Tag Archives: Underbelly

In the Hot Seat: Abigoliah Schamaun

7 Aug

Photograph of Abigoliah SchamaunClose your eyes and picture Edinburgh. What do you see?

I picture dusk, crepes, and sunrise. My first solo show starts at 7:40pm and the late night show I host, Spank!, keeps me out till about 5am every night. I spend the entire month on third shift.

The Fringe is a festival done completely in the dark for me.

What is the last thing that made you snort with laughter?

This tweet I’m trying to read in this video

I sent it around to all my friends and family at the time. No one thought it was nearly as funny as I did.

Tell us about this year’s show.

My show is called Namaste, Bitches and it’s about being a yoga instructor who loves musicals and drugs. So basically it’s about the things I love and my unhealthy relationship with all three.

Who do you want to see this year?

Tomás Ford, 5pm at the Gilded Balloon. He’s an Australian cabaret act that’s weird, high energy and sweaty. He’s my hero. I want to be like him…except…not Australian.

Do you have any Edinburgh Fringe traditions?

Steaks at The Abattoir Restaurant with my buddy and fellow comedian, James Loveridge. Also dancing ’til the wee hours of the morning on Thursdays at the Doddy & Rave in Underbelly.

It’s a big dance party and a great way to blow off steam. Sometimes they even have face painting!!!

What is your getting ready music?

Slow Ride by Foghat is my go-to. It has a driving beat but the lyrics remind you to pace your self, “take it easy”. It’s the best song to play before a show, as the gun goes off at the start of a marathon, or even for morning sun salutations. It. Is. The. TITS!

If you could have any guest in your show, who would it be?

Barbra Streisand. I used to have the VHS of Hello Dolly! the musical and she is amazing in that film. I watched it at least once a week as a kid and I want to thank her for making such a great film and being such a fierce woman.

What is the best backhanded compliment you have had?

 Person: I really liked your show.

Me: Thank you!

Person: No, I mean I really, REALLY liked it. You’re, like, funny.

Me: Yeah, that’s what I aim for.

Person: I just can’t believe I laughed so much. You’re good!

Me:…you know this is my job, right?

Who made you howl with laughter when you were a child?

My dad. He used to tell me a story about having a pet catfish and would pretend to be the catfish.

Another time we made up our own Olympic diving team, just the two of us, and invented our own tricks. The big closer was when you bent over, touched your toes, and fell sideways in the water. It was called “Pocket Knife”.

What should Donald Trump know?

 Given that it looks like he doesn’t have a clue, I just wish he knew something. ANYTHING!!!

We could start with the little fact that he’s in way over his head, doesn’t have the best interests of the American people at all, and should resign. I wish he knew that.

What do you do in Edinburgh that your parents wouldn´t approve of?

My mom’s going to be up for the first half of the Fringe this year so not much. I’m lucky to have parents that have always been supportive of my creative endeavors, tolerant of my weirdness, and understand I’m an adult who can make her own decisions. I’m happy I have that.

Catch Abigoliah Schamaun: Namaste, Bitches at 9.40pm at Underbelly throughout August

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Punchline’s 2017 Fringe Recommendations

9 Jul Photo of Sara Pascoe

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Last year we recommended Richard Gadd and Larry Dean who went onto win the Edinburgh Comedy Award and Amused Moose Award…

This year is set to be a belter. As ever, these are our shows we already know we´ll love, and we will continue to recommend shows throughout the Fringe. We’re not doing YouTube videos this year as these acts have to be experienced live to see just how brilliant they are.

