Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013 - Performers

Pappy’s had one of the best shows I saw this Edinburgh Festival. This is them on Tv doing a couple of there sketches. Enjoy.

Edinburgh Fringe 2012

Hello blog readers,

I hope you are all well and haven’t missed me too much. I am now back from my short trip away to Edinburgh for the fringe festival.



I have been to the fringe every year since 2008 when I did a sketch show with two friends. I was there for a month then so had a chance to see so many really good (and really bad) shows. This time I was traveling with a friend and was going to be at the Fringe for only a few days, so I had a lot to cram in. I had not booked tickets for anything in advance so I was just going to see what takes my fancy.

CASABLANCA

Within an hour of walking around Edinburgh we where passed two comp tickets for a play version of Casablanca. I really liked the film of Casablanca so we went. What we saw was like an abridged version of Casablanca’s best scenes but with added jokes. They where good actors, but I felt some of the gags cheapened it.

As we walked to the next show we passed this stall in the street.


If you look in the pipe you’ll see




PAPPY’S - LAST SHOW EVER



Pappy’s prove that they are still one of the best sketch acts around with this show about the break down of a once loved sketch troupe. Really sharp writing.


LATE AND LIVE



My first time to Edinburgh Festival staple “Late and Live”. It was a mixed bag of stand up performers, but I am told ‘Late and Live' isn't 'Late and Live' unless someone gets booed off.

After the show I ran and got my photo taken with former Wrestler Mick Foley.



ELLIE TAYLOR AND JAMES REDMOND


The following lunch time I caught a free stand up show case. Ellie Taylor from 'Snog Marry Avoid' apparently and James Redmond from 'Hollyoaks' apparently. I have little knowledge of their TV careers which they both farm their material from, but they are both charming and likable performers.


MUGGING CHICKENS


I really like the Mugging Chickens. I think this is the third or fourth time I have seen them. They are not the slickest troupe around, but that adds to their charm. I was looking forward to their show, and they didn’t disappoint.


LEWIS SCHAFFER


Lewis Schaffer is great. We sat in the front row of his show and howled with laughter. We even had a chat with him after. He’s just as funny off stage.



TREVOR LOCK

This is the first time I have seen Trevor Lock do an hour by himself.  His act is so dense that there is barely any space for laughs. The audience was very quiet for this show, but we all had smiles on out faces. I enjoyed it a lot.


RICHARD HERRING - TALKING COCK



This year Richard Herring brought back his 2002 show Talking Cock. I see Richard Herring’s show every year as he really knows how to put an Edinburgh Show together. Incredibly slick and very funny.


Between shows I met up with my friend and fellow performer in the 2008 sketch show. For the first time in four years the old troupe was reunited. I suggested doing a sketch to celebrate. I was vetoed. But we have this photo to remember the occasion.




DOMESTIC SCIENCE

I started the following day by seeing Domestic Science. How can I describe it? Do you remember Johnny Ball? Well, this was like Johnny Ball doing science experiments but with really good jokes! I can’t really sell it better than that. It was great.


OLIVER REED - WILD THING


This is a one man play about the life of Oliver Reed. Great performance from the star, but the directing felt a little rough around the edges to me. Still there is plenty to be enjoyed in there though.


I had a nice dinner at the very fancy tower restaurant. I wore a tie.



I saw “The Girl With ‘The Boy With Tape On His Face' On Her Face




BOB SLAYER


After the meal we saw Bob Slayer. Bob is one of my favorite acts working today. I don’t think we saw his finest show of the fringe. But it gained momentum and ended on a high. He’s still one of my favorite acts.

Between shows I ran to meet my friend Kate, who had just arrived in Edinburgh. We didn’t really have much time to do anything other than take this photo.



THE HORNE SECTION



Alex Horne’s Horne Section was plagued with technical problems the night I saw them. It took them ten mins to find a mic that worked. But they soon recovered and had a good show in spite of it.



The show is at the best when getting the audience to join in. One chap had to had to sing Happy Birthday to himself with new lyrics. Another audience member had to take to the stage as he was elected the most physically similar to Alex Horne. And even I ended up on stage on account of my impressive beard.



On my last day at the festival I only had time to see two more shows so I ran from one free venue to another and saw whatever was starting at the time I arrived.


LUCY COX: ATTRACTIVE AUDIENCE WANTED


I didn’t even have time to read the poster before this show started. It turned out to be a young lady singing amusing songs about her former suitors. And very amusing it was too.


ROM COM CON


Again, I didn’t really have time to find out what this show was about before sitting down to watch it. It was two young ladies doing a Dave Gorman style comedy/lecture/documentary. They used the top 100 Romantic Comedies as inspiration on how to meet men. I wasn’t sure about this show start off with, but just like one of their lessons they won me over. It ended up being a genuinely sweet and up lifting show.



So that’s everything I saw this year. Surprisingly, I didn’t see anything I’d call bad. Maybe I wasn’t there long enough to see the shit stuff. I did feel my stay was a little too brief this year.


Before I left I ate Haggis, bought a bar of tablet for a friend, then took one last look around the city and bade the festival goodbye for another year.


I always get sad leaving the festival. There is so much to see and so little time to see it. I wish I could do another show. Maybe next year? Maybe.

Until then.

Goodbye Edinburgh, I still love you.








Sketch Comedy Radio/Live/Filmed

I saw this sketch the other day, it’s by a sketch troop called Wittank.




Its a well filmed sketch, that I admittedly laughed out loud at even though I had seen the sketch before in a slightly different form.

The first half of the video below is the same sketch group performing in the BBC tent at the Edinburgh Fringe.



Its funny, seeing the two videos next to each other. Each have their own merits. The live one gives the performers space to play around and bounce off the audience.

The recorded sketch has the great sets which helps with the setting and the staging of the scene helps convey the flashback nature better. But the live video strangely feels like its missing a punchline where as the filmed sketch feels like it draws to a logical conclusion. Strange isn’t it? Its the same end in both.

The next video is from Mitchell and Webb’s radio series. Its a very simple duologue about being at a party with James Bond.





And this is the same sketch, shortened and filmed for their TV series.




This sketch is about two people talking. By that I mean; the location in which it’s set has no relevance to the dialogue. They could be at work, or driving home in a car and the sketch would have been the same. In the audio version there isn’t even any backing sounds, so in theory your minds eye can place the characters anywhere you like. I think that’s why the audio version works better for me on this occasion.

Lets look at another one.

This is Peter Cooks wonderful “One Leg Too Few” sketch which he originally wrote for Kenneth Williams (and appears in audio form on Williams album “The World of Kenneth Williams”).

Audio:


Live:


Filmed (Hound of the Baskervilles):



It seems to work just as well in each format if you ask me. The audio of Dudleys jumping congers an image witch is actually just as funny when its visualised. 


But I guess my point is that some sketches work better in different mediums. Its not a ground breaking theory, but sometimes these things still need to be pointed out.

So if you’ve written a sketch and find its not working, it might not be what you’ve written, but what you’ve written it for. Or it could just be rubbish. Its so hard to tell what’s junk or not until the audience see/hears it. But that’s a blog for another time.

I am going to leave you one a clip by a some of my favorite live sketch performers, “Pappy’s” (formally Pappy’s Fun Club). They have had two pilots on Channel 4 but never really found the TV vehicle for them. Which is a shame as they are one of the best live acts around. Do go see them.