Omar & Lee – We Are All Idiots ★★★★★

It was late, the audience was rowdy and these guys were Amazing.

They warmed the audience up with ease and their control throughout was superb. Energetic from start to finish and with a story that was strangely emotive given the overall tone of the performance, these two were a pleasure to behold.

We can say confidently that there was something for everyone in this show, from knuckle grazing ‘Should I laugh at this’ jokes to genuinely side-splitting witticisms and physicality, making this one of the best shows of the fringe.

Think satire infused with almost cartoon-like visual gags and magnificent facial hair, Omar & Lee really do have a unique chemistry  that carries their style of writing perfectly.

We arrived expectant, we left elated.

In short, they are a must-see duo who we predict, have a bright, nay, dazzling future in the industry.

omar-and-lee

Matt Price – Poltroon

Rating – ☆☆☆☆☆

‘Try reviewing this one’ Matt said at one point incredulously, so, we did.

Superb. Just superb. Excellent observational humor, Matt Price works the room expertly and is a marvelous story teller who is exceptionally easy to listen to.
There are some fantastically shocking punchlines which mix seamlessly  with the elements of brash honesty he brings to the performance.

The show was wonderfully intelligent, edgy in parts and extremely well crafted and his powers of recall followed the contours of the show very well indeed.

The banter with audience members is pinpoint and spot on, a rare talent one doesn’t see that often anymore. With such a feeling of warmth and positive atmosphere in the room, this for us was one of, if not the best show of the fringe.
Matt Price is here to remind all of us what good, beautifully crafted comedy is all about.
Seek him out, go watch him work.

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Tim Renkow – King of the Tramps: A Review

Bunbury Magazine Rating – ★★★★★

The first thing to say about Tim Renkow is, his comedy is not for the faint-hearted. If you like a sugar-coating, sprinkles of fairy dust and happy-go-lucky stories, Tim’s brand of comedy is not for you.

However, if you like blisteringly honest, ferocious and to-the-knuckle comedy (and let’s face it, who doesn’t) then Tim is most certainly the comedian for you.

Tim clearly has a wickedly sharp comic sense which he turns on his life with cerebral palsy, his time on the streets and, afterwards, being hounded by the homeless in a wonderfully dark manner. His tales are grounded in a fierce reality yet ‘out there’ in a glorious way. He weaves a great levity into his darkness, putting the audience’s minds at rest.

Not that the audience needed this comfort. Even with the brutal way in which Tim speaks about his life, there was never an uncomfortable moment.

Tim is a natural and confident performer with a wicked sense of comedy which is a pleasure to witness.

King of the Tramps was on at The Hive at 1950 as part of Heroes

James Christopher – What’s The Tory? Mourning Glory

Rating  – ☆☆☆☆☆

Easy to listen to and enjoyably bitter in parts, this performance really was excellent. Peppered with Oasis puns that work very well with the rest of the show, it is also a brave, informative with a few slow burn punch lines shot though a politically themed set which dips a tow into the murky depths of religion too. All of this makes for a superb watch.

James Christopher has an excellent stage presence and had superb control of the room throughout. Beautifully written and executed,  it was one of the best shows of the fringe.

Peter Brush – Dreams with Advert Breaks: A Review

Bunbury Magazine Rating – ★★★★

Peter Brush is not your ordinary comedian and his show, Dreams with Advert Breaks, is not your typical comedy show.

Peter’s show is all about dreams – more specifically, his dreams, and whether, looking back, he is getting his dreams and his memories confused with one another. With this premise, he sets off on an hour of playing around with some delightfully silly ideas, well-crafted and well-landed jokes that take in everything from being in the womb to playing rock-paper-sciccors.

He uses the room to his advantage too, making the very best use out of the intimate nature of the space to engage with the audience on a more personal level. He was once described in another review as not looking ‘like he’s meant to be on the stage’, something which, again he uses to his advantage. (By the way, we disagree with this!)

Peter’s is a well-rehearsed performance. What we particularly admired was the ending of the show, which brought back all those flights of fancy he takes the audience on and ties everything together. This is a deeply imaginative show about how we should embrace our imaginative side and is very funny indeed.

Dreams with Advert Breaks was on in The Banshee Labyrinth at 1310 as part of the PBH Free Fringe.

