Tag Archives: Gilded Balloon

Punchline Quizzes Zoe Lyons

6 Jul

Photograph of Zoe LyonsWho puts your pants in the washing machine?

My wife. I’m not allowed near the laundry these days because I do it wrong apparently. There is always one solo sock left in the drum when I do the washing. I like to think that we haven’t lost one but rather they are breeding in there and we have actually gained one. I can’t fold towels either. It took getting married to discover this awful void in my skill set.

Which words make you giggle or give you an inner flip of amusement?

I like the word slacks, as in the trousers… slaaaacccks. It sounds so 70’s. Also very fond of the Dutch word for slippers, pontoffel, how cute is that?

Tell us about your favourite addictions.

Cheese is a big one. According to my mother I could say cheese before I could say mama. I can spend a happy hour just browsing in a continental supermarket cheese aisle. And of course cheese wouldn’t be the same without a little wine.

What’s your favourite comedy routine of all time?

Probably Dave Allen’s routine about teaching a kid to tell the time. He was an absolute master of storytelling. A large part of his telly show was him, suited, sitting in a chair with a whisky and cigarette on the go and just talking and it was brilliant. Imagine trying to convince a channel to show that these days.

Where is your favourite place to go for food during the Edinburgh Fringe?

The Witchery has been a favourite over the years, I love its gothic splendour. I imagine I am a vampire on a nice night out.

What’s the weirdest thing an audience member has ever said to you?

“Can I lift you up”? I politely declined the offer.

What have you learned about life through performing at the Fringe?

Don’t get too distracted by what other people are doing. I can guarantee they’re not thinking about what you are doing.

If you could be in a sketch with any two living comedians, who would they be and what would the sketch be about?

John Cleese and Bette Midler dressed as vikings breaking the news to me that I am not their natural daughter but rather they stole me on one of their invasions and me resolutely refusing to accept the news in the most British way.

Tell us about a coincidence or piece of luck that led you to where you are today.

I don’t think luck has played a leading role in this production. I can’t think of one incident where it influenced my future. Who knows, maybe my big lucky break is just around the corner (but probably not).

Who are you most excited about seeing this year?

It’s always good to take a complete punt and see people you have never heard of before so I look forward to being surprised. To be honest I haven’t even flicked through the brochure yet but that is not unusual for me. I am normally in complete denial that the festival is happening and I am part of it until I get off the plane in Edinburgh. Then it becomes very very real.

What can you definitely advise us against doing in Edinburgh?

Staying out until 5am every day. I did that one year in Edinburgh and I was a husk of a human by the end of the Fridge.

 

Catch Zoe Lyons: Entry Level Human at Gilded Balloon at The Museum at 5.15pm, 1 – 26 August

As seen on Live at the Apollo (BBC Two), Mock the Week (BBC Two), Room 101 (BBC One) and regularly heard on BBC Radio 4’s News Quiz, Just a Minute, The Now Show and plenty more. This hugely popular comic returns to the Fringe with a fresh crop of quick-fire observational gags, delivered with utter conviction not to mention ‘proper laugh-out-loud one-liners’ (Herald). ‘Lyons is on top of her game: in command of her material, her audience and her stage’ **** (Chortle.co.uk). ‘An hour of intelligent observations and hilarious character comedy’ **** (ThreeWeeks).

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Laura Lexx Answers Punchline’s Increasingly Inquisitive Questions

3 Jul

Photograph of Laura LexxWho puts your pants in the washing machine?

Usually me but if I have guests round I think it’s rude not to offer.

Which words make you giggle or give you an inner flip of amusement?

I like the phrase “underlying understanding”. What a lovely quirk of language that is.

Tell us about your favourite addictions.

Firstly tea: I love tea and I think it’s the only thing I’m genuinely addicted to – I get terrible headaches without the caffeine.

I also have a love of plants and buying seeds and plants – far more than I have space for but I just don’t seem to stop buying them!

What’s your favourite comedy routine of all time?

Phil Jupitus doing an impression of Eddie Izzard doing material about Darth Vader. It’s from We Know Where You Live, Live! It is a dream of layering, impressions and clever material.

Where is your favourite place to go for food during the Edinburgh Fringe?

The City Restaurant; get the maxi breakfast and thank me later when you’ve cleared your arteries enough to speak again.

