Comedy blog

A fond goodbye to the Fringe

edinburgh fringe dominos girl

A dancing Domino’s person

Today I saw three of the best Fringe shows I have ever seen. It was a good day. Although it was also my last day in Edinburgh this year. So no more blogs from me [and we all cry]. I also saw one of my highlights of the Fringe in the form of the dancing Domino’s person in the photo above. They put a smile on a pizza-loving face.

Bridget Christie, The Stand, 11.10am, MONEY

Enough has been written about the brilliance of Bridget elsewhere, but this show transcends any of the glowing comments you could think of. Up there with the greatest shows I have ever seen at the Edinburgh Fringe. Powerful and hilarious. It’s a near impossible balance, but this is now Bridget’s forte. A must if you care about what comedy can do.

Liam Williams, Cellar Monkey, 1.15pm, FREE

Liam had a rather successful Edinburgh Fringe last year with a show inspired by misery and insecurity. Unfortunately for his creative spirit Liam’s found some happiness this past year, meaning a radical overhaul of his act, including dancing, singing, music, acrobatics and jokes about how crazy life can be. Actually, the burst of joy doesn’t mean that much. Liam is still the slow-paced, articulate, analytical, brilliant and cynical mind of 2013, although this year he’s made an attempt to broaden his previously very personal focus to tackle the tricky subject of capitalism. Well, at least he says he has. But this show reflects many of the attitudes Liam critiques, understanding the bare bones, making a cynical remark then giving up when the hard part comes along. It’s a brave and important approach, and, as the show goes on, every smart line, well-chosen word and cutting remark makes it more obvious that Liam is one of the greatest comedic minds in the country. He’s only 26. How good will he be in ten years? More worryingly, how cynical will he be?

John Kearns, Voodoo Rooms, 5.05pm, FREE

John shook up the Fringe last year with a show that put surrealism to the fore, picking up critical acclaim and, of course, a certain award. This year he returns to the same venue at the same time at the same free pricetag with the same bewigged, beteethed and bemusing character that caused such excitement last year. Whereas other acts have made brave decisions to change their personalities for this Edinburgh Festival, John has made the equally brace decision to stick to an idea he’s perfected. It turns out this weirdo had a lot more weirdness (and Tia Maria) to give. The character also allows John the freedom to analyse his success and what has been a very strange year. It must be pretty mindblowing to realise what the public and the critics wanted was this absurd creature – this ‘monster’ as John acknowledges in the show. John is more than the monster he created though and there’s a satisfying and poignant conclusion to a show that is at least equal to last year’s inspired effort and bodes well for a future full of weird wonder.

Robin Ince and Michael Legge, Wee Red Bar, 10pm, FREE

It’s two middle-aged men shouting at things for an hour. I enjoyed it, but that’s my sort of thing.

Sat Aug 9

Stuart Laws, Banshee Labyrinth, 2.20pm

Frenetic and excellent with the best Billy Joel joke of the Fringe. Just come prepared with your favourite volcano. There is definitely a wrong answer.

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