Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Fringe Diary: Day 14

Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival

Our last day at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012, but perhaps one of our most favourite one yet.

For it all started with Bridget Christie delivering one of the highlights of this year’s Fringe, with her show War Donkey – all about the rise of Tory feminists, as well as donkeys (Assembly Rooms, 1.30pm).

We then dashed to see Matthew Kelly: The Musical at Buff’s Club nearby (2.30pm), only to be disappointed to learn that the day’s show was cancelled. This was made up for by pints that cost less than £3. His show is on the for the rest of the run though, so head along.

With inspiration from the madness of Christie, is was our turn to to become performers on the Royal Mile, taking part in an improvised version of Shakespear on Ice on one of Virgin’s stages. Richard Branson would have approved of my take on the embodiment of water.

Then Benjamin Crellin at Cabarat Voltaire (7.30pm), who delivered a rather divisive show that saw several walkouts towards the end. Go along and make up your own mind. Or something.

A quick sleep and coffee at the Dome before heading to Wee Red Bar for an indie disco to say goodbye to the greatest arts event on the planet. Goodbye.

edinburgh

Edinburgh Fringe Diary: Day 13

Our second last day at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012, and one of our busiest ones yet.

It all started off with a macaroni pie from Greggs – a treat that London lacks. Fucking London.

Then it was off to see Josie Long and Sam Schafer in Awkward Romance (1.45pm, Mood) – a free show involving tales of love, attempted love, and very much, a lack of love. The audience joined in too, adding their stories about misguided romantic attempts and the romantic things they have had done for them. My story involved a ten hour bus journey and Morrissey.

Next up, a jaunt to see Simon Munnery’s latest hour at The Stand (3.45pm, £10), which further entrenched his reputation as a stalwart of the Fringe with a fantastic, imaginative hour of cardboard animation, song, a short film about wheelie bins, and some jokes.

Then a mad dash over to the Underbelly to see an hour of no-nonsense nonsense with Leads and Stern (5pm, some money) – a sketch duo of real charm and fun.

Back over Princes Street afterwards for another viewing of Where’s Thomas Hardie? (Jack hadn’t been before) and, once again, it was lots of a fun character comedy with balloons and some dancing thrown in (Voodoo Rooms, 7.30pm, free).

And then even more sketchy fun from Checkley and Bush (Just the Tonic at the Caves, 8.55pm) who combined enthusiastic personalities, top acting, over the top characters, games and song parodies in an hour of joyful anarachy.

Finally, Oyster Eyes at the Underbelly (10.25pm) rounded off the evening with some superb weirdness. Go if you like unusual, imaginative sketch comedy that takes a step beyond the norm.

Opera

Edinburgh Fringe Diary: Day 12

Opera

Opera

I didn’t see much comedy today because I went to see a five hour opera by Wagner. Because I want to give an impression that I am in some way cultured.

Jack went to see Jay Cowle (3.10pm, Banshee Labyrinth, free) and said that he was good though. I’ve seen him before and thought he was good too. So he’s good. Okay? No, good.

He followed this up with a dose of Gerry Howell (4.15pm, Bannermans, free) and was similarly enthusiastic. So do that.

Then an evening with the Sad Faces as they hosted a showcase night at the Hill Street Theatre on Hill Street. Acts included the superb Beta Males, Jack De’Ath and his catchphrase, some other people, and some musical people who did an Axis of Awesome joke.

ACMS - Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012

Edinburgh Fringe Diary: Day 11

ACMS - Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012

ACMS – Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012

The end is approaching (for us anyway) but the comedy things continue to happen. Starting off with one of our favourite acts Adam Larter counting down to midnight in his show Happy New Year on a hot summer afternoon (1.15pm, Captain Taylor’s Coffee House). It was suitably chaotic as well as confusing for a few members of the audience who weren’t quite so in on the joke, but they’re probably idiots, so that’s okay.

Then off to interview Grainne Maguire for the podcast, before taking in here show Where Are All the Fun Places and Are Lots of People There Having Better Fun? at the Underbelly at Bristo Square (4.20pm, some money), which involved a trip back to her childhood to explain her fear of missing out on something better. Great storytelling and smart jokes. And a weird crush.

Next, that Jack De’Ath did his first set of the Fringe, where a baby heckled him through a curtain. He left the stage covered in pasta too.

