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NEWS & REVIEWS 2017

This page contains the news stories and reviews for The Free Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017...  Check back on this page to find out what's happening, and which shows are the ones not-to-miss....

Click here to see the highest rated shows from the 2017 reviews

July 21, 2017 Mensa Magazine
Article about Andrew White - It Was Funnier In My Head
Heard the one about the young Mensan stand up performing at the Edinburgh fringe?
South West member and stand up comedian Andrew White is to make his first appearance at the Edinburgh fringe – at the tender age of just 17... That would be a daunting debut for most but Andrew can’t wait.
And if he does get first night nerves he’s got support on hand – his dad Marc will be on stage with him!
“My dad does the warm up for me,” Andrew says. “He’s getting to be quite good...” That last quip is part of the banter that is a life in the White household where mum Debbie has to grin and bear it when the two get going.
In this instance, however, it is more like son like father...
Andrew was the first of the pair to get into stand up, beginning at the age of 15 when he attended an open mic
evening in Salisbury. His talent was spotted by the woman
who ran the evenings and she invited Andrew to become a compere.
“Her name is Flo and she helped me a lot, she helped me develop my stage personality and how to make the one-liners
become stories and then sets.”
One of those sets, It Was Funnier In My Head, became a one-man one-hour show which Andrew took on a mini=tour of the south coast as something of a trial for Edinburgh.
Andrew says (tongue only partly in
cheek): “My dad was inspired by me...
“He had always fancied doing stand up and when I was gigging he went on some courses and then started to
come along.”
Andrew’s show mixes story-telling, observation and shorter one-liners, punctuated by passionately written and delivered comical poems. “A mix of slam poetry and Pam Ayres
– PamSlam if you will.”
This year marks a big step up all round for Andrew as he is heading out on the road for London circuit debuts and is to compete in the South Coast Comedian of the Year contest as well as making his fringe debut.
“It would be great if there are any Mensans up for the fringe and they want to come and see my show,” he says. “I’d love to see them.”
If you do, details are below...
It Was Funnier In My Head is at The
Laughing Horse @ Southside Social
(Venue No. 246) 42-44 Buccleuch St,
Edinburgh EH8 9LP. It runs from
August 3 - 13, starting at 5pm.

July 10, 2017 FUBAR radio
Article about The Idiot's Guide to Kink
FUBAR radio interview
Thomas Dominique joined Ian in studio, he’s currently starring as a lead in Syfy’s exciting new series Blood Drive. The boys chatted about modesty pouches and drama schools. Ros Ballinger was also on the show, talking about her Edinburgh show ‘The Idiot’s Guide to Kink’. Click Here

July 9, 2017 BuxtonFringe.org.uk
Article about Nathan Cassidy: The Man in the Arena
Buxton Fringe Review
'A beautifully structured hour of comedy... having seen Bill Hicks I can honestly say that he is as good as him.' Click Here

July 2, 2017 
Article about Meet the stevens
From Kebab Shop to Fringe
 Click Here

June 30, 2017 BroadwayWorld
Article about John Porter - Five Years Time
John Porter - BroadwayWorld Q and A
 Click Here

June 27, 2017 Broadway World Scotland
Article about CeilidhKids at the Fringe - Free!
EDINBURGH 2017: BWW Q&A- CeilidhKids
Tell us a bit about CeilidhKids.

Fun Scottish Dancing for all the family - jump clap, skip and twirl to the music. What better way to kickstart your day at the Fringe than with some family dancing to traditional Scottish music? It's all about joining in, but if your wee one is a bit reluctant, just sitting and enjoying the music is fine too. We're in Edinburgh and Glasgow all year round running family Scottish dancing workshops, parties, classes and fundraisers, but the three weeks at the Fringe spent meeting families from all over the world is something special.


How has it been received in previous years?

Very well - the first year with the Free Festival I had no idea how popular it would be, and so after the first day I had to double the number of sessions just to fit everyone in the room! Numbers fluctuate but even on the busiest days there is usually enough space to dance...


Which dances are covered?

It varies slightly from day to day but always a mix of old favourite ceilidh dances, adapted so that the smallest people can join in, and so that one adult can dance with two partners. We always start with a Gay Gordons and finish with Circassian Circle.

What sets it apart from other shows at the Fringe?

Because we're all about participation! Nobody sits still at a CeilidhKids event - everyone gets up to dance, adults and children alike. To quote a Fringe-going family from a previous year, 'The potential to exhaust an audience isn't something I'd have previously valued when deliberating over the Fringe programme but... it is definitely something I will look for again. Very strongly recommend.' (Entertaining Arlo, Aug 6th 2014)

Who would you recommend comes to join in?

Anyone and everyone! The sessions are aimed at 3-7 year olds and their parents and carers (5 year olds and under must be partnered by an adult or older child), but we welcome everyone at CeilidhKids - if you're happy to dance, we're happy to have you.

Timings for CeilidhKids are available on the edfringe website. Click Here

June 20, 2017 Mumble Comedy
Article about John Porter - Five Years Time
An Interview With John Porter
 Click Here

June 20, 2017 Clare McCartneys Comedy Podcast
Article about Samantha Pressdee: Back 2 Basics
Samantha is a guest on Clare Harrison McCartney's Podcast
I spoke to saucy punk opet Cherry B & Political anarchic action barbie, Samantha Pressdee on my comedy podcast to promote our opening of our charity comedy night. Click Here

June 15, 2017 Love Midlands Theatre
Article about LoveHard: Murdered by Murder
Murdered by Murder - LoveHard
As something of a Dickens obsessive, I have struggled to ever find anything on stage which comes close to his timeless characterisation and superb naming of the wealth of personalities who appear in his works. The eccentricity and perfect parodying of some of the characters in his novels have never really been replicated with any degree of success for me.

Until Saturday night.

Performing for just one night at The Old Joint Stock in Birmingham was LoveHard, a comedy duo who write and perform their own work.

Tyler Harding and Jacob Lovick's latest tour de force, Murdered By Murder, is set in the home of Lord and Lady Titan in 1930's Devon, ominously named Drenchblood Heights. The production is about 5 guests who turn up to attend a murder mystery evening at the aforementioned creepily named residence, who number Mayor Turnbridge, the local Vicar and Reverend Bellsniff and his rather strange wife, and an extremely annoying, rather dim and pretentious couple called Fortescue Butch Cassidy and Arabella Aribata.

They are all ably attended by a butler appropriately named Shivers and later on we are introduced to the detective who has to come to the residence when the murder mystery evening turns sour, Alistair Bye, nicknamed Ali Bye.

As a backdrop to the murder mystery, there is some consternation among the guests about a jewel thief who is on the prowl in the vicinity.

There is some well performed and appropriately arranged keyboard music in the background at the right moments, which adds to the quality of the production, provided by Nick Charleworth.

The two writers/performers portray all the parts between them. It is an absolute masterclass in characterisation; they move between all the characters which they are playing with ease and professionalism, leaving the audience alternately rolling with mirth and in genuine suspense awaiting the next twist in the tale. There are some beautifully choreographed moments (such as the comedic flash backs which help the audience remember the different elements of the story) and some quite hilarious ad lib-ing and improvisation, which includes them both reminding each other where the fictitious door is on the stage.

What is also astounding is the depth of characterisation which is achieved by the superb writing. As the performance unfolds, we learn of all the different foibles affecting the guests, and all the secrets which they are hiding. With shades of 'Abigail's Party' ringing in our ears, we watch as all the lives of the people unfold before us with excellent comic timing and pace, and there are no 'loose strings' at all by the end.

I must confess to never having seen anything quite as unique as this. The energy which they both inject into the performance is astounding, and it truly seems like there more actors on the stage than just the two of them.

It is not surprising that they won awards at the Edinburgh and Brighton Fringe runs in 2016.

It was said of Dicken's masterpiece 'The Pickwick Papers' that there was a 'sense of the Gods gone wandering in England'. 'Murdered By Murder' is right up there and wandering alongside those same Gods; I'm sure Dickens himself would have been full of praise for this production. Click Here

June 15, 2017 John Flemings Blog
Article about Samantha Pressdee: Back 2 Basics
“Frenzied tit grabbing in Wetherspoons” after throat-slitting at the Grouchy Club
Yesterday, performer Samantha Pressdee posted in Facebook: “Frenzied tit grabbing in Wetherspoons, all in the name of feminism, is where last night’s Grouchy Club wound up.” Click Here

June 12, 2017  What's On
Review of LoveHard: Murdered by Murder
LoveHard: Murdered by Murder REVIEW
Murdered By Murder, the award-winning show from talented Birmingham comedy duo Lovehard, left the crowd at The Old Joint Stock Theatre in stitches.

