Patrick Monahan. Feel the love. Rating *****
9th August 2007. Underbelly. 56 Cowgate. 7.20pm daily to 26 August 2007. £9.50 (£8.50).
3rd new show in as many years from Fringe favourite Patrick Monahan. Patrick’s an experienced performer skilled at getting laughter out of audiences at the biggest venues in the land such as Jongleurs and The Comedy Store. Due to this ability Patrick is much in demand by TV.
It’s not hard to see why. Patrick’s seemingly effortless, easy going manner is totally inclusive, from including the youngest amongst his audience, such as the 12 year old boy at the show I attended, to the more mature members of the audience. The jokes flow think and fast. From the prepared to the off the cuff, Patrick’s without a doubt one of the sharpest, funniest in the business at building that all important rapport between comedian and audience that makes for a great evening.
Everything’s covered in Patrick’s show from trains, airports, the terror attacks on Glasgow airport, Geordie lads and lasses, travel and his Teeside/Iranian/Irish roots.
Great musical ending to a fine feel good show. A very good start to an evenings comedy. Feel the love ? Without a doubt. Don’t miss.
Tanyalee Davis. Little Do They Know ! Rating *
8th August 2007. Joker Dome @ Pleasance Dome. FREE.
Sometimes as a Fringe visitor/reviewer you happen upon show quite by chance. You go to the Fringe with your schedule all mapped out, this show and that to see, yet with time to kill and a flyer distributor getting “lucky” you decide to see a show on the spur of the moment not really knowing what to expect – a gem or end up desperately whiling away the time till the show ends.
Unfortunately this show fell into the later category. First shock was the appearance of Miss Tanyalee – a dwarf who had to clamber onto a significantly higher than normal, but nonetheless micro-stage, that gave her a lofty view of the audience. If I’d looked a little more carefully, the clue was in the flyer, but hey, the flyer guy gave a great sales pitch, so why read the flyer? Tanyalee offered a view on life from her perspective growing up, no pun intended, as a dwarf In Canada, her family, people’s perception of her, her take on life from a perspective most wouldn’t identify with. This resulted in some good jokes, which only she could come up with, for instance, “ I can’t wear tampons, as I keep tripping over them,” which tickled the audience.
She came across as a relative newcomer, who needs to work a lot on her craft and act, but she has the confidence and potential to return with a stronger show next year. As I said at the start, one of the joys, in a way the whole point of the Fringe Festival, is to experience acts you just wouldn’t normally get to see, be they overseas acts or UK based comedians you wouldn’t normally see in your town or city, the chance to discover potential stars of the future, not to mention the many big names playing the festival.
You’re going to see some surprise gems, but accept too that if your adventurous you may well come across some dire shows too – and not just from the newcomers. One thing in its favour it was a free show, so at least I can say I didn’t leave short-changed.
Tony Woods From America? Rating **
8 August 2007. The Green Room, Venue 274. 37 Guthrie Street.
“As an original member of Russell Simmons’ ‘Def Comedy Jam’ (HBO) and P. Diddy’s ‘Bad Boys of Comedy’, Tony’s cool demeanor and sharp delivery provide sublime comedic entertainment. Satisfaction guaranteed.”
Tony Woods comes with a high pedigree judging by the above publicity material – Def Jam comedian, Bad Boys of Comedy, so you go in with high expectations. Alas what Tony didn’t bank on was a low turnout, normal for the first week, or any week for that matter, for a relatively unknown act, which Tony is in Britain.
Unfortunately for the audience Tony, perhaps used to a bigger, more adoring audience, was unable to handle this. His constant references to the audience being hard work, became somewhat tiresome for both audience and him. There were some good cracks about life from his chosen surreal perspective, animals, professions. He clearly had a lot of comedic talent and potential, for instance with the international audience he had – New Zealand, Australia, USA (Philadelphia) and England, there was a lot of potential to be exploited. My advice for our US cousins is just deliver your show and don’t worry about audience numbers.
There is a role for audience participation and arguably audiences could do more to participate in shows and engage with the comedians in front of them, but if the paying customer wishes to sit back and be made to laugh, that is totally there prerogative and when people have paid £9 a ticket, especially, for an unknown act, comedians ought to realise this and do their best to deliver. Otherwise they should not be charging £9 a ticket.
Tiemo Talk. August 2007.