Laugh Out London’s Tom Meek shares his diary of the Edinburgh Fringe 2014
It’s day three and the Fringe is properly underway with the start of the PBH Free Fringe, Laughing Horse, Freestival and myriad other shows. And so I made the most of it with a busy day of free entertainment.
Chris Boyd: Caution to the Wind, Banshee Labyrinth, 1.10pm, FREE
Chris has performed at the Fringe before as part of a double-header with the brilliant Nathaniel Metcalfe. Back then his show involved a lot of yogurt, but his life has since been taken over by his obsession with extreme weather. It’s a typical first day at the Fringe with malfunctioning lights and a projector that still needs to be worked out, but this is a very solid, fun debut hour that brings Chris’ compulsionto life.
Adam Larter: The Harbour Master, The Hive, 3pm, FREE
The only masterpiece at this year’s Fringe. Adam – head of comedy group Weirdos – has done it again. Just one more show on Sunday Aug 3rd at 3pm.
Tom Webb’s MegaGames, Banshee Labyrinth, 9.45pm, FREE
Tom may have said he wasn’t on form, and I did arrive 30 minutes late, but MegaGames once again proves it is undoubtedly the most fun night a group of people can have at the Fringe. Leave any inhibitions back at your overpriced accommodation and head along to play.
Dr Brown – work-in-progress, Banshee Labyrinth, 11pm, FREE
Despite just being posted on Dr Brown’s Facebook page on the day of the show, the queue for the tiny Banshee Labyrinth cinema room snakes out the doorway and onto Niddry street. As expected the Comedy Award Winner 2012 attracted many devotees to this experiment, but also, very peculiarly, a large number who didn’t seem to know what he was and why he chose to do the things he did.c
A large pumpkin man in a pumpkin orange t-shirt was the first puppet for Dr Brown to manipulate, but he looked a bemused soul, eventually turning his confusion into aggression in a wrestling match with the clown that went a bit too far. Similarly, a woman in the front row – there for unknown reasons – kept commenting to her friends that Dr Brown’s playfulness was embarrassing rather than funny. Perhaps it was the attraction of a large queue (“It must be good!”) or the confusion over the billing in the brochure (it’s Lost Cau baret) but the bad eggs definitely had an effect.
There were moments of brilliance of course (the mime of shot drinking, an old man collecting money from the front row) but Dr Brown is just as fascinating and entertaining to see fail as when he’s on fire. By the end of the show, we lose Dr Brown and it’s just Phil Burgers in conversation with the crowd discussing what went wrong, what could be better, how he could play with his toys to greater effect and just why he’s chosen to do this low-key run in a free venue. Definitely head along if you can. This is stuff that will never get on Live at the Apollo or Mock the Week. Embrace it.
Hot Dub Time Machine, MONEY
Get drunk and dance to songs from 1954 to 2014. Great. Apart from 2010 to 2014 when the only two songs I’d heard of were the Frozen them and bullshit involving Pharrell.