Jacob Lovick and Tyler Harding proved themselves to be comic geniuses as they simultaneously portrayed nine totally different characters between them in a spectacularly-written whodunit-style show.

When six guests arrive at Drenchblood Heights, the household of Lord and Lady Titan, for a murder mystery party, little do they know they are in for a night of real mystery with multiple shocking (and hilarious) twists and turns.

With no set or costume changes other than a detective’s hat, the two actors cleverly portrayed each character with a simple change of voice and gait as they seamlessly went from one interesting character to the next with nothing but a 'whoosh' sound.

At times when most of the characters were all around one dining table, they successfully managed to make it hilarious, rather than confusing.

The laughs from the audience didn’t stop during the cleverly-written performance. The fourth wall was broken a couple of times, including when they occasionally made each other laugh, adding to the hilarity of the show.

Lovehard will be performing at Edinburgh Fringe festival again this year, and with the success of this show, the comedy duo are definitely ones to watch.

****

Review by Lauren Cox Click Here

June 8, 2017 The Guardian
Article about Jordan Brookes: Body Of Work
Edinburgh Festival 2017 Comedy Highlights
 Click Here

June 1, 2017 Free Fest News
The 2017 Free Festival programme is Live!
Welcome to 2017 - check out our massive new programme Click Here

May 31, 2017  Broadway Baby
Review of Matt Price : The Weed Fairy
 Click Here

May 30, 2017 Broadway Baby
Article about The Idiot's Guide to Kink
#EdFringe17: Ros Ballinger presents The Idiot’s Guide to Kink
 Click Here

May 28, 2017 Michael Calcott's Fringey Bits
Article about Odette!
Odette!
Odette is a piece of work! I mean that. She is as tough as nails and as soft as butter, a sarcastic shrew with a romantic streak as big as her mouth. She will make your eyes roll and your jaw drop but most of all she will make you laugh. A lot. Marina Margarita is Odette and is she ever! She takes serious chances with her show. Odette dragoons not one but two audience members into full supporting roles, incorporating them and their reactions fully into the action. And it works! Well, it did the night I attended. But who could resist Odette’s winning (and domineering) personality. She may not be beautiful but she is certainly bold. If you want a good laugh, go meet Odette before she rides off into the sunset. You won’t regret it. Click Here

May 28, 2017 Humans Of The Fringe - Facebook
Article about CeilidhKids at the Fringe - Free!
Humans Of The Fringe
"I've been a Scottish country dancer since I was about 5. Dancing is my passion. I set up a little class for my children and their friends, it was to last 6 weeks. Now 10 years later here we are [Ceilidhkids at the Fringe].

I kept getting asked to do parties, fundraisers and things for schools and nurseries. Eventually I thought this would translate well to the Fringe. The first year I didn't understand about the Free Festival so I shared a paid venue with somebody else. The next year I did it I went with the Laughing Horse Free Festival and I think this is the 5th or 6th year I'll be doing it with them.

Expect fun family Scottish dancing. Everybody gets involved, nobody sits down. Children dance with parents, their grandparents, brothers and sisters. My mantra is, if you're old enough to go to school you can dance with your friend and if you're not old enough to go to school you need a grown-up's hand to hold.

We do the traditional Ceilidh dances but simplified. It's very laid back, people can drop in and out of dances if they want to. It's fantastic because you never know who you're going to get. I get some of my local regulars but mostly it's people who have never done any Ceilidh dancing before or who have never heard of Ceilidhkids. I love it when they come into the room and don't know what's going to happen and by the end of the 45 minutes they've had a fantastic time and they're on a real high. I've ended up having to double my sessions.

I just love the Fringe from the beginning to the end. I love the fact that I live here and everyone else comes here to party."

Caroline Brockbank - Ceilidhkids at the Fringe - Free
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House (Ballroom)
Venue 170
10:15am - 3rd -15th August only.
11:15am - 3rd - 27th August (except 17th, 22nd, 24th)

#humansofthefringe #edfringe #edinburgh Edinburgh Festival Fringe Click Here

May 28, 2017 Michael Calcott's Fringey Bits
Article about Odette!
Odette!
Odette is a piece of work! I mean that. She is as tough as nails and as soft as butter, a sarcastic shrew with a romantic streak as big as her mouth. She will make your eyes roll and your jaw drop but most of all she will make you laugh. A lot. Marina Margarita is Odette and is she ever! She takes serious chances with her show. Odette dragoons not one but two audience members into full supporting roles, incorporating them and their reactions fully into the action. And it works! Well, it did the night I attended. But who could resist Odette’s winning (and domineering) personality. She may not be beautiful but she is certainly bold. If you want a good laugh, go meet Odette before she rides off into the sunset. You won’t regret it. Click Here

May 28, 2017 Broadway baby/On the mic UK (Podcast)
Article about It's a wretched life
(Intro to Podcast) Tomas returns to the Edinburgh Fringe to perform ‘It’s a Wretched Life’. Experience 15 minutes of stand up and chat with the ‘dark, twisted and absurd’ comedian from Sweden, as he takes his comedy one step further away from the main stream. Click Here

May 26, 2017 A Younger Theatre
Article about Club Sol Party
Club Sol Party, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club
May, the random 5th month in the year where Mother Nature is undecided, and New Years resolutions have been long abandoned. However uneventful May might be, it is full of bank holidays and occasional Spring weather, which can only mean one thing: the holiday season is fast approaching! Cue the automated ‘out of office’ replies and the sudden queuing system taking place on the treadmills at your local gym. With many counting down the days until we board a plane, on Friday, I was in another country without having to even leave the runway.

Sunny Benidorm, or so I was led to believe as I entered the doors at the Working Men’s Club, Bethnal Green, was the destination to be after a laborious end to the working week. With what promised to be a night of laughter, slapstick comedy, and the occasional frolic, Club Sol Party certainly lived up to expectations. Set in a fictional Spanish resort, the stage was draped in glitter tassels with glow sticks galore, and instantly screamed George Michael circa Club Tropicana.

And what do you get when you put four comedians on stage, fortunately not the start of a bad joke. Instead you get The Mauve Coats: the all-singing, all-dancing cabaret act who are the entertainers for the evening. Their toughest challenge was keeping a rowdy crowd entertained for five hours, and their method of attack was to perform a variety show. A warm up ‘Guess the celebrity chin’ quiz broke the ice in time for a raucous drag act, and naturally as more time passed the inflatable holiday memorabilia used for decoration, soon became accessories for many innuendos.

The blue coat style entertainment was far more raunchy than what you would expect at a Butlins, but the tongue-in-cheek humor was appreciated by the audience. Entering the room, The Mauve Coats (Mark Collier, Nicola Kill, Nic Lamont, and Adam Rhys-Davies) were already in character welcoming and creating an atmosphere that encouraged the participants to settle in and prepare themselves for a Friday night extravaganza.

The audience/holiday goers play their part in making Club Sol Party a success. The audience were receptive to the interactive nature of the show, which allowed the energy of the performance to flourish, creating an overall relaxed and joyous atmosphere. The mood allowed the entire room to ignore that we had just battled the sporadic rain travelling to East London, and the extra incentive of winning prizes (courtesy of a raffle), was the icing on top of the cake. The performers had an apparent repertoire with one another on stage that never saw the quartet individually vie for the spotlight and presented a feeling of authenticity when we saw the backstage dramas unfold.

