Tag Archives: Pleasance

Punchline recommends Larry Dean: Farcissist

21 Aug

Words by Iain McLaren

Most of us have had a bad date or two in our search for that special someone, but few can share those stories in the same hilarious and engaging manner as Larry Dean. Join him for an hour of honesty delivered by a someone with a keen eye for the funny side of life and an amazing ability to share it with everyone. This comedian is just coming in to the height of his powers, expect big things!

See our recommendation as part of the best 2016 Fringe shows here and see the man himself at the Pleasance Courtyard at 7.15pm every night until 28 August. Tickets and info here

Felicity Ward answers Punchline’s Burning Questions

19 Aug

Photograph of Felicity WardWhat is the best advice for a new performer in Edinburgh?

You will cry. It’s just a matter of when.

What is the best advice for a new festival goer?

You will cry. It’s a matter of when.

What do you have to have in your fridge during August?

The illusion that I will eat salad.

What is the weirdest after-show comment you have had from an audience member?

That was the first boob my son has ever seen.

Which living person would you like to spot in your audience?

A dying, philanthropist billionaire.

What is the best non-Fringe thing about the city of Edinburgh?

Everything. This city is in my bones.

How do you relieve Fringe cabin fever?

Swim in the pool. The rage of people using the lanes incorrectly really transports me from my fringe self-obsession.

Who or what last made you laugh like a hyena at the Fringe?

I saw Rose Matafaeo and Joel Dommett’s shows and I laugh so so hard. Honestly.

Tell us about your 2016 show.

It’s about a lady with control issues who loses her bag… mixed in with some jokes about mental health statistics, suicidal construction workers, women’s pockets and swimming.

What are the best shows at the Fringe apart from yours?

Shows I saw in Australia that are here that I loved were: Zoe Coombs Marr, Susie Yousseff, Nick Cody, Rhys Nicholson, Tom Ballard, Naht Valvo, The Blind Date Project. There are so many. I don’t know how anyone chooses.

When you go home and your friends say “How was Edinburgh?”, what will you say?

A lot less crying than usual. Which is all anyone can truly hope for. #blessed

 

Catch Felicity Ward: 50% More Likely to Die at 9pm at the Pleasance Courtyard until 29 August

BEASTS answer Punchline’s Burning Questions

18 Aug

Photograph of BEASTSWhat is the best advice for a new performer in Edinburgh?

 

See as much as you can.

What is the best advice for a new festival goer?

See as much as you can. Or alternatively, just come and see BEASTS every single day.

What do you have to have in your fridge during August?

Honestly, just milk. We cook next to nothing. It’s a steady diet of paninis and crisps. September is basically just sleeping and detox.

What is the weirdest after-show comment you have had from an audience member?

The other day an audience member came up and pressed a fiver into James’ hand, which was weird because they’d already bought a ticket.

Which living person would you like to spot in your audience?

Elvis (we still believe).

What is the best non-Fringe thing about the city of Edinburgh?

It’s just so ruddy bloody beautiful. Also, the queues in Primark are shorter here.

How do you relieve Fringe cabin fever?

A day out at the beach can make the world of difference.

Who or what last made you laugh like a hyena at the Fringe?

Phil Dunning. He’s brilliant and mad and very very funny.

Tell us about your 2016 show.

It’s kind of a pageant meets game-show meets sketch-show. The three of us compete for the title of Mr. Edinburgh 2016, and depending on who wins on any given night there are three alternative endings. It certainly keeps us on our toes.

What are the best shows at the Fringe apart from yours?

Birthday Girls’ new show is an absolute blast. Also we’re very annoyed we clash with Mr Swallow’s Houdini – we’d love to see that.

When you go home and your friends say “How was Edinburgh?”, what will you say?

“It was amazing. Now can we have a year off?”