What have you learned about life through performing at the Fringe?

That nothing matters and we’re all wasting our time in some way so why not waste it at the largest arts festival in the world?

If you could be in a sketch with any two living comedians, who would they be and what would the sketch be about?

I would like to work with Rob Delaney and Tim Minchin and I’d like the sketch to be about rainforests because then we could get Attenborough to cameo.

Tell us about a coincidence or piece of luck that led you to where you are today.

I went to Kent University because I wanted to do an undergraduate masters in writing for radio, then in my first year they cancelled that course. Then I started improvising with some guys who went on to become The Noise Next Door and I thought “huh, performing comedy is fun” and so I did the masters in Stand Up instead… then I got my only other addiction.

Who are you most excited about seeing this year?

Adam Riches, actually. I just find his shows so fun and that’s really what I look for in Edinburgh to blow off steam.

What can you definitely advise us against doing in Edinburgh?

Ooh, I’d avoid Shakespeare done by American schoolchildren and defining your worth as a person by the opinion of strangers.

 

Catch Laura Lexx: Trying at Gilded Balloon Teviot at 5.15pm, 3 – 26 August (not 15)

‘One can only hope there’s some life-altering catastrophe around the corner for Lexx’ (BroadwayBaby.com). Luckily, the award-winning comedian with ‘superb material, brilliant delivery and irresistible personality’ (**** TheWeeReview.com), has had a breakdown. Laura spent 2017 trying to get through therapy, trying the patience of everyone and trying unsuccessfully for a baby. She’s done trying now; it’s time to laugh. As heard on BBC Radio 4 Extra and Absolute Radio. Winner: Best Compere, UK Comedy Awards 2017. Amused Moose Comedy Award finalist 2016. ‘Exceptionally funny’ **** (One4Review.com). ‘A joy’ (Independent). ‘Real comedic steel’ (Guardian).

In the Hot Seat: Edd Hedges

7 Aug

Photograph of Edd HedgesClose your eyes and picture Edinburgh. What do you see?

The Gilded Balloon. It’s the best place in Edinburgh I think. It’s like sexy Hogwarts. For me it’s like the home of comedy during the Fringe and the team who work there are the coolest people in the world. I normally just run around it until an adult tells me off.

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

I’ve just moved into my flat for this year’s Edinburgh with my friends and fellow comics Adam Rowe and Dimitri Bakanov. There was a skate board. I’ve never seen three grown adults have more fun with a bit of wood on wheels.

Tell us about this year’s show.

It’s a true story about the scariest night of my life. It happened last year and I kind of kept it to myself and didn’t tell anyone until this year. The first person I told was my best friend and comedy sister Sofie Hagen. When I told her she asked if she could direct it and it’s just snowballed from there. I’m really proud of it and I’ve had so much fun traveling up and down the country with Hagen trying it out and working in cafes late at night. I’m just super excited to start showing it to people!

Who do you want to see this year?

This year I’m really excited to see Sarah Kendall, Dane Baptiste and Sean McLoughlin. They are all amazing!

Do you have any Edinburgh Fringe traditions?

Every year I get a baked potato from the Tempting Tatti. Chicken tikka, cheese, and half a tub of butter. Followed by my second fringe tradition – chest pains.

What is your getting ready music?

I don’t really listen to music pre-show. I like to be talking to someone, it calms me down a bit more. It’s a real problem with me. I get too excited and then I spend the first 30 seconds onstage smiling and hyperventilating. It’s good to just be chatting about the weather then go on and calm and happy.

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

Harambe

What is the best backhanded compliment you have had?

I did gigs in Germany a year ago. In the show I said ‘this is the first time I’ve performed in Germany’ after the show someone said ‘it was actually ok considering this is the first time you’ve ever performed stand up’

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

A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Billy Connolly and Father Ted.

What should Donald Trump know?

LOADS. Like. Ok. Have you seen House of Cards? I’ve been watching it and thinking there’s no way Donny-T knows all that stuff. There’s so much stuff to know!

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

You mean besides the stranglings?

