Tag Archives: free fringe

Phil Jupitus is Porky The Poet: Living in a World Where They Throw Ducks At The Bread

Phil Jupitus is Porky The Poet: Living in a World Where They Throw Ducks At the Bread
15:00 The Voodoo Rooms (Venue 68) 14-12, 14-26th Aug
PBH’s Free Fringe

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’m pretty sure Phil Jupitus is made of solid charisma and loveliness. A man who is never afraid to point at the reviewer in the room. He approaches his poetry with passion and zeal, lacing them together with fantastic anacdoates and asides. At every available opportunity he is warm and friendly, even making sure everyone is comfortable which is unusual at the fringe. He’s clearly there to enjoy performing as much as the audience are there to enjoy his work.
Jupitus shows an extraordinary flare and talent for the written word and, speaking as poets & writers who run their own spoken word night, to see him perform it is a thing of beauty.
The audience is in stitches in one minute and listening contented & completely enveloped in the next.

The techniques on display within his pieces are so well executed and the skillful changes of pace and tone make his performance accessible and highly enjoyable even to those who would not class themselves as ‘a poetry audience’.

This is an absolute must but do get there early, really early because this show fills up fast and it’s clear once you see it why that is.
It’ll mak your fringe.

Sketch Thieves

Sketch Thieves
13:00 – Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire (Venue 338) Aug 2-26th

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

From the start, this show was warm and welcoming. The entire room was attentive, expectant.

Love Hard
Tales From the Elsewhere 21:45 Laughing Horse @ Espionage (Venue 185) 2-26th Aug

The first sketch came from two familiar faces. They were none other than  the smashing chaps from Love Hard (Tales From The Elsewhere) and as you’d expect, the sketch they performed was a very well written piece, masterfully performed, quick witted with excellent word play and brilliant one liners. Quick and energetic, they really got the audience’s juices flowing.

Bad Clowns
Hostage: 16:30 Just The Tonic @ The Grassmarket Centre, just The Meeting Room (Venue 27) 18-26th Aug

Keeping the aforementioned juices going, a troop called Bad Clowns followed. With boundless energy and a slick performance, these three are smooth operators. The sketch they had prepared was silly, fun and very well written. They built suspense carefully, then crashed through it to a very satisfying end. Another strong performance to follow the first.

Lola & Jo
Focus Groupies: 16:00 Underbelly, Cowgate, Delhi Belly (Venue 61) 18-26th Aug

it was clear from the start that this was brilliantly written, and it was unusually performed. 4th wall? What 4th wall. A slow burning sketch that builds momentum and laughs through the writing and structure. The character work is pin point accurate and leaves you thinking of those people we know who are ‘exactly like that’. Highly enjoyable all round and easily a match for the first two.

Tina’s Leaving Party
Hot Young Things: 21:50 Just The Tonic @ Th Grassmarket Centre, Just The Meeting Room (Venue 27) 18-26th Aug

This is a lovely bit of business. True brilliance shines though here, as with the previous three acts. This is another demonstration of how timing, presentation and top notch writing comes together to produce something that really sticks with you. The subversion of expectation is masterful and the chemistry between the two is strong, leading to a fine honed performance.

4 excellent performances performing their own material but this show has only just begun.
Now, each group must present their interpretation of one of the other group’s sketch. So here’s what went down.

Love Hard as Lola & Jo

They really captured the sketch well and it got savage fast. The sketch went a slightly different way which was equally pleasing and brilliantly funny. Love Hard really captured the over sharing aspect of the sketch and extracted the urine magnificently. The crowd was waiting for it and they delivered, proving the excellent quick wittedness of the performers.

Bad Clowns as Tracy’s Leaving Party

Again, the friendly savagery showed early on and it was amazing. Bad Clowns looked like they had so much fun and so did the audience. I’m still laughing now as I type up this review. They captured the mannerism very well and the last sketch was incredible. I don’t think I’ll ever forget seeing two men stuffed into one t-shirt one of whom is brushing the other’s teeth fairly violently. That much toothpaste in one mouth should be illegal.

Lola & Jo as Love Hard

The hilarity just keeps on coming with this performance. I loved the fact that they riffed Shakespeare word for word. It totally blew mw away. The mock energy and silliness was perfectly captured and the friendly rivalry was palpable. An incredible performance presented passionatly and tenderly while being side achingly funny. Awesome. Just awesome. These two really have a feel for spontaneity.