Whilst we were not in Spain, and in walking distance from a beach, Club Sol Party was an evening full of heat, and a show full of craziness yet under complete control in its execution. Click Here

May 22, 2017 Broadway Baby
Article about How To Suffer Better
On The Mic Podcast Interview
https://voicerepublic.com/talks/episode-286-amanda-miller Click Here

May 20, 2017 Freeline Media Orlando
Article about Show Up
Fringe Review: Show Up
Staging a solo show at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival offers the artists plenty of wide latitude: they can do comedy, musical performances, historic period pieces, magic shows … the sky’s the limit.
There must be a considerable amount of appeal to being a one-man band, booking a slot at Fringe and then not having to rely on other performers to make it on time. As long as you arrive at Loch Haven Park breathing and fully intact, you’re going to go.
Solo performer Peter Michael Marino, however, approaches the concept a bit differently in his production “Show Up.” He actually starts out solo, but then brings a large number of others in the mix — the audience.
It’s a lot of fun, too, and takes audience interaction to some delightful new heights.
Marino, a gay Catholic boy from Joisey, approaches “Show Up” — the title taken from the old Woody Allen line that 80 percent of life is just showing up — on two intriguing concepts: free form improv, and giving the audience a key role in the action. He succeeds nicely at both.
Marino, the creator/co-producer of SOLOCOM, a program that’s launched more than 400 comedies at The People’s Improv Theater, starts out talking about himself, who he is, why he’s here. Highly animated, quick with a clever line, and a very funny chronicler of his own life, he could probably have created a show just talking about himself. But that was only the intro of this 60-minute show. He has much more ambitious goals in mind.
That includes asking questions of the audience, selecting someone, and asking for their answer. Suffice to say that at the performance I attended, he had some audience members who were pretty funny on their own — and Marino is a fine match for them, locking them into a witty back-and-forth repartee.
He then jots down their answers, and …. well, I won’t reveal much more than that. But he does have some imaginative plans for those answers.
Along the way, Marino involves the audience in other ways — selecting one person to become his stage manager and rearrange the set pieces in-between monologues, assigning another to become the music director to play background music at key moments, and so on.
At the end, the show even transforms into a grand cocktail party. I got the feeling that most people in the audience were having such a good time, they didn’t want the party to end.
Marino’s show truly does feel like no two performances are ever going to be the same, and if you had a fun time at one of them, there’s no reason not to go back for seconds and again watch what he does with those Post-it Notes.
Or just go to listen to his hilarious recollections of growing up, and where his life is now. Click Here

May 20, 2017 Brixton Blog
Article about AUNTIE
Auntie the new one-man comedy comes to Brixton
AUNTIE, the new one-man comedy show from East London-based performer Gavino di Vino offers a new perspective on the African immigrant experience. Having already made appearances at Glastonbury, the Camden and Edinburgh Fringes and been filmed for a forthcoming BBC 3 documentary Queer Britain, Auntie makes the Ritzy her living room for one night only on 23 May.

Auntie is your stereotypical overbearing mother. Brash and judgemental, she laments the life choices of her gay, mixed-race son Mtoto, as well as the expectations she had of life in the UK versus what she got. “I thought I was going to live on a posh estate,” says Auntie, “but he put me in a council estate.”

Born to a Kenyan mother and a Liverpudlian father in Birkenhead, actor, writer and linguist Gavino di Vino moved away from his mother at the age of eight to live with his father in Wigan. Cut off from African culture in a place he describes as “famed for its pies but not so much for its diversity”, Gavino found a window back into that world through Nollywood films and Jocelyn Jee Esien’s sketch show, Little Miss Jocelyn.

“Auntie’s not based on one person” explains Gavino of his character, “but on a combination of voices. I have an East African mother, but I have this West African vision of what an African woman is – this hybrid identity.”

It’s a characteristic that Gavino plays on heavily throughout the show. Auntie came to the UK from the fictional African nation of ‘Kengeria’ wearing a gele on her head and a Kenyan flag around her waist.

It was this clash of East meets West Africa that paved the way for Auntie, but it wasn’t until Gavino moved to London for university nearly three years ago that AUNTIE would fully materialise.

“Living in East London I get inspiration every day,” he says. “You’ll have the yummy mummies pushing their prams down Ridley Road market on their way to some trendy café, then you’ll have Auntie selling her wares on a stall, then you’ll have Mtoto going and buying some things for his drag show, so all these things will be happening and I just find it fascinating.”

Jokes aside, AUNTIE doesn’t shy away from controversial issues. From immigration and gentrification to religion and homophobia, the show takes an in-your-face approach to race and identity in London.

The character of Mtoto, is Gavino’s interpretation of what he would have been like had he grown up in London. An “east London queen”, Mtoto clashes with his conservative mother and questions how growing up in London affected his own identity. “It’s placing my own experiences, and the kind racism and the difficulties I experienced, in a London context,” says Gavino.

“It’s an exciting time to be doing this.” He adds. “I think people have xenophobia in their minds, and when they see my show they’ll be able to read things into it. I’ve had people laughing all the way through and then coming up to me afterwards and saying, ‘Oh my gosh that was so intense’.”

AUNTIE opens May 23 Upstairs at The Ritzy at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5. Click Here

May 18, 2017 On The Mic
Article about No Name Show
#EdFringe17: Tai Paschall - The Funniest Guy in Dubai
Enjoy 15 minutes of stand up and chat with Tai, the US born comedian and performer based in Dubai. His urban style has been described as a comic take on a Drake / Linkin’ Park mash-up. His first stand-up comedy show ‘Half-Hood’ debuted the at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe - and this year sees the follow up, ‘Trans-Gangster’.

‘Trans-Gangster’ is appearing as part of Edinburgh’s Free Festival. For more info check out Tai on Twitter @mrfatmanswag

Stand Up comedy performance provided by the artist for promotional purposes. May contain material that some find offensive. © 2017 On the Mic. Produced in association with Broadway Baby, Fringepig and Voice Republic. Click Here

May 18, 2017  Voice Mag
Review of C'est La Vegan
4 Stars
Chawner deserves a place among the upper tiers of British comedy. This comes out in his execution, writing, and timing Click Here

May 15, 2017  Remotegoat.com
Review of Bright Lights, Big City Impro
"A Masterclass in improvised comedy"
There is no doubt about it-the assembled performers/actors/improvisers in this hour long presentation know their craft and are never stumped for words, situations or rapport. The show is brilliantly held together by compare-Alistair Thomas.

The evening is crazy, unexpected and off the cuff and brilliant-as long as you're not expecting anything too taxing on the brain. As a lady sat next to me remarked- "well it does what it says on the tin"! - it certainly does.
With the simple means of a "spin the wheel" and a lot of suggestions from an appreciative audience - time flies by in a series of improvisation set ups, drama school games and everything played for comedy - with subtlety going for nothing.

Like all improvisation - the rules of being open to suggestion, thinking on your feet, never blocking your fellow performers and razor sharp decisions are demonstrated here to perfection.

The evening is zany to say the least and I did wonder if my drink had been spiked at one point ! But-even at 1pm in the afternoon-The show works like a dream-as long as the audience plays along with you-and at the performance I attended-"the audience went wild"! A word of warning- anyone expecting a coherent evening -forget it ! If you want an open minded-"go with the moment", fun packed romp-this is the show for you.

I'd love to see this show played in "the round" or a version where they encourage audience members to join them onstage-as I have no doubt this talented crew can cope with anything. A refreshing change to the Brighton fringe-this group will surely go from strength to strength. Click Here

May 15, 2017 On The Mic
Article about Paul Revill: Revillations
On The Mic Podcast
A 15 minute podcast interview with clips of stand up from Paul Revill. Click Here

May 13, 2017 Voice Mag
Article about C'est La Vegan
Chawner deserves a place among the upper tiers of British comedy
My choice last year for the Pick of the Fringe, Dave Chawner returns with a new show very much a sequel to last year's show, Circumcision.
Dave Chawner: C’est La Vegan, work in progress
Having established himself as fearless, heartfelt, and comfortable discussing taboos, Circumcision explored masculinity and its expectations and its relationship with openness and mental health. Chawner's decision to go vegan was an extension of this and provided ripe ground to explore the stigma around veganism, specifically for men. The two shows fit nicely together.
The two also reveal a lot about Chawner's relationship with food, which he describes as 'complicated'. He reveals that his past with food and self-image and masculinity enable him to treat veganism with a pinch of salt, having dealt with worse, more damaging misconceptions in his life. All this while being able to tell the jokes about himself that you know that other people will have bored him with.
His delivery hasn't changed – it demonstrated once again how Chawner deserves a place among the upper tiers of British comedy. This comes out in his execution, writing, and timing. It actually leaves precious little to write about in a review.
It's another experience to see a work in progress. Oftentimes, as Chawner did, comedians preface the show by announcing that there'll be gaps and note consulting. Chawner continued to improvise whilst he dropped off the edge of the stage to play some music and process his notes, which served to present his impressive astuteness and professionalism.
The shattering of expectation came right until the end where, rather than finish with quintessentially British sarcasm, he took the heartfelt approach of beseeching the audience to encourage open-mindedness. What of this approach, though? It worked for an afternoon to early evening show we sat in at 16:45, above an overflowing Quadrant. The audience appreciated the intimacy. But in a primetime show, which he could also sell out, a sharper finish that puts a humorous twist on the same message could make it a memorable bit of structured comedy. Click Here

