Sunday, August 28, 2016

Edinburgh Fringe Festival Review!

My first time doing the Edinburgh Fringe Festival was exhausting from the start.  As soon as we got to the top end of the Royal Mile I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the huge amounts of people walking a bit too slowly. Overwhelmed by people giving us endless leaflets and people performing on the street. We decided to head to one show as it started in ten minutes but ended up missing it because of us getting lost in the back streets of Edinburgh. The guy at the box office who didn’t let us into that show gave us a load of recommendations, and led us to the Three Sisters pub. We ended up being led into a tiny room to see Lucy Pearman perform her show #Crackinprogress. We had no idea what to expect but a load of us had to squeeze into a tiny room.  I had to stand on a sofa with my head by one of the speakers. A woman dressed as a big egg, who talked in a quiet southern American accent went around the room asking us to kiss her, she pulled out a bag with eggs and put them on people’s heads. She gave one guy a big sign with ‘Mr Strong Hands’ and she got us all to sing ‘who wants to see my family’ over and over again until she revealed what was inside the egg box she was holding. Even Lucy admitted she had no idea what was going on, and the show had a loose plot but was mostly entirely improvised and relied on audience participation.  I don’t want to ruin the surreal joy of her show with spoilers, but her show is highly recommended.
The next show we saw was in the Opium pub by the Irish comedian Rory O’Hanlon, simply because we walked past the pub and he told us it was on in 10 minutes. This was a far more conventional stand-up comedy show but no less funny for it. His jokes were mostly about, drinking, Australia, Ireland and Irish attitudes to life. Which felt familiar yet still hilarious.
The smallest venue of the festival by far was The Titter Van. A For Transit which held stand-up comedy shows every 15 minutes for £1.  The show I saw was Pete from the Comedy trio ‘Imaginary playground’ dressed as a priest holding a sermon where all involved had to worship a spare tire by putting our hands through its holes, confessing our sins into to it and finally marrying each other through it. All while Pete made gurning faces and shone a torch through the tyre in the tiny dark van. Worth every penny.
The last show was also on in ten minutes. Thankfully the long dark alleyway was the route to ‘Comedians against Humanity’ rather than a mugging. Hosted by Yianni Agisilaou and featuring guest comic Ben Van Der Velde and Sully O’ Sullivan, as well as another comic I can’t remember the name of (I think his name was Matt). The premise was simple, Each audience member would pick 3 white cards against humanity, with random phrases on them while the comedians would choose the black cards and create comedy routines based entirely from our suggestions. It helped that each comedian had a totally different style and personality. Some of the routines included, Manchester United giving up football to instead slap people who take the vegetarian option, Theresa May’s death committee and their plan to kill Samuel L Jackson and the Police efforts to combat the new drug ‘Black Death’  with Grammar Nazi’s who are also actual Nazi’s, and the euphoric rush of killing a homeless person. Like the other shows this was totally free, but with donations encouraged. It was an exhausting but brilliant day.
I've nabbed the above photograph from

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