Fringesider #2: Buy one get one free Fringe shows
- Craig Angus
- 7 August 2017
Lauren Pattison's Lady Muck is our first five-star comedy show of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe / credit: Andy Hollingworth
Five star reviews, podcasts and a history lesson from your Edinburgh round-up
Welcome back to Fringesider, where we're rounding up the happenings at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, into one easily digestible bulletin; full of wisdom, hidden treasure and health tips. Yep all three of those. Read this and weep (with joy!).
● Mon 7 and Tue 8 Aug give you the chance to pick up 2 for 1 tickets for loads of the excellent performances across the city.
● If you peruse our Top Rated page, you'll discover what we've been enjoying, with established names bringing their A-game and newcomers and rising stars proving that they're here to stay.
● Book lots of tickets, walk briskly between venues and snack on grapefruit and celery, both an excellent source of vitamins. If you need to sit down, there's no shortage of places to get a balanced, nutritious meal. Look after yourself, people.
Festival City Podcast
First, a plug for our podcast. Headed up by The List's esteemed Theatre Editor, the effervescent Gareth K Vile. Festival City is now on its third episode of 2017, as Gareth guides us through what's hot and what's even hotter at the world's biggest arts festival.
The latest episode includes a chat with acclaimed director Graham Eatough of the National Theatre of Scotland discussing How to Act, a new production that explores 'ideas around storytelling and truth in the theatre'. Gareth has some recommendations of his own, and then finally he's joined by comedian Rachel Jackson, who has some dating advice for our resident expert in dramaturgy.
As promised, we've got some five star reviews of shows that blew us away over the first weekend.
The Giant Jam Sandwich ★★★★★
This 'perfect theatrical adaptation' of John Vernon Lord and Janet Burroway's fabulous children's picture book is 'bursting with songs, humour and clever references for the grown-ups'. It's an incredibly imaginative show, that'll charm kids and adults alike. (read the full review of The Giant Jam Sandwich)
Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug (not 14), 10.20am, £9.50–£11.50 (£8.50–£10.50).
Lauren Pattison – Lady Muck ★★★★★
Lauren Pattison's 'hilarious and empowering debut hour' of stand-up, Lady Muck, marks the 23-year-old out as a rare talent, who exorcises the demons of heartbreak in a performance of vulnerability that shows a wicked sense of humour. (read the full review of Lady Muck)
Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug (not 14), 5.45pm, £7.50–£10 (£7–£9.50).
The Nature of Forgetting ★★★★★
Theatre Re's The Nature of Forgetting is a 'very special' show about early onset dementia. If it sounds bleak (and the subject matter is tragic and painful), there are moments of joyous euphoria across 75 minutes of intense physical theatre, directed expertly by Guillaume Pigé. It's a breathtakingly beautiful, punishingly energetic show. (read the full review of The Nature of Forgetting)
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug (not 14), noon, £10.50–£12.50 (£9.50–£11.50)
Larry Dean – Fandan ★★★★☆
Naming his latest show after one of the best playful insults in the Scottish vernacular, Fandan, Larry Dean's 'highly charming brand of personal observational comedy' has gone down a storm so far this year. We think the likeable Scot, who you can enjoy as part of the Free Fringe this year, should be playing bigger venues. If he keeps this up, surely he will. (read the full review of Fandan)
Heroes @ Monkey Barrel, until 27 Aug (not 15), 6.40pm, £5 or Pay What You Want.
Also on the Free Fringe is Marie, a one-woman show that 'dodges the expected clichés and comes up with something fresh'. Actress Sarah MacGillivray and director Phil Bartlett's deliciously twisted show about Mary, Queen of Scots 'ensnares its audience with wry observation and caustic humour'. (read the full review of Marie)
Laughing Horse @ The Hanover Tap, until 26 Aug (not 7, 14, 19–21), noon, free.
The word on the street, through the medium of tweet
First of all, Lauren Pattison seems pleased about our response to Lady Muck...
Sara Pascoe loved Jessica Fostekew's The Silence of the Nans so much that she briefly forgot her competitive streak to give us a tip.
The Edinburgh Comedy Award winner for 2016, Richard Gadd, is back in town doing a short reprise of Monkey See Monkey Do. After an exhausting run (pardon the pun) last time out, Gadd is getting out and about in 2017 and has given the big thumbs up to Daniel Duffy, the character comedy creation of Michael Stranney and star of his show Welcome to Ballybeg.
...and finally, sketch trio Northern Power Blouse were in stitches after seeing Gadd's Beatpit Podcast partner Mat Ewins, whose new show Adventureman 7: The Return of Adventureman, is (from the sounds of things) as brilliantly daft as we hoped it would be.
The changing world of comedy
This is the 70th year of the Fringe, and in that time comedy has gone from being a footnote to dominating the programme. The Fringe and the city of Edinburgh has been a huge part of British comedy's journey in that time, with well established giants of the industry, from Steve Coogan to Bridget Christie, the League of Gentlemen to Sarah Millican cutting their teeth in the Scottish capital during August.
We've got a couple of recommendations of worthy reads on the subject. Steven Brocklehurst's BBC article How Edinburgh changed British comedy argues that: 'While London lays claim to being the birthplace of "alternative" comedy in the 1980s, it was the Scottish capital where the new generation of comics received their education before transforming British humour.' The Skinny's Ben Venables has written a four-parter on the subject titled How Comedy Captured the Edinburgh Fringe, which similarly documents the ways in which the landscape has changed.
And if you're still wondering who to see, here's our guides to the best comedy shows at the Fringe 2017, comedy shows for kids and six debutant comedians.
If you want to get touch about shows, or any of the wild and wonderful things you've seen, use the hashtag #fringesider on Twitter.