 

 Catch BEASTS Present Mr Edinburgh 2016 at 7pm at Pleasance Dome until 29 August

Punchline Recommends James Acaster – Reset

16 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

Photograph of James AcasterIs it worth recommending a run of sell out

shows? Yes, definitely when it comes to James Acaster, because it would be an absolute crime not to. This multi-award nominee has never put on a bad show, and is consistently the highlight of the Fringe.  James Acaster is an absolute genius when it comes to writing a Fringe show, and proves again that he doesn’t need just one year to be ‘at the top of his game’, he has, and always will be, right there up at the top.

James Acaster always runs with a theme (this year being ‘reset’), and comes back to this theme throughout the show when you are least expecting it. It’s these reoccurring jokes, and the masterful timing that makes his performance so special. ‘Reset’ is a personal insight to James’s make-believe life, a whimsical fantasy that is just as surreal as it is cleverly written. There is absolutely no doubt with this year’s performance, that James Acaster is a very funny man, and a real festival treasure.

As I starting writing this recommendation, there were seats left for one date within the festival run, but I believe it now to be completely sold out.  If you find any tickets to see this comedy royalty throughout your time at the Fringe, I highly recommend it.

James Acaster performs ‘Reset‘ at 7.30pm at the Pleasance Courtyard until 28 August

The Birthday Girls answer Punchline’s Burning Questions

15 Aug

wp-1471333881847.jpgWhat is the best advice for a new performer in Edinburgh?

LOVE YOUR SHOW. You are the only person who has to do it every day. Only worry about the things you can control, which at the Edinburgh Fringe is next to nothing, so just try and have a nice time. Remember to pack vegetables and eat them every day or you will die half way through (wine is not a vegetable).

What is the best advice for a new festival goer?

Layers are your friend, Edinburgh is freezing on the outside but boiling hot whenever you step inside any venue. Check out the free fringe, there are some brilliant (and also some terrible shows) but they’re all worth seeing ‘cos they’re free! And obviously check out Birthday Girls, we’ll be here every year until we die and when we die visit our graves, we’ll be buried in the Pleasance Courtyard.

What do you have to have in your fridge during August?

Apart from vegetables our faves are: lemon and ginger too soothe our voices from all the hilarious shouting we do, Lucozade Sport because sketch comedy is technically a form of sport (and also it’s one of your five a day) and crisps. Cos we like our crisps ice cold.

What is the weirdest after-show comment you have had from an audience member?

A guy in the courtyard the other day told us that he HATES sketch comedy but he LOVED our show. We’re taking down the sketco haters one at a time.

Which living person would you like to spot in your audience?

Our Mums. We just want them to be proud of our life choices.

What is the best non-Fringe thing about the city of Edinburgh?

The Scottish breakfasts. So many great items you don’t get in an English breakfast. Tattie scones yes please.

How do you relieve Fringe cabin fever?

Walk up Arthurs seat and breathe that sweet Scottish air.

Who or what last made you laugh like a hyena at the Fringe?

Our Fringe Flatmate, Emma Sidi. She did a great performance piece in the kitchen with a mackerel and some lentils called ‘What Am I Gonna Have for Lunch?’.

Tell us about your 2016 show.

It’s called SH!T HOT PARTY LEGENDS! There’s sketches, dancing and shots. It’s raucous, it’s fun, it’s a party show!

What are the best shows at the Fringe apart from yours?

Mae Martin is doing a work in progress, Daniel Cook on the Free Fringe, Emma Sidi, Beasts in Mr. Edinburgh, Suzi Ruffell, Lolly Adefope.

When you go home and your friends say “How was Edinburgh?”, what will you say?

We usually need two weeks to recover the power of speech but when we do we will make very enthusiastic sounds.

Catch The Birthday Girls: Sh!t Hot Party Legends at 9.45pm at the Pleasance Courtyard until 28 August, and as part of Massive Lazy Girls at 11.30pm 24 – 26 August only

Lazy Susan answer Punchline’s Burning Questions

13 Aug
Photograph of Lazy Susan

Photo by Bobby Goulding

What is the best advice for a new performer in Edinburgh? 

