Tag Archives: Fringe recommendations

Punchline Recommends: Beasts – Solo

31 Jul


Words by Suzy Romer

High-octane isn’t normally an expression used to describe a comedy sketch show but this year’s Beasts is a real adrenaline rush of wild things. It’s got sex, it’s got violence, and it’s got magic which is as good and bad as it gets. Directed by Tom Parry from Pappy’s, you can feel the energy, whimsy and good will that he brings to the production, but these guys are forging ahead with a style of their own.

The show is built upon my favourite sketch scenario of simmering tensions, rivalry and grumpiness between the performers. They begin with a sketch so simple it is like a melody picked out on the piano with one hand. The show gradually develops to symphonic effect and really, it’s unbelievable that three men can fill this compact performing space with such grandiose daftness. You find yourself sucked into their world of ambition, nostalgia and lightly bruised egos as they jostle for the position of top dog. There’s more than one surprise along the way; prepare to squawk.

This was one hell of a show to start my Fringe and I’m tempted to see it again as a finale. There’s nothing fledgling about this group. This is sketch comedy as it’s supposed to be and it brought the house down.

Catch Beasts – Solo at 4.45pm at the Pleasance Courtyard throughout August. Buy tickets here

Photograph of BEASTS

Director Tom Parry with BEASTS: James McNicholas, Owen Roberts, and Ciarán Dowd

An Interview with Zoe Lyons: Edinburgh Fringe 2014 Preview

8 Jul

Words by Susan Ford_MG_3256

You might have seen Zoe Lyons on Live at the Apollo and Mock the Week, but you’ve seen nothing until you see her live.  Zoe Lyons is not just a sharp and brilliant comedian, but also a lovely person.  I was hugely excited to be given the opportunity to speak to her on the build up to her 6th Edinburgh Fringe show ‘Mustard Cutter’…

Hello Zoe Lyons, how are you?
I am splendid. I am in my pre Edinburgh training build up. Doing previews and getting my head around the fact that the year has in fact whizzed around and it is almost festival time again.

Where will people recognise your name from?
Family members may recognise me from various gatherings over the years. Non family members might have seen me larking about on stage or wearing heavy make up on television.

How excited about performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe are you?
Very much looking forward to this year’s festival. It might be the last time I do the fringe for a while so I am really going to throw myself into it and enjoy all it has to offer.

We’ve loved your Fringe shows in the past, how many times have you performed in Edinburgh now?
That’s very sweet off you to say! This will be my sixth solo show at the Fringe. I think I am just about getting the hang of it now. This is the most relaxed I have felt pre festival. Let’s see how long that lasts!

Without giving too much away, what is your show about this year? Was there much mustard involved in the making of it?
My show has the very loose theme of being better. The only mustard that was harmed in the making of this show was spread liberally on the many midnight sandwiches that were eaten after gigs. Both mellow yellow and English mustard were used.

Have you been doing many Fringe previews, and how have they been going?
Previews have been going well. There is always one preview thrown into the mix that makes you question your very existence but so far so good.

What do you think is the best thing about the Fringe, and what are your previous highlights?
The festival can be a long month full of ups and downs. My first solo show was a real hard slog. I was getting very low numbers and I thought the month would never end. When the last week of the festival did finally arrive I was nominated for best newcomer and it made the whole thing worthwhile. I have seen some amazing shows at the Fringe over the years and met some brilliant people.

Who else do you recommend from the Fringe programme this year?
Anyone who hasn’t seen Sara Pascoe live really should go and see her show. She did my gig in Brighton recently and she really is brilliant.

Apart from your solo show, will you be involved in any other performances?
I will also be doing a play this year called “Outings”. It is rehearsed readings of people’s real coming out stories inspired by Tom Daley’s YouTube outing. Of course I will also be doing spots at various late night gigs as usual.

Zoe Lyons new stand up show ‘Mustard Cutter’ will be at 7pm at the Gilded Balloon from 30th July ­ 24th August. Book your tickets here

%d bloggers like this: