Battle of Britain: North vs South set for 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

  • Edinburgh Festival Guide
  • 20 July 2011

This article is from 2011.

Battle of Britain: North vs South

Fringe show celebrating English cultural differences comes to Scotland

Comedians Dave Gibson (moustachioed, northern) and Charlie Talbot (stubbly, southern) will be tackling one of the great philosophical problems encountered at the Festival each and every year: which is better, the North or the South? Here the brawling pair argue the point in some key categories. Corrie or ‘Enders? Oasis or Blur? Greggs or not?


Charlie: Well it’s easy isn’t it? EastEnders is drama, excitement, weddings, fights and baby-snatching. Corrie is a live-action Wallace & Gromit borefest in which nothing ever happens. For 50 years. Oh, there was a tram crash once. How thrillingly Edwardian.

Dave: EastEnders isn’t drama, it’s depression on tap. People find out their wife’s been cheating on them but don’t say anything until they can yell about it in the Queen Vic. On someone’s birthday. And you get a better class of actor in Corrie; I’ve never seen Gandalf in Albert Square.


Dave: This one’s in the (record) bag. The homes of British music are Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow. You know, who come from the South? Bloody Coldplay! And Simon Cowell. And the three Spice Girls who can’t even sing. You lot invented dubstep. And grime. It’s all just noise. If you want a tune written, ask a Northerner.

Charlie: Hang on, Sporty and Scary are by far the most irritating two-fifths of the Spice Girls. The coolest band in every decade has been southern: the Stones were way cooler than the Beatles, the coolest punk band by miles were the Clash, even Blur were marginally less twattish than Oasis. Though that’s a close call I grant you. And if you ask a Northerner for a tune you might get ‘On Ilkley Moor Bah Tat’. Or ‘When Tha Bow-at Cooms In’.

Food & Drink

Dave: The last time I gigged in London a pint cost four quid. And who needs 12 kinds of coffee? Or 25 different ways to describe a sandwich with foreign words? It’s not a foccacia, it’s a roll. It’s not a ciabatta, it’s a bap. It’s not a panini, it’s a toastie. Northerners know the most efficient way to deliver all the essential nutrients: in a pie. As I’ll demonstrate in the show. I’m hoping to get a Greggs endorsement contract.

Charlie: How old were you when you realised there were other food groups beyond fried? Last time I gigged in Blackpool the poshest restaurant I saw was Bella Pasta. The best (sorry, least horrible) coffee was on sale in McDonalds. I clutched gratefully onto a bottle of Tropicana there because 48-hour scurvy felt a very real proposition. I don’t even want a ‘steak’ bake from Greggs, never mind an endorsement.

Authors' note: It has been pointed out to us that many visitors at an international arts festival, those from other actual countries or made up ones like Scotland, may consider themselves to be neither Northern nor Southern. They’re just glad not to be English. Don’t worry, during the show we will work out which side you are all on. It’ll be like Hogwarts. But with a man with a moustache instead of a talking hat.

Battle of Britain: North vs South, Underbelly, Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, 7–28 Aug, 5pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50). Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £6.

Dave Gibson and Charlie Talbot - Battle of Britain: North vs South

In 2010 Fringe audiences decided that the North was better than the South, but this is your chance to get involved as Dave ‘hilarious’ (Will Ferrell) and Charlie (star of ‘Blow Up! The Credit Crunch Musical’) return to Edinburgh with a show bigger and better than before! Vote for yourself as ‘Eastenders’ battles ‘Corrie’…

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