Reviews & features: Nicola Meighan

43 reviews

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Nile Rodgers, the man who brought us disco, to talk at the 2012 Edinburgh Book Festival

9 Aug 2012

How one man helped shape a generation of pop

As the Book Festival programme announces, Nile Rodgers is ‘The Man Who Brought Us Disco’. Or, to be more accurate, he is: The Chic Frontman Who Brought Us Disco; Who Worked with Mick Jagger, Prince and Debbie Harry; Who Produced Madonna, David Bowie and…

Dan Willson aka Withered Hand looks forward to upcoming gig with Darren Hayman, Gordon McIntyre and Josie Long

29 Jul 2012

All-star cast for lauded Edinburgh-based singer songwriter

Withered Hand, alias thrash-pop heartbreaker Dan Willson, is amped for his forthcoming indie spectacular. ‘Two of my songwriting heroes are playing special sets: Darren Hayman [Hefner] and local legend Gordon McIntyre [ballboy]. A grand piano has been…

Sesame Street Live - Elmo Makes Music at 2012 Edinburgh Fringe

23 Jul 2012

TV stars make muppet melodies

He has dueted with pop siren Katy Perry and upstaged opera don Andrea Bocelli. Now huggable Sesame Street muppet Elmo is bringing his loveable musical prowess, and furry companions, to the Edinburgh Fringe. ‘This is a real feel good, fast paced, fun…

CBeebies comedy duo Andy and Mike talk about their Tick Tock Time Machine

23 Jul 2012

Comedy duo swap CBeebies for time travel

‘If you mix Back to the Future with The Mighty Boosh and Goonies, you get a glimpse of where we wanted to go,’ says CBeebies presenter Andy Day, co-star of Andy and Mike’s Tick Tock Time Machine. The follow-up to 2009’s Box of Bananas, this new show was…

Dying of laughter: Shows about death at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe

11 Jul 2012

Dead funny Fringe has comedians inspecting death from every angle

Earlier this year, William Shatner made the headlines by advising that he might die onstage in his new one-man show. His life-threatening sales pitch was a literal one: at 80, the former Star Trek legend admitted that embarking on regular 100-minute…

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Jay Foreman: We're Living in the Future

23 Aug 20113 stars

Exploration of pop-culture future-shock via acoustic ditty

London stand-up bard Foreman uses the medium of acoustic ditty to explore pop-culture future-shock and his prevailing quarter-life crisis. His observations on technological progress and modern times are agreeable, but he’s better when contrasting his…

James Yorkston

19 Aug 2011

A droll and heartfelt memoir from the Fife bard

Earlier this year, James Yorkston seduced a full-house in Glasgow, clad with a well-thumbed touring diary. It was not the first time, and it won’t be the last. While the Fife-based singer-songwriter and commended Fence Collective affiliate has long…

Jigsaw

19 Aug 20113 stars

Accomplished but light sketching

There’s no doubting the talent on offer in Jigsaw. The rapid-fire sketch trio comprises stand-ups Dan Antopolski, Tom Craine and Nat Luurtsema and thus boasts a triple Perrier nominee, a Times Top Five 2010 winner and a Chortle best nominee…

Andrew Lawrence - The Best Kept Secret in Comedy Tour

18 Aug 20114 stars

Mirthful and delicious kamikaze comedy

Coming on like a poetic auctioneer or a wayward racing commentator, Andrew Lawrence variously channels the guises of his grandmother, a fitness buff, a middle-aged man, a whining Scottish wean and a long-lost Trinidadian relation. All the while he…

Julie Myerson

17 Aug 2011

The author's apocalyptic novel 'Then' delves into the heart of darkness

‘Oh dear, I’m sorry!’ says Julie Myerson. She’s apologising for giving me nightmares with her latest novel, Then. ‘Well, I’m only half-sorry as I suppose I do want to have that effect.’ The London-based writer has never shirked from disconcerting…

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Seann Walsh: Ying and Young

16 Aug 20113 stars

A casual yet potent force

Observational livewire Walsh is a casual yet potent force for laughs when he riffs on the generic habits and quirks that characterise our day-to-day - from experiencing déjà vu to losing the remote control - and his idea for a late-night pissed-up TV…

Biscuit and Brawn

15 Aug 20112 stars

Strong chemistry but weak laughs from the comedy duo

Comedy duo Adele Cliff and Kate Cherrell have been performing respectively as Biscuit and Brawn for over two years and this works in their favour: the young duo’s chemistry goes some way to redeeming a mixed bag of sketches and monologues which work…

