Archive by Author

In the Hot Seat: David Trent

21 Jul

Photo of David TrentIt’s two weeks until the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe! In the run up to the most exciting event on the planet, we will be asking our favourite acts some searching questions. Who better to start with than one of our all- time favourites, the mighty David Trent.

Close your eyes and picture Edinburgh. What do you see?

I see a massive fuck off mountain with city built into the side of it with a big bridge and a newsagent at the end of it where you can get a banana condom.

What is the last thing that made you snort with laughter?

I’ve not snorted with laughter at anything for a while, but I have snorted with pride and trying not to cry when I watch someone I like win at Wimbledon, or when I listened to McEnroe’s Desert Island Discs, oh my goodness, I love Johnny Mac.

Tell us about this year’s show.

I’ll tell you the truth, it’s my best one and it doesn’t have a single routine in it that I don’t love. Every other show I’ve done has had a bit in it that I’ve had to hold my breath and go “right, head down, you know this bit is shit but it’ll be over in ten minutes” whereas this one I love every single bit of it. It’s my funniest show. I always struggle with this question because I believe that it’s not a film, the narrative or the theme of the show isn’t so important to a comedy audience but if you need a theme it’s that there’s a lot of stupid things aren’t there and let’s laugh at those stupid things.

Who do you want to see this year?

What is the purpose of this question? Do you want me to recommend shows? I don’t have any particular ones I want to see, but I’m going to make an effort this year to try and spend my time in Edinburgh how I used to before I was a comedian, walking around and going to things as and when I stumbled across them. I used to love doing that so much and I’ve stopped doing it as much in my last few visits.

Do you have any Edinburgh Fringe traditions?

Yes. I have an Edinburgh tradition of avoiding developing any traditions. I feel like this answer is the worst answer I have ever given.

What is your getting ready music?

Usually my loyal tech Homebrew Hingley will play my guitar acoustically while we wait for the show before us to finish. He will play a bit of Smiths and I will think “shut up Homebrew, I’m trying to focus on getting into a high state of anxiety about how few people will be out there.”

If you could have any guest in your show, who would it be?

Johnny Marr. I would get him to teach a wider repertoire of songs to Homebrew Hingley for the pre show.

What is the best backhanded compliment you have had?

WOAH SHIT. I just got a show cancelled because “Basically, the company doing the show on the Saturday has vetoed the booking, as they think the audience won’t be comedy literate enough.” I’m so comedy, that I’m unsuitable to play a comedy gig.

Who made you howl with laughter when you were a child?

The Young Ones. Holy fuck. Changed the game. I was 11, it built me.

What should Donald Trump know?

Who the fuck is Donald Trump?

What do you do in Edinburgh that your parents wouldn´t approve of?

Nothing. My parents know who I am.

Thanks for having me Punchline. You are good people. x

See David Trent: Here’s Your Future at 10.35pm @ Just the Tonic at the Caves

Punchline’s 2017 Fringe Recommendations

9 Jul Photo of Sara Pascoe

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Last year we recommended Richard Gadd and Larry Dean who went onto win the Edinburgh Comedy Award and Amused Moose Award…

This year is set to be a belter. As ever, these are our shows we already know we´ll love, and we will continue to recommend shows throughout the Fringe. We’re not doing YouTube videos this year as these acts have to be experienced live to see just how brilliant they are.

Photo of Sara PascoeSara Pascoe: LadsLadsLads

7pm @ Pleasance Courtyard

Sara Pascoe has always had major talent but since her 2016 book Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body, she has unleashed a surge of confidence and insight as never before. She is showing a new stylistic freedom and incredible energy that make her 2017 show unmissable. Her time has come. @sarapascoe





Photo of David TrentDavid Trent: Here’s Your Future

10.35pm @ Just the Tonic at the Caves

Let David be your Virgil as he leads you through the circles of hell that exist in politics and popular culture. He´s got a great line in pumped up technology, which is put together as beautifully as his finely written material. Don´t let his stern demeanour stop you seeing the shrewd passion that drives his outstanding comedy. @mistertrent




