this is an article from 2018What We’re Watching (late Fringe 2018)

There’s (STILL) too much stuff in the brochure. There’s (STILL) TOO MUCH EFFING BLINKING STUFF in the sh*tting brochure. Let us break it down for you. What time is it now? OK, so go and see this:

F = Free or pay what you want


Stupid O’Clock

11:00 at Pleasance Dome [23] Alabama God Damn until 26 (not 21) A Gothic road trip to the deepest and dirtiest parts of Dixieland, influenced by TV shows S-Town and True Detective and the music of Seasick Steve. I thought the cool kids had ditched Seasick Steve? Apparently not. Should make your breakfast go down.

12:15 at The Counting House (Laughing Horse) [170] A Piece of Cake until 26 This year, if you wanted to, you could easily just stay all day at the Counting House and see some amazing stuff. I mean, it’s really off the scale as a free venue. So why not start that experience – gently – with this selection of comedians doing stuff about ‘enjoying things’… with free homemade cake! F

12:30 at Bar-Bados (PBH) [32] Jack Shanik: A Verbal Tightrope Walk until 25
Silly one-liners, risqué one-liners, ludicrous one-liners. A lot of it is wordplay. Jack’s show starts daft and gets dafter as we go. But it’s not just a collection of jokes, it’s a game with the audience to see how much we can take. F

12:35 at Voodoo Rooms (PBH) [68] Punel Show until 26 The thing about pun comedy is that it can very quickly become exhausting and suffer from diminishing returns. But there is something about Darren Walsh and Mark Simmons’ friendship that makes this one rather charming, and it benefits from constant format changes and a keen sense of competition. Also a guest participant who usually has no idea what to make of it all. F

12:45 at Free Sisters (Laughing Horse) [272]
Simon Jablonski: Love until 26 If you can find a funnier show about the fecund fields of love (let alone one that begins in a toilet), we’d be astonished. Simon tries to evaluate his failings by talking about love. His jokes don’t so much punch up as punch himself. F

12:30 at La Belle Angele (JTT)[301] Afternoon Delight until 26 Well, Just the Tonic have some pretty good acts this year so, at this time of day, you won’t do better than seeing a clutch of them here. It’s a nice venue that doesn’t get too hot (famous last words). Sally-Anne Hayward, Tom Ward, Nick Price, Adam Rowe: NONE of these were on when we called in. But hey, it changes every day, and it’ll be good.

13:00 at C Aquila [21] Abstract Stand-Up Art until 27 We’re always intrigued when something that’s within our ‘funny’ remit turns up at C because we know it’ll be comedy from someone not versed (should we say jaded?) in the ways of stand-up. This bloke (no name provided) will be using art to ask questions like, I dunno, did God mean us to use toilets? To fold or scrunch? Hey, it’s probably not as low-brow as Kipper is making out.

13:45 at Tollbooth Market (PBH) [98] Alex Martini: Mad About Food until 25 (not Tuesdays) Alex, if you hadn’t guessed, is Italian and thinks his people are GastroFascists™, while the Brits don’t give two hoots about what we put in our mouths. Leave your prejudices at home and gain some new ones. Perhaps inevitably, Martini’s humour is a bit dry (sorry). F

14:00 at Banshee Labyrinth (PBH) [156] Horror – Gothic Tales and Dark Poetry, til 26 (not 22) “Night time. Yearning. Ecstasy. The abyss of the human soul”… Isabel Schmier takes us to all these happy places through poetry. Shouldn’t this sort of thing be on at midnight? Perhaps, but it’s the Fringe innit. You do your thing wherever you can find a corner. It IS in a haunted venue though. F

14:15 at Bar 50 (Laughing Horse) [151] Kevin Precious: Unholier Than Thou until 26
Kevin (a)muses on his experiences in teaching RE to teenagers as a non-religious sceptic humanist agnostic, along with the philosophy of religion and the God-shaped hole. This is no TED talk though, nor any sort of anti-theist rant, but a funny show with plenty of wry absurdity. F

