Reviews & features: Comedy, Issue 664

118 reviews

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Seann Walsh

16 Aug 20104 stars

Making the humdrum hilarious

If you were to sit down and read a full synopsis of Seann Walsh’s debut hour, it might come across as the dullest thing ever. The subjects he takes as his inspiration for comedy would make Michael McIntyre seem like the merged resurrection of Bill Hicks…

Paul Chowdhry - Not PC

13 Aug 20103 stars

Self-censorship blunts some impact

‘I’ve got more fans than audience members,’ jokes Paul Chowdhry of the ratio of people in the room to cooling devices. ‘You could have one each.’ Granted, it’s not ideal circumstances in which to perform a show but Chowdhry, allowing himself censorship…

Jim Jefferies - Alcoholocaust

13 Aug 20104 stars

Vitriolic rants from the bottom of his LA-based heart

Jim Jefferies is now a full-on comedy superstar, living in LA, with the HBO seal of approval. He’s even been asked to write a sitcom (although if the letter he reads out from one channel’s legal standards department about the issues they have with the…

Dommett & Lapaert

13 Aug 20103 stars

Material tossed aside for engaging tomfoolery

The bubbling confidence of manic youthery shines through this knockabout gig as Joel Dommett and Eric Lampaert take turns in undermining the other’s half-hour(ish) set. Sending slickness home for the night with a tenner in its back pocket, this is a…

Delete The Banjax

13 Aug 20102 stars

Hyped foursome not quite there yet

Having won over the crowds at last year’s Free Fringe, much was expected of Delete the Banjax with this, their debut paid-for August show. But as much as the quartet try, and boy do they try hard, their Pappy-like mucking-about and wild-eyed enthusiasm…

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Mark Nelson - Offending the Senses

13 Aug 20104 stars

A jolt to the comedy system

Armed with a stage presence that makes Wil Hodgson appear as hyper as any of the comedy Russells, Mark Nelson has opted to simply be a cracking joke-teller. And ultimately, in a Fringe packed to their mainly low rafters with weak concept shows…

Matthew Hardy: Willy Wonka Explained

13 Aug 20103 stars

Nostalgic trip back to a time of Veruca Salt and Everlasting Gobstoppers

When Australian comedian Matthew Hardy reached a low point in his life, he turned to the movies for solace. He would often be caught in his underpants with a tinny in one hand and a remote in the other, watching the original Willy Wonka film; in…


13 Aug 20104 stars

Bringing you sketch sunshine

Now streamlined to a three-man act and with a shortened moniker to boot, Pappy’s bound onto the stage and launch into All Business with a big musical number. The flimsy premise that they need to impress impresario ‘Four Foot Freddy’ to gain funding is…

Emo Philips

13 Aug 20104 stars

Over-familiar but still funny

EMO PHILIPS Over-familiar but still funny Possibly the finest purveyor of paraprosdokians since Groucho Marx uttered his last quip returns to the Fringe for the first time since 2001. For those of you familiar with Philips, the face has aged and the…

Mike Keat

13 Aug 20104 stars

A massively talented and very entertaining tool

You may know Edinburgh boy Mike Keat as one third of the creosote-tanned Cuban Brothers, and here he delivers a homecoming hero act in this first solo show. Actually, it’s hard to describe him as a hero really, watching him lunge and prance around in…

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Caroline Rhea

13 Aug 20103 stars

Flirting with fame and audience patience

When Sarah Silverman played London in 2008, there was much outrage when she clocked off for a heavily-priced event some 40 minutes in. Last year, Carol Leifer, the inspiration for Seinfeld’s Elaine, graced the Fringe by reading straight from reams of A4…

Pipe smoking Mr B Scribbles down some of his favourite things, "Me"

13 Aug 2010

Board Meeting: Me! Me! Me!

