Tag Archives: edfringe2014

Punchline recommends Harvey, Garvey and The Kane

23 Aug
Photograph of Harvey, Garvey and The Kane

Harvey, Garvey and The Kane

Words by Suzy Romer

Harvey, Garvey and Kane are a smart sketch group who allow you to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. It’s always nice to see three chaps take to the stage in suits but these men can become anyone and anything with no costume changes and virtually no props.

We are taken through a range of sketches with seamless style. A little boy asks his mummy and daddy what sex is and the answer goes far beyond the comic possibilities explored by anyone I’ve seen before. A deliciously silly press launch with a grown-up boy band neatly exposes the less media-friendly aspects of reunion after twenty years. Amid the virtuosity of the performances we get a really generous dose of classic material, the stuff we quote at each other long after the show.

In an age where the boundaries between genres are constantly being poked and prodded, it’s immensely reassuring to be entertained by a group who can follow the great old traditions with freshness and vigour. There is a caper ability about these guys that will see them go far. That’s pure sketch, that is.

Catch the last performance of Harvey, Garvey and The Kane at 4.55pm at the Underbelly (Bristo Square) on Sunday 24th August. Buy tickets here

Photograph of Harvey, Garvey and The Kane

Harvey, Garvey and The Kane

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Punchline Recommends: Lucy Beaumont ‘We Can Twerk it Out’

22 Aug
Photograph of Lucy Beaumont

Lucy Beaumont

Words by Suzy Romer

Lucy Beaumont opens her show by kindly introducing us to her Hull accent, but you know what? She had us at “hullo”. Right from the start, we find ourselves in a conversational relationship where we are literally expected to say yes and no, and we thoroughly enjoy doing so.

This is her first full-length show at the Fringe but you wouldn’t know it. She glows as she tells us about her experiences, observations and ideas. Her friend Jackie is having difficulty meeting the right man and the stories about her are a perfect balance of poignancy and twinkling cheekiness. Lucy’s mum worries about her safety when she is out alone and comes up with a highly original way to fend off potential attackers. Lucy Beaumont’s world is very real, yet every cloud has a comic lining.

For the duration of the show we are gently lifted out of our own existence and forget ourselves. Lucy Beaumont is warm and wry and enjoys springing an occasional surprise on her captivated audience. I leave the venue having already adopted her lilting “I know…” when I agree with something. She may still be taking off but she is going to be one high flier in comedy and she leaves diamonds in her wake.

Lucy Beaumont is at Pleasance Courtyard at 5.45pm until Sunday if you can get your hands on a ticket. But of course you will have if you took our Top 10 recommendations at the start of the fringe!

Punchline Recommends: Tom Toal ‘In Prequel’

13 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

Tom Toal

Tom Toal

Tom Toal performed at the Fringe last year as one quarter of the famous Comedy Reserve, but is back at the festival this year with a full hour to himself. And it’s the best thing TT could have done, as he has written a beautiful, heart-warming, and very funny show.

‘In Prequel’ is certainly the best way to describe Tom Toal’s show; the set is a narrative of all the big events that have built up to biggest life-changing happening in Tom’s own life. Tom incorporates the funniest tales of childhood, growing up, and family events that have shaped him into the man he is today. His big finale story, is clearly one he is most passionate about, and he tells it with enthusiasm and charm that keeps you hanging on to every word.

Tom Toal is a master of story-telling, but he is also a very funny comedian. He makes call backs throughout the show to previous events, linking every part of his story with fantastic jokes. With just the right amount of audience participation thrown in, Tom makes you feel comfortable as well as entertained too.

Tom Toal is performing as part of the Free Fringe at Cabaret Voltaire. It is an afternoon show, in a lovely big venue, so can be a treat for the whole family. Catch ‘In Prequel‘ throughout the Fringe at 14.30.