Catch Edd Hedges: Wonderland at 4pm at the Gilded Balloon throughout August

The Best Shows at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe

28 Jul

The magic is about to start again and it’s time for your annual menu of events from Punchline. It includes some discoveries since last year as well as some classics. No doubt this year’s discoveries will become classics by next year…

 

Larry Dean: Farcissist

Pleasance Courtyard, 7.15pm

Remember the ice challenge on Facebook? Larry Dean is like that on stage; refreshing, surprising and occasionally shriek-inducing. He’s also as soft as a teddy and hard as nails. Larry will be the next comedy superstar. @larrydeancomedy

 

Richard Gadd: Monkey See Monkey Do

Banshee Labyrinth, 9.45pm

This is a tricky one to recommend because it’s not your normal comedy show. We don’t often use the word edgy but we will for this boundary-smashing comic. We can’t tell you what it’s about as it will spoil the show but as the man himself said, there will be walk outs. @MrRichardGadd

 

Sofie Hagen: Shimmer Shatter

Liquid Room Annexe, 7.50pm

Go and see the “Guilty Feminist” presenter whose podcasts might change your life. She keeps it real and gives you a new angle, reminding you that there’s another way to see the world. If you want to enjoy her wry intelligence ahead of the show, follow her on Twitter @SofieHagen.

 

Adam Hess

Heroes @ The Hive, 4.10pm

Adam Hess is the best supplier of free jokes on Twitter. With his bouncing energy, he is one of the main players in the much needed upcoming comedy yoof. His star is rising, so see him now if you want to show off about it in a few years’ time. @adamhess1

 

Jack Barry

Just the Tonic at The Mash House, 6.40pm

Jack’s self-depreciating, friendly manner belies his clever, occasionally twisted mind. He gives the impression of being your mate as he shares his personal view of the world and you’ll be reminded of what he said for days after the show. If you like a bit of sneaky profundity, he’s your man. @JBazzler

 

Fern Brady: Male Comedienne

The Stand, 12:10pm

We wouldn’t like to get into a fight with Fern Brady but we would kind of enjoy being defended by her. Sharp as a knife, with a style that’s different from other comics, you can’t categorise her in any of the comedy ratpacks. Surf on a new comedy wave with Fern Brady. @FernBrady

 

Casting Call Woe

Gilded Balloon at the Museum, 4.30pm

A privileged glimpse into the crazy world of minor acting roles where lazy scriptwriters let loose all their prejudices at once. The show is based on twitter account and viral blog sensation @ProResting. You’ve got to see it to believe it, and even then you won’t believe it. Each day, a different guest attends to share their most outrageous audition stories, so if you think you’ve had a bad day at work …

 

Burnistoun Live at the Fringe

Gilded Balloon, 9pm (4 – 16 August only)

Get along to this sketch group which pokes fun at the dodgier side of Scottish life. Don’t worry about how to pronounce Bunistonoun – it doesnae exist. A fairly rare opportunity to see these TV guys in an intimate setting. @Burnistoun

 

Then there are Punchline’s ALL TIME favourites:

 

Katherine Ryan (work in progress)

The Stand, 6.05pm (4-13 Aug only)

If you like the thrill of a fairground death-swoop ride and your laughs ripped out of you, Katherine Ryan will give you comedy that is as sharp and as terrifying as her heels. Be among the first to see her brand new material here. @Kathbum

 

Nish Kumar: Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Unless You Shout the Words Real Loud

Pleasance Courtyard, 8pm

Tolkein said that “The most improper job of any man… is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.” Nish Kumar argues that comedians should not be politicians but with sparkling charm and wit, he gives you a better commentary on life in the UK than anything on BBC news. He’s also fucking funny. @MrNishKumar

 

Cardinal Burns

Pleasance Courtyard, midnight (23 – 26 August only)

Of course they’ve been on TV, but these guys have hysteria-inducing charisma onstage. Expect high energy comedy from performers who just morph into each new character and blow you away again and again. But remember, don’t try these jokes at home. @CardinalBurns

 

Bridget Christie: Mortal

The Stand, 11am

Beloved Bridget is back, a sort of brisk-mannered guru whose guide to life has audiences of all descriptions in thrall. She’s silly, she’s profound… she’s just what you need to make your morning scintillate. Don’t miss the best part of the day. Originally this was supposed to be work in progress about death ‘but then we voted to leave the EU, which is worse than death, and so I’ve re-written it.’ @BridgetChristie

 

