Tag Archives: comedy

Peter Michael Marino – Show Up.

 

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

The first and most important thing to say about Show Up, Peter Michael Marino’s  latest one-man show, is that it is not written by nor is it about Peter Michael Marino. This show, as made clear on the flyer, is about the ‘shite life’ of the audience. This is a show that is completely new and fresh every day, written off the back of suggestions from the audience. Because of this, the show is brand new every day.

 

It would take a brave performer indeed to improvise an entire hour every day on their own. It would take an incredibly funny and intelligent performer to be able to do this. Luckily, Peter Michael Marino is a performer of great intelligence, wit and enough energy to light up the entirety of The Counting House (I think. I’m not an electrician but that seems about right).

 

The first half of the show is that set up for the improvisation. Peter has eight post-it notes with categories written on them such as ‘Family’, ‘Addiction’ and ‘Childhood’. He takes suggestions from the audience based on these categories, segueing into his own tales then back to the people in the room. This helps draw the crowd in on an immediately personal level.  All of these suggestions build towards the second-half, which is a traditional ‘one-man show’, which perfectly parodies the melo-drama of the form. The inclusive feel in the room is extended when he choose audience members to direct the play and the sound-scaping.

 

Peter is a deeply engaging performer who always leaves the crowd with a message. This will be the same message I will leave you with here. Just Show Up. You will never see this show again, and you don’t want to miss out!

 

Peter Michael Marino – Show Up.

Part of The Free Festival.

The Counting House.

1530.

Until 27th August.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Steve Whiteley – Wisebowm: The Struggle is Real

 

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Wisebowm is an urban poet whose struggle is real – the struggle with being the country’s leading urban poet. The struggle with working the nine to five. The struggle with trying to impress the right woman and please his friends and family. This is a musical about struggle.

 

Steve Whiteley has created a deeply likeable character in Wisebowm, a crackling parody of the faux ‘urban kid rap poet’, with pretensions of being ‘gangsta’ yet actually being achingly middle-class. Steve has perfectly identified the attitude and intricacies of these characters and presented them in a fresh way, via an engaging premise. I have seen many parodies of this type of character before, but have never seen it so well done.

 

The premise is a musical based around Wisebowm’s last year, and the struggles he has faced. Steve Whiteley uses the poems and music weaved together exceptionally within the narrative, and his performance absolutely fills the room. There is no ignoring Wisebowm when he is in full flow. The production of the music is also stand-out – the music and SFX all timed to comedic perfection.

 

I never like to make comparisons of one thing to another in these reviews but the narrative of The Struggle is Real, the music and poetry put me in mind of The Streets’ A Grand Don’t Come For Free (a personal note to Mr. Whiteley – I really apologise if this is off the mark of your intentions for the show. That really is one of my favourite albums and you have done a stellar job of parodying it!) Go and see Wisebowm while he is still tearing up the Edinburgh streets with his rhymes. You’ll be his next biggest fan!

Steve Whiteley – Wisebowm: The Struggle is Real

Part of the PBH Free Fringe.

Opium.

1345.

Until 26th.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Marjolein Robertson – Relations

 

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

As the title of the show would suggest, this is an hour of comedy about relationships brought by Marjolein Robertson from the Shetlands to Edinburgh. From the first moments, with Marjolein comparing her relationship with her Dutch Mother to Brexit, it is clear that she has a natural talent for bringing large-scale issues down to a very personal level, and also amplifying the personal in a great way.

 

Marjolein has a great stage presence, immediately bringing the audience into her world in a warm and engaging manner. Even when the types of relationships talked about are a little [rude], the crowd is never made to feel uneasy – Marjolein can take the ultra-personal and the sometimes dark and use her intelligences, emotional and comedic, to craft a set full of laughs.

 

All of this and we are treated to a glimpse of how the BBC series Shetland really should have been written! This is a show that has got something for everyone.

Mark Simmons – One Linerer

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

If one-line comedy were a religion, then Mark Simmons would be a Jedi Master of the craft. I have often thought that it must take an incredible mind to write a complete hour of clever, daft and whimsical word-play. Mark displays the very best of a sharp, quick-firing mind right from the very first moment of this show – he walks amongst the audience with a bag of popcorn, offering it the those gathered. Mark then riffs a few jokes from a quick chat with the various people taking the snack.