Lucy Frederick – Positively Livid

Rating – ☆☆☆☆☆

This performance is one of the most interesting shows of the fringe.  It’s sensitive, hard hitting and honest that grabs you and takes you down avenues you don’t expect. It explores inter family relationships and what happens when you lose the people in those relationships.

Far from being miserable or depressing however, it really is a comedy that commands laughter.  It’s heartwarming and so relatable on many levels.

Lucy Frederick works the room excellently, with bags of confidence and warmth. It is truly a pleasure to see such superbly written show.
Definitely a must see.

 

CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation – A Review

Bunbury Magazine Review – ★★★★★

The show we saw of Crime Scene Improvisation was a one-off, in more than one sense of the word. This intelligent group of actors work an entire murder mystery solely based on suggestions from the audience, meaning each performance is unique, never to be seen again.

Each and every person involved demonstrated a phenomenal skill in building an increasingly bizarre and hilarious story, filled with wonderfully 3-dimensional characters.

Our was the story of a young, world-leading shrew tamer who was force-fed a Lego statue of a shrew. Yes, we told you it was bizarre. The detective superbly lead the audience through the narrative as each of the characters interacted, unraveling revelations that eventually built to revealing the culprit.

This troupe of performers cannot be praised highly enough for their quick-thinking, interaction, both with each other and the audience and we cannot more strongly recommend seeing them if they should be in a town near you. It is of utter testament to them that the demand to see the show was so high that people were being asked to come back the next day.

CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation was on in Cabaret Voltaire at 1515 as part of The Free Festival.

Joz Norris – Hello, Goodbye: A Review

Bunbury Magazine Rating – ★★★★★

From the very start – not just the start of the set but from walking in to the room – it is clear that this will be a show of comedy with a difference.

Hello, Goodbye is a tale of love and death that takes in everything from Beatrix Potter to Van Morrison with a surreal look at what motivates us moving forward in life.

Joz is a very confident and charming performer. His work with the audience – involving them with the show and drawing them in to his wonderfully imaginative world – is first class. He makes brilliant use of props and music to craft his story and plays around with different forms of comedy to create a layered and unexpected narrative.

It was wonderful to see his subversion of these comedic forms – his subversion of character and improv comedy were very well thought out.

His dedication to the craft is admirable and he really does have a massive future ahead of him.

Hello, Goodbye was on at The Hive at 1840 as part of the Heroes model.

Dave Chawner – Circumcision: A Review

Bunbury Magazine Rating – ★★★★★

Bunbury Fringe Award – The From The Hood Award

Straight from the top of the show, it is clear that Dave Chawner is a confident performer who brings a great deal of cheek and charm to the stage.

This cheek and charm are deployed to fantastic effect whilst dealing with some very sensitive issues – this show is the story of Dave’s circumcision at the start of this year. As the story unfolds, the audience are taken on a journey through mental health issues and eating disorders, all of which are dealt with with the utmost respect and sensitivity. It is clear that Dave knows how to put an audience at ease with excellent delivery.

He even talks about sex in a way that had us in stitches but without being overtly graphic – for the most part – which is a very difficult skill to master.

The entire show had a great rhythm and flow, moving through the narrative with a natural pace that allowed the story to build momentum. There was a very clear message to take from the show, an uplifting message which we will not spoil here but we left knowing we had seen something brilliant from one of the loveliest people we met in Edinburgh.

Circumcision was on at Cabaret Voltaire.

Rachel Fairburn – Skulduggery

Rating – ☆☆☆☆☆

Brilliantly bold and refreshing, the show draws on personal experiences and anecdotes which are both totally relatable, while making you question why they should be relatable in some circumstances.

This carefully constructed, fairly self depreciative show is very well researched and an absolute pleasure to see. It is fabulous to see such a well crafted comedy, mixing subtleties with barefaced honesty.
So easy to listen to with a richness of mischievousness, Rachel Fairburn really is someone everyone must see .

It is a rare thing to see a room worked so superbly. There is an almost conversational ease which makes it feel as though Fairburn could be speaking to you one on one or to a room of thousands, it would still feel wonderfully personal. One of the best shows of the fringe in our opinion.

 

Rachel Fairburn

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