Tuesday, 18 August 2009

This is just a moan, please avert your eyes...

So, I'm tired and I am full of cold. Thus, I am grumpy. But, I leave this beautiful city on Thursday morning, so I have to enjoy these last few hours dammit!

Antics recently have been minimal. Mainly due to the fact I am exhausted now, but that's normal as you head towards week 3 of the Fringe.

I do have reviews to write up for Hardeep Singh Kohli, The Royal Oak and The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly. They will probably be up by Friday. The shows I see tomorrow will then be up just after that.

I also have to find these freaking stickers that seem to have travelled across Edinburgh without ever meeting my fingertips.

I should have them tomorrow morning.

Keep your eyes peeled for the stickers people.

They are very, VERY important...

Monday, 17 August 2009

Mervyn Stutter's Pick of the Fringe

Mervyn Stutter's Pick of the Fringe, Underbelly's Hullabaloo (Venue 171), 13.00 8th - 30th August (not Tues)

What a joyous hour and a half that was.

There are many similar shows to this across the Fringe, but what separates Mervyn Stutter's is the sheer quality of acts. They have been hand picked by his team, which means, someone has sat there and watched the whole show and deemed it worthy of this slot. Fabulous.

Today's acts were:

Mercy Madonna of Malawi
Everything Must Go
This is Now
Long Tooth
Ivan Brackenbury's Hospital Radio Show

I don't think I've missed anyone out! As you can see, this was an eclectic mix of comedy, theatre, musical and dance. There really was something for everyone.

The whole show was held together by excellent compere Stutter. He really did get the crowd going and keep them there.

I honestly would recommend this show to everyone. It gives you great tasters of some of the most fabulous acts across the Fringe, but at the same time, it really is a wonderful show in itself.

My vote: 5*

Sunday, 16 August 2009

The Comedy Manifesto

The Comedy Manifesto, Beehive Inn (Venue 178), 16.00 8th - 29th August (not 18th) (Free - Non Ticketed)

There is very little for me to write here. Honestly. Nothing at all.

It really was that good.

Kate Smurthwaite who does a wonderful job as host and David Mulholland and Jools Constant compliment each other as opposing teams in this almost Have I Got News For You show. Most definitely one to go and see no matter what.

Oh, and get there early to avoid disappointment, it gets packed out.

I also heard some names being bandied about as future guests and am now unbelievably jealous of all those of you that are in Edinburgh to the end of the month and can catch this show every day.

I'd give it 5 stars if Jools' guest hadn't bailed. He did well on his own though.

Then again, it is part of PBH's Free Fringe so it's free.....

Bugger it.

My vote: 5*

(It had to happen at some point, now didn't it.)

Terrors of the Black Museum

Terrors of the Black Museum, Laughing Horse @ Espionage (Venue 185) 13.05 8th - 30th August

You know how when you sit down to watch the Boosh, you have to leave all concepts of reality at the door? Well, it is the same with this show.

Not that it's comparable with the Boosh, no, they're in different leagues, but The Black Museum are on their way.

This is an interesting concept for a sketch show, and could be developed further. At the moment, the script needs tightening in places and the performance needs to get to the next level too.

Dan McKee, Ben Smith and Laurence Tuck give committed performances, but the show is not as tidy as I would've expected for something that has been running for a week. This could have been put down to the walkout early on in the hour. I got the feeling that people thought they were there for horror stories and not comedy. I heard a "I hope this is scary," on the way in which came from one of the bemused-looking people that left five minutes into the show.

All in all, if you just let yourself ride along with this show, then it is enjoyable. I think McKee, Smith and Tuck have potential, so you should catch them at this, their first Fringe show and watch them develop.

My vote: 3*

Trying 2B Funny

I'm not putting up the show dates for this one as I attended on the very last night, but I still felt it was worth reviewing because you might be able to catch it in London town.

The show is performed by a group of teenagers aged 15 to 18 from a youth centre called Heatham House.

I do think this created a problem in the audience make up. I think a fair few people were there because they thought this would just be some cutesy show where teenage kids pretended to be comics.

The reality was a group of young adults that provided pretty fabulous and mature performances.

I think the audience was detrimental however, as quite a few of the performers seemed nervous, and the audience did too.

Everyone did well, that is Michael, Nathan, Phoebe, Chris, Morgan and Esther, but the show really was stolen by opening act Michael and closing act Esther.

It has to be said that each of the performers had strong, individual material and good delivery. Nathan particularly read the audience well. Phoebe and Esther had a well-written and nicely performed sketch. Chris had exceptionally nice material. Morgan, a brilliant delivery.

These guys are the comedians of the future. I would've given them a much higher rating had nerves not been on display, but that is something they can certainly improve upon in the future.

My vote: 3*

A little more antics...

Oh my lordy! I met Ronnie Corbett. It was only the second time in my entire life that I have been star struck (the first was when I met Stephen King).

I shook his hand, told him how wonderful he was and just, well, gushed really. And then told Lionel Blair (who was stood with the god that is Corbett), that I knew who he was, it was just, well, RONNIE CORBETT!

I've also been getting praise and hassle about the reviews. Some people love them, some quite clearly do not. I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that a review is just an opinion and you are entitled to agree or disagree. If you feel strongly, post it on here.

Please do not blame my friends. They have no control over what I write. I am solely responsible for everything on these pages and I stand by everything that I have written.

Now, for other news, I have come down with a cold, making it hard to review stuff, as I just do not feel well enough to sit through the shows. I am persevering though.

I tried yesterday to cure it with half a pint of Guiness. Someone told me it was good for me. I ended up feeling crappy. So no, Guiness does not cure colds.

Tonight shall be an early night with the diary, trying to record all the details that may never see the light of day. Also, I'm on my final run in now. 3 or 4 shows every day until I leave plus will be out every night so I don't miss out on the action.

Wish me luck, and buy me fizzy good if you see me in the daylight.

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Friday, 14 August 2009

The Moonfish Rhumba Show

The Moonfish Rhumba Show, Gilded Balloon (Venue 14) 22.45 5th- 31st August (£7.50 - £9.50)

What can I say that I haven't previously said when I saw Dirty Love? Moonfish Rhumba are pretty darned amazing.

An hour in their presence left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. They are just genuinely funny guys with a great set.

Last night's show was all about having a laugh in the traditional sense. There were gags, music and some possible improv. It was surreal, imaginative, clever and all of those other wonderful things you look for in a show. What had worked nicely in fifteen minutes at Dirty Love was pretty darned fantastic over an hour.

I don't want to gush, so I will talk about the negatives...

A couple of times there were problems with the microphone stands. This doesn't sound much, but when you have such a slick show, every detail counts, and for the stand to not be able to keep the mic in the right position detracted from that stage presence.

Also, the waving the arms in the air needed a bit more of an intro because the audience didn't seem to realise that they should get involved, so only 3 people joined in.

Overall, I think this is one of the best shows at the Fringe.

My vote 4.5*