Tag Archives: Nick Helm

Punchline recommends Nick Helm: Phoenix from the Flames

6 Aug

Nick HelmWords by Suzy Romer

When I picked up my ticket for Phoenix from the Flames I was promised (OK… warned about) audience participation, swearing and nudity but the actual show is so much better than the sum of the parts. The glorious gruff superstar is back for his full Edinburgh run for the first time since 2013 and God it is good to see him again.

Many of his classic show highlights are present in their best versions. We enjoy some great songs that simultaneously transport and tantalise us because they are not available to listen again. We feast our eyes on a uniquely inventive stage costume that only Nick Helm could have designed with his own particular combination of mirth and majesty. His props are delightful and the big screen makes everything larger, funnier and more glamorous. As always, Nick’s material deftly balances light and dark, but this time in his bravest and most vulnerable moments, he has replaced his traditional poems with arresting truths about his most recent experiences with depression. Here we really see the skill and experience of a true comedy expert because he can take difficult material and give us the benefit his rich comic observations with some carefully chosen, lightly scattered gems of wisdom.

Nick Helm is one of a few wonderful men in comedy who dare to incorporate genuinely taboo subjects into their material and “find the funny” in a way that works brilliantly. It puts me in mind of Rob Delaney’s autobiography Mother Wife Sister.. (which deals with alcoholism) and Rhod Gilbert’s show The Book of John (which deals with IVF). In the age of debate about whether you can genuinely make jokes about any subject however hard, Nick Helm has started in the right place, with himself. If any of the jokes sound easy, it is because he has chosen to present them that way and there isn’t a lazy quip in sight. His comedy comes from a place of courage, not cowardice and that makes all the difference.

Buy tickets for Nick Helm: Phoenix from the Flames here

5.40pm | Pleasance Dome | Until 24 Aug (not 12)

See our original recommendation for Nick Helm here

Impertinent Questions for Nick Helm

14 Jul

Nick Helm

What is your favourite synonym for “bum”?

Arse.

Whose swearing makes you laugh the most?

My Mum’s.

Who should come to see your show and why?

There are a lot of shows up here. So many to see. So much to do. And that will all still be right there waiting for you once everyone has come to see both my shows first.

Who are you excited about seeing this year?

Paul F Taylor, Annie McGrath, Colin Hoult/Anna Mann, Jordan Brookes, Seann Walsh, Jen Brister, Rhys James. I don’t know, I don’t really like comedy.

Imagine you come off stage and find a wish come true. Which food/drink/present/person would be waiting for you?

All I want when I come off stage is for someone to just hold me in their arms, rock me back and forth and tell me everything will be alright and that it wasn’t all for nothing. That and a sausage roll and a Magner’s.

Describe your perfect day at the Fringe.

All shows cancelled due to electrical shortages. Then haggis.

How long does it take to come down after a show and how do you do it?

If the show goes very badly then surprisingly no time at all. I don’t really need to “come down” after a gig anymore, but if it goes well, I try to enjoy it for as long as possible. I think it’s important to mark a personal achievement in some way and celebrate the little things in life, before some cunt comes along and ruins it.

In the game “Would You Rather?” what’s the hardest choice you have had to make?

What I’ll watch on Netflix instead.

What’s your favourite Brexit metaphor?

I thought it was funny when Brexit was being initially floated that the politicians kept saying if we leave Europe then we’ll hold all the cards. It depends what game sure, but usually if you’re playing cards and you’re holding all of them, it means that you are shit at cards.

Who or what helped you believe you were going to make it in comedy?

My Mum, my Dad and Jimmy Carr.

Tell us something your agent doesn’t want us to know.

I’m a softly spoken, mild mannered, nerd from Hertfordshire.

Buy tickets for Nick Helm: Phoenix from the Flames here

5.40pm | Pleasance Dome | 31 July, 1-11, 13-24 Aug

Buy tickets for Nick Helm’s I Think, You Stink! here

9.45pm | Assembly Roxy | 31 July, 1-11, 13-24 Aug

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

Punchline’s Top 10 Comedy Shows for the 2014 Fringe

13 Jun

The Edinburgh Fringe is famous for its vast variety of performers taking to the stage in just one month, so how could we possibly narrow it down to 10? Well, here it is, Punchline’s Top 10 shows for the 2014 Fringe:

1. Bridget Christie: An Ungrateful Woman

Last year’s big winner of the Edinburgh Comedy Award. Grab a coffee instead of a pint (it’s on at 11am), and spend an hour with one of the funniest and most life-affirming comedians on the Fringe. Buy tickets here

2. Cardinal Burns

No doubt destined for greatness. You may have seen their TV series but they are EVEN BETTER live. Their off-the-wall and increasingly dark shows have always been popular at the Edinburgh Fringe so make sure to catch them before they get too big for it! Buy tickets here

3. Lucy Beaumont: We Can Twerk It Out

We’re particularly excited about Lucy’s debut show at the Fringe this year. She has won a plethora of awards including the BBC New Comedy Award. Like a kitten with really sharp claws. Buy tickets here

4. Felicity Ward: The Iceberg

We’ve been banging on about Felicity for years and she continuously gets better and better. Outrageously hilarious stories and shriek-inducing observations, definitely a hot ticket this year. Buy tickets here

5. James Acaster: Recognise

Whimsical whilst wearing knitwear, James Acaster is a fantastic act. He weaves make-believe tales in with bizarre refrences and of course, is a two-time runner up for the Edinburgh Comedy Award. Buy tickets here

6. Susan Calman: Lady Like

A favourite on Radio 4 and a loveable story-teller who everyone will immediately warm to.  Calman is a sure fire, strong candidate to please everybody. Buy tickets here