 

This is an hour of comedy of the highest standard, with Mark weaving quick one-line jokes, physical jokes and puns with something I have never seen at a comedy show of this ilk before – a longer narrative, which I will not reveal here but was hugely impressive. Every moment tied together, from start to finish in a set that demonstrates Mark’s ability to play with the form.

 

This intelligence and awareness comes along with some of the easiest charm to be found in comedy today.

Mark Simmons – One Linerer

Part of the PBH Free Fringe.

Bar Bados.

1500.

Until 26th.

Written by Christopher Moriarty

Gary Sansome – Bald Man Sings Rihanna

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A lot of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe have a deep message behind them – they concern the performer overcoming hardships and tragedies in a meticulously written narrative. It may sound like a disservice to say that Bald Man Sings Rihanna is not one of these shows. This is genuinely a compliment. What Gary Sansome presents in this hour of comedy is escapism of the highest order.
Even before the show began, Gary was playing with the crowd as they came in and found their seats, which he then rounded off by high-fiving every single person present. The start of the show was chaos, leading into rousing renditions of the Scottish National Anthem and the Barbados National Anthem (well, sort of).
The next hour was filled with superb crown-work, improvisation and the largest amount of energy I have ever seen used on stage. Gary made sure every single person in the room was in on the fun.
The show, as we may have guessed by the title, concerns a bald man, namely Gary, singing the songs of Rihanna – but not just Rihanna. We were also treated to the hits of JLS, Katy Perry and Kendrick Lamar. These songs were used as springboards for a lot of greatly-crafted jokes and improvisation.
If you want an hour of pure entertainment and hilarity, get to see Gary Sansome – and take your best singing voice with you!

Gary Sansome – Bald Man Sings Rihanna.

Part of the PBH Free Fringe.

Globe Bar.

2030.

Until 27th.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Tom Little – Rightly or Wrongly, for Better or Worse, the Fact Is This Is…

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Tom Little is a rare brand of comedian. A comedian who takes an idea, no matter how old or new, and presents it without airs or graces. He presents it, then presents it again and again, taking the idea to its logical conclusion, past its limit and into a new dimension of hilarity.

 

Tom presents his comedic ideas with an energy and impact that is hard to ignore, not that you would want to. The focus he brings to the stage, both in his own intent and bringing the audience into his world, adds an intensity and urgency to his words as each laugh, each punchline rattles around the room.

 

This show is about his journey growing up, one long narrative which flips from childhood to adulthood, taking absurdist turns towards yoghurt in the classroom, Gary Brooker and protractors. There is much more going on as well but it would be remiss of me to post spoilers here. Tom uses repetition to its absolute highest, flipping jokes on their heads in an enviable manner.

 

Tom’s writing is absolutely incisive, intelligently written and delivered in a way that leaves the audience twisting and turning every time he pulls the unexpected from unexpected places.

 

Tom Little – Rightly or Wrongly, for Better or Worse, the Fact Is This Is…

Part of the PBH Free Fringe.

Black Market.

1445.

Until 26th.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

 

 

 

Fish Finger Fridays – Fun Time Friends

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s not often that a sketch comedy troupe comes along, sees the rule book, reads the rule and decides to leave the rule book firmly in its wake. The sketch troupe in this instance is Fish Finger Fridays, made up of Anna Harris, Rajiv Karia Ollie Jones-Evans, who have brought a fun, energetic and very clever show to Edinburgh.

 

What Fish Finger Fridays do very well is to identify the tropes and stereotypes of being female or Asian in comedy, in entertainment and in life at large and turning these tropes on their head. The twists each sketch takes, planting the audience’s feet on the rub before whipping it away from under them, were incredibly clever and the energy and chemistry between the three Fun Time Friends washed over the audience in a fantastic manner.

 

Plus, I always love to see someone call a badger a dickhead.

 

The show was rounded up with a sketch about the Fun Time Friends watching the show as audience members of the Fish Finger Fridays show and so on…my brain hurts. Either way, it was a fresh take on ending the show with the obligatory ‘It’s free to get in…’ spiel. For an hour of irreverent and fresh sketch comedy, you should go and make some new Fun Time Friends.

