Edinburgh Fringe Festival Comedy Reviews 2010

Lee Nelson’s Well Good Edinbra Show *****
Pleasance Above. 22.20pm

Lee Nelson

Fresh from his BBC3 hit series ‘My Name’s Lee Nelson’ in my opinion the best comedy show on TV in 2010, Lee Nelson carried on just where he left off.

Hugely engaging, charismatic, ‘street’ comedian. The significantly high level of audience participation and interaction, make this a true gem of a show to see.

Absolutely hilarious. Very reminiscent of Norman Wisdom, Harry Enfield and Ali G with his infectious sense of fun.

Topics covered included relationships, young Mums, England’s world cup, humorously blunt with sexual connotations. Not for the easily offended, but will appeal to the young and old alike. Lee has a tremendous and unusual knack of being able to engage all ages.

Great show. A highlight of my festival. Go see him if you’re lucky enough to get a ticket. If not, try to get one for his UK tour starting next month, September 2010.

Andi Osho – Afro-blighty ***

The Stand 4. 28 York Place. 17.35pm, 20th August 2010

Andi Osho

Quite political, light-hearted fun from this young East Londoner.

Highly engaging performer, who tries to involve audience, but not overtly or embarrassingly so.

Lively set covering race, relationships, growing up in multi-cultural London, with a surprising twist at the end, one which you’re unlikely to see elsewhere on the Fringe. Good fun.

Ava Vidal – Lessons I Should Have Learned ***
The Stand 4. 28 York Place. 15.15pm, 20th August 2010

Ava Vidal

Quite political, lots on relationships, cultural divide and highly and astonishingly and humorously confessional. Very interesting and funny, with not a little pathos too.

Definitely worth seeing.

 

Reginald D Hunter – Trophy Nigga *****
Pleasance Grand. 8pm. 19th August 2010

Reginald D Hunter

African-American, perennial Edinburgh favourite Reginald D Hunter is the ‘King of the Blacks’ … According to him anyway !

To be fair to Reginald, after Thursday night’s sold out performance at one of the Edinburgh Fringe’s Largest venue (700) , the Pleasance Grand, he might well be justified in that moniker.

In his customary easy-going, laid back, confident style, he delivered an intelligent, thoughtful master class of comedy about Tiger Woods, politics, relationships, women, men, and his family with highly confessional anecdotes.

If you can get a ticket, do so. I thoroughly recommend this show.

WMD ***
Jazz Bar. 16a Chambers st. 5-7pm daily.

4 comedians compered by Andrew O’Neil, with Joe Rowntree and ‘Political Animal’ Andy Zoltsman headlining. All pretty good, including music, short film and free nibbles.

Line up changes regularly. Just £4 for 2 hours of entertainment. Very good value for money.

Busting Out *****
Assembly Rooms. 18.50pm

Australian duo, no pun intended, or should that be foursome, Bev Killick and Emma Powell, present an hour and 10 minutes of innovative comedy focusing on the weird and surprisingly versatile showcase of breasts interspersed with song. Very funny. Very different.

Though I’ve not seen the famous ‘Puppetry of the penis’ show, I suspect this must be the female version.

This popular show will be touring Glasgow and England after this Edinburgh Fringe run. I think they have a big hit, on their hands and I wish them all the very breast.

Patrick Monahan – I walked, I danced, I ran. ****

Wine Bar – Gilded Balloon. Teviot Square. 9pm

Patrick Monahan

Warm, engaging hour with genial Iranian, Irish, Middlesbroughonian (??) taking his audience on a journey about life up North, with a touch of Iranian history thrown in to boot. Patrick attracts a diverse (in age and origins), international audience – Canada, Finland & Ireland all represented and utilised for humorous comedic effect.
Brilliantly funny ending linking the show’s theme to the finale. As per usual with a P Monahan show you leave with a big smile on your face, feeling a whole lot happier than you were on entering the venue.

The show over ran a little, a PM trademark, which highlights a small weakness, in the story telling, audience banter style he has, as it means it’s all too easy to overrun and therefore prevents him covering everything he wishes to. Perhaps would benefit from tighter focus on the jokes and linking the material to the title of the show.

Felix Dexter – Multiple Personalities in Order. ****

Pleasance Above. 9pm.

Felix Dexter

Well loved for his comedy character, Felix Dexter presents an entertaining hour of character comedy, interspersed with pure stand up. Good laughs were to be found with the various characters – Early D, the self-styled “Lion of Harlesden (and entrepreneur)”; Aubrey Dubuisson, the terminally English, public school, Cotswold living Architect and Julius Olufemwe, Hotel Management student and admirer of all things English. I found Felix’s pure stand up to offer more in the way of belly laughs, including a good line in social commentary too.

An engaging comedian who banters well with his audience, reacting spontaneously and wittily to the unpredictable quips from his audience.

Shappi Khorsandhi – The Moon on a Stick *****

Pleasance Above. 19.50

Shappi Khorsandi

Terrific new set from Shappi Khorsandhi focusing largely on the break up of her marriage, given somewhat added spice with her ex also being a comedian who “you won’t have heard of.” Ouch !!

This and their 3-year-old son provided plenty of humour and a tad bitchiness (very funny though) as well. Impressive to see how Shappi’s come on over a relatively short space of time to now be filling the Pleasance Above theatre, one of the larger sized venue’s at the Fringe.

There were a few fluffed lines due to the incredible heat inside the venue, but that didn’t detract from a well delivered very funny set, with some amusing audience participation and sharp one-liners, for instance, to the gentlemen leaving shortly before the end and a fellow comedian who briefly joined her on-stage.

Do You Know Where you’re Daughter is? *****

Gilded Balloon, Venue No14. Bristo Square.

Angie Le Mar and cast of 'Do you know where youre daughter is?'

Gritty urban drama about a mother and her daughter and their fractured relationship as a result of the terrible consequences of her daughter X’s association with her peer group and

boyfriend. This is a very interesting, well written and powerfully acted drama, starring Angie Le Mar, the writer and director, who wasn’t actually meant to be in the play, but stood in last-minute following the late drop out of one her lead actresses. Such was the quality and believableness of her acting, you’d never have guessed. Particularly gripping was her confrontation with the young boy who got involved with her daughter.

Angie Le Mar plays the part of the single mum struggling to provide guidance for her teenage daughter, heavily influenced by a promiscuous friend who considers sex as the best way to a man’s heart and wallet and thinks of little else. Attending school lessons of no interest to her.

A very good show and one that should appeal to teenagers and adults interested in gaining a little understanding of the mindset and peer pressure teenagers face and the wider impact the behaviour and actions of young men can have, not just on those they are interacting with, but those who have to live with the consequences.

Edinburgh Castle ***** Open daily 10-6pm. 20th August 2010

Nothing to do with comedy of course, although Ricky Gervais did perform a number of huge, sell out shows there in 2009. The Castle is a perennial Edinburgh favourite and well worth a visit to break up the routine of comedy shows etc….  In 2010 it hosted the 60th Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Tiemo Talk. 22nd August 2010.

These reviews were first published in SPARK Journal 1, volume3.

My reviews of Edinburgh Fringe comedy shows 2007 and ITV’s ‘Show me the funny‘ – July -August 2011.

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