Nevertheless, for those looking to be offended, there is sufficient here to misconstrue. A varied response from the audience I was with, but there was consistent and audible laughter throughout the show.
Lovely first Fringe, and hopefully not his last. So what did I see? Well, Twitchen is an expert storyteller; with his small, closely-packed audience lapping it all up. It seemed he had broken up with a long-time partner a matter of months which according to Aaron was a long time in gay terms , so found himself going to Egypt for a getaway to mend his broken heart. He joked about his father, the fact that pyramids offer no shelter from the sun and that where he was in Egypt was in fact miles from the pyramids.
Alongside these hilarious stories came his take on the contemporary era, taking huge swipes at anything that interested him or that he cared about. A brazen hour of crazy anecdotes from Katharyn Henson in her Edinburgh Fringe debut. As Katharyn Henson starts her hour with an anecdote about eating dog food as a child, we get a pretty quick sense of her wild and self-deprecating style, which somehow manages to build and build from there as the show goes on.
Some audience members appear alienated by how full-frontal the set is from the get-go, but it certainly prepares the room for the hour ahead. Henson covers a tremendous amount of ground with her vulgarity and free-spiritedness, making it the more enjoyable as she explores literally every nook and cranny, an analogy comparing coke to a board game being a real highlight. The fact that Sid Singh is both a comedian and a human rights lawyer should be enough to set him apart from the mass of comics competing for your attention at this year's Fringe.
The novelty of seeing someone who could make a living standing before a judge, standing instead inside a comedy club working - that alone should be worth the price of admission.
Add in the fact that the price of admission is zilch and you've got an even more enticing proposal. Throw in the fact that Singh has found a way to fuse these two professions into an entertaining, insightful and informative show about borders, bigotry and the sublime power of well-directed hate, and you've got one of the most unique, prescient and politically powerful shows of the whole festival.
She is on stage from the very start, welcoming her crowd, directing them to seats, chatting away making everyone at home before we get to the meat of her show, and it is a sumptuous feast. Her career is going pretty well.
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A regular radio show, a recommissioning of a TV series she co-presents, and of course playing sold out Fringe shows point to a bright future for this talented Glaswegian. Oh and how does she create those noises used to enhance her closing routine. Being an unticketed Free Festival show the queues build up long before start time.
Get there early to ensure a seat, you should not miss out on this hour of top quality comedy. So it turns out Daniel Muggleton also has a law degree. That was unlikely and makes the entry above this look kind of silly and uninformed. The odds on this really were very low. Lawyers are, generally speaking, not funny.
He is, in fact, very funny. He delves into serious matters in good faith and with real perceptiveness, but never allows the weight of it all to drag him below the easy-going, no worries style that befits a comedian in a bright red tracksuit. Created by Will Mars, this amazingly ridiculous show is guaranteed to have its audience in stitches.
Chris McGlade is the very definition of no-holds-barred comic - a cigarettes and whisky comic from a previous time who approaches sensitive topics with all the sensitivity of a rampant sledgehammer. He is brazen, and he definitely looks to shake his audience out of their pre-established ideas of acceptability, but he isn't callous and his comedy isn't cruel.
This is never clearer than with his new show, which is centred around the murder of his father and his own difficult journey towards forgiving the murderer. That willingness to show vulnerability, using comedy to process pain rather than to ironically glaze over it, is what makes him more than an old-school shock comic.
It was going so well, too. Thankfully though the new beau is Asian, so it opens up all sorts of interesting possibilities about how a significant other can alter your own self-perception. Comparing herself to his high-achieving exes hardly helps the personal paranoia levels, either. Ivor Dembina has been a stand-up comedian for 30 years.
When he started out, a new scene was developing: out went the dad jokes and in came alternative comedy. When he became an established comic, his local community synagogue wanted him to do a fundraiser, providing the content would be appropriate: imagine a modern Jewish comedian prohibited from telling jokes about money, sex or anti-Semitism. Amy Howerska has moved to the US for marital reasons. Aside from culture clash observations, the first half of her set is mostly upbeat stuff about being happily in love, not only with her husband but also with his family, and Howerska owns it all winningly.
The latter half contrasts the experience of her new extended family with her issues with her own folks. Howerska weaves engaging vignettes, punctuated with plenty of good and well-timed gags.
Darcie Silver is right there near the beginning, and like almost everyone round those parts she still has a way to go. Our review made clear that her show is far from the finished article, lacking the self-assurance to deliver on its potential. It's a potent combination. The star rating wasn't great, but that is mostly a reminder that star ratings only tell you so much.
Caroline Mabey is a strong performer in want of much stronger material. A more serious man might despair. Fortunately, McGhie has an irrepressible talent for taking things lightly. Fortunately, when the bits and pieces are as good as McGhie's you don't find yourself worrying too much about what he might one day make out of them. Not while the jokes keep coming, at least. Amazing title aside, Robin Morgan provides an hour of hilarious stand-up, fit for men and women of the modern age. I was taken in, initially, by the extended title.
Throw in some excellent social commentary for good measure, and Morgan is very much a male comedian for the modern age. Firstly, Morgan has an amazing taste in intro music. It was standing room only for some. Edgelord comedians take note. One of the biggest risk-takers on the Fringe is a small, smiley Singaporean man with a genial manner and dressed in a colourful bow-tie and waistcoat. And the system for compulsory military service is like Carry On Kafka, with officials having to rank gay recruits on a scale of effeminacy.
See only has to explain this ridiculous state of affairs to get a laugh. Olaf Falafel: Actors who can cure my lisp? How many people have dreamed of meeting their idols? Well, Joel Sanders has lived that dream several times over. Sharing his memoirs of meeting some of his personal comedy and music heroes, Sanders talks of experiences most would kill to have in his own friendly, funny little way. Mixing it up by telling a different set of stories each time, Sanders has enough tales to keep an audience happily entertained for hours.
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Featuring celebrities such as Billy Connelly, Jim Davidson and Hugh Cornwell from the Stranglers, the show was like a conversation in a pub and a celebrity magazine rolled into one. Sanders talked to the audience, not as a host of a show, but as an old friend or very good acquaintance as he shared experiences about shaking hands and having drinks with his idols.
Darren Walsh: Cat flaps are for pussies. Audience stories are deftly spun into an entertaining collaborative tale. His skill at telling tales and finding the humour in situations makes this an unusual and enjoyable show. She describes her creative process, or as she puts it, 'the magic comes when you try to escape your feelings!
We saw sketch groups Northern Power Blouse, Bad Clowns, Two Little Dickheads and Double Denim put themselves through the thievery wringer, and given how different their respective styles were, seeing the jokes of one group through the lens of another proved to be both funny and genuinely interesting. Sunjai Arif regaled us with sarcasm and quips as he made his way onto the tiny stage, in a tiny room at the Laughing Horse. He got us involved straight away by asking which princess we thought we were and played a game to discover our inner princess, handing out tiny, not-that-well-made masks depicting said princesses.
A daughter looks back on her relationship with her Polish mother. Although her mum died seven years ago, Karola Gajda still loves her, and that's the biggest take-away from her show My Mother's Shoes. Her mum certainly had it tough and no mistake. From a Polish family, Gajda's mum was deported to a Siberian gulag by Stalin during WWII, and things didn't stop there; due to a series of medical misadventures, she ended up having her feet removed due to gangrene after she came to Britain.
She had a pair of special shoes created so she could still walk; for Gajda growing up, the rhythm and volume of these shoes coming up the stairs provided a quick gauge to her mother's mood.
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