Another first followed, with a trip to Tempting Tattie for a potato with some other food in it. Deliciousssshh.

One of the shows on everyone’s lips, ears and heads this Festival is Doctor Brown’s Befrdfgth (9.05pm, Underbelly Cowgate), which lived up to expectations this evening. A clown in absolute command of his audience, able to read and influence and astonish each individual.

Then it was the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society at the Pleasance Dome – beginning at 12.45am and finishing at 3am. Tiredness abounded, but so did a desire to live up to that ‘alternative’ promise. Hence, jokes in French, a monologue from a woman/squirrel, a bunch of Weirdos recreating a Wild West shoot out, a u-boat commander discussing his hatred of Wagner and a gorilla dressed as an old man rocking on a rocking chair for 7 minutes while Phill Jupitus dressed as a viking attempts a sudoku. Flabulous.

kitson

Edinburgh Fringe Diary: Day 10

Daniel Kitson

Daniel Kitson

Today was our busiest day yet, so thank the sweet lord that sweet Jack was here.

It started with one of our main free comedy recommendations Sam Fletcher (Bannerman’s, 12.30pm, free), who battled the eary (for an Edinburgh Festival) start with an hour of fun, magic, drawings, inventions, dad jokes and tiny eyes. Top stuff.

Then straight off for some more good, clean fun with Joe Davis and Kishore Nayar (The Hive, 2pm, free), who, along with a guest sand-up each day, promise a show of quality stand-up with no swears. Joe Wells was the guest today, and helped bring a political side to a fun atmosphere in one of the city’s gloomiest venues. And the closest we got to HBO levels of naughtiness was ‘boobs’. So, bring your kids. Especially if they like boobs.

Afterwards? I wanted a baked potato a lot, but it didn’t happen. Instead, we sat in a pub and had a drink while the most intriguing show in Edinburgh seemed to be going on next door. About 20 minutes into the 50 minute set, a stream of horrified looking people walked out rather hurriedly through the pub, each in frantic conversation with the people around them. Choice comments include “Why did he do that?” and “That was the most awful thing I’ve ever seen.” We didn’t venture in. We regret this.

I’d already seen Holly Burn (4.40pm, Just the Tonic at the Caves, £7), but Jack was naive to the joy she can be bring, so if we went for another venture, followed by another dose of Tibetan Book of the Dead the Musical (7.20pm, Bar 50, free).

Then an interview with the mania that is Lou Sanders, before seeing her delightfully absurd show An Evening With Wallan (9.30pm, Pleasance Courtyard, £9).

And finally, an hour and half wait for returns to see Daniel Kitson doing stand-up at The Stand. And we got in!!! Just!!! So sorry to the lovely Erin and Mahrouf who were just behind us. As for the show? It was Kitson, innit.

Shows seen so far: 29. All involving a hammer.

Celebrity spots: Simon Munnery in a hat.

Slightly gothy/retro looking girls I’ve fallen in love with: Fifteen.

Scottish indie pop song of the day: Belle and Sebastian – Lazy Line Painter Jane

Vomit on a car

Edinburgh Fringe Diary: Day 9

Vomit on a car

Vomit on a car

It’s day nine, and Jack is now in Edinburgh. He got here by train. I don’t think anything amusing happened on it.

I heard the best joke of the Fringe today from my 8-year-old niece, however. When enquiring about the tequila grown-ups like me were drinking, she said she had drunk alcohol before when she mistakenly drank her dad’s vodka and irn bru rather than her own irn bru. Then, when asked if she remembered this, she said: “No, I was on the floor.” Which made me laugh lots.

Sadly, this was just a mishearing, and she actually said: “No, I was only four.” Nevertheless, she is wittier than Russell Kane.

Jack saw Matt Highton and David O’Doherty today. I think he enjoyed them. Then a PBH fundraiser thing mixed bill of up and down variety.

Other than that, it was mainly being tired.

Jack also saw some vomit on a car.

Shows seen so far: 23. All involving a hammer.

Celebrity spots: Some men said “Alan Davies? He’s a fanny” as I was walking by them.

Slightly gothy/retro looking girls I’ve fallen in love with: All of them again.

