Tag Archives: Pappy’s

Punchline recommends Tom Parry: Yellow T-shirt

26 Aug

Words by Suzy Romer

Imagine a long hug from a best friend you haven’t seen for ages. Now put Beethoven’s Ode to Joy on in the background. That’s how joyous Tom Parry’s show is – for a whole hour! It’s stand-up, but not as you know it. In fact, there are so many interesting things happening that I leave with the distinct impression that there was more than one person on stage.

Photograph of Tom ParryYou know how you can usually tell whether the comedian wants to be there or not? Well, Tom Parry really wants to be there, like this show is especially for us. His unconditional love creates a party atmosphere before he’s uttered a word of his official set. There are two levels of genius at play here. Firstly, Parry is multi-talented as he knows how to stage a show; write positive, meaningful material; engage the audience’s hearts, minds and bodies and maintain an ever-varying menu of events. Secondly, he makes all these things look EASY with his cheery, bounding energy and down-to-earth sociability. There are very few people with the talent and sheer likeability to create such comedy alchemy.

As for audience participation, the very term sounds artificial when applied here. We are literally all together in the pub with Tom and some or all of us join in with the main events depending on his suggestions. He shares life stories, observations and curious ideas which are all linked in to the central theme of fancy dress but we don’t really notice because his vitality radiates through the whole room and we are in-the-moment with him. If you want an hour of brio in your life, be there and get the t-shirt.

You can see Tom Parry: Yellow T-shirt at 6.20pm at Just the Tonic at the Tron until 30 August

Punchline recommends Pappy’s Presents… The Secret Dudes Society

23 Aug

Words by Suzy Romer

Who needs to visit Hollywood when you’ve got Pappy’s Secret Dudes Society right here in Edinburgh? It’s a late show for sure, running from midnight to 2am but my goodness it’s worth it. Cinderella would kick herself for missing it. This is the hottest spot in town and they’ve got everything: Pappy’s themselves as multi-talented hosts, a resident band with matching kitsch shirts (half of The Spook School), marvellous resident sketch group Lazy Susan and an all-star line-up.

The Masters of Sketch

The Masters of Sketch and Friends

The wild atmosphere kicks in even before the show begins as Pappy’s chat to the audience from off-stage. Once we get started, we are asked if we want to know who’s in the line-up or if we want a surprise. One poor chap in the audience loses out to the almighty vote for SURPRISE. And this is a fascinating option because the audience is so star-studded that there is a genuine air of mystery about who we will be privileged enough to see tonight. On Monday 17th, this included Joel Dommett, Nish Kumar, Max and Ivan and the royal Katherine Ryan.

Were we sitting behind Joel Dommett’s parents? Isn’t Nish Kumar delightful and spot-on even when he’s a little bit more boisterous than usual? How cool was Max and Ivan’s fight? (THAT’S the Wrestling I LONG to see by the way – a big silly fight with all the best comedians… anyone?) Could Katherine Ryan publish her set so I can keep a copy of it on me to deal with dreadful people? Have all thirty-something British men seen Frozen? These are some of the questions that I have.

If you haven’t seen this show yet, it’s where you need to be. This isn’t cool like the conventional rebels at school who got wasted at school discos (what is cool about THAT?). This is proper cool and it’s the holy grail of Fringe experiences.

You can see Pappy’s Presents… The Secret Dudes Society at 23.55 at the Pleasance Dome on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th August

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

Punchline Alchemy

1 Jun

Comedians? Yes. Audience? Yes. So far so good. But what is it about Punchline that adds that extra something? We investigate with the help of Niall McCamley, drummer for The Spook School, comedian and Production Assistant at Punchline, and Matthew from Pappy’s, who headlined Punchline and who are about to be on our screens with their second series of Badults.

The Spook School are doing the music for Badults – how did that come about?

Niall: I met Pappy’s when they did Punchline in Edinburgh. I helped them find a stylophone for a sketch before the show and we got talking. We had a few pints post-show and Tom ended up asking for my number (I admit I did look ravishing that night). They came to see us play a show in London a few weeks later, then one day I got a text asking if we would record some potential theme tunes for Badults. One thing led to another and we ended up in a studio in Glasgow with Pappy’s and the Comedy Unit. We made some noise for them, they bought us lots of carrots and hummus, and then we took them to a local discotheque for jollies and dancing. It was beautiful.

Matthew: We met the Spook School backstage at Punchline in Edinburgh, they were fans of our comedy. Niall (from Spook School) got chatting to Tom (from Badults) and mentioned that he was in a band and invited him to a gig. Fate played the straight man and, when it came to do a second series of the show, we asked if they’d like to rerecord the theme tune.

Phil Pope, who is the composer of our theme-song as well as hundreds of other TV themes (and Spitting Image’s Chicken Song), came along to help produce it. Tom tried to play bongos but was rubbish. Then in the evening we went to see Spook School do a gig. It was a brilliant day. And the new theme song sounds great.

Is there something about Punchline that makes interesting things happen (on and off stage)?

Punchline EdinburghMatthew: Well it certainly seems so for us. As well as meeting Spook School; our friend Louis Decarlo came along to take photos and the evening ended with him taking a shirtless picture of us with David Trent, John Hastings and Charlie Baker (who kept his kit on, sadly).

Nick Helm, PunchlineNiall: At Punchline there is definitely a camaraderie between everyone backstage at the thought of these few people making the show happen and the masses of people waiting expectantly out front. A highlight on-stage was seeing Nick Helm clambering in and out of the crowd. He definitely smashed the fourth wall!







Badults Series 2 is on BBC3 tomorrow night at 10pm. Here’s a sneak preview:

The Spook School are currently touring The United States, but you can follow them on Twitter @spookschool for more news and gigs.

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