Its been 11 years since I really went to the Edinburgh festival. Back then I was running BBC Backstage and via some smart people decided to put on the Edinburgh TV Unfestival. I got to a few events but never really got going. So 11 years later, with my partner I was back.
The comedians make a living from word of mouth, I felt it would be wrong not to write a quick summary of what I thought of each one.
Friday 3 Aug
- Abigoliah Schamaun: Do You Know Who I Think I Am?! – Underbelly Cowgate at 21:00
She was great, very funny and the smart deconstruction of comedy was just awesome. Well worth it
- Werewolf: Live – Underbelly Cowgate at 22:50
I saw this and just had to be there, werewolf has so much potential to be funny and this 8 person game with the audience was hysterical. Hate getting voted off first and there was a weird sense of something going on. So I raised the stakes with black lives matter which really got things going. If you love werewolf, you will love this. Good stuff!
- Hate ‘n’ Live – Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters at 0015
People put topics in a hat for the 4 comics to hate on, what could go wrong? Well ask Chris McGlade, who took it too far and had to be told not to sexually attack the audience. It was uncomfortable to say the least and I did notice some people leave. Luckily Leo Kearse and Nick Elleray kept things enjoyable. Sure Hate’n’live could be fun but that night was so-so, even with jokes about who pays on the first date… Wonder who put that one in the hat? (my partner said laughing to herself)
Saturday 4th Aug
- Robin Morgan: Honeymoon – laughing horse at 1600
Recommended from one of my partners friends, it was enjoyable mainstream comedy, nothing edgy, just nice. Well told too.
- Kevin Quantum: Vanishing Point – Cow Barn in Underbelly Bristo Square at 18:45.
This was likely one of the worst things I saw the long weekend. Kevin was good but not a derren brown or penn & teller. The magic was further spoiled by sitting in the front row. But it could have been worst I guess.
- Chris Henry: Around the World in 80 Dates – Clover in Underbelly Bristo Square at 20:10
Ok Chris was funny his comedy did strike home with me but it wasn’t as good as some of the other acts on the other days.
- 2 Girls, 1 Cup… of Comedy – Just the Tonic at The Mash House at 23:15
It was another good comedy stand up from two women.. Things were going well for the second one till someone threw up at the back. The already hot room started to smell badly. Good fun regardless
Sunday 5th Aug
- Mark Thomas – Check Up: Our NHS at 70 – Traverse Theatre at 10:00
I hated waking up early and I was cursing Mark Thomas for a 10am start especially after 2 girls 1 cup less than 10 hours before. But Mark Thomas was incredible and likely the best of my weekend. Thoughtful, funny and something to take away from the 90mins.
- Brexit stage left – Cannons gait at 1610
Reasonable free gig with some good laughs, nothing about brexit however. Wasn’t bad but nothing noteworthy for me
- Good Grief – Tolbooth Market at 1730
Such a good stand up story with a audience of me, my partner and a stranger. The storytelling was told very well and really took us for a ride around her life. Deserves a watch for sure!
- Holt and Talbot: Mansplaining Feminism – City Cafe at 2000
Oh boy, this was funny and I get the whole point. It was like the guilty feminist’s opening played out over a series of comically role play. Fun and interesting.
- Terrible Sex Tips: Live and Uncut – Grassmarket 4 at 21:10
Remember when I won 2nd prize at Smutslam? Well the host Cameron took to the stage with her sex tips or rather a deconstruction of the sex tips you get in magazines and other places. It was a rallying cry for diversity of thought, communication and emotional intelligence. Next to Mark Thomas, I think it was one of my highlights from the fridge. Lots to take away for anybody.
- Kitchen Party Action – Laughing horse Espionage at 2245
In a cramp almost bunker like room only saved by the massive fans, was some good standup comedy. Nothing too much, just standup which makes you chuckle and laugh even when its so late. Glad we saw the 6ft 5inch comic on a stage which gave him about 1-2 inches of headroom. Good show lots of and smiler
- Best of the Fest – Assembly Hall at 0000
Things on Sunday were going great, so I decided to pay for the best of the festival and see 5 acts on a big stage. Didnt enjoy the MC (Charlie Baker) but the acts got better and better. Here’s who was on stage… Felicity Ward, Lloyd Langford, Catherine Bohart, Christ Kent, Fin Taylor. You can see why they were chosen the best for the day.
- Late nights LOLs – Laughing Horse at 0130
I thought after coming out the Assembly hall I should do one more before heading back to the Airbnb. So on the way back I went to the laughing horse for some free but not great comedy. The 5 comedians tried but to be fair it was late and lots fell flat. Heck it was 2am by that point
Monday 6th Aug
- Eat sleep shit shag – City Cafe at 1345
Certainly a fun show in a very hot and busy venue. She was relentless with the jokes and comedy, I think in a cooler room she may have more of the audience clapping and laughing. It was good but I wouldn’t seek it out especially.
- Sara Barron: for worst, Just the tonic at 1540
This was great comedy, a bit for everyone and really refreshing to before the train ride back to Manchester. Highly recommended for those endless laughs. Another one of my best from the weekend.