Tag Archives: edfringe

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

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Punchline Recommends James Acaster – Reset

16 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

Photograph of James AcasterIs it worth recommending a run of sell out

shows? Yes, definitely when it comes to James Acaster, because it would be an absolute crime not to. This multi-award nominee has never put on a bad show, and is consistently the highlight of the Fringe.  James Acaster is an absolute genius when it comes to writing a Fringe show, and proves again that he doesn’t need just one year to be ‘at the top of his game’, he has, and always will be, right there up at the top.

James Acaster always runs with a theme (this year being ‘reset’), and comes back to this theme throughout the show when you are least expecting it. It’s these reoccurring jokes, and the masterful timing that makes his performance so special. ‘Reset’ is a personal insight to James’s make-believe life, a whimsical fantasy that is just as surreal as it is cleverly written. There is absolutely no doubt with this year’s performance, that James Acaster is a very funny man, and a real festival treasure.

As I starting writing this recommendation, there were seats left for one date within the festival run, but I believe it now to be completely sold out.  If you find any tickets to see this comedy royalty throughout your time at the Fringe, I highly recommend it.

James Acaster performs ‘Reset‘ at 7.30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard until 28 August

Punchline Recommends:  “Help Us Tom Toal, You’re Our Only Hope”

11 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

Punchline recommends joining Tom Toal as part of the Free Fringe, as he saves the whole of Edinburgh with his new show ‘Help us Tom Toal, You’re Our Only Hope’.  Tom Toal captivates his audience with a unique brand of narrative comedy, that is as delightful to listen to as it is superbly funny.

It would usually be unprofessional to mention a venue as part of a comedian’s set, but Ciao Roma is one of the nicest places to spend an hour of your Fringe, and a lovely setting for an excellent comedy show. Tom Toal’s new show is well-written, and jam-packed with jokes and stories from his life. Tom is charming with the audience, not just saving them from the inevitable end of Edinburgh, but entertaining them completely with his words.

Tom Toal is no stranger to the Edinburgh Festival (this year is his 3rd full solo show), but 2016 proves to portray Tom at his absolute best. Tom’s set has been magnificenly weaved into a fantastic hour of comedy, and with it being part of the free fringe, I genuinely can’t see why you wouldn’t go and see this beauty of a performance. Tom Toal performs ‘Help Us Tom Toal, You’re Our Only Hope‘ at Ciao Roma every day during the fringe at 16.35.

Final Fun at the Fringe

31 Aug

Photograph of Edinburgh Fireworks

It’s the last day of the Fringe. Boooo.

But it’s a lovely sunny day! Yeah!

Some venues finished their programmes yesterday, plus a ton of shows have been cancelled so here is our pick of the best comedy shows for the last day. Please check with the relevant box office or Fringe Office before finalising your plans.

  • For a spot of lunchtime comedy, go to see Tom Binns (12.40 at the Bosco Tent, George Square)
  • OR Austentatious (1.15pm at the Underbelly)
  • If you haven’t seen BEASTS yet, what are you thinking?! Get down there! (4.45pm at Pleasance Courtyard)
  • OR if you have seen them, an excellent alternative is Adam Hess, who was shortlisted for the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Newcomer this year (5.20pm at the Hive)
  • Our next recommendation is The Pin (7pm at Pleasance Dome) followed by a mad dash to Lazy Susan (8.10pm at Pleasance Dome)
  • OR how about Joseph Murpurgo, shortlisted for this year’s Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award? (8.15pm at Pleasance Courtyard)
  • OR if you prefer a leisurely walk after The Pin, you have a choice of shows at 9pm: Felicity Ward (Pleasance Courtyard)
  • OR the marvellous Spencer Jones would be a wonderfully surreal way to end the Fringe (9pm at The Hive)
  • Don’t forget the Edinburgh International Festival has their fireworks tonight, so find a hill and celebrate the end of a brilliant month.
  • And if you’re really going to go for it, why not finish at Late ‘n’ Live to take you through to tomorrow? (1am at Gilded Balloon)

Have fun! For those heading back home, have a safe journey and we’ll see you next year. For the locals, see you very soon, after a long sleep! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Your weekend schedule from Punchline x

28 Aug

It’s the final weekend of the Edinburgh Fringe! Maybe you’ve had a long week at work, maybe you’re through for the weekend. A lot of our top 10 shows sold out long ago, and some (not all!) of the Foster’s Award nominees’ shows have been snapped up… so what to see? We’ve put together a cracker of a schedule of shows that you may still get tickets for if you’re quick! (Tickets still available when this article was published)

FRIDAY 28th AUGUST

photo of BEASTS

BEASTS

Photograph of Tom Parry

Tom Parry

Photograph of Angela Barnes

Angela Barnes

photograph of John Hastings

John Hastings

16:45 (1h) BEASTS: Live DVD at Pleasance Courtyard, £10

Read our recommendation here

18:20 (1h) Tom Parry: Yellow T-shirt at The Tron, donation at end (or buy a T-shirt!)