Photo of Steen RaskopoulosSteen Raskopoulos: The Coolest Kid in Competitive Chess

8pm @ Underbelly

We´ve always loved Steen´s mix of character comedy and non-confrontational audience participation with a just a touch of aching poignancy. If you liked him on TV´s Top Coppers, you´ll be crazy about him live. He shone in Edinburgh 2016 and this year he really will be one of the coolest kids in comedy. @steenrasko




Photo of Adam RichesThe Inane Chicanery of a Certain Adam GC Riches

9.45pm @ Pleasance Dome

The pulsing heart of total immersion Fringe comedy is back in Queen Dome to exhilarate, terrify and delight us with his unique combination of great writing and blasts of improvised chaos.  The suspense and surprise make every night deliciously different so go early in case you have to go back for more. @TigcoRiches




Photo of Tiernan DouiebTiernan Douieb: Miserably Happy

2.30pm @ Waverley Bar

Tiernan has a happy temperament and sparkling intelligence but life so often has a way of putting all that to the test. His perfect comic expression of the struggle to sift the sense from the nonsense is both daring and soothing. He takes an unflinching look at the current issues that worry us all but he´s just what the doctor ordered to bring out that sneaking optimism in us all. @TiernanDouieb




Photo of Kiri Prichard-McLeanKiri Pritchard-McLean: Appropriate Adult

8.15pm @ Pleasance Courtyard

We are twitching with anticipation to see Kiri´s new show.  She is the co-host of podcast All Killa No Filla and does a great line in rip-roaring stories that men don´t usually get to hear. She tells it like it is and gets shrieks of laughter in return. @kiripritchardmc





Photo of Spencer JonesSpencer Jones: The Audition

8.20pm @ Heroes @ Monkey Barrel

If you have ever felt that adult life seems to have forgotten to include the utterly joyous laughter of childhood, then this is the show for you. Spencer takes you with him from the beginning and the comic energy just builds and builds. Carefree belly laughs from a man who says, eyes twinkling, that he can´t believe he´s allowed to do this as a job. @spendals




Photo of Bilal ZafirBilal Zafar: Biscuit

3.40pm @ Just the Tonic at the Caves

The Edinburgh Newcomer award winner from last year returns to the city of dreams with a brand new show. Destined to become a firm Fringe favourite, catch him with the early birds. @Zafarcakes





Photo of Nick HelmNick Helm: Masterworks in Progress ’17

5.20pm @ The Pleasance Courtyard

He´s back! After a couple years away, the one man mega myth returns to an intimate setting. You may have seen him on BBC´s Uncle or Channel 4´s Loaded and now you can see the man himself trying out new material. Do exactly what he says and you will have a fantastic time. A special opportunity for a thrilling evening with a comedy legend. @TheNickHelm




Photo of Sofie HaganSofie Hagen: Dead Baby Frog

2pm @ Bedlam Theatre

Sophie Hagan is going from strength to strength with an ever-growing following of Guilty Feminist podcast fans. Her searing honesty, direct approach to delicate subjects and attentiveness to her audience´s needs make her a breath of fresh air and a stellar name for the future. @SofieHagen





Photo of Dane BaptisteDane Baptiste: G.O.D. (Gold.Oil.Drugs)

9pm @ The Pleasance Courtyard

You may have seen this politically and socially astute comedian on Frankie Boyle´s New World Order with his fearless, on-point comments. Dane is going to be one of the big stars of 2017 and with a title alone that promises diamond standard comedy, we just can´t wait to hear what he has to say. @DaneBaptweets



By Rosalind and Suzy Romer

Punchline recommends Mr Swallow – Houdini

22 Aug

Words by Suzy Romer

Image of Mr Swallow PosterFrom the moment you enter the room to the beautiful, haunting sound of Joplin’s “The Entertainer” and set eyes on the sumptuous backdrop of rich red curtains, you enter a different world. Nick Mohammed, in the guise of Mr Swallow and Harry Houdini, is present right from the start, with a mischievous grin which never fails unless he is protesting about the death defying nature of his performance requirements. He does this with a comic expertise which has the audience in fits of laughter.

