No point messing about, beating around the bush, wasting time, thinking of different ways to say the same thing at the start of part two of our Edinburgh Fringe round-up. Let’s just get straight into who we saw and our thoughts on them.
Though Po did end up somewhere wonderful while we were walking around one day:
I (Christopher ‘Anything-for-a-free-pint’ Moriarty) did try and get a discount but they were having none of it! Anyway, really no more playing games, into the reviews.
Porky the Poet – The Run DMC Award: As soon as Porky walked on stage, we had the feeling we had seen him before but couldn’t quite place it. Regardless, this was one of the true gems of the Free Fringe. His poetry rolled so easily and naturally from his mouth into our ears, particularly the poem about the first gig of Phil…He’s Phil Jupitus! That’s it. Very commendable in his ideas of what the Fringe should be ie. not a money-making machine but an absolute celebration. Get out to see Porky and definitely by his book, ‘Ten Line Fringe.’
Chris Coltrane – The Cadbury’s Award: Lively and energetic, Chris mixes in a cheeky charm to his show, ‘There’s no heroes left except all of us.’ He is very passionate with a touch of self-deprecation. This highly politicised, animated show also takes the audience to the surprisingly fantastic realm of the power-point presentation with wonderful results. This is a man who goes the extra mile with highly engaging and, in parts, unexpected show. One of the smoothest, polished shows we saw.
Cariad Lloyd – The Trooper Award: This ‘Character Hour’ was first billed as Cariad Lloyd and Louise Ford together but, as we found out when Cariad first came onto the stage, Louise has been offered a job in America. As an audience, we thought this was a rouse though assurances were made by Cariad that it was not. We cannot say how the show was with both performers but, in the absence of her co-star, Cariad still shone. She played really well with the audience, particularly during her Jooooooooooooooooooooooooooooey Beschanel character, which perfectly poked fun at the popular show ‘New Girl.’ Other characters included a french street parkour runner and a feminine hygiene disposable bag. All were brilliantly balanced and performed and enough cannot be sad about Cariad’s spirit.
Aidan Killian – The Janus Award: From where I was sat in the audience, when Aidan walked on stage, he was sporting a Jesus-style beard and flowing hair. When he turned to face us all, half of his head was completey shaved. It was astonishing and perfectly summed up the title of the show, ‘Jesus vs Buddha.’ The best-titled show of the Fringe. His was a well-thought and thought-provoking hour of comedy about how the teachings of these two great men still impact on our lives today with an under-current of his own hilarious attempts to mess with debt-collectors. He was easy on stage and fascinating to listen to. He has said that after the Fringe he wants to teach-stand up to activists because he believes laughter can really change the world. Well sad, that man. We salute you.
Dr Sicko’s Comedy Vomit – Walking on the Razor’s Edge Award: Jay Islaam, ‘Dr Sicko’, presents an hour of comedy which was banned from over 100 venues at the Fringe. It did exactly what it set out to do, especially at the end of the show when he created a very uncomfortable but intelligently presented moment for the audience, which I will not put here, but was very commendable.
We also saw a few paid shows…
Andrew Lawrence – A lot of Andrew’s show was about how he feels his career is on the downward curve. If that’s the case, keep going because this was the funniest set we have seen by him. He is always a pleasure to watch and had us in stitches.
Richard Herring – Watching a Richard Herring show always has the feel of seeing someone having the best time ever on stage. If you are a long-time fan, you will know that ‘The Lord of the Dance-Settee.’ is a long-running reference in his work and this show felt like he had finally worked it into something wonderful. We also had a bonus bit of Christian Reilly singing the titular song.
What Does The Title Matter Anyway? – This was not, for legal reasons ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ but, let’s face it, with Clive Anderson hosting a series of hilariously-performed improv games by Greg Proops, Mike McShane, Stephen Thompson and Lee Simpson, it doesn’t really matter. We were also treated to the rare sighting of Paul Merton in his natural habitat: on stage in his pants.
Special mention to Thom Tuck for best flyer of the Fringe: Find him on Twitter @turlygod