Reviews & features: Marissa Burgess

212 reviews

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Alex Horne: Monsieur Butterfly

26 Aug 20144 stars

Intriguing, poignant and funny comedy at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Within ten or so minutes into Monsieur Butterfly, those of a similar age to Alex Horne will probably be sitting wondering: ‘is that what I think it is? No surely not: it bloody well is!’ Yes, Horne is building a massive contraption that is eerily…

Demi Lardner: Birds with Human Lips

26 Aug 20143 stars

Quirky yet personal comedy set at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This is an intriguing debut from the 20-year-old who jointly won So You Think You're Funny? last year and outright won the RAW competition at the Melbourne Comedy Festival in her native Australia. Looking, as she notes, like a young boy with her…

Paco Erhard: Worst German Ever

22 Aug 20143 stars

Comedian skilfully avoids tired stereotypes in 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show

Before we've even entered the room, Paco Erhard stands outside announcing to the queue that it's not going to be a show of lederhosen and cuckoo clocks but for people that like to think. Of course his pre-show warning also enables his opening gag…

Sarah Bennetto's Funeral

22 Aug 20143 stars

Engaging comedy by loveable comedian despite lack of big belly laughs

On the night of this review, this wasn't the slickest or most populated of shows; it could have been an awkward experience but Sarah Bennetto is such a warm and charming performer that it really didn't matter and she comfortably puts us all at ease.

Casual Violence: The Great Fire of Nostril

21 Aug 20143 stars

Fun and absurd comedy undermined by underwritten script at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Everyone, it seems, would rather hear a story featuring evil conjoined twins rather than one about a happy gherkin and so the hapless narrator Ridley loses out to his unseen voiceover narrator rival. Young Roger Nostril is distraught when his father is…

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Natasia Demetriou: You'll Never Have All of Me

20 Aug 20143 stars

Fun hour of comedy with help from comic Mae Martin at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

It's hard to imagine that Natasia Demetriou has much of a clue as to where this show is going, and she has the air of someone flying by the seat of her one-piece tuxedo. It's pretty joyous knockabout stuff though, despite, or perhaps because of its…

Cal Wilson: It Could Have Been Me

18 Aug 20144 stars

Loveably mad performance from New Zealand comedian with fantastic use of props

Cal Wilson is a thoroughly loveable performer and is also a bit mad. She takes us on a journey through her many and disparate alternative selves, pondering what she might have been had she not ended up a married mother-of-one performing a one-woman show…

Show Pony

18 Aug 20144 stars

Oddly delightful theatre piece from LetLuce at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This is one pair of crazy ladies. Each playing one half of pink pony Eamonn, LetLuce tell the tale of how, finding himself unemployed, he ends up being punched by a nun in a field and sold into a circus that is somewhat surprisingly run by Ian McShane.

Nathan Caton: Teenage Mutant Nathan Caton

17 Aug 20144 stars

Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy show exploring what it means to be a man and a role model

At the top of the show Nathan Caton chats to the crowd making amiable jokes about a few topical subjects such as Scottish independence, the Commonwealth Games and UKIP. It looks like we're in for an hour of solid and accomplished club-style stand-up.

All at Sea

15 Aug 20142 stars

Weak script lets down fearless acting by trio at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Intuitive Creatures' All at Sea employs a huge amount of audience interaction, and nowhere in the room is safe. During one skit they even come in from the back and mingle with the people hanging around casually at the bar who were mistaken in thinking…

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Nev: Gold

15 Aug 20142 stars

Surreal hour shows promise despite shortcomings with venue

The vast majority of free venues are great but occasionally things go wrong and it has to be mentioned here because it was so detrimental to the show. In The Wee Pub it's the massive amount of noise bleed from next door, people wandering in and talking…

Croft & Pearce: Give and Take

11 Aug 20143 stars

Enjoyable hour of comedy in need of extra funny injection

One thing's for sure in this show, you can't fault Hannah Croft and Fiona Pearce's skills as actors. They bring to life all of their diverse characters with absolute precision and conviction. Effortlessly changing from middle aged, middle class ladies…

Austentatious: An Improvised Novel

10 Aug 20144 stars

A cannily entertaining period improv show in the style of Jane Austen

Plenty of improv, particularly long-form like this, easily becomes meandering and flabby if you take it on a journey where literally anything can happen. But they're a canny lot Austentatious: not only does performing improv in the style of Jane Austen…