May 11, 2017 On The Mic Podcast
Article about Andy Stedman - Parental Guidance
On The Mic Podcast - Andy Stedman
15 minutes of stand-up, music and chat with musician and comedian, Andy Stedman. As the father of a young son, Freddie Elvis Stedman, and on the basis that comedians should perform on subjects that they know, Andy is coming to Edinburgh to impart some Parental Guidance. Click Here

May 10, 2017 On The Mic Podcast
Article about Andy Stedman - Parental Guidance
On The Mic Podcast Episode 272 - Andy Stedman
15 minutes of stand-up, music and chat with musician and comedian, Andy Stedman. As the father of a young son, Freddie Elvis Stedman, and on the basis that comedians should perform on subjects that they know, Andy is coming to Edinburgh to impart some Parental Guidance. Click Here

May 9, 2017 Chortle
Article about James Bennison: How to be a Winner
James Bennison: How To Be A Winner
James Bennison must have been watching a hell of a lot of Challenge TV for his latest show, which recreates some of the cheesiest game shows of the past 30 years. So don’t go expecting intellectual enlightenment.

The format plays to his talents, requiring him to ramp up the jovial energy – even in this thin-on-the-ground fringe audience – and cajole us into being contestants, sidekicks or a braying mob. How To Be A Winner is no passive experience; as Bennison points out, it’s ‘the most interactive show that claims to be comedy’ around. But from within his gold sequinned jacket, he channels every upbeat holiday rep going, with his confident bonhomie getting the job done.

Bygone trash TV may tap into a welcome nostalgia, as plenty of other producers have already noticed. Dave Benson Phillips has revived Get Your Own Back as a live show, and Knightmare Live has used the original children’s series for a knowing theatrical remake, adding plenty of ironic nods while maintaining the fun of the original.

Both these are among the 16 possible genes that could feature in How To Be A Winner. Four of them are selected by a wheel of fortune (renamed, as so many of the components of this show are, to avoid a copyright claim) for each night’s show.

It’s a bit unfortunate, then, that first out of the gate today is Bennison’s version of Knightmare, in which our bold adventurer must avoid certain random death while wearing a bucket on his head. The set-up’s good, but the limitations of the original soon become the limitations of this rehash, too, and without any TV magic to cover it, this becomes an over-long segment that doesn’t bear comparison with the official stage reboot.

Limitations also become very apparent on Play Your Cards Right, which even Bennison seems to lose faith in, How this ridiculously simple game of ‘higher or lower’ ever became a staple of primetime entertainment is a mystery. It certainly shows Bruce Forsyth must have earned his money.

These games depend rather too heavily on watching things on a screen, especially the non-random cards of this version of Play Your Cards Right. The other two segments tonight – Blankety Blank and Supermarket Sweep – fare all the better for taking place entirely in the room, getting everyone involved in the shenanigans.

The whole show is shlocky and cheerfully low-rent – adjectives that apply to the host as much as the games – yet is fun precisely because it is so tacky. Some of tonight’s segments could certainly have been tightened up without losing that lo-fi appeal, but as Bennison acknowledges, it’s hard to test this stuff out without an audience Click Here

May 4, 2017 The Plus Ones
Article about Daniel Muggleton - Let's Never Hang Out
Let's Never Hang Out at Sydney Comedy Festival
The Sydney Comedy Festival is back, and with it a whole shedload of new talent, old favourites, and emerging stars. After touring Edinburgh Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festival, Daniel Muggleton returns with a brand-new show, Let’s Never Hang Out.

Comedy festivals can be a blessing and a curse. The plus side being tonnes of new acts and incredible talent right on your doorstep. The down side – trying to decide who to see. I previously picked the top ten acts worth seeing this year, and Muggleton was one of them. Law student turned comedian, with an array of comedy shows and festivals to his name, Muggleton sounds impressive.

Having never seen him live, my plus one and I headed over to The Factory in Marrickville to find out if he lived up to the hype. The matchbox theatre was full but the setting still felt intimate. Muggleton played on this by interacting with his audience — picking particularly on the front row.

After seeing the show I can confidently say that I back my choice. Muggleton was fresh, self-aware, and obviously talented. His show was an hour nonstop of laughs, and he covered an incredible amount of material. His intelligence shines through the jokes and lifts them to an even higher level.

His topics broached everything from naming DJs to the politics of voting, rich kids in Sydney, and sex. Part well-rehearsed comedy gold and part off-the-cuff witty banter, I’d been excited to see him and I found him even more likeable than I’d expected. Click Here

May 3, 2017  The Arts Review
Review of Bleach
The Arts Review- Bleach Review
In his excellent comedy show, “Smart Casual,” comedian David Mills tops his list of things that have gone out of fashion, but haven't quite realised it yet, with gay. For Mills, as for many others, gay is so over. They could have a point. Marriage equality, corporate sponsorship of Gay Pride, the Eurovision Song Contest, Graham Norton, gay has become so mainstream, it seems it practically is the mainstream. Some would even go so far as to argue that there’s no longer a need for a Gay Pride parade. So is there a need for an International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival? In light of the above, you could argue, possibly not. Yet in light of the mass shooting in Pulse Nightclub in Florida almost a year ago, and of what’s reported to be happening in Chechnya today, you might say it’s needed now more than ever.

At its best, gay theatre has produced some hugely important works and world class writers over the centuries. There are countless precedents here, from Oscar Wilde, the original inspiration for the IDGTF, through to “Torch Song Trilogy,” “Angels in America” and our own “High Heels in Low Places,” to name but a few. Standard bearers dealing with relevant issues, be that AIDS or homophobia, as well as hugely important theatrical works in their own right. With works from homegrown acts, as well as an international contingent from England, the U.S.A., Germany, Canada, Mexico and Scotland, IDGTF certainly has high ambitions of being part of that theatrical legacy. But can the largest LGBT festival in the world deliver on those ambitions?


On the evidence of “Bleach” by British writer and performer, Dan Ireland-Reeves, produced by British Exist Theatre, the IDGTF is certainly off to a solid start. A one-man performance, “Bleach” weaves a dark tale of Tyler Everett, a small-town boy in the big, London smoke, who becomes a rent boy for the money, and for the sex. You have to enjoy what you do, Tyler claims, and he most certainly does, with his quicksilver knapsack full of all the essentials he needs to make the night work. Maybe it’s because he’s now a Londoner, but money is what matters most at the end of the day, and any way you can get it is okay in the end, right? Yet in the streets and penthouses of London, the havoc a rent boy subjects his body to is nothing compared to the insidious damage to his soul, sold, like his body, for whatever he can get for it. In the end, it might all be too much, living life so close to the dark it could be snuffed out in a moment. But when the road to hell is littered with not just good intentions, but bad ones too, or no intentions at all, seeking the ultimate disconnect from yourself might just be the inevitable, final disconnect to top all those that have already gone before.

With “Bleach” Dan Ireland-Reeves delivers a powerful, gripping and intelligent script that walks through the clichés, yet avoids them in the process. Yes, there’s drugs, danger, sex, and even dangerous sex, but that’s not where the darkness lies. From the outset, Tyler Everett’s darkness is a darkness of the soul, one that disconnects him morally and personally from all that he knows should matter, allowing him to do those darker things he knows he should never accept as normal. He wants it to matter, yet he’s driven to explain why it doesn’t, to rationalise it, excuse it, and himself, begging for your forgiveness and understanding, yet not really caring enough if you do understand. Throughout “Bleach,” interest is maintained in Tyler’s struggles, for the most part, though it does slacken off about the three-quarter mark for a spell when musings become ramblings, losing a little of their impact in the process. Yet once normal service resumes, Tyler’s harrowing tale becomes all the more harrowing for being utterly recognisable. The context might be that of a rent boy in extreme circumstances, but the moral and personal experience it speaks to is frighteningly familiar.