He is joined by not one but two lovely assistants, David Elms and Kieran Hodgson who are not only essential to the magic tricks and comic songs, but also provide other characters and drama. David Elms impressed Punchline last year with his performance in Adam Riches’ Coach Coach, not to mention his stand-up, but this year he has demonstrated a versatility which is stunning. Kieran Hodgson’s facial expressions and comic flare remind me of a very young David Tennant which has to be a great sign.

The sheer variety of skills displayed by the tightly knit team is awe-inspiring, but I didn’t have time to really appreciate it during the performance because I was too busy smiling and laughing with the total delight of a child. The show manages to take the audience back to a time of comedy and variety more familiar to our grandparents or great-grandparents and it is utterly thrilling. There is nothing vintage or nostalgic in this performance however; there are asides which are bang up to date and there is a guarantee of quality in the total commitment to the contents which blend together various fascinating elements of Houdini’s – and Mr Swallow’s – character.

In the last few years, Tom Binns has performed alchemy with the combination of clairvoyancy and comedy. Now Nick Mohammed has done it with escapology. Magic and comedy seem like a natural combination, devoid of the pretension and posturing that so many people find off-putting in other magicians. There is nothing to fault here, just let yourself enjoy the spectacle, and wonder whether Nick Mohammed will be still here to perform another magnificent show tomorrow…

Catch Mr Swallow – Houdini at 7pm at the Pleasance Courtyard until 29 August

Punchline Recommends: John Hastings – Integrity

21 Aug

Words by Iain McLaren

Photograph of John HastingsWhat do you get when you cross David Cameron, a pig, a working visa, a pussy, a family crisis and some strange friends? An epic tale delivered with the flair and comedic panache that could only be John Hastings and his new show, Integrity.

In this insightful hour John shares his views on his adopted British home while describing, in quite some personal detail, his friends, family, and exploits while back home in Canada. This former Punchliner continues to grow in stage presence while his all-inclusive style and jokes will appeal to all walks of life.

Catch John Hastings: Integrity at 9.30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard until 29 August

Punchline Recommends Tom Binns is Ian D Montfort: How to Touch Dead People

21 Aug

Words by Iain McLaren

Photograph of Tom Binns as Ian D MontfortIn a world ruled by science let go of your inner sceptic and give yourself over to the brilliant and ethereally tuned Ian D Montfort. In his new show he attempts to explain his gift from his own unique perspective with “real” life laugh a minute examples. Whether it’s speaking with the spirits, angels and your dead pets or divining the future and reading your mind, Ian will convince you that the best way to deal with the supernatural is with belly laughs and a realisation that not everything can be or is worth really trying to explain. Catch a glimpse of the other side before the end of the Fringe and while Ian’s mystical energies are at their peak.

See Tom Binns is Ian D Montfort: How to Touch Dead People at 8pm at Assembly George Square Studios until 28 August

plus Tom Binns: Summertime Special with Ivan Brackenbury and Ian D Montfort at the same venue at 1pm until 28 August

See our oringial recommendation for the best 2016 Fringe shows here

Punchline recommends Larry Dean: Farcissist

21 Aug

Words by Iain McLaren

Most of us have had a bad date or two in our search for that special someone, but few can share those stories in the same hilarious and engaging manner as Larry Dean. Join him for an hour of honesty delivered by a someone with a keen eye for the funny side of life and an amazing ability to share it with everyone. This comedian is just coming in to the height of his powers, expect big things!

See our recommendation as part of the best 2016 Fringe shows here and see the man himself at the Pleasance Courtyard at 7.15pm every night until 28 August. Tickets and info here

Punchline Recommends Adam Hess: Feathers

20 Aug

Word by Ross Stark

Photograph of Adam HessAdam Hess gives his all in this fast paced, frantic but wonderfully funny hour.

