Comedy Day Planner

This article is from 2009

Comedy Day Planner

Idiots of Ants

Not sure what do you with your time, but really want to see some good comedy? Brian Donaldson helps sketch out your mirthful itinerary between lunchtime and the witching hour, from The Early Edition to Late ‘n’ Live


The Early Edition
The never unintelligent Marcus Brigstocke gets up early-ish to scan the papers with Andre Vincent and guests, no doubt piercing pomposity and satirising silliness all along the way. Udderbelly’s Pasture, 08445 458 252, 8–30 Aug, 12.25pm, £10–£12.50 (£8–£11.50). Preview 7 Aug, £7.

Elaine Malcolmson & Niall Browne
Two jesters from the north of Ireland take a sideways trip into their homeland. The Stand II, 558 7272, 7–30 Aug, 12.30pm, £7 (£6).

Helen Keen

Last year the excitable Ms Keen put on a sweet and lo-fi show about science and this year she’s at the same malarkey but on the subject of Arctic survival. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, 8–31 Aug, 12.45pm, £9 (£8). Previews 5–7 Aug, £5.


Thankless Child
Freya Slipper and Liz Black are said bairns who deliver sketches which offer advice and warnings about the tribulations of youthdom. Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, 8–31 Aug (not 18, 25), 1.15pm, £7.50–£8.50 (£6–£7). Previews 5–7 Aug, £5.

Richard Sandling’s Perfect Movie

The less than marginally obsessive film buff from Southend takes his fandom to new lengths and breadths by inviting Fringe comics to perform their favourite movie scenes. The Canon’s Gait, 226 0000, 8–30 Aug (not 19), 1.15pm, free.


Russell Kane’s Fakespeare

The Essex boy who grabbed an if.comedy nomination last year for his excellent stand-up has also gone down a storm with some ye olde mirthful stuff. Here’s more, forsooth. Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 9–31 Aug (not 17, 24), 2.10pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8). Previews 5-8 Aug, £5.

The Apocalypse Roadshow
Comedy arsonists and part-time provocateurs The Dog-Eared Collective poke the coals of panic in an explosive sketch show about the end of the world. Well, blimey. Underbelly, 08445 458 252, 8–30 Aug (not 19), 2.30pm, £6.50–£10 (£8–£9). Previews 6&7 Aug, £6.


At Home with Holly

A site-specific wander around the gaffe and mind of a comic actress. Holly’s House, 226 0000, 8–31 Aug (not 17, 24), 3.07pm, £5. Previews 6&7 Aug, £2.50.

Jason Cook

Following up his genial Joy, the Geordie lad drops Fear in our laps. The Stand III&IV, 558 7272, 7–30 Aug (not 17), 3.20pm, £7 (£6).


Wilson Dixon
More silly tunes and sombre wisdom about the C&W life from a man who happens to be an actual Kiwi offstage. Come on, you didn’t think he was real, did you? The Stand III&IV, 558 7272, 7–30 Aug (not 17), 4.45pm, £9 (£8). Preview, 4.20pm, £8 (£7).

Brian Gittins
Ricky Gervais seems to like this roadside café owner character, so if you take his advice like it came straight outta the bible, then head down here for some fun. Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 8–31 Aug (not 12, 19), 4.45pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8). Previews 5-7 Aug, £5.


Two Episodes of MASH
Diane Morgan and Joe Wilkinson return with more oddball sketches and semi-real routines. Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 7–31 Aug (not 17), 5.45pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8–£9). Previews 5&6 Aug, £5.

Tiffany Stevenson
Co-creator of the acclaimed Old Rope night with Phil Nichol, Stevenson gets her own show which considers predators and their prey. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, 7–31 Aug (not 18), 5.45pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8). Previews 5&6 Aug, £5.


Keith Farnan
Last year, this fine Irish fella delivered a set about the death penalty, and this time around is kicking about notions of racism in No Blacks. No Jews. No Dogs. No Irish. All Welcome. But with funnies in there. Underbelly, 08445 458 252, 8–30 Aug (not 18), 6.30pm, £6.50–£10.50 (£8–£9.50). Previews 6&7 Aug, £6.

Anna & Katy
Crilly and Wix have been off doing various TV things but happily merge once more to plop some surrealism into your sorry lives. Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 9–31 Aug, 6.40pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8–£9). Previews 5-8 Aug, £5.

Abracadabra: German Humour Goes Global
Can the Germans be funny? Apparently so, as Herren Kuhnle and Wehn so ably prove. Underbelly’s Hullabaloo, 08445 458 252, 8–31 Aug (not 18), 6.50pm, £6.50–£10.50 (£7.50–£9.50). Preview 7 Aug, £6.


Janey Godley
The filthy godmother of Scottish comedy lets us dip into her pleasantly twisted world. Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, 8–31 Aug, 7pm, £11–£12 (£9.50–£10.50). Previews 5-7 Aug, £5.

Alistair Barrie
Could Happiness be the show to finally force this dandy comic out into the comedy stratosphere? Downstairs at the Tron, 226 0000, 8–30 Aug (not 19), 7.40pm, £5. Previews 6&7 Aug, £2.50.

