Tag Archives: Just the Tonic

Punchline Quizzes Barry Ferns

11 Jul

Photograph of Barry FernsWho puts your pants in the washing machine?

Nobody puts my pants in the washing machine. I get a Scottish washer woman to clean them by hand every night and to starch them in the morning. I recommend it. There’s nothing like a recently starched pair of Scottish pants.

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

Marble Obelisk. Tidy Face. Pompidou.

Tell us about your favourite addictions.

Green tea. I have no idea what quirk of boring fate makes green tea one of the things I enjoy most in life, but it is. Green Tea. Addicted.

What´s your favourite comedy routine of all time?

Bill Bailey pumping out the BBC News theme tune like he’s at a post-apocalyptic rave.

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

I love the baked potato place on just off the Royal Mile. Brilliant baked potatoes. Cheap. Happy. Cheerful. Baked. Potatoes

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

“Do you consider yourself a Real Man, or a Fake Man? Because a Real Man would follow me out of this club and back to my house right now.” The person then walked out of the club. I didn’t follow them. They scared me.

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

Your friends are the best way to get through the hardest times. Even if your friends are other comedians that are getting nominated for every comedy award under the sun.

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

The Two Chuckle Brothers – about finding out that I am actually the real Barry Chuckle and the other one is a Russian Spy here to infiltrate CBBC.

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

I ended up accidentally being driven to Edinburgh one year to perform at So You Think You’re Funny. I thought I would miss my heat, but Melanie Miller of the Red Rose Café was going up that VERY night. If I hadn’t gone and done that – I might not be (exacly) where I am today.

Who are you most excited about seeing this year?

I am inordinately excited to see Masud Milas’ show. I haven’t managed to see it in preview, and I hear it’s brilliant. Also – Daniel Kitson makes me giggle outside. Jen Brister makes me giggle in the porch.

What can you definitely advise us against doing in Edinburgh?

Do not, under any circumstances, do a gig on top of Arthur’s Seat every single day of the festival. That would be an insane idea. You would wear down the cartilage in your knees and get very cold and wet more days than not. I did it in 2012 (and 2013 because I’m a slow learner)


Catch Barry Ferns: Barry Loves You at Just The Tonic at The Tron at 9pm, 3 – 27 August (not 13)

An hour of entertainment on what it is like to be the human being Barry Ferns living life in the 21st century*. Here is previous review for a previous show: ‘A marvellous, personal, beautifully constructed, laughter-packed hour’ **** (Scotsman). *This century.

Punchline Quizzes Tom Ward

5 Jul

Photograph of Tom WardWho puts your pants in the washing machine?

I f**king do, what do you take me for?

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

My sister every time she rings me puts on an uptight Leeds accent and says ‘Is now a bad time?’ and it immediately becomes one. How many people don’t realise it’s how you say things not what you say?

Tell us about your favourite addictions.

I am proudly a non-smartphone user and always have been so I’m not one these losers shuffling around unable to get offline and taking pictures of myself. I am loser for other things though, the classic stuff – alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, late 80’s indie and a total inability to accept getting older.

What’s your favourite comedy routine of all time?

Probably Cardinal Burns’ sketch of drug casualties Dean and Murf from Manchester, it has me doubled up with laughter that, which is rare. I also love Ben Elton’s stuff about the ‘reality gap’ between adverts and the real world from his 1989 tour.

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

‘This guy is terrible’ was pretty weird considering I was having a very good gig. I flicked him the finger as he got up to leave.

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

That it isn’t about you, you can never be the number one, you will always, always be a worker ant, and even if you glimpse glory it’ll soon be followed by another test. You are just a regular wanker drowning in your own desire. And desire = misery.

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

Cardinal Burns cos they’re the best thing ever. It would be set in a charity shop and they’d be two gay men from the rival charity shop trying to ruin mine.

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

Meeting the flatmate of my two new friends Alex and Natalie in 2011, and he had tried open mike comedy the week before and told me I should. So I did. May not have done it if it hadn’t been for him. Then again I may have, cos if you’re meant to do something you probably do do it.

Who are you most excited about seeing this year?

Phil Kay, Daniel Kitson, my own sad face in the mirror after each instalment of this overly ambitious nonsense I’m doing.

What can you definitely advise us against doing in Edinburgh?

Don’t get taken in for questioning by Edinburgh CID due to mistaken identity on the penultimate night of the fringe, causing you to have your laptop, phone and clothes taken away for two weeks while checks are made. I don’t recommend it.


Catch Tom Ward: Popcorn Lung at Just the Tonic at The Mash House, 7.30pm 2 – 26 August (not 13)

On the back of last year’s critically acclaimed Love Machine and an appearance on Live from the BBC (BBC Worldwide), Tom Ward is going in for a closer inspection of his favourite themes: love, freedom and aloneness. Join the hip-haired one as he takes a look at the burgeoning “cutesy culture”, the myth of sunglasses, the cold slap of passport photos, the reality of sex parties, visions of an Uber vs black cab utopia, living alone and dancing with his mother. ‘A star in the making’ (Time Out). ‘A unique and genuinely exciting talent’ ***** (Herald).

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 Hagen 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

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