Photo of Sara PascoeSara Pascoe: LadsLadsLads

7pm @ Pleasance Courtyard

Sara Pascoe has always had major talent but since her 2016 book Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body, she has unleashed a surge of confidence and insight as never before. She is showing a new stylistic freedom and incredible energy that make her 2017 show unmissable. Her time has come. @sarapascoe

 

 

 

 

Photo of David TrentDavid Trent: Here’s Your Future

10.35pm @ Just the Tonic at the Caves

Let David be your Virgil as he leads you through the circles of hell that exist in politics and popular culture. He´s got a great line in pumped up technology, which is put together as beautifully as his finely written material. Don´t let his stern demeanour stop you seeing the shrewd passion that drives his outstanding comedy. @mistertrent

 

 

 

Photo of Steen RaskopoulosSteen Raskopoulos: The Coolest Kid in Competitive Chess

8pm @ Underbelly

We´ve always loved Steen´s mix of character comedy and non-confrontational audience participation with a just a touch of aching poignancy. If you liked him on TV´s Top Coppers, you´ll be crazy about him live. He shone in Edinburgh 2016 and this year he really will be one of the coolest kids in comedy. @steenrasko

 

 

 

Photo of Adam RichesThe Inane Chicanery of a Certain Adam GC Riches

9.45pm @ Pleasance Dome

The pulsing heart of total immersion Fringe comedy is back in Queen Dome to exhilarate, terrify and delight us with his unique combination of great writing and blasts of improvised chaos.  The suspense and surprise make every night deliciously different so go early in case you have to go back for more. @TigcoRiches

 

 

 

Photo of Tiernan DouiebTiernan Douieb: Miserably Happy

2.30pm @ Waverley Bar

Tiernan has a happy temperament and sparkling intelligence but life so often has a way of putting all that to the test. His perfect comic expression of the struggle to sift the sense from the nonsense is both daring and soothing. He takes an unflinching look at the current issues that worry us all but he´s just what the doctor ordered to bring out that sneaking optimism in us all. @TiernanDouieb

 

 

 

Photo of Kiri Prichard-McLeanKiri Pritchard-McLean: Appropriate Adult

8.15pm @ Pleasance Courtyard

We are twitching with anticipation to see Kiri´s new show.  She is the co-host of podcast All Killa No Filla and does a great line in rip-roaring stories that men don´t usually get to hear. She tells it like it is and gets shrieks of laughter in return. @kiripritchardmc

 

 

 

 

Photo of Spencer JonesSpencer Jones: The Audition

8.20pm @ Heroes @ Monkey Barrel

If you have ever felt that adult life seems to have forgotten to include the utterly joyous laughter of childhood, then this is the show for you. Spencer takes you with him from the beginning and the comic energy just builds and builds. Carefree belly laughs from a man who says, eyes twinkling, that he can´t believe he´s allowed to do this as a job. @spendals

 

 

 

Photo of Bilal ZafirBilal Zafar: Biscuit

3.40pm @ Just the Tonic at the Caves

The Edinburgh Newcomer award winner from last year returns to the city of dreams with a brand new show. Destined to become a firm Fringe favourite, catch him with the early birds. @Zafarcakes

 

 

 

 

Photo of Nick HelmNick Helm: Masterworks in Progress ’17

5.20pm @ The Pleasance Courtyard

He´s back! After a couple years away, the one man mega myth returns to an intimate setting. You may have seen him on BBC´s Uncle or Channel 4´s Loaded and now you can see the man himself trying out new material. Do exactly what he says and you will have a fantastic time. A special opportunity for a thrilling evening with a comedy legend. @TheNickHelm

 

 

 

Photo of Sofie HaganSofie Hagen: Dead Baby Frog

2pm @ Bedlam Theatre

Sophie Hagen is going from strength to strength with an ever-growing following of Guilty Feminist podcast fans. Her searing honesty, direct approach to delicate subjects and attentiveness to her audience´s needs make her a breath of fresh air and a stellar name for the future. @SofieHagen

 

 

 

 

Photo of Dane BaptisteDane Baptiste: G.O.D. (Gold.Oil.Drugs)

9pm @ The Pleasance Courtyard

You may have seen this politically and socially astute comedian on Frankie Boyle´s New World Order with his fearless, on-point comments. Dane is going to be one of the big stars of 2017 and with a title alone that promises diamond standard comedy, we just can´t wait to hear what he has to say. @DaneBaptweets

 

 

