Tag Archives: Pleasance

Impertinent Questions for Nick Helm

14 Jul

Nick HelmWhat 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

 

 

 

 

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Impertinent Questions for Sara Barron

7 Jul

Sara BarronWhat is your favourite synonym for “bum”?

“My juicy peach”. Although I’ll admit that “rump trumpet” is a close runner-up.

Whose swearing makes you laugh the most?

A parrot’s.

Who should come to see your show and why?

Anyone except students, the un-waged and OAPs. That concession price really eats into my margins*.

*I’m joking, obvi, and only trying to prove that, in point of fact, Americans do understand sarcasm.

Who are you excited about seeing this year?

My therapist on a twice-weekly Skype sesh to cope with the stresses of Edinburgh.

Stand-up wise, however, I’d regret failing to mention the following powerhouses: Jess Fostekew, Lou Sanders, Luke McQueen, Rachel Fairburn, Josie Long, Ray Badran and Max and Ivan.

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

Riz Ahmed and City Café nachos.  Riz would take his time showing me who’s boss, then we’d say our goodbyes and I’d celebrate with nachos. (I’m trying my hand at a dry-August.)

Describe your perfect day at the Fringe.

It would involve sending this sort of text to my husband: “Show went great. Currently sat with a white wine in the courtyard, pouring over a Twitter spat between two of my enemies, both of whom are high-octane touchy after getting medium reviews.”

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

The come down, for me, is pretty fast. My bigger issue is trying to gear myself back up. I tackle the task with an episode of Rupaul, a chocolate-covered rice cake, and a meditation track I’m too embarrassed to tell you the name of.

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

Riz Ahmed or my husband.*

*Just reminding you a second time about Americans and sarcasm

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

My agent, my husband, the clarity of focus afforded to me by the kid, and also countless convos with my younger-than-I-am comedy mentors, Sara Pascoe and Nish Kumar.

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

I’m on a heavy pencil to be the next James Bond.

Buy tickets for Sara Barron: Enemies Closer here

8.30pm | Pleasance Courtyard | 31 July, 1-12, 14-25 Aug

Impertinent Questions for Catherine Bohart

6 Jul

Catherine BohartWhat is your favourite synonym for “bum”?

You can’t be funnier than “bum”. If you’d written a less funny word, I’d have chosen “bum”. Oh well. I’m going with “Booty”.

Whose swearing makes you laugh the most?

Elderly women.

Who should come to see your show and why?

Anyone, everyone, I’m not in a position to be picky. Bring your friends, your relatives, your enemies, I just want booties on seats.

Who are you excited about seeing this year?

Sarah Keyworth, Ahir Shah, Helen Bauer, Phil Wang, Liza Treyger, Michael Odewale and Sophie Duker.

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

Vegan duck pancakes/ Champagne / A car / Debbie Harry from 1979

Describe your perfect day at the Fringe

Breakfast at the Birchwood, Lunch at Mum’s, Ice-cream at Mary’s Milk Bar, do my show, drink in the Pleasance Dome.

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

I don’t think of comedy in the same terms as Class A drugs so I’m usually fine about ten minutes after. All it takes is some praise and a cereal bar.

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

Would you rather answer a Would You Rather Question or have someone kick you in the shin? Tricky, Tricky.

Whats your favourite Brexit metaphor?

Acaster’s Peppermint Tea on Mock the Week.

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

I took a Buzzed quiz and it said my dream job was comedian and they are legally binding.

Tell us something your agent doesnt want us to know.

No, I need her too much and she’s scarier than you are.

Buy tickets for Catherine Bohart: Lemon here

6pm | Pleasance Courtyard | 31 July, 1-12, 14-25 Aug

You can watch James Acaster’s Brexit metaphor here

Impertinent questions for Sophie Duker

3 Jul

Sophie DukerWhat is your favourite synonym for “bum”?

Peach. Soft and squishy for the win, baby!