Scottish indie pop song of the day: Ballboy – Wonder If You’re Drunk Enough To Sleep With Me Tonight

holly burn

Edinburgh Fringe Diary: Day 8

More days. More festival. More shows. Although I didn’t get in to Edinburgh until the afternoon, due to having a headache in Glasgow.

I got through in time to see the magnificent, wonderful and mental Holly Burn introduce an eager audience to the various members of the H Club – Edinburgh’s least exclusive private members clubs. It’s 4.40pm at Just the Tonic at the Caves, and proves to be an essential alternative to many other acts at the Fringe, with interactivity combining with insanity to provide beautiful, unreplicable chaos.

Then straight after, and just across the road at Siglo, Matt Highton was performing his latest one-man show about a rather unusual year in his life. It includes the devil and a crack in time. A combination of charm, hair and strong writing that doesn’t let a single word or thought go to waste, Highton is another must-see. He’s free too, and at 5.45pm.

Then I played cards in a pub. So that was fun.

Shows seen so far: 21. And they’re getting better and better.

Celebrity spots: A bagel eating Michael Schumacher.

Slightly gothy/retro looking girls I’ve fallen in love with: All of them.

Scottish indie pop song of the day: Frightened Rabbit – Swim Until You Can’t See Land

weirdos

Edinburgh Fringe Diary: Day 7

Another day at the Edinburgh Festival, and another day of being in Edinburgh at a festival. The excitement.

The day started off well with a haircut from a man who didn’t talk, except to ask what I wanted and then to approve my response. Then I bought some jeans and some toothpaste.

BUT YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THAT. Probably.

Even though the jeans (from Shelter in Stockbridge) fit perfectly and make my legs look fantastic.

You probably want to hear about how I went to see Pat Cahill and Tim Shishodia put on their amazing show at the Cabarat Voltaire at 5pm for free, and how it was amazing with amazing jokes and two of the most likable, amusing acts on the entire Fringe.

I imagine you don’t want to hear about how, upon entering the Cabaret Voltaire, I took an arrow sign quite literally, and smacked my head off it, giving me what I think was concussion for the next few hours, as well as a sizable bulge on the head.

Nevertheless, I still enjoyed a bunch of Weirdos putting on Underwater Shakespeare on the Royal Mile, complete with trombone and cardboard bagpipes, to a group of bemused tourists.

I then went through to Glasgow for a dance, but that’s not in Edinburgh so I won’t tell you about that.

Shows seen so far: 19. I’m going blind.

Celebrity spots: Michael Schumacher eating a bagel.

Slightly gothy/retro looking girls I’ve fallen in love with: Too many.

Scottish indie pop song of the day: BMX Bandits – Strawberry Sundae

tom

Edinburgh Fringe Diary: Day 6

Today was a day of Edinburgh Festival legends. Those hallowed names Kitson, Lee and Kunt.

For I went along to Daniel Kitson performing his latest one-man story As of 1.52pm GMT on Friday April 27th 2012, This Show Has No Title, Stewart Lee’s Carpet Remnant World and Kunt and the Gang’s songs about bums and things (10.30pm, City Cafe, free).

It’s probably quite unnecessary now to have a public opinion about any of these artists – all of them have their set fans, die-hard and enthusiastic, as well as their reactionary critics, choosing to view self-awareness and a critical take on mainstream thought as smug or condescending.

Nevertheless, all were great as expected; Kitson seemed to have a whole baker shop full of cake he was eating with his multi-layered take on writing a story about writing a story that the critics would have to love and think it all came without effort.

Lee too seemed to have a whole carpet shop full of carpets he was eating as he chewed on contemporary conventions of comedy and made rugs out of them.

And Kunt had a whole pornographic film of bums, penises and breasts that he was eating, and then singing songs about eating them, or something.

Each show shared a dissatisfaction concerning the majority of the acts on the Fringe, and the critical expectations of those who purposely defy this route, which I think Kunt best summed up in his most successful song.

In other news, I was in a popular magazine today billed as Mr Quirky (see photo above).

Shows seen so far: 17. Only one of which involved a song about washing your penis.

Celebrity spots: Mick Foley while watching Stewart Lee. I don’t think he quite understood it.

Slightly gothy/retro looking girls I’ve fallen in love with: Loads.

Scottish indie pop song of the day: Orange Juice – Rip It Up