Tina’s Leaving Party as Bad Clowns

Seeing a sketch written for three performers but presented for two was unbelievable. The incredible thing was that it didn’t make a difference. Far from feeling sparse they filled the time they had expertly with superb inpersonations of the guys from Bad Clowns and fabulous sarcasm. At one point I couldn’t look at them because I was laughing so hard. These two are highly skilled and so on point. The audience loved it and so did the performers.

The standard of comedy from all was matched here and I feel very lucky to have seen this. You simply must see this show. It would be foolish not to.

 

Charmian Hughes – Bra Trek

Charmian Hughes – Bra Trek
15:35 Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, Part of the Free Festival (Venue 170) Aug 2-12, 14-26th

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Right from the off, all of the audience members felt welcome and relaxed. The room was warm so ice water was to be dispensed if anyone said the safe word. I have to say, it’s the first comedy show I’ve ever been to with a safe word. I loved that touch. Charmian Hughes also went to the trouble of making fans from her flyers.
I mention all of this because that’s just the kind pf person she is. Friendly, considerate, thoughtful and quick thinking. These qualities come though in her material too so that her audiences see a well thought out, funny, delightful show that makes you feel good and makes you think. There is no option but to love it. Hughes is very charismatic and has a superb way of telling the beautifully written stories and material. Everyone in the room is completely invested and really enjoying themselves no matter what age or gender they are or identify as.
It is a performance that really encapsulates all of the frustrations, trials and triumphant feeling felt in seeking a sexy, supportive, non-bank account breaking bra.
There is, as always with Hughes’ shows, so much more than that to it.
You’ll just have to go and find out what I mean.

It’s a show for everyone. I can guarantee you’ll come away laughing and feeling spectacular.

 

 

Phil Ellis is Ready For The Big Time

Phil Ellis is Ready For The Big Time
19:40 – Heroes @ The Hive (Venue 313)
Aug 2nd-26th

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Phil Ellis has the most unique entrance to a show I’ve ever seen and I’m not telling you what it is. You’ll have to go and see for yourself.

Brilliantly executed and dripping with charisma, Ellis has a magnificent stage presence and handles the room masterfully. There is a lot of audience participation which is relaxed in nature, leading to some unexpected, hilarious outcomes adding more layers to an already exquisite show.

This performance is totally charming and completely peculiar, playing with different styles and conventions while utterly subverting expectations. It is also ram packed full of dark humour and pure genius.

If it were possible to give this 6 stars, I would. I’ve never seen anything quite like this and I very much hope I do so again.

Go and see it. It’s an absolute must see show. Don’t miss it. It’s one of the best experiences out there.

Gary G Knightley: Twat Out fo Hell

Gary G Knightley: Twat Out of Hell
11:35 @ City Cafe Aug 2-6, 8-20, 22-26th
Free Festival Laughing Horse

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This show is lively. Very lively. Quick witted with strong audience work, sharp observations and great stage presence Gary G Knightley commands the room and supplies some close to the knuckle, very funny material.

The show has good structure and is very well written and thought out. The pacing and timing come together to form a brilliantly funny performance for adults with a filthy sense of humour.

Knightley beings bags of charisma to the show with boundless confidence and some fairly unusual approaches to solving some of the world’s major problems.

If you’ve ever thought ‘I’,m going to hell for laughing at this’ not only is this the show for you but I’ll see you down there.

This is very much worth taking the time to see, just make sure you don’t take the kids or that reflective you have who’s easily offended. For me, this is top notch stuff.

Gethin Alderman: Limelight

Gethin Alderman: Limelight
14:40 @ Hispaniola (Venue 79) Aug 4-14, 16-25th
PBH’s Free Fringe

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Bursting with energy from the start, this peculiar performance is intense and welcoming from the start. Gethin Alderman even includes audience members loitering by the door, unsure whether to venture in. The hyper surreal quality of the performance continues on at the same pace, with the same energy throughout.
There was a wonderful ad-lib bit in the show where at one point a group of Spanish children came in and sat down to watch. Alderman began speaking in Spanish to them. This to me set him apart and added an extra fantastic layer to the show.

Alderman is quick on his feet in all senses of the phrase providing all round good fun for all the family, incorporating interesting and well developed character work and excellently crafted jokes.

Limelight is a cleverly written show that has positive messages and leaves the onlooker happy if not ever so slightly baffled but in the best possible way.

Go and see it for a total break from seriousness.

The Selkie, A Song of Many Waters by Fay Roberts

The Selkie, A Song of Many Waters by Fay Roberts
12:30pm @ 52 Canoes (Venue 366) 4-7th, 9-15th
PBH’s Free Fringe

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is the most beautifully descriptive show of the fringe. Fantastically performed, gently, powerful and at the same time poignant and completely enchanting, this show is not to be missed.
The show is perfectly written to suit the voice of the poet and the proof of this lies with the audience who are completely immersed in the world Fay Roberts has created.
The Selkie is a show that is impossible not to fall in love with.

The tale is told so vividly, the listener can almost see the colours and feel the textures of the narrative. This is a performance of many subtle layers which brings to life the stunning words written by this natural storyteller.

At times the story is woven is such a way that it’s almost hard to believe that it’s told in the same language in which you’re listening. I can guarantee you’ve never heard anything like this.

The passion behind the performance adds to the sheer escapism and the audience is very eager to hear more. Personally, I could listen to this for hours and still want more.
This is a tale of heartache, self discovery, identity and making your own way in a turbulent world. Full of twists and turns, the tale almost mimics the waters which form the essence of this piece.

Don’t miss this. You’ll regret it bitterly if you do because you will have missed out on something absolutely breathtaking, sublime and truly amazing.

Nathaniel Metcalfe – Chameleon, Comedian, Corinthian and Caricature

Bunbury Magazine – 

From the very beginning of this show, with Nathaniel welcoming the audience into the room with an easy and warm charm, it is clear that he is an expert performer. This is a show about how his 2014 lead to the break up of his relationship and how this is his first Edinburgh show since then.

It is a show that explores the paths and avenues of artistry, full of sideways glances at a wide array of subjects – the influential figures in his life such as David Bowie, Coco Pops and pretty much everything in between. This is a sharp comedic brain in action which knows how to write a tightly bound narrative, where unexpected and surreal turns to things such as Dylan covering the theme tunes of 1980’s sitcoms are never left by the wayside, and feed into a fantastic ending. Every moment is well-constructed, moves with purpose and confidence and displays exactly what the performer is capable of.

Nathaniel Metcalfe has put together a show here that has everything. There is superb use of multimedia – a break-down of a bizarre Jeremy Irons interview and subsequent return later in the show is a particular highlight. It’s an innovative, intelligent and sharp-witted hour of comedy that demonstrates how Metcalfe is absolutely at the top of his game.

This was a hour of comedy that was an absolute pleasure to be part of.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Nathaniel Metcalfe – Chameleon, Comedian, Corinthian and Caricature

Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, 1310

2nd – 26th August (except 14th)

Phil Nichol: Your Wronger

Phil Nichol: Your Wronger
21:00 Monkey Barrel (Venue 515) Aug  2nd-26th
Heroes @ Monkey Barrel

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Even before some audience members had taken their seats, Phil Nichol makes it clear what kind of show this is going to be. In a warm and friendly manner, bouncing with energy, Nichol greets pretty much every audience member making sure they’re happy and comfortable. This already sets the show apart from others. From early on in the performance it is clear that Nichol is a born story teller, using highly descriptive language to paint hilarious and at times, poignant pictures in the eye of the beholder.
The audience is taken on a journey which is not only beautifully but passionately told and with masterful timing and pace.

Full of peculiar peeks and troughs, the show is a reflection of some of the most ridiculous, sometimes cringe worthy and occasionally outright bizarre situations that life has thrown at him. On the other hand, it is entirely relatable in that side splitting, head shaking way that, in parts of the show makes you think, I know exactly what you mean.

Nichol is the definition of charm and charisma with razor sharp wit and stage presence. This show has a definite feeling of the triumphant about it, packed with positive messages that leave you feeling really good.

Go to this show. It’s impossible not to absolutely love every second of it.

Simon Jablonski: Love

Simon Jablonski: Love
12:45am @ The Free Sisters (Venue 272) Aug 2-13, 15-26th
Free Fringe Laughing Horse

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Blunt and deadpan from the off, Simon Jablonski controls the room well with strong material and lots of energy. Different sections of the show have a different feel and pace to them which only serves to strengthen the overall performance as the pace changes suit the subject matter brilliantly. It shows an entirely different level of skill in the presentation of the show and that’s what good comedy is all about. The theme of love is explored in every conceivable way all the while completely subverting expectations with the clever writing and well structured, well thought out show.

Jablonski demonstrated all the way through that he is quick witted and someone who can roll with the punches.
The observations an anecdotes eave you with no choice but to sit back and enjoy while vivid, images are painted for you with great timing and sharp witted language.

Go and see this show. Yes, it may be on a little later but it’s well worth it. You’ll be glad you did. We were.