Whose swearing makes you laugh the most?

Angela Barnes has a classic bit on swearing as a working-class girl. “What I lack in Hs I make up for in Fs”

Who should come to see your show and why?

If you like any of the following things: robust academic research, fried chicken, Lizzo, love stories, Pokémon, pornography or problematic faves, then this is absolutely the show for you. But come regardless. It’s funny, and funny is for everyone, even old white guys.

Who are you excited about seeing this year?

I pre-booked Phoebe Robinson for my day off, cause we clash so it’s my ONLY CHANCE. But I can’t wait to be secure enough in myself to see all the other talented comics debuting their first hours this year. It’s a fierce bunch.

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

My old Weimaraner, Casper, who ironically (for his name) is definitely dead.

Describe your perfect day at the Fringe.

Five stars for Venus across the board. I get given a key to the city that gets me into any show free, even the sold out ones, and a magic pill that will mean I can drink as much as I want in the artists’ bars without ever getting a hangover.

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

It can be anywhere from 0 seconds to three months. I chill my buzz with wine, women and song.

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

I find Would You Rather very easy to play, as I understand that it is entirely hypothetical. What stresses me out, for example, is deciding what to have for dinner.  

What’s your favourite Brexit metaphor?

Nope. Not talking about Brexit. Uh-uh. No way. Not today, Satan. 

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

My fairy comedy godmothers, who believed in me and got me invited to balls time and time again. They know who they are.

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

She had to buy me charcoal pills because I had food poisoning the day I debuted on Mock The Week and didn’t want to shit myself on set.

I don’t think Dara would have approved.

Buy tickets for Sophie Duker: Venus here

7pm | Pleasance Courtyard | 31 July, 1-13, 15-25 Aug

 

Punchline recommends Rosie Jones: Fifteen Minutes

19 Aug

Photograph of Rosie JonesWords by Duncan

Rosie Jones welcomes us warmly with a glint in her eye, ready to tease the audience with her sparkling wit and juicy surprises. She’s willing to take a joke to extreme lengths, Borat style, with gleeful enjoyment in the social discomfort of others. The fact that she has cerebral palsy is not in competition with her comedy but rather forms a central part of the creative process, and she is a comic force to be reckoned with. As the audience catch onto her style, she builds on the anticipation of her jokes with pulsating fun and she visibly relishes the shrieks and giggles that meet every surprise comment.

In the show she explores whether she would be funny if she were able-bodied Rosie with beautiful simplicity. She illustrates with utter clarity that every comedian brings everything that makes them them onto the stage, and any other comedian would struggle to make the same jokes as funny. Every once in a while a show makes a shift in your brain as you re-evaluate your assumptions. Hannah Gadsby did it last year and Rosie Jones did it this year.

Catch Rosie Jones: Fifteen Minutes at the Pleasance Courtyard at 8.30pm until 26th August.

Punchline recommends Ciarán Dowd: Don Rodolfo

17 Aug

Picture of Don Rodolfo looking thoughtful with swords sticking out of his chestWords by Suzy Romer

For an hour every night, Ciarán Dowd converts his venue into a box of delights. As soon as he fights his way onto stage, we are thrilled by his swishing sword, black frilled shirt and ravishing eye liner. Add in a Spanish accent (with Irish undertones), outrageous tales of derring do and a succession of filthy jokes and you have your evening made.

For anyone who has a hankering for a bit of Princess Bride, The Three Muskateers, Dangerous Liasons or Cyrano de Bergerac, this is an utter joy but he goes far beyond the format of any particular genre. Ciarán manages to simultaneously indulge every extravagant whim AND undercut his own cocky bravado with multiple layers of acting and jokes so pithy I wish I could memorise them and take them home. The pace of the show is phenomenal with wave after wave of new ideas, plot developments and theatrical devices, many of which are startlingly original and I say that with more than twenty five years of fantastic Fringe shows behind me.