Celia Pacquola
Fresh from some glorious success in Oz, this cheeky lady asks Am I Strange? Well, if you have to ask … Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, 7–31 Aug (not 17), 7.45pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50). Previews 5&6 Aug, £5.


Craig Hill
More camp doodlings from the local lad who is pondering his age in 40, Love … ? Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, 8–31 Aug (not 16, 23), 8.15pm, £12–£14.50 (£10.50–£12.50). Preview 7 Aug, £7.50.

Idiots of Ants
Is there a better young sketch team on the Fringe? Show me where, then. Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 8–31 Aug (not 17&18, 24), 8.15pm, £9–£10 (£7.50–£8.50). Previews 5-7 Aug, £5.

Jon Richardson
And is there a better young stand-up doing the rounds in Edinburgh this August? Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 9–31 Aug, 8.30pm, £11–£12 (£9.50–£10.50). Previews 5-8 Aug, £5.


Andrew Maxwell
Not one to disappoint his public, the jovial gent embarks on a tale about, we think, a lamp. Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 8–31 Aug (not 12, 19), 9pm, £14–£15 (£12.50–£13.50). Previews 5-7 Aug, £8.

Foil Arms and Hog
A trio of Dublin-based comics (Sean, Sean and Conor) bring us routines which have impressed their compatriots. The Caves, 208 0882, 8–30 Aug (not 18), 9.40pm, £8–£9 (£7–£8). Previews 6&7 Aug, £5.

Tim Key
Is The Slutcracker the best/worst pun in the Fringe programme? Whatever, it could well help propel Mr Key into the big time. Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 7–31 Aug (not 17), 9.50pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8–£9). Previews 5&6 Aug, £5.


Matt Kirshen
Short in stature, tall in talent, the boyish comic has some kind of Napoleon complex going on this year. Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 8–31 Aug (not 18), 10.20pm, £10–£12 (£9–£11). Previews 5-7 Aug, £7.

The Dark Party
If you like your comedy physical with a hint of danger, raise your glasses to The Dirty Brothers. Underbelly’s Hullabaloo, 08445 458 252, 8–29 Aug (not 18), 10.40pm, £9–£12 (£8–£10). Preview 7 Aug, £6.

Alun Cochrane
Full of ‘Cochranian’ wit comes young Alun, as he breezes in to chat about his daydreaming ways. The Stand III&IV, 558 7272, 7–30 Aug, 10.50pm, £9 (£8).


Die Roten Punkte
Unleashing their Robot/Lion Tour upon us, this pair of not-real German rockers are set to have a bulldozing Fringe. As long as they don’t kill each other first. Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 8–31 Aug (not 17), 11.11pm, £10–£11 (£8.50–£9.50). Previews 5-7 Aug, £5.

Love and a Colt 45
Bethany Black continues to please her fans and intrigue the uninitiated with witty tales of personal strife. Underbelly, 08445 458 252, 8–30 Aug (not 17), 11.35pm, £6.50–£10.50 (£8–£9.50). Previews 6&7 Aug, £6.


Take The Empire
Subtitled ‘The Great Big Marvellous Victorian Game Show’, this promises devious questions and impossible challenges. There’s a party on afterwards to soothe your stretched mind. Carlton Hotel, 0845 260 1234, 8–30 Aug, midnight, £6.50–£8.50 (£5.50–£7.50).


Late ‘n’ Live
The Fringe institute keeps on rolling with the brave and foolish facing the most uppity punters in town. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, 7–31 Aug, 1am, £12.50–£15 (£10–£12.50).

Late 'n' Live

  • 3 stars

The first and still the best late night show on the Fringe. 'The celebrated comedy abattoir that has slain a thousand comics!' (Scotsman). Not for the fainthearted!

Tiffany Stevenson: Along Came A Spider

  • 3 stars

Are you predator or prey? Tiffany will trap you in her silky web with dark and funny stories. This show does not contain actual spiders. 'Can't wait to see her again' (

Celia Pacquola in Am I Strange?

  • 3 stars

Winner - Critics Award 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Best Comedy 2008 Melbourne Fringe. Celia wondered if her mind was strange. Then she was cheated on. This didn't help. 'Jaw-achingly funny' (Age).

Craig Hill - 40 Love … ?

This show's sooo not about tennis … Craig's 40, single and back on the market! 'Riotously funny' (Independent). 'Wickedly subversive … Funny, charming, charismatic' (Metro). 'An hour with Hill makes a cracking show' (The List). Sold out 2008/07/06/05.

Tim Key - The Slutcracker

  • 4 stars

Key (chubby, Perrier nominee, poet) - 'Cowards', 'We Need Answers', 'Newswipe' (BBC4) - with a divvy hour (sophisticated). 'One of the funniest, most off-the-wall and imaginative shows in Edinburgh' (Stage). 'Comedy genius' (Guardian).

