Reviews & features: Laura Ennor

94 reviews

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Andrew Doyle: Zero Tolerance

11 Aug 20143 stars

Highly amusing Edinburgh Fringe show about raw heartbreak eventually becomes easy to pre-empt

Hell hath no fury like Andrew Doyle dumped. Applying his typical cruel wit to the thoughts a recent break-up has left him with, he doesn’t just thoroughly shred his ex with that sharp tongue, it’s people who talk on trains, homophobes, children, readers…

Hennessy and Friends: Murmurs

10 Aug 20142 stars

Childish, rough, and repetitive material from critically lauded group

In all aspects but the energy of its eponymous frontwoman, this is an extremely weak showing from the critically lauded Hennessy (Miranda) and Friends (David Seymour and Steven Shapland). Unrecognisable from their poster quotes and past reviews (they…

Minor Delays

10 Aug 20143 stars

Well-constructed Fringe show from young act specializing in stripped-back sketch comedy

A recent past of endless student revues is evident with the on-stage ease and well-honed timing of former Cambridge Footlighters Harry Michell (last seen in 2013’s breakneck costume-change belter Dressing Down) and Abi Tedder plus their Leeds Tealights…

Don't Worry Guys it's Sarah Campbell

7 Aug 20143 stars

An Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy show with plentiful, if not constant, screwy, hilarious moments

Sarah Campbell has a lot of worries – they’re far better developed than your average set of neuroses, and they range from the quotidian to the existential. While the former can be predictable, among the latter sort are fears about the emptiness of…

Sheeps: Wembley Previews

7 Aug 20144 stars

A heady mixture of the silly and the cerebral at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Watch too much sketch comedy and it can start to feel like a tired format. Until, that is, you watch a group that does something so original and so thoroughly hilarious that your faith is once more restored. Sheeps are that group. If the conceit of this…

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Will Mars: As Good as my Audience

7 Aug 20142 stars

Ropey Edinburgh Festival Fringe show fails due to moany patter, not unpopular opinions

Will Mars is pretty open about his opinions, and they’re opinions he’s aware will make him unpopular. In fact, he makes a feature of being a dickhead (his word, not ours). Having awkwardly – and somewhat pleadingly – acknowledged the presence of a…

Bren and Jenny: Hello

4 Aug 20143 stars

Brendan Murphy and Jenny Bede present a fun, spirited chat-show parody at the Edinburgh Fringe

Brendan Murphy and Jenny Bede morph into troubled hosts of ‘the longest running daytime chat show in history’ plus all their equally dysfunctional crew and guests for this hour of loosely linked sketches and songs. Raggedy in a likeable way, ‘The Hello…

Guilt and Shame: Going Straight

4 Aug 20143 stars

A pacy and gleefully silly character show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

A mildly cheesy story about friendship and learning to love yourself is at the heart of this pacy and gleefully silly character show. But it’s more than that: Gabe and Rob have a point to make about sexuality, machismo and intolerance, although they’re…

Angus Dunican: The Great Indoors

3 Aug 20142 stars

A likeable, sweet personality can't save this predictable Free Fringe performance

It would be hard to leave this show without really liking Angus Dunican. He’s the guy you want in your friendship group, livening up social gatherings with his self-deprecating tales of whimsy and woe. But pub anecdotes is about as far as The Great…

Tom Wrigglesworth: Utterly at Odds With the Universe

16 Aug 20133 stars

Down-to-earth humour based on comic's relationship with his granddad

Funny-sad shows about earthy but inspirational old relatives have been something of a vogue these past few years at the festival, so while you can hardly fault a man for wanting to tell what seems to be a genuine (if…

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Dressing Down

13 Aug 20134 stars

Breakneck-paced sketch show is studenty, smart and artfully ramshackle

If you’re choosing one show to represent the breakneck-paced sketch genre in your viewing schedule this festival, make it this one. Studenty (OK, they just look too young to be this funny and clever), smart and artfully ramshackle, it’s everything a…

Hannah Gadsby: Happiness is a Bedside Table

13 Aug 20134 stars

Beautifully constructed and moving show that has an important point to make

A show that manages to be both cheek-achingly funny and genuinely touching is a rare thing, so make the most of this treat from Tasmanian comic Hannah Gadsby. To the uninitiated, her slurring way of speaking could almost have you believe she’s come to…

Birthday Girls: 2053

7 Aug 20133 stars

Sketch absurdity and eccentricity in spades

Birthday Girls are three fifths of sketchers Lady Garden: ringleader Rose, innocent-looking but not-so-secretly filthy Beattie, and Camille, who fills the trio’s ‘creepy idiot child’ role with aplomb. Their first show as a threesome has a lot going for…