By Rosalind and Suzy Romer

Punchline Recommends: Steen Raskopoulos – You Know the Drill

11 Aug

Words by Suzy Romer

Photograph of Steen RaskopoulosThis is it. This is the adrenaline-charged, big-laugh, blow-away show I have been waiting to see like a storm chaser after a perfect storm. Steen Raskopoulos has a magic onstage presence which overtakes the audience right from the beginning. In fact he has a couple of us literally standing to attention within moments of coming on stage. In a cramped venue with tightly packed seating, he brings us together in a wave of support and readiness to play the game which is just as well because the audience participation is substantial. Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, no one is exempt, although Steen does seem to have an uncanny ability to choose people who are great performers. He lets his freshly chosen co-stars shine, as there is no threat of humiliation, only the promise of a great situation and great laughs. It would be unfair to give away any of his incredibly original ideas but they are surprising and daring enough to make you wonder if you should go back another night to see how it compares.

But this is not improvisation. The show is tightly scripted with complex, imaginative use of audio recordings and fantastic character comedy. Without using sentimentality or cuteness, he simply becomes a lost little boy who is immediately gathered into everyone’s hearts. He also does a splendid movie doctor having a crisis of confidence but he adds new twists which cause delight at every turn. Steen was here two years ago but he has upped his game so much, he is now one of the major comedy players. If ya ain’t seen Steen, get your donkey in gear because this guy is slip sliding towards great things and you should catch him while you can.

Steen Raskopoulos is on at 7.40pm at Underbelly, Cowgate until 28 August. You can also see him in an improvisation show called The Bear Pack with Carlo Ritchie at Underbelly Cowgate from 16 August.

Steen Raskopoulos: You Know the Drill – Edinburgh 2016 Interview

5 Aug Photograph of Steen Raskopoulos

Photograph of Steen RaskopoulosWe loved his Steen’s show in 2014 and BBC’s “Top Coppers”. Now we’re super excited he’s back in Edinburgh! These are Steen’s answers to Punchline’s burning questions…

 

What is the best advice for a new performer in Edinburgh?
Lower your expectations and you’ll have the best time.

What is the best advice for a new festival goer?
Take a punt on someone you’ve never heard of before or go to a show where the flyerer/performer respected your physical space and wasn’t too intense.

What do you have to have in your fridge during August?
Pickles, self esteem and a half bottle of my own tears.

What is the weirdest after-show comment you have had from an audience member?
“My friend wants to have sex with you but I said no”

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

What is the best non-Fringe thing about the city of Edinburgh?
The lush grass and trees. Love dem trees.

How do you relieve Fringe cabin fever?
Burn the cabin to the ground.

Who or what last made you laugh like a hyena at the Fringe?
Lou Sanders. She is bat shit crazy and I think she’s one of the funniest performers going around.

Tell us about your 2016 show.
It’s a solo sketch show with an abundance of characters, improv and a bit of cheeky audience participation.

What are the best shows at the Fringe apart from yours?
Susie Youssef, Lou Sanders, Lolly Adefope, Joel Dommett, James Acaster, Sam Campbell, Tom Walker, Austentatious and Rhys Nicholson.

When you go home and your friends say “How was Edinburgh?”, what will you say?
The best of times and the worst of Tims. I’ve already met a few bad Tims.

See Steen Raskolpoulos at the Underbelly Cowgate at 7.40pm throughout August. Click here for more information and tickets

Final Fun at the Fringe

31 Aug

Photograph of Edinburgh Fireworks

It’s the last day of the Fringe. Boooo.

But it’s a lovely sunny day! Yeah!

Some venues finished their programmes yesterday, plus a ton of shows have been cancelled so here is our pick of the best comedy shows for the last day. Please check with the relevant box office or Fringe Office before finalising your plans.