Like a toddler high on Haribo, he runs down the aisle and leaps to the stage. The first 30 minutes are frantic, in fact the whole show is; so many stories, so little time. Without pause he rattles through his routine at lightening speed.

This is Hess’s style and he works it so well, knowing exactly what he’s doing as he blitzes through the first few jokes, barely leaving any time for laughter. When he does eventually pause there is an almighty roar as uncontrollable laughter sweeps throughout the room. Young to old, every single person seems to be in fits.

Hess is full of wonderful material, from interviews to dates, parents to school. All topics doing the the same thing; painting this wonderful picture of a socially awkward but hysterically funny guy. Hess is renowned for his great one liners and though he delivers plenty within this set they suddenly seem second best to these excellent anecdotes.

Genuinely one of the funniest shows I have seen this fringe. Adam Hess is highly recommended.

Catch Adam Hess: Feathers at 4.10pm at Heroes @ The Hive until 28 August

Felicity Ward answers Punchline’s Burning Questions

19 Aug

Photograph of Felicity WardWhat is the best advice for a new performer in Edinburgh?

You will cry. It’s just a matter of when.

What is the best advice for a new festival goer?

You will cry. It’s a matter of when.

What do you have to have in your fridge during August?

The illusion that I will eat salad.

What is the weirdest after-show comment you have had from an audience member?

That was the first boob my son has ever seen.

Which living person would you like to spot in your audience?

A dying, philanthropist billionaire.

What is the best non-Fringe thing about the city of Edinburgh?

Everything. This city is in my bones.

How do you relieve Fringe cabin fever?

Swim in the pool. The rage of people using the lanes incorrectly really transports me from my fringe self-obsession.

Who or what last made you laugh like a hyena at the Fringe?

I saw Rose Matafaeo and Joel Dommett’s shows and I laugh so so hard. Honestly.

Tell us about your 2016 show.

It’s about a lady with control issues who loses her bag… mixed in with some jokes about mental health statistics, suicidal construction workers, women’s pockets and swimming.

What are the best shows at the Fringe apart from yours?

Shows I saw in Australia that are here that I loved were: Zoe Coombs Marr, Susie Yousseff, Nick Cody, Rhys Nicholson, Tom Ballard, Naht Valvo, The Blind Date Project. There are so many. I don’t know how anyone chooses.

When you go home and your friends say “How was Edinburgh?”, what will you say?

A lot less crying than usual. Which is all anyone can truly hope for. #blessed


Catch Felicity Ward: 50% More Likely to Die at 9pm at the Pleasance Courtyard until 29 August

Sofie Hagan Answers Punchline’s Burning Questions

19 Aug Photograph of Sofie Hagan

What is the best advice for a new performer in Edinburgh?

Watch shows. Especially those by your friends. Take pleasure in the fact that we are all up here, actually doing comedy – our favourite thing in the whole world – every single night. Oh, and don’t drink. You need all your brain cells.

What is the best advice for a new festival goer?

Smile at flyerers and be nice to them. They are doing the toughest job in Edinburgh. When going to see shows, be open-minded, don’t just aim for the acts you’ve seen on Live At The Apollo. This is the place where geniuses like Spencer Jones, John Kearns and Richard Gadd get to do what they do.

What do you have to have in your fridge during August?

Oh, I am a Class A twat when it comes to this. I wake up with good intentions and go to bed with a stomach ache. I wake up and drink a kale-blueberry-banana-almond-milk-smoothie. Then it slowly progress to pizzas and curries.

What is the weirdest after-show comment you have had from an audience member?

As I do the Free Fringe, I am standing with a bucket at the end of my show, in the hopes of collecting some money from the audience. I go home and count the small change afterwards. A few days ago, someone had left a note that said, “I will be your babysitter. No cash payment. Davey.” and then his phone number. I was so freaked out. He must have brought that note with him to the show and just waited for the end, so he could put it in the bucket. So unbelievably weird and disgusting.