Read our recommendation here

20:15 (1h) Angela Barnes: Come As You Are at Pleasance Courtyard, £11

Comedy Nirvana (sorry, it had to be done) from someone who makes sharp, unpretentious comedy seem like the most natural thing in the world. Think of a cold beer just when you need it; that’s this show.

21:40 (1h) John Hastings: Marked from the Start at Pleasance Courtyard, £10

Read our recommendation here

SATURDAY 29th AUGUST

13:15 (1h) Mike Wozniak: One Man Dad Cat Band at The Three Sisters, donation at end

Read our recommendation here

16:05 (1h) Laura Lexx: Lovely at Underbelly Med Quad, £10.50

Read our recommendation here

17:30 (1h) Larry Dean: Out Now! at Pleasance Courtyard, £12

19:15 (1h) David O’Doherty: We Are All in the Gutter, But Some of Us Are Looking at David O’Doherty at Assembly, George Square

21:00 (50min) Spencer Jones Presents: The Herbert in Proper Job at The Hive, donation at end (and you can buy a CD at the end!)

This man will make you laugh like you did when you were a child. It’s so funny you might be sick.

00:10 (1h) Birthday Girls: Party Vibes  at Pleasance Courtyard, donation at end

Another chance to see the show that makes any night feel like a Saturday night. Very funny. Very rude. High energy. Everything you want from a party. Lovely.

SUNDAY 30th AUGUST

12:40 (1h) Tom Binns: The Club Sets at The Bosco Tent, Assembly Gardens, £11

Read our recommendation here

14:30 (1h) Tiernan Douieb: The World’s Full of Idiots, Let’s Live in Space at The Liquid Rooms Annexe

He’ll make you laugh and think, a LOT.

17:30 (50min)  Lou Sanders: Excuse Me, You’re Sitting on my Penis, Again at The City Café (donation at end)

For an hour of silliness, borderline hysteria and stealth thought provocation, see Lou.

19:10 (50min) Sofie Hagen: Bubblewrap at The Liquid Rooms, donation at end

You can even download the Punchline Weekend Schedule as a pdf. Let us know how you get on!

Punchline recommends Tom Binns: The Club Sets

23 Aug

Words by Iain McLaren

If you are looking for a show with a bit of everything then look no further than Tom Binns : The Club Sets. Opening with his unique psychic, Ian D Montfort, he gives us a comical and up-close insight into the spiritual world. You may not believe in psychics but you will believe in the comedy of Ian.

Next Tom returns as himself with a whole cast of family puppets with his new ventriloquism act. This new found skill is explored and presented to you with all the dedication we have come to expect from Tom.

Tom Binns

Finally he brings out the crowd favourite in the awkward and somewhat naïve Ivan Brackenbury with his array of ironic songs. This character never gets old as the audience’s eye-watering laughter shows.

This brilliant comedian and entertainer is constantly expanding his skills and bringing them to the stage to thrill and delight his audiences and this show is no exception. Go and see this genius at work!

You can see Tom Binns: The Club Sets at Assembly George Square Gardens at 12.40pm until 31 August

Punchline recommends Mike Wozniak: One Man Dad Cat Band

23 Aug

Words by Suzy Romer

I LOVE that Mike Wozniak is a husband who is grumpy in the morning, a dad who does his best with domestic animals and a son who glows when his mum calls him a good boy. The whole audience loves him too. The fact that he is happy to be normal makes him almost revolutionary in a comedy world where so many comedians are busting themselves to provoke us with tired, creepy jokes about porn, paedophiles and “ironic” racism (it’s just racism).

Mike Wozniak 2015

Wozniak wants us to know that he is an ethical man, if only so that we are terribly impressed. Why else do we act ethically if not to be seen? We are impressed, especially by his ingenious fly-away comments that make us tip forward with laughter. He is also a very factual man, although many of his facts are fictional. He steers a steady line between real life and impossible nonsense without burdening us with pedantic surrealism. His talents for story-telling are prodigious and he weaves in and out of themes with consummate ease. One minute he’s telling us about an infuriating experience; the next minute he’s calming us down with ticklishly funny facts. The effect is cumulative, like sauna sessions followed by cold splashes, and it is as invigorating as it is relaxing.