Punchline Recommends: James Acaster ‘Recognise’

12 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

James Acaster

James Acaster

Twice-nominated for the Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award, James Acaster is back again this year with another magnificent show. James Acaster is so good at writing comedy, it’s easy to get wrapped up in his whimsical storylines as if it’s real life. In fact, his make-believe life is so intriguing, it would be a much better place to exist in James’ world than my own.

James Acaster landscapes tales of an occupation he never had with such conviction, it leaves the audience hanging on to every word in awe. The other themes and topics may be basic at first sight, but the way James weaves and moulds them in to a show is something really quite special. Adopting one theme, dropping related anecdotes periodically and twisting the idea to its most hilarious potential, is Acaster’s trademark style, and no one could do it half as well as him.

It’s hard to give you a round up of what ‘Recognise’ is about, but that is James’ secret ingredient to a good Fringe show. His shows are selling out most nights, so I strongly recommend looking for a ticket now!

James Acaster performs ‘Recognise‘ at Pleasance Canaret Bar at 8pm.

An Edinburgh Fringe 2014 Interview with Jason Cook

11 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

Jason Cook

Jason Cook

Jason Cook is a fantastic comedian, and his show ‘Broken’ was one of the first ones we recommended (read the recommendation here). With the festival now in full swing, I was delighted for the opportunity to catch up with Jason Cook to discuss his shows so far.

Hello Jason Cook how are you?
I’m a bit tired, bit hungover, just about to staple reviews to flyers, so overall, in a state of “unwilling admin”.

Are you enjoying the Edinburgh Fringe Festival?
I really am! It’s been great so far, and the reviews and audiences have all been lovely so I’m having a lovely time.

What have been your highlights from this year’s festival so far?
My daughter, who is 3, likes to do my soundcheck for me every day, so watching her run around with a mic in her hand makes me smile. And makes me also think she will be my retirement plan.

Your show is called ‘Broken’, Jason, are you ok?
I am now, but I wasn’t before. No-one is 100% fixed but I’m getting there.

Without giving too much away, what is your show about?
It’s about all the things in my life really, and how all those things, while positive, take their toll.

What have the audience reactions been like so far?
Great, loads of lovely comments and people waiting until after the show to come up and say hi.

What other shows do you recommend this year?
Carl Hutchinson, it’s a great show he’s got this year! Check him out!

See Jason Cook’s act ‘Broken‘ at the Edinburgh Festival, 5.40pm in Pleasance Dome (Queen Dome) until 24th August.

Punchline Recommends Carl Donnelly: Now That’s What I Carl Donnelly Vol.6

11 Aug Photograph of Carl Donnelly
Photograph of Carl Donnelly

Carl Donnelly

Words by Suzy Romer

By the time Carl Donnelly formally introduces himself to the audience, he’s already made friends with us. His relaxed style and lack of pretension make him an instant hit.

This is no mean feat because Carl has had a difficult year. He talks candidly about separation from his wife and coming off anti-depressants but never burdens the audience with his angst. Instead, he takes us through the hilarious stories of how he’s recovered his appetite for life. Many of these stories have a “You had to NOT be there” condition and cause ripples of laughter that tip back and forth across the room. His up-for-anything attitude gets him into one scrape after another but here he is to tell the tale, with his sharp outfit and self-proclaimed expensive haircut. The overriding thrust of his stories is that boys just wanna have fun, especially naughty ones, but then it’s so much better when he tells it…

When he suddenly announces it’s time to wrap up the show, it comes a bit of a shock. We’ve got to know him a little, caught up on recent stuff, but our time’s up so it’s goodbye until next time. It’s like meeting up with an old friend after a long time apart. It’s rare to find a comedian so warm and easy-going – nice one, Carl.

Catch Carl Donnelly at 8.30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard. Buy tickets here

Punchline Recommends: Seann Walsh ’28’

7 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

Seann Walsh

Seann Walsh

We don’t just recommend Seann Walsh, we absolutely love him! Seann is the only comedian to perform TWICE for Punchline, and his new festival show ’28’ has been at the top of our must-see list for sometime now.