Ireland-Reeves as Tyler delivers a deceptively understated performance, offering what almost looks like raw inexperience at times, that's utterly beguiling and wonderfully effective. His portrayal of a young man whose soul is almost extinguished, dimmed down to the point where there’s just enough light left to highlight the darkness, just enough feeling left to know he feels nothing, is always credible and engaging, showing just enough naivety and vulnerability to remind us that there is still someone here worth saving. Director Bethan Francis keeps pace moving along, delivering a production that, if it shows a little anxiousness in places, hits just the right level of intensity for the most part.

There may be something old-school-fringe about IDGTF, with its off-centre and underground venues, but sometimes that’s where precious gems are found. “Bleach” is one such gem. For IDGTF isn’t just about representing, or celebrating, gay culture through theatre, it’s also about interrogating it, questioning it, as part of the larger human experience. This “Bleach” does very, very well. Pulling no punches, "Bleach" doesn’t feel the need to rain them down on you either, and becomes even more powerful for not trying to be overtly powerful. A potential underground classic, "Bleach" could very well turn into an over ground success. Be able to say you saw it when, and go see it now.

“Bleach” by Dan Ireland-Reeves, produced by British Exist Theatre, runs at The Outhouse, Capel Street, as part of The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival until May 6th Click Here

May 2, 2017  The Outmost
Review of Bleach
The Outmost- Bleach Review
This a darkly funny and in-your-face one-man show that tells the story of Tyler Everett, a young and very unapologetic rent boy, as he navigates his way through the seedier side of modern London.



Written by and starring Dan Reeves-Ireland, in some ways this bad-boy tale may be a familiar enough one for Gay Theatre Festival audiences, but what sets it apart is the quality of the writing, along with a stand-out performance by Reeves-Ireland. In Tyler he creates a complex character who is both cynical and manipulative, but almost impossible not to like for his honesty and insight.

It’s a very fine line to tread for an actor, but Reeves-Ireland manages it with aplomb, offsetting the play’s darker moments with flashes of a barbed wit. It all makes for a gripping, shocking story. Recommended. Click Here

April 19, 2017 
Article about Marcus Ryan - ¿Hablas Inglés?
Melbourne Audience review
“This guy was really sweet and really funny. I almost wish I

would have gone earlier in the festival so I could have gone

twice. He sparks your sense of adventure and has a good

time doing it, and it’s an equally hilarious experience for both

Spanish speakers and non-speakers. Marcus is a strong story

teller and keeps you on the edge of your seat. As a Hispanic

person, I was surprised that I didn’t get uncomfortable, as I

fully expected to considering that Australians generally aren’t

very knowledgeable about Latin American culture. You are

basically losing money by not going, I ended up donating the

little bit that I had because I felt bad that I paid so little. This

show is not to be missed and I’m excited to see what he does

in the future!” (Ali R) – Audience member, Melbourne 2017

April 16, 2017 Syn Media
Article about Marcus Ryan - ¿Hablas Inglés?
Melbourne International Comedy Festival: Marcus Ryan ¿Hablas Inglés?
 Click Here

April 10, 2017  Beat Magazine
Review of Mae Martin: Dope
 Click Here

April 9, 2017  popculture-y
Review of Self Sabotage
Review: George Dimarelos’ Self Sabotage is “delightfully insightful and funny”
Everybody has that moment when they look back on life and decide they’ve completely messed everything up. George Dimarelos’ stand up show Self Sabotage is a delightfully insightful and funny take on how the decisions we make can affect our lives.

Self Sabotage starts out slow; Dimarelos flirts with his audience, he allows them to get to know him and his style of comedy. He draws the audience into the performance, but doesn’t take compliments well. By pinpointing people in the crowd and riffing off their compliments he draws them into a conversation about the ideals of masculinity and why men don’t think they can stare at themselves in public bathroom mirrors. It makes you think about where this behaviour came from before he takes everything in a completely different direction, leaving you confused and amused.

As a performer, Dimarelos is very Australian. He’s charming and quick-witted as well as being a lad who jokes about girls and feelings through a distinctly male lens. This masculinity isn’t unwelcome though; he manages to tie in how to ask a girl out and the whole club experience though a fresh and amusing perspective. He’s confident, he’s funny (and he knows it), and as a second-generation immigrant that, assumedly, has never worked in a café, Dimarelos has some strong ideas about how brunch should be handled.

Throughout the performance he pitters off into tangents; throws out zingers in the form of one-liners and offhand comments that seem as if they’ve just been made up on the spot. It feels like you’re at the pub with a friend and he’s telling you the story of his latest wacky adventure, the audience is suddenly full of his mates and everyone is in on the joke.

George Dimarelos may have a stage made of milk crates but for an hour this stand-up comedian manages to make you forget the little details. Self Sabotage is a fantastic fun-filled hour of nothing but good times. Click Here

March 16, 2017 Broad Street Review
Article about The Last Emperor of Mexico
A meaty role
More and more, it’s Fringe all year round, not just for a few weeks in September. The Fringe do-it-yourself aesthetic, as well as its unconventional storytelling techniques, performance lengths and times, and theater spaces are all part of the fun of Chris Davis’s new one-man show, The Last Emperor of Mexico.


The man, his mission, and his meats. (Photo courtesy of Chris Davis)
Historical footnote

A sequel of sorts to Davis's 2016 Juan-Winfield Escutia-Scott, or the Mexican-American War, a Butcher's Play, Davis performs this 45-minute history himself, playing the title character, an Austrian prince tapped by Napoleon III to become the short-lived Second Empire of Mexico’s only Emperor, Maximilian I, in 1864. Davis drafts audience members to play the character’s mother and wife, creating their conversations in modern language and attitudes. His talk with Napoleon about the job is priceless: Two guys joking in a bar about a ridiculous opportunity.

This makes historical footnote Maximilian I a relatable guy. Duped into thinking the Mexican people want him to rule, Maximilian takes over at age 31, deposing elected president Benito Juarez. Davis dons a red-and-gold cape, gives his wife a tiara, and reveals how this unlikely leader, who spoke five languages, made progressive changes such as abolishing child labor and reducing the work week’s customary 80 hours.

The history is all true, Davis assured me after the show, and there’s more than he could include in his freewheeling script. He answered questions while serving the audience authentic Mexican food (included in the ticket price).

Davis does it all

When I arrived at Los Amigos, a little corner deli/butcher shop in the heart of the Italian Market on Ninth Street (the same deli that hosted his earlier Mexico-themed show), Davis wore his blue double-breasted officer’s coat with tails and set props around the shop. As the audience arrived – 16 of us, busting the planned capacity by four – he greeted each party, explained the menu (tamales, quesadillas, soda), took orders, and asked us to provide revolutionary nicknames to be used later in the show. When extra seats were needed, he broke out more folding chairs, explaining that he'd brought them from home.

When producing theater almost anywhere, you need to invest in some chairs.

With a variety of techniques – narration, scenes played with audience members as characters, direct address as Maximilian, brief readings of historical documents – the last emperor’s fascinating story unfolds. Director Mary Tuomanen, Davis’s collaborator on his fine One-Man Apocalypse Now, Bortle 8, and other solo works, helps Davis build to its inevitable end this often-hilarious story about a man so proud of his lush beard that he refused to shave to save his life. He has a winking quality, assuring us that history is fascinating and fun, without drawing conclusions or highlighting parallels to today’s politics (though there are opportunities) – beyond a quick reference to our president’s trademark red baseball cap.

When this engaging play ends, less than an hour after its 6:30pm start, Davis serves Los Amigos’s treats (also available for purchase) and the little shop becomes a cozy party. Other than occurring at Los Amigos, which Davis helps with a cut of the box office and publicity (I’ll be going back for more tamales!), The Last Emperor of Mexico could play living rooms, art galleries, classrooms, or any other space. A few years ago, we would only have seen such a show in the Fringe. Now, theater is happening everywhere, at any time and any length. We're evolving.

