year's four strong Tealights troupe certainly form a tight and tidy team. Formed in 2005 at the…

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Milo McCabe: Schiz

16 Aug 20134 stars

A wonderful conceit for a character comedy show

This a wonderful conceit for a character comedy show. On a screen on stage Milo McCabe sits in ethereally white room talking to the characters in his head. They're a disparate bunch, camp actor Troy Hawke, the Glaswegian trainspotter who thinks he's…

Mark Smith: The Most Astonishing Name In Comedy

14 Aug 20133 stars

A pleasant exploration of the comic's inability to truly grow up

An act playing to just six people is all too common an occurrence at the Fringe. Even worse when at least one of them is a critic. But Smith is admirably upbeat about it, which has the immediate effect of putting us at our ease. He high-fives each one…

Liam Williams

13 Aug 20134 stars

Member of sketch show Sheeps performs intelligent and inventive material

On Williams' poster the text is written upside down. No surprise then that his debut solo hour of stand up is deliberately obtuse. That could be greatly annoying but as it turns out he can back up this insistence to be different with an intelligent hour…

Abigoliah Schamaun: Subtle

13 Aug 20133 stars

Charismatic hour feels like a full-on celebration of female sexuality

There can't be many acts with as much sass as Schamaun. Her second Fringe show, as she wryly notes, is all about her favourite subject, 'me'. As well as a few impressive sideshow tricks – you can still hear the sound of grinding glass echoing through…

Felicity Ward: Irregardless

13 Aug 20134 stars

Infectious energy in straight stand-up show full of exuberant, unexpected moments

Close to the top of Ward's show there's the most joyous introduction for a slightly tipsy medical receptionist you're likely to witness. Ward's show is full of exuberant, unexpected moments. Deciding that there's no reason that people with more regular…

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Alistair Green is Jack Spencer: Sex Addict

13 Aug 20133 stars

Nicely-observed character and some gloriously inappropriate moments

You may know him as the face of Big Brother's Little Brother's Labrador's Cousin but Jack Spencer has been hiding a secret from us. His life, sheets and bannister rail have all been marked by his terrible sex addiction. Even Papa Smurf (not a euphemism…

Kieran Hodgson - Flood

13 Aug 20132 stars

Confusing plethora of disparate characters pulls the show down

Hodgson's is a one man show telling of how the inhabitants of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire recreate the story of the previous year's flood (2012 was indeed a rainy year) at a surprise birthday party for Owen as thrown by his girlfriend Stephanie. If that…

Dan Cook: Community Service

13 Aug 20134 stars

Posturing confidence, sheer silliness and some exquisite comedic nuances

Given his auburn waves Cook is brave donning an orange jumpsuit for his community service - entertaining the culture starved people of Edinburgh - after being convicted of throwing a quiche at a dog. In his endeavours to make amends he's ably supported…

Jamie Demetriou: People Day

13 Aug 20133 stars

Mesmerising, exquisitely performed and utterly compelling despite not quite working

It's almost impossible to categorise this show, nevermind stick a star rating on it. It's advertised as character comedy, and although much of it isn't laugh out loud funny, what it certainly is, is exquisitely performed and utterly compelling. The…

Darts Wives

9 Aug 20132 stars

A Fringe show with an arrow focus

On paper it's a good idea to move attention from the glitzy if vacuous lives of the footballers' WAGs to the DWAG (the 'D' standing for the more 'working men's club' world of darts). Brought to you by sister comedy double-act Gavin & Gavin, plus…