Sam Lloyd: Fully Committed

5 Aug 20133 stars

Astonishingly intensive performance by the comedian behind Ted from Scrubs

Running at 90 minutes, Fully Committed is well over the length of your average Fringe offering – but then Ted from Scrubs can get away with that sort of thing. A gentle comedy at a gentle pace, it could probably do with losing those extra minutes, but…

Stephen Carlin: Gambling Man

5 Aug 20132 stars

Reformed comedian jokes about the temptation to go back

Stephen Carlin’s slightly mumbling, hesitant delivery is part of his shtick as a slightly surly, dysfunctional Scotsman; but often in this show the hesitations just feel downright awkward as he visibly aches for a reaction beyond polite laughter. His…

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Chris Fitchew in Jack of All Trades

5 Aug 20131 star

Trashier than the trash TV it heavy-handedly mocks

Trashier than the trash TV it heavy-handedly mocks, this one-man cavalcade of awfulness gives camp comedy a bad name. Chris Fitchew lamely parodies a series of telly and celebrity types, from TOWIE geezers and Jersey Shore divas to Tom Cruise and…

Craig Campbell's Thrilling Mic Hunt

5 Aug 20134 stars

Brilliant Canadian raconteur treats us to jovial observational anecdotes at the Fringe Festival

‘Me falling off a log – you can’t get more Canadian than that,’ says Craig Campbell of an ill-fated sea kayaking trip, just one of many similarly cursed escapades he relates in a roundly entertaining hour of jovial observational anecdotes. And it’s true…

Gary Delaney 2: This Time It’s Not Personal

5 Aug 20133 stars

One-liner show making a virtue of naffness

Gary Delaney will make you laugh when you don’t even want to. There’s nothing big and not much clever about his lowbrow one-liners, but through groans and cringes aplenty, he’ll get you in the end, and probably with something very silly indeed. He…

Suzy Bennett

5 Aug 20133 stars

Too much information in a packed debut

Suzy Bennett’s debut solo show is a sweet and rather tragic affair. Bubbly and endearing, she’s a dab hand at getting the audience onside with some preposterous self-lampoonery, and it’s genuinely impossible to know how much of her dignity-free tale…

Josie Long - Romance and Adventure

22 Aug 20123 stars

New found cynicism provides counterpoint to bubbliness and irrepressible daft voices

Josie Long has turned 30, and it’s changed her – if her last show was full of wide-eyed idealism and exhortations to activism, she’s now become fully acquainted with disillusionment. And not just the kind when everything’s wrong and you don’t know what…

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Miriam Margolyes - Dickens' Women

22 Aug 20123 stars

Appealing biographical show in the company of a true pro

Yelling with that unmistakeable voice and accompanied by the oh-so-refined tinkly piano of Benjamin Lee, Miriam Margolyes staggers onto the stage in the person of sozzled layer-out of the dead Mrs Gamp, from Martin Chuzzlewit. It’s a charming, gentle…

Andrew Ryan - Ryanopoly

21 Aug 20122 stars

Uneasy, nervous act fails to break the banks

Having worked in a bank, Andrew Ryan knows all the tricks in the book of Getting Your Money, and he knows how to get the humour out of them, too. Many of the funniest moments in this show are borne of his playful sending-up of the rigid application of…

Meine faire Dame - ein Sprachlabor

16 Aug 20123 stars

Radical reimagining of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady gives much food for thought

Sitting down in the audience for Swiss director Christoph Marthaler's Meine faire Dame is something akin to entering a conversation class in a language you have no knowledge of. At first, it's completely baffling and you doubt you'll ever make sense of…

Mr Braithwaite Has a New Boy

14 Aug 20122 stars

Decent performances can’t redeem predictable Aussie farce

With this new comedy by Steven Dawson (who also directs and designs it), Melbourne’s LGBT-focused theatre company Out Cast Theatre plays lazily to the crowd, favouring lashings of none-too-subtle and none-too-imaginative cheap smut and broadly-drawn…

Death Boogie

10 Aug 20122 stars

Political hip hop poetry musical is all sound and fury

Death Boogie is a political hip hop musical, performed by a dancing poet-rapper rhyming over his own beatbox loops, a double bass player and violinist, all against a backdrop of comic-strip visuals peppered with WHOAs, BIFFs and BOOYAKASHs. Sound like a…