Flyer and talk to people – you are the best person to sell your show. Commit to every aspect of your show when you perform it – your show will have flaws but try not to point out where they are. People will start coming if you do these things, so don’t worry about hype and PR and posters and all that. The one thing you have control over is your show, so just do the best job you can of that. Know that it’s very hard to do all the above so it’s ok if you don’t. Try not to flyer with the kind of earnest sincerity expressed in this answer. 

What is the best advice for a new festival goer?

Set off with an umbrella, snacks and a good knowledge of cash points. Set a timer to go off in February so you can still get tickets for James Acaster. 

What do you have to have in your fridge during August?

 The big four: butter, milk, veg, jam.

What is the weirdest after-show comment you have had from an audience member?

We’ve never had anything that weird that I can recall. Of course we get the backhanded compliment, ‘I don’t normally find women funny but you guys were alright’ fairly often, but that’s more wearisome than weird. 

Which living person would you like to spot in your audience?

Dolly Parton. I love her in the simplest, truest way. 

What is the best non-Fringe thing about the city of Edinburgh?

The landscape.  

How do you relieve Fringe cabin fever?

Going and exploring the above. Or getting a hair-cut. Very soothing. 

Who or what last made you laugh like a hyena at the Fringe?

It’s always going to be Lou Sanders. A classier idiot there is not. 

Tell us about your 2016 show.

It’s very compact and stylish. Perfect with a cocktail! Less evasively, it’s character / sketch / less categorisable bits. It’s called ‘Crazy Sexy Fool’ and this title is pretty spot on. What luck!

What are the best shows at the Fringe apart from yours?

Have not seen enough to be any authority here BUT we loved ‘My Name is Gideon’. Unique, unassuming and full of soul. You won’t see anything like it. 

When you go home and your friends say “How was Edinburgh?”, what will you say?

September – ‘Relentless. Knackering. Up and down.’ 

October – ‘Pretty good’ 

December – ‘Time of my life, I’m going again.’ 

Catch Lazy Susan: Crazy Sexy Fool at 7.15pm at the Pleasance Courtyard until 29 August and as part of Massive Lazy Girls at 11.30pm on 24-28 August

Punchline Recommends Felicity Ward: 50% More Likely to Die

12 Aug

Photograph of Felicity Ward

Words by Suzy Romer

Felicity Ward treats us to an hour of polished, friendly stand-up with steady laughs from beginning to end. The overall show is structured around an eventful day in London but she packs in all sorts of treats along the way.

She shares personal stories and wider truths, but crucially covers some topics that are rarely discussed in a kind, accessible way. Mental health and social relationships are explored with cheerful curiosity and there is no place for taboos or negativity. She provides laughs for everyone but she also creates a phenomenon where individual audience members go into special peels of giggles as they recognise ideas and feelings that Felicity has put into words for the first time.

I saw this show with a mixed-aged audience who had been utterly drenched in the queue beforehand. Right from the start, everyone was welcomed and brought into the comedy zone and this atmosphere of fun and funny was the perfect antidote.

Catch Felicity Ward: 50% More Likely to Die at 9pm at the Pleasance Courtyard until 29 August

Punchline Recommends: Rachel Parris – Best Laid Plans

11 Aug

Rachel ParrisWords by Iain McLaren

In “Best Laid Plans”, Rachel takes us for a walk through her adult life and discovers that it doesn’t quite add up to everything her six year old self thought it would be. She tells her story with a light touch, a few songs, and a lot of laughs.

Come for the laughs and leave a little wiser, lighter and with an understanding that help is never as far away as you think it is.

The show’s deeply personal story is one many people will recognise, and what’s more, it comes with the best message… No I’m not going to tell you what it is. You’ll just have to go and see it for yourself, and I thoroughly recommend you do!

