Laugh Out London’s Tom Meek shares his diary of the Edinburgh Fringe 2014
Ben Target, Hooray for Ben Target, Banshee Labyrinth, 2pm FREE
Ben stunned Edinburgh audiences in 2012 with an inspired debut show that marked him out as one of the leading figures in alternative comedy. Two years on Ben remains as uncompromising, imaginative and daring as you would hope from any comedian in his position. Defying what must be many of his fan’s expectation’s, Ben has chosen to create work-in-progress experiment that will evolved over the Fringe. It’s not just a new show he’s creating it’s a new version of his stage persona – one that is warmer and more welcome than the forthright commander of two years ago. This new Ben is still an outsider, but that is eager to fit in to this community and embrace the audience in front of him.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this show is the real Ben Target that starts to emerge. We’re presented with stories and photos of Ben’s great grandfather and grandfather – real men whose life wasn’t spent playing on stage, but building castles and fighting in wars. The juxtaposition of these men with the grandchild dancing around on stage is the beginning of a powerful sentiment that’s still to be full formed at this very early stage but you imagine will evolve to something very special by the end of August. I show I wish I was still in Edinburgh during its final week to see again.
Cariad and Louise’s Character Hour, Counting House, 4pm FREE
Cariad Lloyd is maybe the most consistent character/sketch/improv comic at the Fringe, bringing a brilliant three or four shows to the Fringe each year. In this one (which is one of three she’s involved with this year) she’s teamed up with comic actress Louise Ford to bring us – as the title would suggest – an hour of character comedy. And a great hour in a lovely, although very hot, room in the Counting House. Stronger personas include a creative writing teacher flirting with boy in the front row and the leading Jesus impersonator in the country.
Lou Sanders in Another Great Show Again, City Cafe, 10.30pm FREE
Want some late night comedy fun in central Edinburgh? Forget your uninspired mixed bills at the Big Four, and head to the City Cafe for this free hour of lunacy, imagination and sexy vegetable calendars. Lou bewildered many with her debut hour a couple of year’s ago that involved roller skates and a man in paddling pool. Her 2014 is more restrained but just boisterous and brilliant. And don’t leave without a calendar.