Nish Kumar: Ruminations on the Nature of Subjectivity

10 Aug 20144 stars

Intelligent, informed, scattershot stand-up

Nish Kumar's new relationship has brought about a whole other level of understanding about his personality thanks to having someone around to point out how pessimistic, self-centred and egotistical he is. Other people have suggested that he shouldn't…

Amy G: Entershamement

10 Aug 20144 stars

Brooklyn cabaret star provides one of the most feel-good experiences around at 2014 Edinburgh Fringe

Anyone suffering from festival fatigue can look no further than Amy G. Entershamement is one of the most feel good experiences you could have. The cabaret star from Brooklyn blends slapstick humour, a fantastic voice and some very special talents to…

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Tony Law

9 Aug 20144 stars

Comic lunacy almost tempered by real life at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show

Tony Law is apologetic for not being fully prepared: 'if I go over here, don't think I’m looking at my notes, I'm just checking on my beverages!' It seems surprising that he prepares anything at all. Law is simply a force of funny. Bounding on stage in…

John Kearns: Shtick

9 Aug 20144 stars

Last year's Edinburgh Fringe Best Newcomer delivers a funny, contemplative follow-up

There's always going to be a certain level of expectation the year after you win the Best Newcomer award in Edinburgh. The queue on a rainy Sunday is around the block and, as it's free and unticketed, some of us won't get in. Kearns’ follow-up displays…

Chelsea Manders: Don't Tell My Dad

7 Aug 20143 stars

A quirky set of comedy country songs from an endearing performer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Chelsea Manders is both Canadian and a good middle class girl who laments the fact that her parents brought her up balanced, so has been working hard to undo their good work. A folk singer with a country and western twang, Manders has an oddball…

Massive Dad

7 Aug 20143 stars

Moments of brilliance but still room for tightening up in sketch troupe's Edinburgh Fringe debut

Without some kind of unifying thread, theme or structure, an hour long sketch show can seem a little unruly. But sometimes, as is the case here, the theme itself is the part that's a bit confusing. There's no apparent reason for the ladies of Massive…

Sean Nolan: The Joke Manifesto

7 Aug 20143 stars

A low key delivery can't detract from finely-crafted jokes at this Edinburgh Festival Fringe show

This is possibly the most low key show at the Fringe. After announcing himself onto the stage minus any run-in music, Sean Nolan proceeds to read his one liners from a notepad, pausing occasionally to laugh self-consciously at a punchline or shake his…

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Sol Bernstein: Still Standing

7 Aug 20144 stars

Non-PC stand-up set from the geriatric Jewish character, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Wearing a trilby and a suit so sharp you could cut yourself on it, 86-year-old Sol Bernstein dodders to the stage to greet fans old and new (with an emphasis on the old – the age range of the room is impressive). The Jewish old timer revels in non-PC…

Yacine Belhousse: Made in France

7 Aug 20143 stars

Promising debut from the surreal, Eddie Izzard-endorsed comic at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

There can't be many comedy shows that feature jokes about conjugating verbs, but for French comedian Yacine Belhousse one of the main obstacles to putting on an Edinburgh show was first learning English. Belhousse's style is surreal and pretty random…

Dan Jones: New Kid

4 Aug 20142 stars

A comedic play with great potential that just doesn't come together at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Eager compere Dan Jones welcomes us his show 'Live at the Lolaceum', a – very probably – London-based comedy night. He introduces us to his acts; all of whom are suspiciously like Jones and all equally unhinged. From somewhere in the north of England is…

Andy Field is a Giddy Manchild

4 Aug 20143 stars

Enjoyable Edinburgh Festival Fringe show from perfect host and a confident performer

This could have gone horribly wrong for Field – it's the first night of his debut show at the Fringe, he reckons he's not really prepared much and he's got a tipsy late night audience on the top deck of a bus – even before he starts a member of the…

Beta Males: Happenstance

4 Aug 20144 stars

A clever, innovative and very, very funny show from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe sketch group

We probably should have guessed how detailed the plotting would become given that the four fellas, Adam Blampied, Guy Kelly, John Henry Falle and Richard Soames, are almost OCD-like in their setting up of the show as we file in, placing apparently…