Birthday Girls: Sh!t Hot Party Legends

Pleasance Courtyard, 9.45pm

If you don’t know these gals yet then GET A WIGGLE ON because they are a Fringe fun one stop shop. The title of the show could be a list of word associations to describe their comedy – hot comedy in a party atmosphere with a surprising quantity of jokes about poo. Three legends for the price of one! @BdayGirlsComedy

 

BEASTS Present Mr Edinburgh 2016

Pleasance Dome, 7pm

Oh the delicious anticipation of ruthless competition and monumental, messy arguments as the three lads we know and love tussle to become Mr Edinburgh. Scientific research and anecdotal evidence concur on this; Beasts prove that nice boys are the biggest beasts of all. @BEASTScomedy

 

Luisa Omielan

EICC, 9.30pm (26 & 27 August only)

This show is a rally to joy and a celebration of wanting what we’ve got as well as getting what we want. We want Luisa and we’ve got her right here in Edinburgh, for two nights only! Catch hit shows ‘What Would Beyoncé Do?!’ and ‘Am I Right Ladies?!’ at the EICC @luisaomielan

 

Tom Binns

Assembly George Square, 8pm

Tom Binns is like a bottle of Bollinger. Actually, he IS dry and bubbly, but what we mean is it doesn’t matter how often you go back because you know you’re getting the best. He makes it look effortless but this is world class character comedy. @tombinns

 

Lou Sanders

Pleasance Dome, 8.10pm

Another corker of a title from our favourite meandering meditator. Don’t be deceived by the dippy demeanor. She can and does do whatever she wants and doesn’t give two hoots about what anyone thinks. Happiness is an hour with Lou. @lousanders

 

Share & enjoy!

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! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Punchline Recommends Aisling Bea: Plan Bea

8 Aug

photograph of Aisling Bea

Words by Suzy Romer

This is it. This is Aisling’s year. It’s hardly fair to judge anyone on the wet first night of the Fringe but she owned the audience as soon as they walked through the door.

This “gurl” takes us from a back yard in Kildare with her little sister to the bright lights of Hollywood. The Irish-American attitude to confidence and success underpins the show so neatly that you are carried along effortlessly on her stories about ambition and romance, shame and miming.

She makes the whole stand-up comedy thing look easy as she cuts through pretension and nostalgia, delighting us with personal stories as if she’s sitting telling them in your kitchen. But the joyful energy and fun of this show is the real thrill and I’ll wager she won’t get through the Festival without a standing ovation.

You can catch Aisling Bea: Plan Bea in the Gilded Balloon every night at 21:30.

Punchline’s Top 10 Shows at the 2015 Fringe

4 Aug

Bridget Christie: A Book For Her

Bridget presents a wake-up show in every sense of the term. Grab your coffee and start your day with one of the brightest talents on the Fringe.

11am at the Stand. Info and tickets here

Nish Kumar: Long Word… Long Word… Blah Blah Blah… I’m so Clever

Nish IS very clever but don’t let that put you off. His material is bang up to date and he politely challenges your assumptions with unforgettable charm.

7.15pm at Pleasance Courtyard. Info and tickets here

Katherine Ryan: Kathbum

Punchline reckons this is your last chance to see Katherine before she hits the big time. This gal is going places so catch her while you can.

4.25pm at the Stand 3 & 4 (across the road and down from the main venue). Info and tickets here

Aisling Bea: Plan Bea

Have you seen her before? Probably. She’s on the TV more than you think. If you’re after a an hour of solid laughs and feel-good comedy, make Plan Bea your Plan A.

9.30pm at Gilded Balloon. Info and tickets here

Beasts: Live DVD

 young men who will make you shriek with laughter.  One of the best  legal highs this Fringe.

4.45pm at Pleasance Courtyard. Info and tickets here

The Pin: 10 Minutes with The Pin

This duo have earned their stripes over the last few years at the Fringe and this year it’s going to be a tiger of a show.

7.30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard. Info and tickets here

The Birthday Girls: Party Vibes

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.

12.10am at the Pleasance Courtyard. Info here

Spencer Jones Presents: The Herbert in Proper Job

This man had the Machynlleth Comedy Festival audience in uproar and made the compere laugh so much he missed his cue. Now Spencer brings the show to Edinburgh to make you laugh like you did when you were a child. It’s so funny you might be sick.