You know you have attended an outstanding show when the audience spills into the fresh night air with energy and the vibrancy straight from the performer. I’d say we’d been Rodolfo’d but the man himself uses his name as a verb with a very different meaning. So rude. So good. Bravo señor!

Catch him if you can. Ciarán Dowd: Don Rodolfo is at the Pleasance Courtyard at 10.45pm until August 26.

Punchline recommends Kieran Hodgson: ’75

16 Aug

Photograph of Kieran HodgsonWords by Suzy Romer

Kieran Hodgson is a multi-talented writer and performer who masters any subject of his choosing. This year he provides a rich, frothy hour of comedy from the most unlikely of sources; the story of how the UK joined Europe. It turns out that there’s a heck of a lot we don’t know but that’s OK because we are treated to Kieran’s round-up of an actual shelf-load of books which he has absorbed, highlighted and dramatised to full comedy potential for our delight.

The script is thoroughly brought to life by marvellous impressions, gorgeous music, snappy lighting changes and Kieran’s ever-changing presentation of himself which veers between self-deprecating eye-rolling and unashamed flights of fancy. He is quick to point out his own errors of judgement and biases with cheeky asides that make the audience giggle.

It’s a great reminder that our perspectives are more flexible than we think, and that the ability to see different perspectives simultaneously is what we need to enjoy a joke as much as to get through political negotiations. There is no lazy disrespect for vulnerable targets here though, nor the desire to provoke anger and distraction from real issues and responsibilities. Instead, the show is a splendid attempt to get to grips with political events that affect us all and look for a kind, civilised way to take action. Forget the social media extremes and sensationalist headlines for an hour. Kieran does us the favour of reminding everyone in the room that whatever our opinions, there is always some common ground to let off steam and have a laugh. He finds the funny in whatever he touches and brings it to us in an easy-to-use format that makes the hour illuminating and highly entertaining.

Catch Kieran Hodgson: ’75 at Pleasance Courtyard at 8.15pm throughout August. Extra shows have been added at different times

Punchline recommends Darren Harriott: Visceral

15 Aug

Photograph of Darren HarriottWords by Suzy Romer

Spending an hour with Darren Harriott is as relaxing and entertaining as a great conversation with friends. His warm, easy-going manner has the audience laughing from his first words and before we know it, we are threading in and out of stories about his childhood and his current life in London. He constantly surprises us into laughter with his original viewpoint and adds a refreshing dash of common sense to unexamined cultural norms.

His flow and engaging energy never falter, which is a stunning achievement for a comic who presented his first full-length show at the Fringe last year. He talks about his experiences with an open simplicity of emotion that I have rarely seen, or rather felt. He deals with the difficult subjects of absent fathers and teenage gangs so that everyone in the audience can live the stories with him rather than merely glimpse an unrecognisable Other Life. He keeps his audience with him all the time by explaining references that different age groups might not get and we laugh together and at ourselves, not at each other. Darren Harriott combines intelligence and depth with a lightness of touch and flawless professionalism. I couldn’t ask for more.

Catch Darren Harriott: Visceral at The Pleasance Courtyard at 9.30pm througout August.

Punchline recommends Alex Edelman: Just for Us

12 Aug

Photograph of Alex EdelmanWords by Suzy Romer

When Alex Edelman introduces himself as a Jewish comedian who spends a lot of time in New York, I immediately think joyfully of comedy heroes like the Marx Brothers and Moss Hart. It’s a shock when it turns out that the abuse he gets online and in real life is as repulsive as it was in the 1930s. He opens with straight-down-the-line smart, funny jokes before introducing, with charming reluctance, the central thrust of this year’s show. Earlier this year, Bridget Christie firmly encouraged this non-political young comedian to confront the hatred of Trump’s world in his show.