  • For a spot of lunchtime comedy, go to see Tom Binns (12.40 at the Bosco Tent, George Square)
  • OR Austentatious (1.15pm at the Underbelly)
  • If you haven’t seen BEASTS yet, what are you thinking?! Get down there! (4.45pm at Pleasance Courtyard)
  • OR if you have seen them, an excellent alternative is Adam Hess, who was shortlisted for the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Newcomer this year (5.20pm at the Hive)
  • Our next recommendation is The Pin (7pm at Pleasance Dome) followed by a mad dash to Lazy Susan (8.10pm at Pleasance Dome)
  • OR how about Joseph Murpurgo, shortlisted for this year’s Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award? (8.15pm at Pleasance Courtyard)
  • OR if you prefer a leisurely walk after The Pin, you have a choice of shows at 9pm: Felicity Ward (Pleasance Courtyard)
  • OR the marvellous Spencer Jones would be a wonderfully surreal way to end the Fringe (9pm at The Hive)
  • Don’t forget the Edinburgh International Festival has their fireworks tonight, so find a hill and celebrate the end of a brilliant month.
  • And if you’re really going to go for it, why not finish at Late ‘n’ Live to take you through to tomorrow? (1am at Gilded Balloon)

Have fun! For those heading back home, have a safe journey and we’ll see you next year. For the locals, see you very soon, after a long sleep! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Punchline recommends Harvey, Garvey and The Kane

23 Aug
Photograph of Harvey, Garvey and The Kane

Harvey, Garvey and The Kane

Words by Suzy Romer

Harvey, Garvey and Kane are a smart sketch group who allow you to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. It’s always nice to see three chaps take to the stage in suits but these men can become anyone and anything with no costume changes and virtually no props.

We are taken through a range of sketches with seamless style. A little boy asks his mummy and daddy what sex is and the answer goes far beyond the comic possibilities explored by anyone I’ve seen before. A deliciously silly press launch with a grown-up boy band neatly exposes the less media-friendly aspects of reunion after twenty years. Amid the virtuosity of the performances we get a really generous dose of classic material, the stuff we quote at each other long after the show.

In an age where the boundaries between genres are constantly being poked and prodded, it’s immensely reassuring to be entertained by a group who can follow the great old traditions with freshness and vigour. There is a caper ability about these guys that will see them go far. That’s pure sketch, that is.

Catch the last performance of Harvey, Garvey and The Kane at 4.55pm at the Underbelly (Bristo Square) on Sunday 24th August. Buy tickets here

Photograph of Harvey, Garvey and The Kane

Harvey, Garvey and The Kane

Felicity Ward: An Edinburgh Fringe 2014 Interview

15 Jul
Felicity Ward Photo

Photo by Steve Ullathorne

 One of Punchline’s Top 10 Recommendations for this fringe, Felicity Ward is the funniest comedian we haven’t booked. But the exciting news is that she has moved to the UK from Australia so perhaps we’ll persuade her… we caught up with her ahead of her 2014 fringe show: The Iceberg.

 

Hello Felicity Ward, how excited are you about performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe?

I’m VERY excited about performing! I feel like last year was the first time it didn’t take a massive toll on me. I cried a lot less, I slept a lot more, I spoke to good friends and I didn’t seem to go as crazy so I’m looking forward to seeing if I can top that, and almost enjoy myself.

How many times have you performed at the Edinburgh Fringe?

This will be my fifth show.

This year’s show is called The Iceberg – can you tell us what it’s about?

The Iceberg is a very loose metaphor for when we think we’re looking at the whole picture when actually there’s something else going on. Or that we’re looking at something one way, when there might be a different perspective that’s more interesting.

And you’ve moved from Australia to the UK – how does that feel?

Great! I have a Right of Abode. There’s a beautiful little patriarchal law that happened when I was born, because even though my mum is English, I didn’t automatically get a passport because she was a woman and not a man (that changed in 1983). Last time I had a return trip, and this time I have a one way ticket. You’re stuck with me!

How do the Edinburgh Fringe crowds differ from other audiences?

I find Edinburgh Fringe audiences more adventurous. For one, there are more people. It’s such an enormous international tourist event, that people will go and take a punt on a show they’ve never heard of before. That works very well for people that have no profile whatsoever, i.e. moi.

I also find that people are very loyal. I find this in Australia as well. Last year was the first time that I had a lot of people saying “I saw your show last year, and I want to come back again and we’ll always come to see you”. It was so nice; it felt solidified as of last year. It’s interesting to create a loyalty in a country that you’re not from, or in a city that you’re not living in.