14:30 at Espionage (Laughing Horse) [185]Pottervision til 26 There’s always a clutch of boy-wizard shows here in Rowling City, and this looks like a good one for fans and reluctant tag-alongs alike. The cast will re-enact the bits from the movies that don’t make much sense. And no, you can’t just say ‘Well it’s magic innit?’ That’s cheating. F

14:45 at Espionage (Laughing Horse) [185] First World Problems until 26 Part comedy show, part rap gig, part group therapy, Andy Quirk and Anna J present an hour of musical nonsense where self-consciousness is left at the door marked Silly Good Times. Wrigley LOVES this show. Anna J’s surly rapper routine is hilarious. F

14:45 at Gilded Balloon Teviot [14] Benny 9-13 As a counterpoint to all the right-on stuff, how about this: a sympathetic one-man exploration into the life and lonely death of Benny Hill, a man disowned by TV at the height of his powers for being on the wrong side of social progress.

14:45 at The Pear Tree (Laughing Horse) [257]
Olaf Falafel: There’s no i in idiot until 26 Olaf is one of those hyper-successful social media comedians. Where Olaf differs from most online content providers is that he can also do it live on stage. In fact, for our money it’s on stage where his surrealism is really at home. F

14:50 at Liquid Rooms (PBH) [276] Stuart Goldsmith: End Of til 26 (not 16) Last year’s Like I Mean It got big star ratings across the board, apart from Kate Copstick in the Scotsman, who called it ‘comedy brilliance’ and gave it three. (Don’t ask, we’ve given up.) Anyway this year he’s doing “upbeat resentment”. A sort of cheerful pre-Nazi Morrissey… and in a massive room. But you’ll still need to get there early. F

15:00 at Monkey Barrel [515] Tony Law: A Lost Show until 26 Tony lost years of his life to, ahem, supporting the Bolivian economy, and from the rubble of those years he finds a toy bear in a space suit. What is it? What does in MEAN? Tony’s as barking as ever but this is beautifully sad and thoughtful too.

15:25 at The Stand New Town Theatre [7] Mitch Benn: Doing It on Purpose until 26 Mitch Benn is one of the country’s leading satirists. This show features some great new tunes including Flat Earthers, Alternative Right and eight other songs that would be hits if musical comedy was as popular as it should be.

15:30 at Moriarty’s (Laughing Horse) [332]Ahab; or What If Moby Dick Were Stand-Up Comedy til 26 (not 20) Kipper will admit he knows nothing about this show’s creator Jonny Gillam, but he calls himself a niche idiot. I love a niche idiot with a literary fixation, and there’s not much else happening at this end of town. Incidentally, this place used to be a strip club. Kipper got thrown out of here once, but don’t let that put you off. F

16:20 at Sweet Novotel [188] Sameena Zehra: Existerhood until 26 Sameena is not a fan of arsebiscuits, though she is a fan of the word ‘arsebiscuits’. Arsebiscuits are negative or selfish folk. How do we purge the planet of arsebiscuits without becoming arsebiscuits ourselves? Don’t know, but you’ll be saying (and recognising) arsebiscuits for the rest of the Fringe.

12:50 at Monkey Barrel [515] Nish Kumar: It’s in Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves (Work in Progress) until 26 This was still a little faltering and juddery when Kipper saw it but Nish is always both charming and disarming, and some of the routines showed every sign of being stunning by, erm… what day are you reading this? YES! Today! This oven will go DING! on this show TODAY. Deffo. F

17:00 at Kilderkin (PBH) [227] Alex Love: Stop the Press, I Want to Get Off until 25 (not 22) How do you get swearing into the Fringe brochure? You write it in journalist’s shorthand and put it in your submitted image. Apparently it says ‘I bet you can’t read shorthand you massive cunts / Fuck the Big 4 / The brochure fees are too high. Or something. Ha ha! It just shows the FFS brochure-monkeys aren’t real journalists! Sorry? What’s that? Can WE read shorthand? Erm… no. F

17:00 at Gilded Balloon Teviot [14] Dominic Frisby’s Financial Game Show, until 26 (not 15) Dominic Frisby is a very intellectual chap, so Kipper believes him when he says ‘you’ll learn something’. He’s a libertarian too, mind, so the answer to most questions may well be ‘Dismantle the State’.

17:15 at theSpace@Niddry St [9] Kids Play 13-25 An actual theatre piece has sneaked onto this list, ‘cos Wrigley is a fan of ‘Taggart’ creator Glenn Chandler. This play, on which he worked as head writer, features a stuffed toy but is very much for adults only.Don’t give away the twists!

17:30 at The Counting House [170] (Laughing Horse) Godley’s Cream (4-26) Janey Godley doesn’t script her Edinburgh shows, she simply talks about whatever is happening that day. But after 20 years of touring and performing, she’ll have a ton of classics to treat us with as well as new yarns. Godley is the queen of Scottish comedy and Wrigley adores her. F

17:30 at City Café (Laughing Horse) [85] Bollywood and Birmingham to Berlin and Brexit until 26 Named after a Bollywood legend, Dharmander Singh was always “Too brown for the white kids and the wrong brown for the brown kids” this comedy about identity says something different. It’s also packed full of laughs. F

18:15 at Grassmarket Centre (JTT) [27] Comedy in the Dark til 26 (not 20) This is an idea that began at the Leicester Comedy Festival about 10 years ago and has grown ever since. It’s a simple idea to switch the lights off but somehow, when you’re deprived of other distractions, comedy suddenly regains its magic. Different comics each night.

18:30 at Assembly George Square Studios [17] Terry Alderton: The Musical until 27 For a brief moment during Terry’s barnstorming performance, Wrigley felt sorry for comedy reviewers. It is not hyperbole to describe this show as beyond description. Take no notice of the programme blurb, it won’t help. Wrigley has seen it three times now and it just gets funnier.

18:30 at Beehive Inn [178] Gary Little: Big Mouth til 27 The first time Kipper saw Gary Little he laughed because he was scared Gary might hurt him if he didn’t; the second time he was satisfied Gary would never do that, and laughed because Gary is a behemoth of Glaswegian charisma.

18:30 at Free Sisters (Laughing Horse) [272] Twisted until 21 For one week only musical comedian Aaron Ajay delivers his energetic and aggressive musical comedy, peppered with expletives and very dark undertones. This show isn’t safe for children (or anyone else), but it is utterly brilliant. F

18:45 at Dropkick Murphy’s (Laughing Horse) Aaaaaaaaand Now It’s Time for… Roger Swift’s Pun-U-Matic (The Second Leg) til 26
The UK Pun Championship finalist in 2016 and 2017 presents 45 minutes of puns. Roger Swift doesn’t care about appearing slick as he roots through his Tardis-like bag of gag props. So be pun-ctual. Don’t get a pun-cture. Please don’t pun-ch me. F

19:00 at Pleasance Courtyard [33] Anuvab Pal: Empire, until 26 We woke kids are used to finding the Empire, like Brexit, a bit embarrassing. So this is a timely reminder that, to Anglophile Indians, our 1947 walk-out was just as exasperating.

19:05 at Stand 4 [12] Aatif Nawaz: Instant GrAATIFication until 26 For his fourth solo comedy show at the Fringe, Aatif explores how the public (including his comedy audience) have turned into impatient beings. Impatient for food. Impatient for work. Impatient for love. Aatif gives you what you deserve. You deserve hilarious.

19:15 at The Counting House (Laughing Horse) [170] Martha McBrier: Fur Coat Nae Knickers until 26
This is a funny show about class. Has the Glaswegian Martha become so successful that she has, ‘forget the auld arse ye sat on’? A highly personal story from a sort of earthbound, female, Scottish Arthur Dent. Sort of. F

19:30 at The Waverley Bar (PBH) [438] Alexander Bennett: Housewive’s Favourite til 25 (not 21) There’s something spookily LeStat-ish about Alexander Bennett. Just as unnerving is just how good he has become in the past five years. Here he talks about his abusive ex. F

20:00 at The Caves (Just the Tonic) [88] Nathan Cassidy: If I Caused the Financial Crash of 2008 until 26 Nathan is a trickster and a former banker. In the spirit of OJ Simpson’s book If I Did It, he suggests that if he HAD caused the financial crash of 2008 this is how he would have done it. This show is as solid as a (Northern) rock. F

20:15 at Black Medicine (Heroes) [503] Sam Nicoresti’s Bedtime until 26 This rather charming debut from Sam explores the world of dreams and sleepover fun. Apparently the only ‘review’ it has received so far was an unmarked package of LSD, delivered to Sam’s home address. Maybe save it to get through the comedy awards?

20:45 at Harry’s Southside (Laughing Horse) Ashley Haden: We All Die C*nts until 26 This is the third and final chapter of Haden’s C*nting Trilogy. Who knew that listening to comedy’s own Leonard Cohen could be so cathartic? F

21:00 at Gilded Balloon Teviot Luisa Omielan: Politics For Bitches until 26 (not 23) When Luisa performed What Would Beyonce Do? In a free venue in 2013 it suddenly changed the landscape of women in stand-up. This was so brash, so confident, so unapologetic and so inspiring to the sisterhood that it even made Dominic Cavendish in the Telegraph lose his sh*t.

21:00 at Assembly George Square Theatre [8] Andrew Maxwell: Shake a Leg until 26 See a true veteran of the Fringe dismantle Brexit and the increasingly terrifying world of digital disinformation. A class act who is passionate about his lampoonery.

21:15 at Three Broomsticks (PBH) [398] The LOL Word until 25 Wrigley hasn’t seen it this year yet but saw it last Fringe and loved it – but it was just too late for our second issue. Simply the best in lesbian stand-up, with a policy of “no sexism, racism, transphobia, classism” … sort of like Lolitics used to be, but hopefully without the [Let’s move on shall we? – Ed] F

21:40 at Pleasance Dome [23] Yianni Agisilaou: I, Human 1-26 For the best part of a decade Yianni has been delivering consistently thoughtful, scientific, philosophical – and funny – explorations into the human condition. This one examines the relationship between us and our technology. Expect talk of sex droids.

22:15 at Underbelly Bristo Square [302] Tori Scott is #Thirsty til 27 This musical comedian from New York is known as ‘the Judy Garland for the Grindr era’ and ‘the Bette Midler of the new millennium’. Depends on your references really. Scott’s version of The Trolley Song (you know, ‘clang clang clang went the trolley’… ) from Meet Me in St Louis is hysterical.

23:00 at The Tron (Just the Tonic) [51] Oleg Denisov: Doublethink until 26 A good dose of satire from a Russian perspective, this is in turns intelligently political and then, just when the hard stuff threatens to become too much, very silly. From Orwell, Dostoevsky and Chekhov to some puns that Tim Vine would be proud of. F

23:50 at Spiegelyurt (Heroes) [327] Lucy Hopkins: Secrt Circl 4-26 This is Wrigley’s favourite show so far at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Lucy (pic below) shapeshifts between characters as she presents a healing seminar. What follows is an utterly joyous 90 minutes of interactive clowning, stand-up and improv from a comedy genius at the height of her powers. F

23:55 at Underbelly Cowgate [61] Spank! (til 26) If you’re going to see a drunken late-night variety show then it might as well be Spank! which, for about a trillion years, has been bringing us an imaginative mix of bad behaviour. This could be gratuitous nudity onstage or a group of 50 estate agents in the audience who won’t shut the f*ck up. It’s like a comedy cock fight really, but messier.