The Shows I Saw at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Last weekend I was up in Edinburgh at the Fringe, my first time, and we got around to seeing the following:

Tony Law

12pm - The Stand (5)

We got hit with a flyer a few minutes before the show, stumbled in as our first taste having only been in town a matter of hours. The venue was tiny, and they hadn't bothered with many seats, so we were sat a lot closer to the stage than I was comfortable, but not as close as I could have been as some seats literally ringed the tiny stage.

An odd show, largely based around a tale of his appearance in the 1978 Palm Springs Trampolining Open. It felt a bit tense at times and the laughs were sometimes forced. Pretty funny though, but probably best for those that like absurdist humour. The fact that we were quoting lines days afterwards is a good sign.

Paul Sinha

16:55 - The Stand (5)

After having a chance to review the line-up a little more we booked in a bunch of tickets. Sinha is well-known for his general knowledge, as evidenced on ITV's The Chase, but also does stand-up. The venue rolled out a lot more seating this time.

A more typical stand-up routine, and very funny.

Daniel Sloss

21:00 - EICC, Lomond Theatre

This was one we'd pre-booked before arrival. I didn't recognise the name, and his posters look nothing like him -- instead making him look more like a singer or a magician -- but as soon as he was on the stage I recognised him.

A great show.

Best of Edinburgh Showcase Show

13:20 - Pleasance Courtyard

We saw this on our second day, which was also the second day of the Fringe itself. Bit odd to have a 'Best of..' at that point. It consists of a compere introducing a number of comedians you can see.

We were blessed with: an Irish guy whose name I have forgotten, a lady whose name I have forgotten, Fin Taylor and Tez Illyas.

All were good and it was a good way to get a taster and see a few comedians you may not have come across before.

Bec Hill

17:15 - Gilded Balloon, Teviot

A call from one of our group, not someone I had heard of before. This was one we booked after looking through the guide that was in a small room at the top of the venue.

She was very good, and her use of post-it notes so the set is never the same and very random, mixed with some inventive use of flipcharts, made for a very entertaining show.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

22:00 - Edinburgh Castle

If there's one thing the Brits still do better than anywhere else in the world, it's pomp and ceremony. This had plenty of both.

Communism: The Musical!

17:15 - Greenside @ Infirmary Street

Looking through all the acts at the Fringe I was amazed at how many comedians there are out there making a living, performing comedy as a job. The problem with being surrounded by so many professionals is it makes the amateurs stand out.

That was the case here, with a uni group performing a confusing, unfunny and stereotypically student production.

Cross Fit

21:30 - The Voodoo Rooms

When your host is called Jesus L'Oreal Christ, you know you're in for something. This was another picked on the spur of the moment. The Christ story crossed with a fitness and beauty session. Packed with energy (and you do have to get up and join in a couple of times) as well as plenty of puns on bible tales and biblical figures.

Not one for the religious types, but great fun.

Reginald D Hunter

22:30 - Assembly Hall

I like Reginald, so we were keen to see him, with him having just returned to live shows again. It was funny in parts, but he seemed a bit melancholy, perhaps because he'd recently broken a foot so was in a wheelchair. The usual close-to-the-bone humour we've come to expect.

Dad's Army Radio Hour

14:40 - Pleasance Dome

We'd pre-booked, as a safe bet for our last day. A radio version of two TV episodes performed in front of you by two guys who switch voices without a second thought.

Good clean fun but didn't offer up the biggest laughs.

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