Wozniak warns us from the start that the room is going to get very hot, but it doesn’t matter because he shares his world with us so generously. And did I mention he’s very funny? He’s VERY funny.

You can see Mike Wozniak: One Man Dad Cat Band at 13.15 at Laughing Horse@The Free Sisters until 30 August

Punchline Recommends: John Hastings ‘Marked From the Start’

20 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

Punchline favourite John Hastings returns to the Festival this year, in a bigger venue with an even bigger show. ‘Marked From the Start’ is a hilarious, yet emotional tale of John’s early years, and how family life in Canada has shaped him into the comedian he is today.
john hastings
John tells his anecdotes with passion, cleverly incorporating comedy into every story. John finds the funny in everything he does, and shares his imaginative and smart sense of humour with the audience at every turn. ‘Marked From the Start’ is a real insight into John’s own personal life, meaning the comedy it brings with it is very realistic and touching, and makes for a seriously good hour of stand up.

Catch John Hastings ‘Marked From the Start, at 21.40 at Pleasance Courtyard Bunker One.

Punchline recommends In Cahoots: Two White Guys

20 Aug

Words by Suzy Romer

In Cahoots are a sketch duo (Paul G Raymond and Luke Manning) who provide an easy hour of comedy and a few things to think about afterwards. Their energy is uplifting and takes us on a dazzling tour of worldwide locations including a TV studio in India, a palace in Nigeria and a desert in North Africa. Thematically speaking, some of the sketches are set in traditional funny-land but there are all sorts of sketches which take the audience just a little bit out of their comfort zone – we like that! Their lightness of touch manages to combine thrusting intelligence with endearing silliness.

Paul and Luke

Paul and Luke

The stand-out piece for me is the scene where a drunk young buck takes a taxi with a Muslim taxi driver. They strike up a delightful friendship while talking about their dramatically different lives. The high comedy of the scene provides classic belly laughs yet virtually no one else is doing material like this. Paul and Luke simply ignore 21st century social taboos and perform unfettered universal human comedy.

The overall writing is strong but with more experience, they will crack the tipping point between clever and funny to perfection. This makes for an act to watch now and in the future. We’ll be back.

You can see In Cahoots: Two White Guys at the Pleasance Courtyard at 19:15 until 31 August

Punchline recommends Adam Riches is Coach Coach

14 Aug

Adam Riches 2015

Words by Suzy Romer

Adam Riches is a magnetic, dangerous life force and this year he takes us up a league with a fresh kind of total comedy experience. Coach Coach has all the thrills of classic (or at least old and beloved) big budget American movies that flood us with teenage rushes of ambition, rage, arousal and pure adrenaline.

Even before the show starts, the audience is prepared for what they are in for with colourful flags and pumped up music. The cinematic experience is achieved with a surprisingly big cast who enact proper goodies and baddies, a couple of timeless love stories at different stages of life and, of course, a BIG GAME where everyone is rooting for the heroes. But here comes one of Adam Riches’ magic touches; the outcome will be decided by a member of the audience so we are all in a state of whooping, feverish suspense as the finale approaches.

For those who have experienced the joy and knife-edge fear of past shows, there is comparatively little audience participation and the format is more formal. I caught myself hoping that some things would go (slightly) wrong, just to see how he would react. They did, and his on-the-spot improvisations sparkled with the essence of Fringe fun. The character of Eric Coach is more complex than Riches’ previous incarnations as he sheds some of his alpha male dominance now that he has a wife and boss to contend with. Stevie Martin (from the sketch group Massive Dad), plays Mrs Coach with wry nonchalance and a delightfully mobile baby bump which she wields and yields, depending on the needs of the moment. Richard Gadd is chillingly silly as the big bad boss while David Elms champions the characters of the younger generation with winning charm, despite not winning any baskets on the night I saw him. Didn’t stop me shouting myself hoarse though.

There are a lot of things going on in this bold new format which is tamer on audience participation but more audacious in its engagement with wide-reaching themes. This is an expertly finished product, but there is also an underlying sense of artistic development in progress and the sequel (whatever form it may take) is going to be very interesting indeed…

 You can see Adam Riches is Coach Coach at the Pleasance Dome at 21.45 until 30 August.

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