Die Roten Punkte - Robot/Lion Tour

Utterly dysfunctional siblings Otto and Astrid Rot are Berlin pop-punk and electro-clash royalty. Winner, Montreal Fringe. 'Inspired, brilliantly executed lunacy.' - ★★★★★ (Gazette, Montreal). 'Right from a Christopher Guest film.' (Metro, NY).

Matt Kirshen - Shorter than Napoleon

  • 4 stars

The star of a few telly things returns to the Fringe with a needlessly self-effacing title. 'First class' - **** (Fest). 'The laughs are guaranteed and don't stop from beginning to end' - ***** (Evening News).

Anna & Katy

  • 4 stars

British Comedy Award nominee 2008 Anna Crilly ('Lead Balloon') and Katy Wix ('Not Going Out') present a show so funny you'll think they're men. 'The most cunning, exciting and brilliantly original example of a sketch show' (The List).

Two Episodes Of Mash

  • 2 stars

Joe Wilkinson and Diane Morgan's new sketch show. 'The skits blend the absurd and the sharply real with effortless ease, not dropping the energy or the gag rate for a moment' - **** (Sunday Times).

Idiots of Ants: This is War

  • 3 stars

Following two sell-out Edinburgh's, the Ants (BBC1, E4, Radio 4) return with their unique blend of fast-paced sketch-comedy. 'Sheer excellence' (Scotland on Sunday); 'Must See!' (Daily Telegraph); 'Brilliant' (Time Out).

Brian Gittins: Roadside Cafe Owner

  • 3 stars

In three years on the circuit, Brian has written 14 jokes. He's run them past his wife, Cheryl. She said they were 'disappointing'. 'One of the best comedy characters of the decade' (Ricky Gervais).

Andrew Maxwell - The Lamp

  • 4 stars

Brand new comedy from if.comedy Award nominee Andrew Maxwell. Sell-out 2005-2008. 'A comedy masterclass' (Evening Standard). 'Radiates charisma' (Independent). 'Copper bottomed guarantee of a solid hour's laughter' (Scotland on Sunday). Book early!

Jon Richardson: This Guy at Night

  • 4 stars

The if.comedy newcomer nominee and Chortle award-winner returns to Edinburgh. Alone with his thoughts for a year, he is now ready to unleash the funniest of them. 'A true star' (The List).

Alun Cochrane … Is a Daydreamer (at Night)

Observational comedy, droll storytelling and fantasy all collide to create very funny sort-of jokes from the undisputed king of 'Cochranian' humour: Alun Cochrane. '…just really, really funny' - ★★★★★ (

Jason Cook: Fear

  • 3 stars

Last year he brought 'Joy', a Fringe sell-out. This year Jason examines fear. 'A total triumph' ***** (Time Out). 'A joy to behold and a pleasure to have witnessed.' ***** (The List). ***** (Metro). ***** (Festmag).

Wilson Dixon's American Dream

  • 4 stars

Comedy star of 'The Wilson Dixon Line', BBC Radio 2. 'Gut-bustingly funny... beautifully crafted songs that really impress' - **** (Scotsman). 'Made me cry with laughter' (Stage). 'Brilliantly oddball' ( **** (Sunday Times); **** (Metro).

Keith Farnan: No Blacks. No Jews. No Dogs. No Irish. All Welcome.

  • 4 stars

'Seriously funny' (Time Out). Following his phenomenally successful 2008 show about the death penalty, comedian Keith Farnan takes a fierce and funny look at racism and religion-ism.

Bethany Black - Love and a Colt 45

  • 1 star

Britain's favourite goth, lesbian, transsexual stand-up comedian returns with another two pigeonholes: recovering alcoholic and love addict. Basically, the video for Prodigy's 'Smack My Bitch Up', but with more jokes!

Alistair Barrie - Happiness

  • 3 stars

Brand new show from one of the world's top comics. ****(; ThreeWeeks; Metro). On why we like wallowing in misery. But called 'Happiness', so no one needs to get their ankles broken by Kathy Bates.

Take The Empire: The Great Big Marvellous Victorian Game Show

From the ingenious minds behind hit sell-out 'Famished', an unforgettable evening of devious questions, impossible challenges, decadent debauchery and delightful chaos. Followed by afterparty with late bar and music.

Dark Party

  • 3 stars

Rising from the embers of 'The Happy Sideshow', 'The Dark Party' is a fusion of physical comedy and hardcore stunts. Think Samuel Beckett meets 'Jackass' and makes a silent movie. **** (Advertiser). 'Suave sideshow' (Age).

Foil Arms and Hog - Sketch Comedy Show

  • 3 stars

Blasting out an hour of relentless sketch comedy, the Irish trio of comedians will have you soiling your breeches with their innovative brand of observational and character based comedy.

At Home With Holly

Radical innovative comedy in a real house. Ding Holly's doorbell, followher from cooker to bath … (please do your dishes). Like nothing you'veseen before. 'Dangerous … hilarious' (Stage). 'Wonderfully abstract …surreal' (Time Out - Critics' Choice). Ding Holly Burn's doorbell, follow her from bed to cooker to bath….maybe…