Five festival over-achievers

  • The List
  • 6 August 2009

This article is from 2009

5 Festival over-achievers

Robin Ince

One can only assume that Robin Ince sits in a thick blue funk for that small portion of the day when he isn’t A) hosting a ‘lunchtime celebration of science and the wonderful’, B) being a ‘bleeding-heart liberal’ or C) opposing ‘the moral majority’ for his free evening show. How these people stop their funnybones falling off is anyone’s guess.

Carol Ann Duffy

The new poet laureate is off to a flying festival start. She’s doing a ten-day run at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on top of her two Book Festival appearances, and, perhaps even more excitingly, an adaptation of The World’s Wife will be premiering at Assembly throughout the month (see preview, page 63).

Phil Nichol

Phil Nichol gets name checked no fewer than five times in this year’s Fringe listings. Two of those are admittedly for one-off shows, and one is for ‘Phil Nichol’s famous London club’ (Old Rope), but that still leaves two daily plays (The School for Scandal and Gagarin Way) and an hour each night of scheduled unpredictability.

Daniel Kitson

The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church starts at 10.15pm at the Traverse and runs for an hour-and-a-half. His stand-up show at The Stand starts at 11.59pm and lasts one hour and 31 minutes. That’s 14 minutes for Kitson to sprint from the West End to Queen Street. They’re both solo shows. If he pulls that off, the man’s doing well.

Lionel Blair

He may be entering the ‘venerable’ period of his life, but Lionel’s still a game old bird. The gloriously named Tap and Chat with Lionel Blair ought to get the funny juices flowing in time for lunch, while The School for Scandal in the afternoon will all be over in time for the former star of Give Us a Clue to go and watch some evening shows.

Daniel Kitson: We Are Gathered Here

The Perrier winner mines the mundanity of life in search of 'something important in an ocean of twaddle'.

Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church' By Daniel Kitson

  • 5 stars

When a man decides to die, he should put his business in order. He should cancel direct debits, empty the fridge, clean the house and, thinks Gregory, he should write letters.

Tap & Chat With Lionel Blair

  • 3 stars

An entertaining waltz around the colourful life of the inimitable TV cult personality Lionel Blair. Lionel has clocked up over 1000 TV appearances on shows'Give us a Clue' & 'Name that Tune'.

Daniel Kitson at the Stand

Around every single thing that we know there are a billion things that we don't. This show may well be about that. But it is, as I write this, still only April. So who knows?

Phil Nichol: A Deadpan Poet Sings Quiet Songs Quietly ...

  • 5 stars

Ridiculously deadpan one-liners, fantastically sublime comic poems and quietly engaging comedy songs interspersed with the hairbrained musing of an idiot. 'Entertainingly unpredictable'**** (List). 'Brilliance'***** (Sunday Times).

Robin Ince - Bleeding-Heart Liberal

11 shows only. 'When someone writes a history of modern comedy, they should make room for Robin Ince' (Guardian). 'Snortingly funny' (Telegraph). 'Smart, snarly and inventive' (Sunday Times). 'Wry, intelligent and cruel' (Evening Standard).

Robin Ince Versus The Moral Majority

12 shows only. New show. Who was right - Orwell or Huxley? Angry tirades, then quiet musings. 'Clever comedy by a witty man for smart people' (List). Idiots may enjoy too. Contains

Carol Ann Duffy

Children's event: AGE 9+ Carol Ann Duffy's insightful prose and romantic spirit perfectly capture the otherworldly delights of fairy tale magic. Experience The Lost Happy Endings and other stories and poems with this celebrated spinner of tales and our new Poet Laureate. Accompanied by musician John Sampson.

Carol Ann Duffy

THE BIG ISSUE EVENT Carol Ann Duffy is a voice much loved in Charlotte Square: warm and witty, provocative and heart-rending in equal measure. A perennial and hugely popular visitor to the festival, her flair for language is nothing short of breathtaking. Come and be transported by the nation's first female Poet Laureate.