Fish Finger Fridays – Fun Time Friends.

Part of the PBH Free Fringe.

Black Market.

1710.

Until 26th August.

Written By Christopher Moriarty.

Shelf: Boys

 

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Christopher’s Pick of the Fringe.

 

I went to see Shelf, a comedy duo made up of Rachel Watkeys Dowie and Ruby Clyde, on what was easily the hottest day during my Edinburgh visit. The audience, a packed house in a very hot room, sat in anticipation.

 

If the room was hot, the comedy from Shelf was even hotter – yet simultaneously a sweet breeze of fresh air. I’m going say this now, and probably repeat it throughout for clarity and because it bears repeating – Shelf are going to be massive. Right from the very first moment, Rachel and Ruby were immensely likeable and exuded an effortless charm over the audience.

 

The set up for the show is that they want to form a successful boy band, a through-line lasting the entire hour.  The first sketch was a Buzzfeed quiz which revealed faults, foibles and dysfunction within their presented friendship, letting the audience into their world in a novel way, as well as being incredibly funny. On the journey through this show, Shelf deal with topics such as break ups, love, friendship, sexuality, mental health and screaming pillows (something I really want in my day-to-day life!) in incredibly accessible and funny ways with a great deal of intelligence. There were even songs, something for everyone!

 

The chemistry between Rachel and Ruby absolutely sparkled, from the writing to the performance, page to stage, everything feeds into each other perfectly. I will repeat, Shelf are going to be huge. I cannot recommend going to see them highly enough – and do go and see them while they are free!

Shelf – Boys.

Part of the PBH Free Fringe.

Black Market.

1600.

Until 26th August.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Henry Churniavsky & Joe Bains: 2 Religions, 1 Comedy Show Review

 

Bunbury Magazine: ⭐⭐⭐

 

Comedy shows about religion can sometimes divide the audience’s expectations. Half of the audience may be predicting comedy that is a little close to the knuckle, and this can create a tension in the room.

 

Henry and Joe made sure that everyone in the room felt at ease, each performer delivering 30 minutes of solid comedy from the points of view of their respective religions – Henry being of the Jewish faith and Joe following Sikhism.

 

Joe and Henry each used their charm to disarm the audience in the room as they poked fun at their own religions and traditions – Joe’s jokes exploring cultural differences between India and the UK, such as the outsourcing of call centres and where Indian people in the UK can go for an authentic Indian experience. Again, Henry’s comedy explores what it was like growing up Jewish in Liverpool, with a great story about being excluded in a bar warming us up for what was to follow. All of the comedy from both performers subverted traditional jokes and stereotypes in a pleasing way.

 

I would have perhaps liked to see this exploration go a little deeper and it would have been great to see the performers on stage together, comparing and contrasting their own religions against each other’s and highlighting some absurdities and common ground. All in all though, it was an enjoyable hour of comedy which sought to challenge expectations and shed new light on and have fun with what could have been tense subject matter.

2 Religions, 1 Comedy Show.

Part of The Free Festival.

The Pear Tree.

Run now finished.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Phil Jupitus Is Porky The Poet In Survivalve

Phil Jupitus Is Porky The Poet in Survivalve 12:30-13:30 5-13th, 15-27th August Bannerman’s (Venue 357)

Bunbury Magazine: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Bunbury Award: Best Cathedral Based Poem 🏆

This beautifully playful show is utterly fabulous and is topped off by the splendid guest slot provided by the very talented Tim Wells.
The fantastically written pieces tackle a wide range of topics poignantly in some places and with belting punch lines in others.
And of course, the delivery is the perfect accompaniment to the poetry.

Tim Wells, is a superb poet. The imagery, life, warmth and colour is very apparent, all shot through with brilliant humour.
No matter what the length of the poem or the subject, he leaves his audience enthralled.
I’d say as close to a perfect guest slot for the show as one could get.

Between the passion of the performances and the gorgeousness of the work, lies a show that if missed, would leave your Fringe incomplete. 20170816_140029