 Click Here

March 12, 2017  The Wee Review
Review of Zahra Barri: Talk Like An Egyptian
The Wee Review Zahra Barri: Talk Like An Egyptian at Yes Bar
The title reveals one half of Zahra Barri’s cultural background, she tells us the other half is Irish, and she draws on both for a set of East-meets-West, clash-of-cultures material here at Glasgow International Comedy Festival.
Identity, immigration and Islam are standard parts of the modern comedian’s armoury, but Barri owns her personal take, both in style and content.
She keeps things light. The messy business of politics doesn’t get much of a look in. This is more about leaping from cultural assumptions (Middle Eastern women are hairy) into everyday trifles (the mechanics of bikini waxing), with burqas and virgin-seeking suicide bombers encountered in passing.
Barri has Isy Suttie‘s smiley semi-awkwardness about her, which is instantly disarming. And today, her cat jumper, tartan skirt and hair-ribbon also conspire to give her an air of young innocence. Whether it’s a deliberate part of her shtick, or just what she threw on today, it’s hard to tell, but to some extent it’s complementary to her act, which involves a degree of wide-eyed bewilderment at the ways of the world.
She has no shortage of material. Her set-ups are quick, and the pay-off lines are plentiful. On some, though, she is still feeling for the right delivery. Sometimes she seems unsure where the laughs should hit, sometimes she’s flagged us to the punchline. As she checks her notes towards the end, she apologises and says she should have billed it as work-in-progress. In truth, it’s really not that far off finished, just needing more stage time. By the time she reaches the Three Sisters at the Fringe, it should be ship-shape.
In the meantime, she might usefully gen up a bit more for Scottish gigs. A wag in the audience says he’s from Middle Easterhouse (geddit?) At first it whooshes over her head, but she manages to dig herself out OK. She also seems to miss the irony of telling us people and cultures are “better together” in, of all places, the Yesbar. A gag or two baiting Scots on that point might have worked a treat. She could probably get away with it too.
Taking a megabus to Glasgow for a tiny, pay-what-you-want lunchtime slot is the sort of barmy dedication that deserves respect. But this run-out is definitely worth Barri’s trip, and bodes well for Edinburgh.
 Click Here

March 10, 2017  BgBen.co.uk
Review of The Burning Gadulka
The Burning Gadulka – Review
The Performance The Burning Gadulka by Rajko Baichev presented by Miro Kokenov is an extremely exciting journey that reveals universal problems through the prism of folklore traditions and music.

The protagonist in this story is a Gadulka player (Miro Kokenov) with years of experience in the folklore ensemble. The Gadulka player from the outset clearly indicates the source of his distresses – the Gadulka (his own musical instrument) and the problems the gadulka has caused him. Problems like – fear of taking responsibility, self-pity, his inability to keep pace with the modern times and his inability relationship of the other gender. The Gadulka player persistently blamed the gadulka for his shortcomings and failures. He may as well have chosen a chair or a pen to lash out his inmost anger, dissatisfaction, and interpersonal inadequacy. The gadulka is a mere symbol that brings out all our hidden personal issues and fears.

The Burning Gadulka also reveals the issue with technology reducing the demand for unique craftsmanship and crashing traditions into pixels. The Gadulka player is extinguishing and computers play forever finer tunes. The folklore ensembles breathing their last breaths with last standing members who have no one to hand their skills over to. Some get by from one concert to another, making ends meet, just! Others, however, leave the ensemble and abandon their instruments. I never had the perseverance it takes to master an instrument, but I know it takes years of excruciating labour. It’s like a child that you have brought up with so much care, such efforts and pain. Now seeing it’s all been in vain, must be heart breaking!

Finally, the Gadulka player finds his strength and smashes the gadulka into pieces. Then we see him alone, waiting for the change that will never come, with all his personal issues still unresolved.

After the show I asked myself what is my ‘Gadulka’. For me it was my parents. Only if they’d not argued so much, if they’d not split up, if they’d not sent me to live and study alone at 13 years of age… I would blame them for all my struggles, all my miseries. Then I grew up and met people with perfect families, who were going through the same struggles and so I snapped out of the blame game and managed to get a grip of my life. But not many manage to do so. I wonder what’s your ‘Gadulka’? Do you also use alcohol to run away from it all? Do you use all sorts of excuses, outside of your control or buried into the past, for your failures today? People have a unique way to see beyond the cover and pierce into the depths the others’ self-worth.

On the one hand I'm familiar with technological advancements and I can’t help but favour it, but on the other hand I think of the performance I saw where the symbols of one nation - its folklore and traditions are slowly disappearing due to upcoming technological development. A sinking realisation dawned on me that this loss is irreversible. And I cherished ever more this consuming and purifying hour I spent watching The Burning Gadulka performed by Miro Kokenov. I hope the audience will take this chance to enjoy Bulgarian folklore and as well as The Balkan’s culture. Click Here

March 1, 2017  Whats On In Adelaide
Review of Jez Watts: Sex, Lies & Videogames
Overall rating: ★★★★

On a stiflingly hot Tuesday evening, Jez Watts presented us, his unwitting audience, with hilarious stories from his enigmatic life. On one hand, we met Mr. Watts, an ex-Australian Army soldier who spent an admirable eight years at university studying neuroscience. On the other, we have recreational drug enthusiast, Mr. Supreme, tackling the issues of untimtely bowel movements and horrific public toilets. It’s the fusion of both of these Jez’s that produces a hearty, solid 50 minutes of comedy with a genuinely loveable, charming character.

Despite the small crowd the evening I attended, due largely, I would imagine, to the aforementioned suffocating heatwave that had swept over Adelaide – to venture through a steaming hot city or lie comatose in front of an air-conditioner at home? – Jez was eager to work with the audience, involving the punters and creating little in-jokes that produced an air of comfort and welcomeness that is often absent in larger shows.

Jez Watts’ Smug Face was the perfect show to end a long working day – grab yourself a pint from the bar downstairs, sit back and enjoy a good, uncomplicated night of comedy with your endearing host. If anything, I just wish we had more time with Jez. I felt we only just scratched the surface of this young comedian’s baffling life and I left desperate to hear more. Click Here

February 23, 2017  Broad Street Review
Review of The Last Emperor of Mexico
A meaty role
More and more, it’s Fringe all year round, not just for a few weeks in September. The Fringe do-it-yourself aesthetic, as well as its unconventional storytelling techniques, performance lengths and times, and theater spaces are all part of the fun of Chris Davis’s new one-man show, The Last Emperor of Mexico.


The man, his mission, and his meats. (Photo courtesy of Chris Davis)
Historical footnote

A sequel of sorts to Davis's 2016 Juan-Winfield Escutia-Scott, or the Mexican-American War, a Butcher's Play, Davis performs this 45-minute history himself, playing the title character, an Austrian prince tapped by Napoleon III to become the short-lived Second Empire of Mexico’s only Emperor, Maximilian I, in 1864. Davis drafts audience members to play the character’s mother and wife, creating their conversations in modern language and attitudes. His talk with Napoleon about the job is priceless: Two guys joking in a bar about a ridiculous opportunity.

This makes historical footnote Maximilian I a relatable guy. Duped into thinking the Mexican people want him to rule, Maximilian takes over at age 31, deposing elected president Benito Juarez. Davis dons a red-and-gold cape, gives his wife a tiara, and reveals how this unlikely leader, who spoke five languages, made progressive changes such as abolishing child labor and reducing the work week’s customary 80 hours.

The history is all true, Davis assured me after the show, and there’s more than he could include in his freewheeling script. He answered questions while serving the audience authentic Mexican food (included in the ticket price).

Davis does it all

When I arrived at Los Amigos, a little corner deli/butcher shop in the heart of the Italian Market on Ninth Street (the same deli that hosted his earlier Mexico-themed show), Davis wore his blue double-breasted officer’s coat with tails and set props around the shop. As the audience arrived – 16 of us, busting the planned capacity by four – he greeted each party, explained the menu (tamales, quesadillas, soda), took orders, and asked us to provide revolutionary nicknames to be used later in the show. When extra seats were needed, he broke out more folding chairs, explaining that he'd brought them from home.

When producing theater almost anywhere, you need to invest in some chairs.

With a variety of techniques – narration, scenes played with audience members as characters, direct address as Maximilian, brief readings of historical documents – the last emperor’s fascinating story unfolds. Director Mary Tuomanen, Davis’s collaborator on his fine One-Man Apocalypse Now, Bortle 8, and other solo works, helps Davis build to its inevitable end this often-hilarious story about a man so proud of his lush beard that he refused to shave to save his life. He has a winking quality, assuring us that history is fascinating and fun, without drawing conclusions or highlighting parallels to today’s politics (though there are opportunities) – beyond a quick reference to our president’s trademark red baseball cap.

