Tag Archives: Tom Parry

Punchline recommends Tom Parry: Parryoke!

12 Aug

Words by Suzy Romer

If Tom Parry’s name is attached to any show as a writer, director or performer, you can guarantee it will be a great laugh. Parryoke! is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy an hour in the vibrant, effervescent company of the Renaissance man of comedy.

This is his most strictly stand-up show so far, even more so than his last solo show. He tells some memorable anecdotes, shows us some unforgettable photos and connects with us through ever-so-gentle audience participation which even the most entrenched introvert will love. There are plenty of ‘nineties references which, far from being simply nostalgic, are tied into an exploration of wider themes, and he provides new laughs on the subject of Christmas presents, weddings and football. Then there’s the actual singing (never too much and always funny) and the richest comedy material about karaoke I have ever heard.

This is smart, sparkling feel-good comedy which is deliberately presented with no dark side; perfect for anyone who wants the comedy equivalent of a good pub with no TV news screens. Our multi-talented host knows exactly how to use his arts to bring us together for an hour of non-stop fun, and there are smiles and laughs all round.

Buy tickets for Tom Parry: Parryoke here

6pm | Pleasance Courtyard | Until 26 Aug (not 13)

Punchline recommends Beetlemania: Kafka for Kids

31 Jul

Words by Iain McLaren

It’s the start of the festival and my second as a father. Last year didn’t really count all that much though as my son was too small to take anything in or sit still for long enough. However this year is different. With that in mind this year’s Fringe kicks off in style with Kafka for Kids. “Kafka?” I hear you say. “Is that not a bit of a dry subject for kids?” Normally… yes absolutely. But believe me you are in safe hands with the Kafkateers.

From start to finish the whole crowd buys into this wonderfully funny take on the normally depressing author and his philosophical tales. Take a trip to the bottom of the sea with Poseidon, discover what life is like for an insecure bridge, hear the tale of an old man and his balls (this honestly is kid safe, so get your head out of the gutter) and where has Kevin the beetle gone?

All this and more is explained in this brilliant hour long show for kids and adults alike. Get your tickets early and remember how to see the world through the eyes of a child.

Enjoy your Fringe!

Buy tickets for Beetlemania: Kafka for Kids here
11.45am | Pleasance Courtyard | until 25 Aug (not 14)

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: Beasts – Solo

31 Jul

Beasts

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

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