This is where Alex’s comic genius comes into play. He does what many of us feel we should do and takes decisive action with civility and optimism. I don’t want to give much away but the particular way he goes about it is so funny, so true to his own unusual personality and so brave that by the end of the show you come out with a thrilling, not to say frightening, adventure behind you. The ending is so satisfying you can practically chew it.

Alex is an amazing story teller and shares delicious details about Stephen Fry, Prince William and the BAFTAs with wry generosity and a mischievous sparkle in his eye. His warmth and hard-won wisdom make it abundantly clear that he is going places quickly and that it would be a good idea to see him now while he is still in the delightful Cabaret Bar at the Pleasance.

Catch Alex Edelman: Just for Us at 8pm at the Pleasance Courtyard throughout August

Read Alex’s answers to Punchline’s questions here

Punchline’s 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Recommendations

7 Aug

Here they are! Our picks for this year’s Fringe. As usual, we advise you to see these acts live as YouTube just doesn’t do them justice.

Photograph of Alex EdelmanAlex Edelman: Just for Us

With sizzling stories ranging from Stephen Fry and Prince William to Nazis, this bright young comic sheds blazing light on current themes in Britain and the U.S.

8pm, Pleasance Courtyard

Tickets and information

Punchline Q&A

 

 

Photograph of Lazy SusanLazy Susan: Forgive Me, Mother!

An hour of comic perfection with a twist of horror that will stay with you long after the show. Who says sketch is harmless?

4.20pm, Assembly George Square

Tickets and information

 

 

 

Photograph of Darren HarriottDarren Harriott: Visceral

Easy going hour of top notch comedy from this incredibly assured comedian. Only in his second Fringe, he already has star quality. Get in there.

9.30pm, Pleasance Courtyard

Tickets and information

 

 

 

Lou Sanders: Shame Pig

An afternoon delight with material as fascinating as it is explicit. Lou has a charismatic charm that has to be experienced live.

12.30pm, Monkey Barrel

Tickets and information

 

 

 

Photograph of Rosie JonesRosie Jones: Fifteen Minutes

After years of comedy experience behind the scenes as a TV writer, Rosie Jones is making a killer start to her stand up career with an impressive supply of wicked one-liners.

8.30pm, Pleasance Courtyard

Tickets and information

Punchline Q&A

 

 

Photograph of Tim KeyTim Key: Wonderdate

Worshipped by many, Tim Key recently made a splendid short film, Wonderdate, for the BBC. This is the live show along the same lines.

11.15pm, Pleasance Courtyard from 16th August

Tickets and information

 

 

 

Photograph of Suzi RuffellSuzi Ruffell: Nocturnal

If you haven’t seen her on TV yet, you will soon. Suzi upped her game last year and this may be your last chance to see her in a smaller venue.

9.45pm, Pleasance Courtyard

Tickets and information

 

 

 

Photograph of Kieran HodgsonKieran Hodgson:’75

Kieran Hodgson reinvents himself yet again, this time with a new perspective on Brexit.

8.15pm, Pleasance Courtyard

Tickets and information

 

 

 

Photograph of Laura LexxLaura Lexx: Trying

Laura Lexx has reached a new level in life and comedy. She whetted our appetite with her fantastic Punchline Q&A and we can’t wait to see this year’s show.

5.15pm, Gilded Balloon

Tickets and information

Punchline Q&A

 

 

Photograph of Foil, Arms and HogFoil, Arms and Hog: Craicling

They have had a gazillion YouTube hits and deservedly so. High energy and polished sketches from this switched-on trio.

9pm, Underbelly

Tickets and information

 

 

 

Photograph of Felicity WardFelicity Ward: Busting A Nut

We’ve been banging on about her for years. If you have seen her you’ll know why; if you haven’t, get a wiggle on.

9pm, Pleasance Courtyard

Tickets and information

Punchline Q&A

 

 

Most shows are on every day until 26th August and some have a day off. Please double check details and availability with the venue.

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