9pm at Heroes @ The Hive. Info here

Lou Sanders: Excuse Me, You’re Sitting on my Penis, Again

This is literally a gift of a show. She’s one of the highlights of the free fringe so you will want to give her lots of money at the end. For an hour of silliness, borderline hysteria and stealth thought provocation, see Lou.

7.30pm at Laughing Horse @ City Cafe. Info here

Angela Barnes: Come As You Are

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.

8.15 at Pleasance Courtyard. Tickets and info here

A 2015 EdFringe Interview with Kai Humphries

3 Jul

Written by Susan Ford

Kai Humphries is so happy, he’s written a show about it for this year’s festival. And it’s not just a gimmick, Kai is genuinely one of the happiest and most likeable people you will ever meet. Not only is Kai a very funny comedian, but also spreads his joy over his jokes and through the audience. As Kai prepares for the Edinburgh Fringe, I caught up with him to discuss his new show ‘How to Be Happy’.

kaihumphries

Hello Kai, how are you?
Right now, I’m in my Pyjamas on a Thursday afternoon, I have to say, things can’t possibly be better.

Are you excited about performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year?
Extremely, not in an extremely excited bouncing off the walls like a crazy person, night before Christmas way, but in a chilled out “this is going to be freakin’ awesome” kinda way.

What have you been doing since last year’s Festival?
I’ve toured Europe, been to Dubai twice and been on 3 jaunts snowboarding, slinging jokes everywhere. But really, I go for my meal ticket.

Tell us about Punch Drunk Comedy…
You mean the best comedy gig in the world? It’s my baby, my venture with my brother to reignite the community spirit in my otherwise deprived home town of Blyth, once a month we turn out in force (300 strong on a Monday night) as we bring 3 of the world’s best comedians to an old social club concert hall. It’s more of a carnival than a gig.

How many years have you performed in Edinburgh, and what does the Festival mean to you?
6 years, the first year was to compete in some national competition finals, I hadn’t heard of the Fringe until I was up here in 2009 for the “So You Think You’re Funny?” competition and was instantly immersed in it with no warning. I came up for one night and ended up staying for the rest of the month. I haven’t missed a day of the Fringe since.

Tell us about your new show for 2015?
I’m going to use the hour to get to the route of my happiness; it’s a part of my personality that seems come up in every review of my comedy, it’s the one topic I really feel like I’m qualified to talk about. I’ll delve into the way I handle life, my outlooks and my relationships, analysing what it is that keeps me smiling and laughing my way through life and all of the things it throws at you.

What mood should the audience come to your show with?
Which ever mood they’re in when they arrive, whether that be drained from a hard week’s work, frustrated by city centre traffic, or simply getting out of the rain with no expectations and taking a punt on someone they’ve never heard of, it’s my aim to give everyone’s mindset a massage for an hour so they all leave with a big fat spring in their step.

IMG_0047

What is the best thing about the Edinburgh Fringe for you?
I live in Edinburgh and all of my friends in this industry, who live scattered all over the world, some as far as Australia, come over to visit. It’s like having a big house party that lasts a month and inviting all of my favourite people but instead of my house it’s the whole entire city.

What do your preparations for the Festival involve?
Annoying my flatmates and my girlfriend with “do you think this is funny?” every time something crosses my mind that could go in the show. My house gets really tidy and I become super organised because when I have a show to write for some reason every other area of procrastination has to be put out of the way first.

Will you be involved in any other shows this year other than your solo show?
Yes, I have the very prestigious honour of co-producing Set List, the Fringe’s number one concept show where acts get up and can’t rely on any of their crafted material, they have to riff with the Set List topics that appear on the screen behind them. It really is like self-harm for comedians, it’s exhilarating and terrifying but this risk taking ‘comedy without a net’ makes priceless viewing for the audience and an addictive adrenaline shot direct to the heart for the performers.

What other acts do you recommend we catch at this year’s Fringe?
Milo McCabe, Ronny Chieng, Carl Donnelly, Tom Stade, Daniel Sloss, Mark Nelson… if you go see all of those guys you’re going to have one hell of a good time this Fringe.

Follow Kai on Twitter/instagram: @kaihumphries or online www.kaihumphries.com.

Kai Humphries: How To Be Happy | 8pm | Gilded Balloon: Sportsman | 5th-30th August

Set List: Stand-Up Without a Net | 11pm (Midnight Fri-Sat) | The Stand | 7th-30th (not Mondays)

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