Joanna Neary: Youth Club

14 Aug 20112 stars

A period piece with confusing threads

Have we finally wrung out the vestiges of 80s nostalgia? Joanna Neary’s latest show, Youth Club, suggests that this may be the case. Neary is a likeable comic actress, a former Perrier Best Newcomer nominee, and a familiar TV face to viewers of Armando…

Keith Farnan: Money, Money, Money

12 Aug 20113 stars

Well-informed monologue about money

Irish stand-up Keith Farnan has a lively stage presence and off-the-cuff style, with a congenial, raggedy appearance that is equal parts Bee Gee and Celtic Jesus. Such up-beat charisma serves Farnan well for his wandering, socially-conscious…

Kristin Hersh set for Edinburgh Festival show

10 Aug 2011

Indie rock goddess brings new memoir, spoken word and live music

Alternative rock idol Kristin Hersh is spoiling us. She’s playing four shows in the Edinburgh festival, although she doesn’t realise it. ‘Am I? I don’t know!’ she laughs. ‘I’ll do whatever you say...’ The List is tempted to exploit this congenial…

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Julia Donaldson - Simon Puttock, Vivian French and Guy Bass on the new Children’s Laureate

9 Aug 2011

Author events set for 2011 Edinburgh Book Festival

‘Julia Donaldson is unique in the nicest way,’ says former Book Festival Children’s Writer in Residence Vivian French. ‘She’s passionate about stories, whether in the form of books, songs or plays, and her enthusiasm is infectious.’ French is…

David Morgan: Triple Threat

8 Aug 20113 stars

Show taking in musical theatre, childhood bullying and homophobia

Subverting a popular football reference (‘Running, Passing, Kicking’) for the amateur dramatic variant (‘Actor, Singer, Dancer’), Morgan goes heavy on musical theatre and high-camp tropes, which juxtapose with his accounts of childhood bullying and…

Colm O’Regan: Dislike! A Facebook Guide to Crisis

8 Aug 20114 stars

Funny and informative social networking guide to Irish history

When it comes to Ireland, what O’Regan does not discuss is not worth knowing. His social networking guide to Irish history and economics embraces themes like sandwich culture, national identity, Mills and Boon, skyscraper sexuality, Rapunzel’s weight…

Beatbox and a capella artists at 2011 Edinburgh Festival debut

28 Jul 2011

Shlomo, Beardyman Fork and Soweto Entsha cover many musical genres

‘The dynamic of the voice fascinates me,’ says UK beatbox artist Shlomo. The London-based ‘World Loopstation’ champion, also known as Simon Khan, has collaborated with Jarvis Cocker and Björk, and his oral simulations of percussion, electro and…

The Unexpected Items

25 Aug 20104 stars

A spirited rabble of punning linguists

The Unexpected Items is a spirited rabble of punning linguists who embellish their clever, feel-good sketches with satirical pop songs and spontaneous dance moves. The Oxford troupe’s tributes to Alan Rickman and Carol Ann Duffy are ebullient, while…

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Mary Barrel is Really Good at Things

23 Aug 20102 stars

Over-excited, part-improvised but tediously goofy life skills ‘seminar’

LA comic and playwright Carrie Barrett is disconcertingly convincing in her role as hyper-dork Mary Barrel, an annoying, awkward 13-year-old who’s obsessed with best friends, sleepovers and party invites (or her lack thereof). Her over-excited…

Abandoman

18 Aug 20103 stars

A hip hop celebration of everyday lives

Sure, they’re ‘the seventh biggest rap act in Ireland’, but hip hop comics Abandoman are quick to append two critical caveats. The first is that Jedward are four places above them in the relevant (and fairly bizarre) newspaper countdown. The second is…

Tom Wrigglesworth

18 Aug 20102 stars

A disconnected dispatch about nuptials

Affable Yorkshire stand-up Tom Wrigglesworth might have won fans and critical praise for last year’s Open Return Letter to Richard Branson, but he fails to gain more than a few polite laughs for his latest chronicle, Nightmare Dream Wedding. Based…

Miles Jupp

18 Aug 20104 stars

Wonderful, funny and moving

Jupp is a thoroughly endearing storyteller, stand-up and cricket fetishist. The former Balamory actor’s account of how he posed as a journalist and toured India with the England team (and some familiar sports celebs) is wonderful, funny and moving. It…

Checkley Bush

18 Aug 20103 stars

A bawdy, musical realm

Checkley Bush is a bawdy, musical realm in which Cher and Liza Minnelli are housewives, Peter Andre is a pop avenger, and an imminent visit by Sandi Toksvig equals front-page news. Actors Laura Checkley and Victoria Bush cavort through sketches, film…