Which living person would you like to spot in your audience?

This is a tough one – because there are some of my heroes that I would like to have see my show, but I would not want to actually spot them in my audience. I would probably panic. Mike Birbiglia is one of my favourite comedians and if he liked my stuff, I don’t know, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. One of my actual comedy heroes has told me that he is coming to see my show tonight. I already feel faint.

What is the best non-Fringe thing about the city of Edinburgh?

The taxi drivers who hate the fringe. It is so lovely. Every time I get in a cab, I act as a psychologist for poor taxi drivers who LOVE their city to bits but during August, they just want to disappear. In a time where you see your face on hundreds of flyers and posters, it’s nice to be grounded a bit every once in a while.

How do you relieve Fringe cabin fever?

Talk about it. We are all in this together. I am so lucky to be living with two of my best friends and favourite comedians, so I get to come home after a long day or wake up after a night’s sleep and go sit in the living room and share my thoughts with them.

Who or what last made you laugh like a hyena at the Fringe?

Mat Ewins. Holy f, he is a genius. I have never seen a whole show of his and it just blew me away. I screamed with laughter alongside all the other comedians who had rushed to see it.

Tell us about your 2016 show.

I get increasingly scared the more people are around me. I am bad at crowds, I hate parties, I am always screwing up smalltalk. This year I have been forced to face that fact and I have had to deal with it. That became the show. Trying to be okay with being the person that I am.

What are the best shows at the Fringe apart from yours?

RICHARD GADD – Monkey See Monkey Do. I cannot stress this enough. If he doesn’t win everything, I don’t know what to do. Then there is no hope. It is by far the best show I have ever seen. I mean that. It left me broken and amazed and speechless. For days after I saw it, I could feel it in my whole body. Richard Gadd. By far.

When you go home and your friends say “How was Edinburgh?”, what will you say?

“Can someone please cook me some vegetables, asap?” and knowing myself, probably, “That was the worst thing ever, I can’t believe I am putting myself through this every year. I can’t wait to go back.”


Catch Sofie Hagan: Shimmer Shatter at the Liquid Rooms at 7.50pm until 28 August. This is a free show so get there early (and you’ll want to pay after).

You can also see her as part of The Guilty Feminist at 4pm at Gilded Balloon, 22 to 24 August only.

Punchline Recommends: Lazy Susan – Crazy Sexy Fool

19 Aug

Photograph of Lazy Susan There are heaps of self-help videos out there on YouTube, but if Dinky and Baby ever decide to put up their sex advice videos, I will subscribe. The double act (real names Freya Parker and Celeste Dring) catch so perfectly the ditzy, wide-eyed eagerness to help, with soft American accents and squeezable cuteness. As you wait for their sexual adventures to unfold, they have you on the edge of your seat and the brink of hysterical giggles. But then the devious undercutting and one-upwomanship begins and they are SO good at this. Underhand power-grabbing tactics infuse the comic relationship between their onstage alter egos too. Celeste has just broken up with her boyfriend and Freya tries to comfort her. Cue the most delicious compliment fishing and narcissism from Celeste while Freya dreams of escaping from her downtrodden existence to a place where creatures are wild and free. With this backdrop, we are taken into a rich variety of other scenarios where each of the paired characters has outwardly positive relationships masking lots of grubby little secrets which are revealed with consummate skill and laughs aplenty.

All in all these gals take a wonderful comic slant on all those things lauded for being “relevant”: egotism, glib life advice that fits neatly into pithy little maxims for social media, self-appointed experts whose only qualification is the possession of a webcam, not to mention the glamour and danger of talking to strangers. It is a perfect hour of hilarious double-dealing and salacious thrills from two of the most talented performers in town.

Catch Lazy Susan: Crazy Sexy Fool at 7.15pm at the Pleasance Courtyard until 29 August and as part of Massive Lazy Girls at 11.30pm on 24-28 August

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