Seann Walsh has had a fantastic year since his Best Comedy Award nomination in 2013, including many TV appearances and a DVD release. His new Fringe 2014 show ’28’ doesn’t focus on these huge achievements however, it is all about Seann, now aged 28, and his hilarious observations of life. Seann may have grown up a lot in the past year, but he still portrays his classic boyish humour in all his anecdotes about the small, niggling aspects of his adult life.

Seann’s presence on stage is fascinating; his ability to bring simple stories to life is one of the reasons he is so brilliant. Spending an hour with Seann, relating to all his very funny tales, is an hour of your time you don’t want to miss out on.

Catch Seann Walsh’s ’28‘ in Pleasance Cabaret Bar at 21.20, but be quick as his shows are selling out very fast.

Punchline Recommends: Ian Smith ‘Flappable’

5 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

Ian Smith

Ian Smith

Ian Smith made his debut solo show last year, but 2014 sees him perform in a bigger venue with his even bigger show ‘Flappable’.

The theme of the show is uncertainty, a topic which Ian explores admirably and thoroughly. If you were ever unsure about what direction to turn in life, or what path to choose next, attending Ian’s show will almost certainly make no difference to your decisions! He will however clear up those niggling issues of life in the most hilarious way possible.

Ian Smith is a an observational comedian, but such chuckle-worthy observations don’t just fall on Ian by chance; the way he twists and turns obscure situations in his life, into very funny anecdotes, is exactly what makes his performance so good.

Catch Ian Smith’s ‘Flappable‘ at Pleasance Below at 18.00 throughout the Edinburgh Festival.

Punchline Recommends: Clever Peter

4 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

Clever Peter

Clever Peter

Clever Peter have got their work cut out for them this festival, performing two shows a day with very little time in between! Clever Peter’s main show ‘The Dream Factory’ is at Pleasance Courtyard, but they are also taking part in the Free Fringe at City Cafe with ‘Free For All!’

Clever Peter are a trio of actors, who make up an award-winning sketch comedy act. They deliver sketches at a speed similar to the way Tim Vine reels off jokes – very very quickly! You barely have time to finish chuckling at one visually brilliant joke before the next one starts, meaning you’ll be laughing continuously from beginning to end at both shows.

The sketches from Clever Peter are outrageous, silly, quirky, but quintessentially, very clever. The shows flow very well; even as the actors manically jump around the stage you can tell they are already setting up the next sketch, thus creating perfectly-timed gags.

If you do intend on saving money by going to the free show, please be wary that despite taking place in one of the bigger free fringe venues, the Clever Peter show fills up fast. The best advice would be to get down as early as possible to get a seat.

Catch Clever Peter’s ‘Free For All!’ at the City Cafe at 16.15 and ‘The Dreams Factory‘ at Pleasance Courtyard shortly after at 17.45

Punchline Recommends: Hennessy and Friends

3 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

Photograph of Hennessey and Friends

Hennessey and Friends

Hennessy and Friends skipped a Fringe year in 2013, but 2014 now marks their return to the Festival. Hennessy and Friends are a trio of comedy actors – Steven, Dave and Miranda – who combine to make a very funny sketch act. The show is a free one in Cowgatehead and is called ‘Murmurs’.

Whilst there is no one particular theme to show, it is tied together very well with jokes, and flows beautifully start to finish with recurring sketches. The actors take great care to portray a simple scenario on stage, before adding an unexpected twist to the situation to make it hilarious. Unique, quirky and original, the Hennessy and Friends sketches are ones to quickly fall in love with.

Hennessy and Friends started their run of festival shows on Friday, but have already seen both nights packed to the brim with eager spectators. Because it is a free show, we recommend getting down well before doors open to ensure a seat at this excellent performance. ‘Murmurs‘ is on at 19.30 at Cowgatehead, 65 Cowgate.

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