Tag Archives: Pleasance

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.

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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.

Punchline Quizzes The Pin

19 Jul

Photograph of The PinWho puts your pants in the washing machine?

A man called Ian Wentworth who we honestly can’t recommend.

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

Cackling too hard to answer this properly – we’ll let you guess which word set us off. (it’s ‘make,’ uh oh, off we go again!)

Tell us about your favourite addictions.

The sitcom Frasier and cocaine.

What’s your favourite comedy routine of all time?

Always sharing a little hug before we go on.

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

The Savoy Grill in London – hell of a commute but wow what a menu.

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

“My name is Ezekiel Prendergast, and am I a sorcerer and tailor of fine repute.”

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

Exploit the weaknesses of others and make good use of your tech time.

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

Tim Key and a clone of Tim Key and the sketch would be about how much to tip the waiter and how has Key been cloned.

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

We definitely wouldn’t be writing this in a waiting room in Carlisle if we hadn’t unluckily got on the wrong train.

Who are you most excited about seeing this year?

Ian Wentworth – gonna finally tell the guy to get lost.

What can you definitely advise us against doing in Edinburgh?

Trying to galvanise the community into re-instating the title of ‘King of the Scots’ and nominating yourself for the role.

 

Catch The Pin: Backstage at Pleasance Courtyard at 8pm, 1 – 27 August (not 11 or 20)

After three multi award-winning series on BBC Radio 4, ‘the next Mitchell and Webb’ (Times) are back at the Fringe with a brand-new show that’s ‘hysterical’ (Independent), ‘masterful’ (Sunday Times), and ‘gorgeously skewed’ (Guardian). Expect a ‘very classy, very funny’ (Telegraph) hour from the creators of BBC Three’s Oi, Leonardo! and writers for Famalam (BBC Three) and Tracey Ullman’s Show (BBC One). As seen on W1A (BBC Two) and Wannabe (BBC Three). ‘The most exciting new comedy duo working today’ (David Walliams). **** (Times). **** (Guardian). **** (Telegraph). **** (Sunday Times). **** (Chortle.co.uk). ***** (Skinny). ***** (List).

Punchline Quizzes Rosie Jones

18 Jul

Photograph of Rosie JonesWho puts your pants in the washing machine?

I do – my pants are currently in the washing machine as we speak! Ooo there’s nothing quite like the smell of clean laundry, is there?

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

So many words! In my Northern accent any word with a ‘u’ in sounds funny. ‘Bubble’ is one of my favourites; I feel a tickle in my mouth when I say it.

Tell us about your favourite addictions.

God, it’s quite embarrassing, but do you remember Candy Crush, the game that everybody was addicted to, about five years ago? Well, I’m still playing it. Every day. I’m on level 3350. It makes me feel a little queasy when I think of all the hours I’ve wasted on that game. But it relaxes me, and sometimes I need to escape into my little Candy Crush world.

What’s your favourite comedy routine of all time?

It’s a stone cold classic… ‘Four Candles’. My favourite routines play with words, and The Two Ronnies were insanely talented at this. In my own routines, I agonise over wording for hours on end. A joke is a jigsaw, and it’s my job as a comedian to provide the exact amount of pieces the audience needs to see the whole picture.

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

Mosque Kitchen – Every. Single. Day. I can’t tell you how nice it is, and the portion sizes are crazy generous. It’s also great when you need a big intake of veggies, which I sometimes forget to consume during the Fringe!

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

Usually, the audience is great, and at the end of a gig they say nothing but lovely things. But the other week somebody did come up to me and spent ten minutes mansplaining my own joke back to me…I was like, “yeh, I know why it’s funny, I bloody wrote it!”

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

I learnt so much last year: don’t start every single gig with a rum and coke, don’t let all your friends stay in your room during the most stressful month of your life and don’t stay out past five in the morning every day for a month! But the biggest lesson I learnt was to go with my comedy gut; if you find it funny, chances are, somebody else will.

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

Great, great question. So many choices, but I think I would have to go with French and Saunders. They are living legends and I grew up on a healthy dose of their sketch shows, The Vicar of Dibley and Ab Fab. French, Saunders & Jones…do you think they’d be up for that?!

I’d love to do one of their film parodies with them – their Silence of the Lambs sketch still cracks me up!

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

That’s interesting, I don’t think I’m here because of any coincidence or piece of luck, this has been seven year journey… actually, more of a twenty eight year journey! I am quite ‘lucky’ to have worked in the media industry (as a researcher) since I was twenty one, so I know a lot a lot of people in the business on a personal level… but that’s not really luck, that’s hard work.

Who are you most excited about seeing this year?

I’m excited to see so many people this year, it’s going to be quite a female dominated Fringe and a lot of my friends are taking their debut hour. My top picks are Heidi Regan and Sindhu Vee.

What can you definitely advise us against doing in Edinburgh?

Going out without a jacket or umbrella! Even if it looks sunny, chances are it’ll chuck it down at some point during the day. God bless the Scottish summer!