Do you feel quite at home in Edinburgh?

The city itself is so beautiful and it’s so easy to fall in love with and I have so many excellent memories there. I can find The Edinburgh Fringe very lonely: that idea of being surrounded by a hundred people and still feel like the loneliest person in the world. Sometimes that can be Edinburgh when there’s so much going on that you can’t connect to any of it, but that’s just the Fringe Festival and not the city itself. It also depends on how much sleep I’ve had and how much I’ve tried to act like a 21 year old, and not remember that I’m a 33 year old!

Do you have any traditions during the Edinburgh Fringe?

Something that Celia Paquola and I did for a few years was walk up to Arthur’s Seat and we wrote “Hey matey” in stones, and one of us went up to the top and took a photo of the other one and then vice versa.  I have a tradition every year of going “I’m going to swim at North Berwick once a week!” and I never do but it’s nice to say, and hopefully I’ll keep that tradition up. I also have a tradition of eating very well for the first week: I do a big shop, I cook home-cooked meals, and I’m like “I’ve got this shit unlocked this year” and then I get to week three and it’s like “Oh it’s Angus Burgers again, OK!”

I like the hidden secrets in Edinburgh, and every time I go there someone will take me somewhere that I’m like “how did I not know about this place?”. The City Cafe does breakfast until late.  I eat breakfast late and I want breakfast three times a day. If I could have my choice, I would only eat breakfast. My first meal of the day always has to be breakfast. If it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, but I haven’t eaten, it’s breakfast.

What is the best thing about the Edinburgh Fringe, and what are your previous highlights?

My friend has a show called Hot Dub Time Machine, and this sounds like a bad thing, but he broke his foot (that is definitely a bad thing) but because of that, he then asked me and a bunch of our other friends to be the Hot Dub Time Machine Dancers, so we got to come on and hype up the crowd, and that was a career highlight!

The first year the Dead Cat Bounce boys’ show was on after me, and one night I came off stage and went backstage and they all had party poppers and said “Yeah, you finished the show!” Then next night there was a finishing line, and then it got more and more elaborate. One night they set up a table, and Mick was in a tuxedo, and they had a bowl of spaghetti, and they’d set up Lady and the Tramp and written a poem! Another night they blindfolded me and led me over to the window and they’d got a group of strangers in the street. So I was leaning out the Gilded Balloon window and they took the blindfold off and they’re all holding signs saying “We love Felicity!”

They are the things that make Edinburgh so magical, and why everyone is so exhausted, because you don’t want to be the person who went home that night. Because sometimes magic happens up there! In the underpass near Bristo Square, my friend put on an Underpass Party. The slogan was “Do you need a pass for the underpass party?” And everyone replied “You don’t need a pass for the underpass party”. Basically it’s a response to all the promoter parties that are happening that you need a particular kind of pass or invite, so we just had a little dance party in an underpass!

You are one of Punchline’s Top 10 shows this festival. Who would you recommend?

It’s always so difficult because you assume you’re going to see the same people every year. Celia Paquola’s show got nominated for the Barry Award, it’s so awesome and she’s such a good writer. She’s so funny, it’s just an excellent show.

Demi Lardner won Raw in Australia, which is our So You Think Your Funny, then last year she [was joint winner of] SYTYF, so I’m very excited to see what she does for an hour. Luke McGregor is so great – it’s his first hour in Edinburgh. Sara Pascoe is awesome. She’s such a brain.

Adrienne Truscott is fucking great. My friend said it’s the “Most Punk Thing I’ve seen in Comedy” and that’s exactly what it is. It’s so Punk, and it’s so irreverent, and it’s really exciting when you see comedy that makes you want to do something or want to change, or look at how you’re presenting stuff, and make you question if you give a shit about what you’re doing. It’s an invigorating show. It’s tense, and it’s nervous, and as an audience member, sometimes you’re relaxed and sometimes you’re not. It’s very unpredictable which is really exciting in comedy.

Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall is a Canadian who’s been living in Australia, and he’s really understated but he’s got beautiful  ideas, and he’s a wonderful writer and he’s really funny, and once he clicks in the with an audience, once he’s hooked them in, they’re there. He’s got a really original brain and great jokes.

And finally, any advice for Fringe first-timers (performers or audience)?

Just don’t peak too soon. Just don’t party every night like you think you’re going to party every night. Because it will not last. I remember the first year, and for the first week and a half I was like “I don’t know what people are talking about! This is the greatest festival ever! This isn’t exhausting”, then I kept going out every single night until 4, 5 o’clock, and then I started to get tired, then by week 3 “How am I going to get through the next 24 hours?”. I don’t drink so this isn’t the hangover speaking – it’s just exhaustion. As much as you don’t ever want to miss out on the party, I’ve learnt that if I want to get through it, and not cry every day, then I have to give up on the party.

You can catch the wonderful Felicity Ward every day at the Underbelly at 9.25pm. Buy tickets here

Edinburgh Fringe Review: David Morgan ‘Pretty’

10 Aug

Words by Susan Forddavidmorgan

David Morgan is Pretty, there is absolutely no denying it. For David however, it’s taken a lot to believe it himself, and find the confidence to talk about it in front of a sell out crowd. On these grounds however, David Morgan is not vain or full of himself, instead, he is a charming and likeable character. David is genuinely humble that we’ve all come to his show tonight, and he puts on a performance that makes everyone feel as pretty as he does.

When you find out that David Morgan WILL talk to you during his show, the most common response would be fear – not everyone enjoys a bit of chat with the performer.  However, at David’s show you will hope that he picks you, you want to get involved, share stories, and be fabulous alongside him.  He is not short of volunteers to contribute tales, and this interactive approach makes the show even more wonderful.

David Morgan talks of love, relationships and people who have shunted his ideals of ‘pretty’ in the past.  Although a lot of the content would be considered quite serious, David has a light hearted approach to his delivery, and is not shy of cracking jokes to bring the tone back up to a comedy level. His ideas of ‘pretty’ are original, and the photo displays to go with them add something very special to his anecdotes.

David Morgan’s ‘Pretty’ is a relaxed hour of entertainment: it won’t make you challenge your own ideas of how you look too much, but instead will lift your spirit and make you chuckle along the way.  Everything works out ok in the end for David, and due to his heart-warming personality, he will make you realise that everything works out in the end for everybody.

Catch David Morgan every night at Underbelly Daisy at 19.00 https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/david-morgan-pretty

Edinburgh Fringe Review: Bob and Jim ‘Two Stars’

6 Aug

Words by Susan Fordbobandjim

If Punchline gave out stars, we would give Bob and Jim a lot more than two for their show ‘Two Stars’.  This year is a follow up to last year’s show ‘Go!’ and sets them apart again, as one of the best acts on the Fringe. The pair are just brilliant, a bundle of wit and Cockney charm, wrapped together in silly string and music. 

Bob and Jim sound like they could just be two ordinary guys, but they aren’t: Bob and Jim are an all-singing, all-dancing and all-laughing pair, who want to share their life stories with you tonight.  ‘Two Stars’ is a series of flash backs from their show bizz lives (perhaps borrowed from one or two films?), tales of a rougher time and the road to stardom.  It’s all in the delivery though, and the performance created by Bob and Jim is what marks them as so incredibly funny.

Jim  plays his ukelele whilst Bob dances, and they both sing lyrics that will make you laugh like nothing else from start to finish. They interact with the audience, in a friendly way, and make you feel like part of their act. The accents are funny in themselves, but its what they say, rather than how they say it, that will draw you right in.

Bob and Jim are perfecters of double-meaning; on one level their skits are silly and sweet, innocent enough for a child to laugh, but on the other hand, are absolute filth and take a clever mind to understand.  Maybe even a couple hours after the show, some of the punchlines will sink in, and you’ll be wondering, “did Bob really just say that”? The songs are great, the content is hilariously intriguing and the performance outstanding; this is really a show you don’t want to miss out on this year.

Catch Bob and Jim every night at 20.20 at the Underbelly Daisy https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/bob-and-jim-two-stars

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