When this engaging play ends, less than an hour after its 6:30pm start, Davis serves Los Amigos’s treats (also available for purchase) and the little shop becomes a cozy party. Other than occurring at Los Amigos, which Davis helps with a cut of the box office and publicity (I’ll be going back for more tamales!), The Last Emperor of Mexico could play living rooms, art galleries, classrooms, or any other space. A few years ago, we would only have seen such a show in the Fringe. Now, theater is happening everywhere, at any time and any length. We're evolving. Click Here

February 23, 2017  Bunbury magazine
Review of Omar & Lee's Countercultural Comedic Cavalcade
Omar & Lee present: We Are All Idiots
 Click Here

February 23, 2017  Bunbury Magazine
Review of Omar & Lee's Countercultural Comedic Cavalcade
Omar & Lee - 'WE ARE ALL IDIOTS'
 Click Here

February 22, 2017 NewsWorks
Article about The Last Emperor of Mexico
Mexican history comes to life at Italian Market butcher
A Philadelphia writer and actor will perform a one-man play about the last emperor of Mexico, in a Mexican butcher shop.

It's a continuation of a previous play in the same butcher shop last year, about the Mexican-American War of 1846, which proved to be good for business.

Chris Davis performed all the parts of that play in Los Amigos Meat Market, on 9th Street in the Italian Market, using the meat case and the soda cooler as props. At a brisk 15 minutes, it was a scrappy, goofy production that ended with fresh tamales for everyone.

"My business went better," said owner Raul Aguilar. "People talk on Yelp, all the websites and Facebook. They talk about the show and ask about the food."

Aguilar, who has owned the butcher shop since 2007, is in a crowded field of butchers on 9th street, some of which have been established for many generations. He is trying to shift his business from selling cuts of meat to prepared foods unique to Mexican culinary tradition, like chorizo sausage, marinated carne asada, and tamales.

Plays about Mexican history have been a shot in the arm. His tamales now outsell his raw meat. He is adding tacos and sandwiches to the menu, giving more floor space over to tables and chairs for eating in.

This year, Aguilar and Davis doubled down with a play three times longer - 45 minutes - for a run twice as long - two weeks. Davis plays Maximilion I, an Austrian installed as emperor of Mexico in 1864 by the emperor of France, Napoleon III.

Maximilion was immediately disliked by Mexican liberals loyal to deposed President Benito Juarez, who did not want a foreign emperor forced upon them.

"Emperors are this thing that reoccur constantly. It goes back thousands of years. They rise," said Davis. "It asks questions, what is a leader? What do leaders do? What do we do when we discover they are petulant children, like my Emperor Maximilion, who just wants people to like him? That's all he wants. But he doesn't get that."

Davis wrote the script during the ascendency of President Donald Trump, who has been openly hostile to Mexican immigrants and proposed a controversial wall against Mexico.

Davis makes subtle reference to President Trump in the play - at one point wearing a red hat that reads “Has Mexico Mejor Otra Vez” (Make Mexico Great Again) - but said this is solely the story of Maximilion, whose life was a complex narrative of privilege, ambition, and compassion, and ultimately sacrifice.

After three years Napoleon III pulled French troops out of the country, leaving Maximilion's vulnerable Mexican republicans loyal to Juarez. He was imprisoned and executed by firing squad. His final words, in Spanish, called for Mexico's independence.

Few people in America recognize the name, but in Mexico Maximilion is a well-known figure who outlawed child labor and was a champion of the poor. He also was a monarch who refused a democratic process.

"He's a hero, in a sense, and at the same time he represents colonialism," said Davis. Click Here

February 21, 2017  The Front Row Center
Review of Show Up
Hilarious! Spot on!
 Click Here

February 19, 2017  The Australia Times
Review of NAKED
Diana Nguyen - 4.95 Stars
"Stripping herself back and becoming vulnerable, this heartfelt comedian has nothing to hide as she is beautifully funny – a truly lovely human being." Click Here

February 18, 2017 The Daily Edge
Meet Ruth Hunter, the 'human woman from Dublin' who is the next big thing in Irish comedy
 Click Here

February 18, 2017 The Daily Edge
Article about Conor O'Toole and Ruth Hunter are fine with this.
Meet Ruth Hunter, the 'human woman from Dublin' who is the next big thing in Irish comedy
 Click Here

February 15, 2017  The Australia Times
Review of Becky Brunning - Beaming
Becky Brunning - Beaming (4 stars)
Review by Kieran Eaton

Becky Brunning – Beaming is a show where UK comedian, Brunning, charms Perth’s FRINGEWORLD 2017 audience with her whimsical humour. Becky Brunning may appear a bit geeky but she deep down wants to be cool!

This easygoing Brit is very relatable in that she is honest about her inner dialogue. Her voices give her weird experiences and neuroses but she turns the strangeness of this into part of the everyday. Listening to her feels like learning about the psychology of the ego in a quirky way. It appears in Brunning’s world there is no right or wrong and this builds upon her likeable nature. Her amusing tales are intriguing and build up a theme of wanting to be cool. This show is a journey into believing in one’s self.

When Brunning first comes on to the stage she admits to feeling the heat of this Australian weather and is candid that she thinks the people of this city of Perth are very attractive. Brunning has a big smile and she uses this well in disarming the audience of any preconceptions of her. Her gangly physical presence creates extra love for her as a slightly weird comedian who admits to feeling more attractive when she hangs out with attractive people. Her honesty is beautiful in breaking down how we sometimes construct a reality that does not make sense. Brunning’s casual vocalisation of thought patterns is classic comedy.

Becky Brunning – Beaming is a show that will make you laugh and leave you also, beaming!

 Click Here

February 15, 2017 The Australia Times
Article about Becky Brunning - Beaming
Becky Brunning - Beaming (4 stars)
Review by Kieran Eaton

Becky Brunning – Beaming is a show where UK comedian, Brunning, charms Perth’s FRINGEWORLD 2017 audience with her whimsical humour. Becky Brunning may appear a bit geeky but she deep down wants to be cool!

This easygoing Brit is very relatable in that she is honest about her inner dialogue. Her voices give her weird experiences and neuroses but she turns the strangeness of this into part of the everyday. Listening to her feels like learning about the psychology of the ego in a quirky way. It appears in Brunning’s world there is no right or wrong and this builds upon her likeable nature. Her amusing tales are intriguing and build up a theme of wanting to be cool. This show is a journey into believing in one’s self.

When Brunning first comes on to the stage she admits to feeling the heat of this Australian weather and is candid that she thinks the people of this city of Perth are very attractive. Brunning has a big smile and she uses this well in disarming the audience of any preconceptions of her. Her gangly physical presence creates extra love for her as a slightly weird comedian who admits to feeling more attractive when she hangs out with attractive people. Her honesty is beautiful in breaking down how we sometimes construct a reality that does not make sense. Brunning’s casual vocalisation of thought patterns is classic comedy.

Becky Brunning – Beaming is a show that will make you laugh and leave you also, beaming! Click Here

February 11, 2017 ULTRA_FOX
Article about Katharine Ferns is in Stitches
Katharine Ferns - In Stitches - at the Regent Club, Leicester
But while we had been warned in advance not to expect an hour of bland unthreatening one-liners, Katharine Ferns delivers an extraordinary, challenging performance which is well received both by her devoted fan base and those previously unfamiliar with her work.

Currently based in the Chorlton district of Manchester - a former haunt and dwelling-place of Morrissey - this engaging, gregarious and surprisingly cheerful Canadian has the gift of conjuring humour from the bleakest and unlikeliest of scenarios. Such a talent, of course, is not unlike that exhibited by the Smiths themselves in their prime a generation ago.

Although - as some of us know only too well - Ferns is by no means the first person on the planet to suffer poor health from embarking upon unsuitable relationships, she possesses immense fortitude in being able to relate the most intimate (and sometimes harrowing) details to a predominantly male group of strangers.

Her capacity to endure, and survive, such physical, mental and emotional onslaughts - which sadly, as she reminds us, is a journey too many women in Canada, the UK and elsewhere are unable to complete - represents a triumph of the human spirit which deserves to be honoured and celebrated.

Given the global acclaim afforded to the aforementioned St Claudio for his exploits in the past year, it is therefore entirely fitting that Ferns should have chosen Leicester as a venue to tell her tale.