Catch Rachel Parris at 6.50pm at Pleasance Dome throughout August. Click here for more information and tickets

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

9 Aug

Photograph of Nish Kumar

Words by Suzy Romer

Nish Kumar’s show is a joyous reunion with his Edinburgh audience; we have missed each other! It’s almost a rush of relief to hear someone talk sensibly about Brexit with unfettered intelligence. His enquiring mind and thorough research (think of Bridget Christie or Paul Sinha on History Revision, R4) combine to produce laughs, squeaks, winces and chuckles of recognition and revelation as he re-examines things we thought we knew from the media. How does he do it? Often by rephrasing ideas and recent events with sparkling wit and common sense, but this combination feels like some sort of prohibition cocktail in a “post factual age”. On several occasions, the audience breaks into spontaneous applause for his perfectly poised jokes with truth in their belly, and as anyone who knows classic Edinburgh audiences, that is the equivalent of a standing ovation anywhere else.

If you like programmes like Dead Ringers and The News Quiz (oh Sandi I miss you so much…), Nish Kumar is the next level. He explores the tricky topic of being happy to be British and trying to reconcile that with having any sort of knowledge of Britain’s dirty history of grabbing anything it can get its hands on from the rest of the world. (Have you ever noticed that the only British part of the British Museum is its name?)  It’s no easy task to make some of the material funny but Nish somehow brings a light touch even to tragedies which affected members of his own family. He leads us into difficult subjects using humour to enlighten us on our own censored history. He also gets his teeth into the “lad culture” of the ‘90s (does anyone apart from me remember Robert Newman and David Baddiel being dragged into it?) It is the first time I have heard anyone go back to analyse what was really going on and Nish’s elegant survey of what was essentially re-packaged old sexual stereotypes helped me to realise that the proponents of new laddism smelt like rats because because they were rats. THANK YOU Nish.

He tells us his show has a message for the first time which is to be angry with the right people. When it comes to explaining society’s ills, it’s so much easier to blame hipsters and immigrant neighbours (who are right beside us) for problems which are almost always caused by those ever-forgiven people, rich white men. The crucial follow-up message is that effective dialogue requires respect, and Nish Kumar is the champion of comedy with respect. Watch him as he leaves the prejudiced, self-titled “edgy” brigade in the shadows by simply shining more.  Perhaps his greatest gift to the audience is to get our intellectual cogs turning. They stay turning long after the show.  You will be hard-put to find a fuller exploration of subjects that we need to discuss right now, and there is no one who makes it more enjoyable than Nish Kumar.

Nish Kumar is on at 8pm at the Pleasance Courtyard throughout August. Click here for more information and tickets

Punchline Recommends: Birthday Girls – Sh!t Hot Party Legends

9 Aug

Photograph of Birthday GirlsWords by Suzy Romer

It is a truth universally acknowledged that April deadlines for Fringe Guide entries mean that show titles and contents usually bear no relation to each other. So it comes as a thrilling surprise that Sh!t Hot Party Legends is EXACTLY what you get and one hour is just not enough.  Complete with pumpin’ party hits and full-scale super group dance routines, it recreates all the joy of a night out on the town without any of the inconvenience of cloakrooms, toilets and petty theft. These club-related irritations are converted into cheeky chronological sketches which are mixed in with a veritable cocktail of comedy fizz.

They do a great line in parodies, pop into male characters with no trouble and get surprisingly scary when they unleash their talent for horror. They also induce snorts with their jokes about who runs the world and what to do about it. Rose does a number on Ian Rankin that has me squirming to think he might actually be around for the comedy drubbing.  Camille moves seamlessly from posh girl with a promotion to pervert with a B&B and everything in between. Meanwhile Beattie does her best to seduce a member of the audience, under the watchful guidance of her colleagues.

There is a lot of really smart stuff in here, especially when they send up marketing talk and get to the bottom of why women like shoes. The satirical brilliance is mixed in with delightful madcap nonsense and  all wrapped up in a total experience that is the answer to the craving that regular Fringe goers are always looking to satisfy.

Catch the Birthday Girls at 9.45pm at the Pleasance Courtyard throughout August. Click here for more information and tickets

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