 

Catch Rosie Jones: Fifteen Minutes at Pleasance at 8.30pm, 1 – 26 August (not 13)

Rosie Jones is a comedian with a penchant for being mischievous. Her cerebral palsy doesn’t slow her down in the slightest. Catch her before she wobbles her way to stardom! As seen on 8 Out of 10 Cats and Silent Witness. Finalist: Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2018, Amused Moose Comedy’s National New Comic Award 2017. ‘It’s rare to see a comedian who exudes such joy’ (Steve Bennett, Chortle.co.uk).

Punchline Quizzes Micky Overman

17 Jul

Photograph of Micky OvermanWho puts your pants in the washing machine?

I do. What?

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

Anything old-timey, like when I hear ‘jolly good’ in the real life present. Also when someone uses the word ‘dumb’ for a compliment. That’s the best.

Tell us about your favourite addictions.

Sleep. I love sleep. I don’t get enough sleep. So, basically, coffee.

What’s your favourite comedy routine of all time?

Oh that would be one by Dutch comedian Bert Visscher, who did a routine about working in a flower shop that was so dumb (see?!) it made me cry laughing. I love it so much I made my friend watch it, and he has no Dutch so he was like: what fresh hell is this?

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

It’s boring but Mosque Kitchen.

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

No one’s said anything weird necessarily, but I did have a female audience member tell me they didn’t like female comics and I had to go: I’m on next. And you know what? I did not change her mind.

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

That it’s possible to feel all the feelings at the same time. And that I’m able to handle that, because I’ve got amazing people around me.

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

Hugh Laurie and Amy Schumer. I think. I have no suggestions what that would look like, because I’m sure that combination makes no sense. What’s Hugh doing there? I don’t know, I just really liked him in Blackadder.

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

My Canadian VISA expired which meant I had to leave the country resulting in me not knowing what to do with my life, and panicking decided to move to London to try stand up. That’s pretty lucky.

Who are you most excited about seeing this year?

All the amazing ladies who are debuting besides me this year. Off the top of my head it’s: Heidi Regan, Catherine Bohart, Sarah Keyworth, Sindhu Vee, Rosie Jones, Maisie Adam, Olga Koch. And that’s just the ones I can think of.

What can you definitely advise us against doing in Edinburgh?

Tell yourself you’re gonna be healthy and exercise and not drink too much. Come on.

 

Catch Micky Overman: Role Model at Pleasance Courtyard at 10.30pm, 1 – 26 August (not 13)

Rising star Micky Overman presents her highly anticipated debut show. Being a nanny and raising a teenage girl, Micky figures out how to set an example when she herself has made some pretty questionable choices. She’ll try and discover the best path to become a cool and collected human woman. Expect devastating honesty, a hint of silliness, a ton of good advice and some absolute filth. Nominee: Chortle Best Newcomer 2018. Finalist: Funny Women and Leicester Square New Comedian 2016. ‘A keen comic mind’ (Steve Bennett, Chortle.co.uk). ‘Brutal and dark’ (Bruce Dessau, BeyondTheJoke.co.uk).

Punchline Quizzes Owen Roberts

13 Jul
Photograph of Owen Roberts

Photograph by Ben Carpenter

Who puts your pants in the washing machine?
Me, I’m a grown up

Which words make you giggle or give you an inner flip of amusement?
Pamphlet, undercarriage and syllabub.

Tell us about your favourite addictions.
I’m addicted to peanut butter, baths, and kids’ TV from the early 90’s. If I could somehow combine the three, that would be amazing.

What’s your favourite comedy routine of all time?
Hans Teeuwen does a ventriloquist act where he makes a sock puppet eat a mars bar while singing ‘Knights in White satin’. It’s genius.

Where is your favourite place to go for food during the Edinburgh Fringe?
City Restaurant, they do a banging fry up and I’m in love with the lady who runs it.

What’s the weirdest thing an audience member has ever said to you?
“Your balls look weird.”

What have you learned about life through performing at the Fringe?
You can’t please everyone, someone will always hate your work, so ignore them and do it anyway.

If you could be in a sketch with any two living comedians, who would they be and what would the sketch be about?
Well this is awkward, because I’m in a sketch group called Beasts with two other guys, so I probably should say them. However I’m going to go with the Chuckle Brothers, and a sketch about the Hindenburg Disaster.

Tell us about a coincidence or piece of luck that led you to where you are today.
I started dating a woman who has a six year old child. That child has now written my show this year. If I hadn’t met her I’d be doing a very different show right now.

Who are you most excited about seeing this year?
Two members of Beasts are doing their first solo show this year, me and Ciaran Dowd, I’m really excited to seeing what his show’s like. I’m not saying it’s a competition but if his show is better I’ll cry.

What can you definitely advise us against doing in Edinburgh?
Just wandering around and seeing what takes your fancy. If you want to see something book ahead, loads of stuff sells out and you don’t want to be sat there with nothing to watch like a loser.

 

Catch Owen Roberts: I Let a Six-Year-Old Write My Show at the Pleasance Courtyard at 4.45pm, 1 – 27 August (not 13)

After a severe case of writer’s block, Owen has thrown caution to the wind and decided to let a child write his show for him. Kids are funny, right? What could possibly go wrong? She can’t spell, she can’t sit still for more than 30 seconds, and her ideas are wildly unrealistic to say the least. This show is about the weird stuff children think and how bloody difficult it is to work with them. From one third of sketch legends BEASTS: ‘A tsunami of silliness’ **** (Telegraph).

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