There are some acts that you meet and wish they made the rules for how the rest of the world dressed, behaved and rapped. Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer doesn't, yet, but you could totally get tips in his lunchtime show at the Ghillie Dhu. But keep the pipe…

Daniel Rigby draws us up a biblical board

13 Aug 2010

Board Meeting: Daniel Rigby

Daniel is telling the tale of life as a lapsed born-again Christian and so has, quite rightly, drawn a cross on his board. He has also adopted a beautifully holy expression, which was nice to see. However, the show is not guaranteed to be a fast track…

Nat Luurtsema supports the dinosaurs using wipeable pens

13 Aug 2010

Board Meeting: Nat Luurtsema

This Summer Nat is discussing heroism and being helpful in bad situations. As such she drew the first dinosaur of the Board Meeting series, complete with first sword. If that's not worth having a gander at her quirky brand of comedy, then the dinosaurs…

Lady Garden draw out their secret show

13 Aug 2010

Board Meeting: Lady Garden

Looking particularly floral, Lady Garden catch the eyes of people loitering in the Courtyard this afternoon. It's not just the amazing oufits: these six ladies have been building a reputation as one of the sketch shows that it's worth making an effort…

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At least they're showing us how to draw a cake

13 Aug 2010

Board Meeting: Domestic Goddi

These three ladies have been garnering quite a reputation for, no not like that...they're funny. A funny reputation. Oh shut up and look what a neat cake they drew. In case you can't read it, they also wrote 'obesity rules' on the side.

Ronna and Beverly don't need to do better next time

13 Aug 2010

Board Meeting: Ronna and Beverly

Ronna and Beverly light up the Courtyard as they totter towards the whiteboard challenge with their trademark Jewish Mother voices cutting through the polite chat of a billion posh people talking about reviews of people they're planning on buying (ok…

Gyles Brandreth is 'One to One' with the shiny white board

13 Aug 2010

Board Meeting: Gyles Brandreth

What can we say? It's Gyles Brandreth! He's doing a show. It features Gyles Brandreth! We took this photo, which also features Gyles Brandreth! He's lovely dresser, that Gyles Brandreth.

Sarah Bennetto draws her first card

13 Aug 2010

Board Meeting: Sarah Bennetto

Sarah Bennetto is totally winning our prize for best (and quite speedy) drawing. She's spending her August telling of how Prince Charles (actually) invited her to the Palace and how she (actually) went. Look! It's Charles on a card! Our minds are…

Gareth Richards introduces a fridge called Dave

13 Aug 2010

Board Meeting: Gareth Richards

That box thing on Gareth's whiteboard is Dave the Fridge. Look it up on Youtube, if you haven't already had the pleasure, and you'll get a taste of the quirky mixture of stand-up and tunes that will be trickling through the Pleasance Cellar round about…

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John Robins pictures his Fringe show as a confused smiley

13 Aug 2010

Board Meeting: John Robins

You may have heard his dulcet tones on Jon Richardson's 6 Music Show, or you may have already been entertained by his comedic charm. This year's show is about growing up fast: just look at that photo: thumbs up, sad winky's so many levels at…

Des Bishop

13 Aug 20103 stars

My Dad Was Nearly James Bond

Irish-American comic Bishop may be right when calls this ‘the most honest show at the Fringe’. His father’s recent terminal cancer diagnosis provides the launching-off point for a funny, insightful, and surprisingly tender journey through the life of…

Conor O’Toole

12 Aug 20102 stars

Some good joke-writing

Since making a disappointing Fringe debut here in front of an audience of two reviewers, this young Irish comic is doing the right thing and spending time at shows of more experienced stand-ups. While he has acres to learn about delivery and presence…

The Boy With Tape On His Face

12 Aug 20105 stars

A masterclass of mime

The blunt, artless title sets the tone. Kiwi comedian Sam Wills is indeed gagged by gaffer tape, for the whole hour. Not a word is spoken. And what might have fallen flat, as the indulgent experiment of lopping a supposedly essential element off an…

Could it Be Forever?

12 Aug 20103 stars

A bittersweet comedy will have you recall youthful emotion

Six schoolfriends reunite after 37 years to remember an eventful week during which they were in thrall to David Cassidy in this bittersweet comedy about first loves, friendships and the unexpected course of life. Whether you were a pop picker in 1973 or…