Laugh Out London’s Tom Meek shares his diary of the Edinburgh Fringe 2014
It’s August 5th and the Edinburgh Fringe 2014 is in full swing with shows spilling out of every pub and performers showing the firsts signs of madness. Luckily today I had an escape to the countryside in the evening to see mother and win a pub quiz, bringing me back to a sense of reality. I feel this should be offered to more people.
Lippy, Traverse Theatre, 10am
After yesterday’s success I again ventured outside my comfortable comedy realm to engage in some of that high culture at one of Edinburgh’s most esteemed venues – the Traverse. Despite the show’s rather bleak description – a tale of four women who starved themselves to death – the first 30 minutes of this production are probably the funniest I’ve experienced at the Fringe. We open at the beginning of a Q&A for an unseen production about lipreading. It’s the comedy of discomfort and failure perfected in the Office and its’ a beautiful opening to a show that contrasts absolutely with what follows. One of the actors at the Q&A, an elderly Irishman with a deaf daughter and a talent for lipreading, explains his involvement with the case of the suicidal sisters. We enter his world and his impossible attempt to interpret their method and reason. The show turns into a confusing and bleak nightmare where we can only observe and never seem to learn.
Grainne Maguire: What Has The News Ever Done For Me?. Viva Mexico, 1.15pm, FREE
After such an intense morning it was nice to turn to a show that explained how the conflict between Ukraine and Russia may result in World War III and how we are doomed to and perhaps deserved of a government influenced by Nigel Farage (rhymes with garage). I jest but this topical quiz hosted by the convivial and enthusiastic Grainne Maguire didn’t shy away from some of the more troubling aspects of the news. Grainne is the perfect host and she’s not ashamed to acknowledge the debt that this panel show pays to Radio 4’s the News Quiz. Guest comedians are invited each day to discuss the news and explain why the story they’ve chosen is the most important of the day. With laughs, natch. It’s fun and informative and a great addition to the Fringe.
Sh!t Theatre: Guinea Pigs On Trial, 3.30pm
We’ve followed Sh!t Theatre for some time now and they have never failed to impress. It was going to be hard to top last year’s multi-award-winning Job Seeker’s Anonymous but this exposé of the pharma industry and medical trials is their most satisfying work yet, serving as a well-researched (the number of trials these two tried to sign up for is very impressive) and amusing presentation of the relationship between health and wealth. Another must-see from Sh!t Theatre.
Pub Quiz, West Linton, 8pm
I won a pub quiz. It was great.