7. Abandoman: Hot Desk

So slick you’ll think it’s all been planned before the show. But it can’t be! Abandoman will enchant you with improvised rap – go and find out for yourselves. Buy tickets here

8. Lloyd Langford: Old Fashioned

Slightly grumpy, very silly and one to watch, expect childish yet sincerely clever humour from Lloyd Langford. Buy tickets here

9. Dave Griffiths: C U in Court

Something a bit different – listen to Dave’s engrossing story of taking on the big boys. It’s being made into a feature film so here’s your chance to catch it live. Buy tickets here

10. Nina Conti: Work in Progress

Laugh out loud funny, Nina and Monk return to Edinburgh for a delightful and outrageously rude show. You’ll love it. Buy tickets here

We’re also looking forward to seeing David Trent, Tiernan Douieb, Luke McQueen, Hennessy & FriendsEleanor Morton and Ellie White.

We have already got our tickets for Fringe heroes Will Adamsdale, Adam Riches and Nick Helm!

Look out for our Guide to the Free Fringe coming soon, and we will let you know about new shows as soon as we discover them throughout the Fringe.

Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominees Announced

22 Aug

Words by Susan Ford Seann Walsh

We were very pleased over at Punchline to hear that our next headliner Seann Walsh has been nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award, and wish him the best of luck come Saturday.

Also nominated is previous Punchliner Nick Helm, as well as some of our favourite comedians from this year’s Fringe: Carl Donnelly, James Acaster, Max and Ivan, Mike Wozniak and Bridget Christie have all been announced as contenders today.

Nominated for the very exciting Newcomers Award are Aisling Bea, John Kearns, Liam Williams, Matt Okine and Romesh Ranganathan.

The Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards are now in their 33rd year and are one of the most respected accolades in the world of comedy. Steve Coogan won the award in 1992 (known as the Perrier), and will be responsible for announcing the winner of the Award and the £10,000 prize at lunch time this Saturday.

It’s all very exciting!

Punchline Recommends: Nick Helm!

21 Aug

Words by Susan Fordnickhelm

One Man Mega Myth!

Nick Helm headlined the second Punchline show, and performed quite possibly the most raucous night we’ve seen yet. Helm is big in personality and as equally big in volume, so be prepared for a proper riotous show and hilarious good time as Nick Helm presents his Edinburgh Fringe show ‘One Man Mega Myth’

In 2011, Helm won Dave’s Funniest Joke Award, and has just been announced as a contender this year for the Edinburgh Comedy Award: we recommend you catch him now before he hits stadium level. Helm gives his utmost everything to ensure his show is a loud, energetic and fun one, but most of all, to ensure the audience is always on the edge of their seats anticipating what will happen next.

“Do you like jokes?” screams Helm multiple times into the front row; and then the show has started, a long line of gags and manic scenarios. Helm sings (with the aid of a band made up of audience members), recites poetry, and tells emotional anecdotes in amongst his jokes, creating a variety show second to none. He delivers it all with his trademark anger and revealing costumes, meaning the production is as visually wonderful as it is funny.

Russell Howard quoted Helm as “the funniest break down I’ve ever seen”, and at a first glance that’s exactly what is happening! At a second glance however, it’s clear to see Helm has scripted his set absolutely magnificently to represent a style of angry and dangerous comedy unique only to himself. One Man Mega Myth is one of the most exciting shows on this year’s Fringe, full of props and extreme showmanship, but above all, is utterly hilarious from start to finish.

Nick Helm is on every day in Pleasance at 4pm, with tickets still available.

Punchline’s Top 10 Comedy Shows

4 Aug

felicity ward

It’s difficult to narrow down our top picks for this year’s Fringe, but here is Punchline’s Starter for 10 (in no particular order):

Nick Helm is the only person in the comedy world who can get away calling himself a “One Man Mega Myth”. Those who came to October’s Punchline won’t need convincing. You will be part of the show but you probably won’t mind.

Boy with Tape on His Face is a delightful hour that’s original, funny and touching. It’s also a good one if you have any visitors who don’t speak English as a first language.

Felicity Ward One of Punchline’s Top 3 last year, Australian comic Felicity Ward is laugh out loud funny. She covers various subjects and you kind of feel like you’re chatting to her in the pub, then find yourself crying with laughter.

Joe Lycett is delightful and very funny, with a sting in his tail. He’s going to be a comedy superstar so get in now.

Josh Widdicombe is fast becoming a household name, as seen on Last Leg and Mock The Week.

Andrew Lawrence is one of the best comedians full stop. Go and see him.

Local lad Iain Stirling is a Bafta-nominated presenter and Chortle-nominated comedian, returning home to bring you a new hour of standup.

Ivan Brackenbury is the hapless hospital radio DJ who plays pumpin’ but inappropriate songs. Be advised to pay in advance as he has queues around the block already.

Susan Calman is here until 12 August, doing a work-in-progress show. Clever comedy and personal stories from an inspiring performer.

Seann Walsh is another Punchline favourite – will this be his big year?

Other recommendations: David Trent, Aisling Bea, Carl Donnelly, Pat Cahill, James Acaster, Claudia O’Doherty & Romesh Ranganathan

We’re hearing good things about John Kearns – let us know what you think!

Matt Richardson is not doing a Fringe show but he is appearing on a couple of late night shows and he’s well worth a look if you can find him.

Comedy Reserve has four bright young things including Punchline’s own John Hastings, and Comedy Zone has the excellent Lucy Beaumont and Carl Hutchinson (who also has his own solo show).

%d bloggers like this: