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  • Alistair Braidwood

Edinburgh Preview No2…

A little later than expected, this is the second Scots Whay Hae! Edinburgh preview and it concentrates on the comedy that increasingly dominates the Edinburgh Fringe.

I know that every year I say ‘go and see Richard Herring’ but the truth is that he is still one of the best stand-ups around and continues to be the first ticket I buy for Edinburgh. This year’s show is What is Love, Anyway? takes the question asked in the early 1980s by electro pop poet Howard Jones and attempts to answer it. Herring is at the Udderbelly until the 28th of August, and also has a daily podcast recorded in front of an audience at The Stand. Although I miss his banter with Andrew Collins these are still worth a visit. If you can’t make it along you can listen to them here Richard Herring’s Daily Podcast. I was going to put up a video clip from What is Love, Anyway? but can’t find anything of decent enough quality. So instead here is the aforementioned Mr Jones posing that very question which Herring seeks to examine:

Next up is The Boy with Tape on his Face, otherwise known as Sam Wills, and his comedy is in the fine tradition of Chaplin and Tatti in that it is silent, slapstick and simply funny. If Edinburgh is beginning to overload your senses there is something attractive about seeing a silent comedian, although be warned; there is a fair chance you’ll be asked to get on stage, so if that is a fear then get there early and sit at the back. He is on at The Gilded Balloon until the 29th. Here’s a clip:

Comedy is difficult to get right, but musical comedy is almost impossible. Think of how many good sketch shows were spoiled in the 80s and 90s because the cast thought that they had to have a musical number as if one of their influences was Richard Stillgoe. Exceptions to this rule were French and Saunders, although ther songs were normally pastiche, and Reeves and Mortimer. Now you can add duo Frisky and Mannish. They seem to have been everywhere this year, but that’s no reason to ignore them here. They know their pop inside out and this immersion in the music and those who make it is the key to their show Pop Centre Plus which takes the piss while blowing an affectionate kiss. Here they are asking Questions:

Rich Fulcher is a face you’ll probably know even if you can’t quite place the name. He’s best known for playing many characters in The Mighty Boosh including Bob Fossil and the lovely Eleanor, but he was also part of the short lived sketch show Snuff Box alongside Matt Berry. He’s on at the Gilded Balloon Cheviot with his new show Tiny Acts of Rebellion until the 28th. Here’s a collection of clips that will give you a taste of his work:

Finally the end of August sees Adam Buxton, Count Buckulize himself, arrive in Edinburgh for five nights of BUG at the Pleasance Courtyard. BUG is Buxton’s regular night at the BFI in London where he plays his favourite songs, videos and anything else that tickles his fancy. Armed only with his trusty MacBook and a big screen he takes the audience on a tour through the weird and wonderful which Buxton obsesses over so we don’t have to. Here he is de-constructing Grace Jones’ Pull Up to the Bumper:

That’s my personal recommendations, but I could have added Josie Long, Steve Hall (I should have added Steve Hall), Jerry Sadowitz, Henning Wehn, Rich Hall, Tim Key, The Fitzrovia Radio Hour and on, and on. There is never a shortage of good comedy at the Fringe. Something for every taste. But always remember, there’s an awful lot of mince out there as well. I might take a punt on a band or a film, but never on comedy. I’ve learnt my lesson there.


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