The least that the community can do in return is to ensure that it - and indeed, Ferns herself, - is heard by as wide an audience as possible. Click Here

February 11, 2017 ULTRA_FOX
Article about Katharine Ferns is in Stitches
Katharine Ferns - In Stitches - at the Regent Club, Leicester
But while we had been warned in advance not to expect an hour of bland unthreatening one-liners, Katharine Ferns delivers an extraordinary, challenging performance which is well received both by her devoted fan base and those previously unfamiliar with her work.

Currently based in the Chorlton district of Manchester - a former haunt and dwelling-place of Morrissey - this engaging, gregarious and surprisingly cheerful Canadian has the gift of conjuring humour from the bleakest and unlikeliest of scenarios. Such a talent, of course, is not unlike that exhibited by the Smiths themselves in their prime a generation ago.

Although - as some of us know only too well - Ferns is by no means the first person on the planet to suffer poor health from embarking upon unsuitable relationships, she possesses immense fortitude in being able to relate the most intimate (and sometimes harrowing) details to a predominantly male group of strangers.

Her capacity to endure, and survive, such physical, mental and emotional onslaughts - which sadly, as she reminds us, is a journey too many women in Canada, the UK and elsewhere are unable to complete - represents a triumph of the human spirit which deserves to be honoured and celebrated.

Given the global acclaim afforded to the aforementioned St Claudio for his exploits in the past year, it is therefore entirely fitting that Ferns should have chosen Leicester as a venue to tell her tale.

The least that the community can do in return is to ensure that it - and indeed, Ferns herself, - is heard by as wide an audience as possible. Click Here

January 29, 2017  LondonTheatre1.com
Review of The Burning Gadulka
The Burning Gadulka at The Etcetera Theatre – Review
“It turns out that while you’re supposedly a musician, you can’t play anything nice by yourself. This, in turn, weighs badly on your self-esteem and throughout your whole life you can never shake the feeling that you’re a total zero without the others, and that you constantly need their help.”
The gadulka in The Burning Gadulka, or indeed anywhere in Bulgarian society, for those as uninitiated as I was before seeing this show, is a string instrument, held vertically, with three strings. Miroslav Kokenov, the sole actor in this intense production, sets about explaining the place of the gadulka at an individual, local, national and international level. I’m still undecided as to whether it genuinely does sound awful (yes, the audience is treated to some gadulka playing) or if I was conditioned to think so beforehand by a long and depressing preamble, in which it is explained, in some detail, and with examples, how the gadulka has led to unhappiness in this professional gadulka player’s life.
At least twice, the musician barks directly at his instrument: initially I thought this ranting at an inanimate object is surely a sign of some form of madness. But I’ve called my computer a ‘stupid machine’ before, and sworn at a self-service checkout at the supermarket – and, on one of my first occasions to use one, said ‘thank you’ to an ATM. Anyway, I mention this being a solo performance as the show draws attention to the gadulka really being an orchestral instrument. On its own it sounds terrible. As part of a Bulgarian folk orchestra, along with everyone else, it blends into the overall sound.
“I steadfastly believe in the ensemble,” the musician tells the audience. I steadfastly believe in them, too (take them out of musicals and the live theatrical experience is much diminished), but in a solo show, it only begs the question: where are they?
There’s a whole backstory as to how this musician ended up a gadulka player – the long and the short of it seemed to be that somebody had to be. But as the complaints stack up, the line of argument seems a little like the violin player who felt the brass section in the orchestra he plays in should get paid less – that is, musicians should be paid by the note (whatever that means – some notes are longer than others, and so on and so forth). I do, however, have some sympathy with Mr Gadulka (as I shall call him), particularly when he talks about the computerisation of music, whereby the technology now exists for software to ‘play’ any instrument. It could, taken to its logical conclusion, spell the death knell for orchestras everywhere.
It’s a sparse set, with few props, one of which is a giant panda, for quite charming reasons, or rather a charming reason, which is explained during the course of the evening’s proceedings. Mr Gadulka tells his story by thinking out loud, as opposed to relentlessly sticking to the subject of the gadulka. It’s like a stream of consciousness that comes across as though improvised, or at least semi-structured (the play is, in fact, fully scripted in the conventional manner). In that regard, it’s not so much the gadulka that’s literally ‘burning’ as the gadulka player, figuratively speaking.
As times are a-changing, the play asserts that the Bulgarian folk orchestras are worthy, if such a thing were possible, of being placed on an equivalent list to WWF’s ‘endangered species’ directory. I don’t think the play will change anyone’s minds, at either a micro or a macro level. The modernists will continue to think we should move with the times and embrace the twenty-first century. The traditionalists will insist that hundreds of years’ worth of folk music can and should continue. For my part, if his instrument is seriously as dreadful as Mr Gadulka says it is, perhaps it is best consigned to history after all. To put it another way, I wasn’t sold on the old gadulka.
Still, it’s easier said than done to embrace change. The play does provide an intriguing insight into Bulgarian living, delivered at an appropriately brisk pace. Albeit mostly of a sarcastic and slightly bitter variety, there’s humour to be found in this touching production. A worthwhile experience.

****

Review by Chris Omaweng



With humour and sarcasm, the musician tells a story about his relationship with the Gadulka. An instrument often overlooked and unremarkable in its appearance, it is in fact, the backbone of the Bulgarian folk orchestra. By blaming the Gadulka and undermining its functionality and significance, the Gadulka player reveals the similarities between himself and the instrument. He takes us on a journey through the mysteries and fear we all face on a daily basis.
The performance is inspired by Bulgarian culture and reveals to the audience the characteristics of Bulgarian folklore, traditional dances and costumes.
 Click Here

January 23, 2017 John Fleming's blog – SO IT GOES
Article about Consignia's Panopticon
The anarchic post modernist comedy group named after the Post Office. Not.
The anarchic post modernist comedy group named after the Post Office. Not.

Consignia won last year’s Alternative New Comedian of the Year title. The comedy group are Phil Jarvis, Andy Barr, Nathan Willcock and now “newcomer Jason Bridge”.

Phil and Nathan had tea with me in Cafe Diana – a culinary shrine to the late Princess of Wales, opposite the Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in London’s Notting Hill and near the brutalist Czech Embassy. It was their choice of venue. Also present was Dec Munro, one of the begetters of Angel Comedy’s Bill Murray club.

Dec has let them have an entire afternoon of six previews at the Bill Murray on Sunday 5th February – from 1.45pm to 6.00pm, unless they repeat everything twice, in which case who knows?

Consignia were performing in Swansea last night. If I had been more efficient, I could have posted this blog before then to give the gig a plug.

But I wasn’t and didn’t.

At last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, I saw their show The Abridged Dapper Eleven-Hour Monochrome Dream Show twice. Well, I had little alternative. When it got to the end of their one-hour slot, they simply did the whole show again from beginning to end. When we met at Cafe Diana, Nathan was feeling ill and was very tired. Our conversation, under walls covered in photos of Princess Diana, went like this:


JOHN: I was surprised when you repeated the show in Edinburgh that there seemed to have been a script.

NATHAN: The Leicester Comedy Festival is the last time we will do that show.

PHIL: Yeah. Saturday 25th February.

NATHAN: And, after Leicester, we will do something new for Edinburgh this year.

PHIL: At the Edinburgh Fringe, I want to do an unofficial Dinner For One tribute show. I am trying to get the smallest room I can and put a table in it with six people round it.

JOHN: Isn’t the whole point of Dinner For One that he is serving things to non-existent people?

PHIL: But you could have someone playing the tiger rug and people playing the people who aren’t there.

JOHN: This show would run the whole duration of the Fringe?

PHIL: It would be a one-off. There would be a knees-up, because that’s what the show is.

JOHN: Is it?

PHIL: I think it is, yeah. A melancholic knees-up.

JOHN: A sort of Chas & Dave with tears?

PHIL: (TO ME) We are waiting for Bridge.

JOHN: Bridge?

PHIL: Jason Bridge.

JOHN: Like Godot?

PHIL: Mmmm…

JOHN: But, apart from your Dinner For One with six people, what is the new Consignia show for Edinburgh?


PHIL: Panopticon.

JOHN: Why is it called that?

PHIL: It has to be more pretentious than last year’s.

NATHAN: We have a gig booked in Norwich for it already.

JOHN: Oh, I’m sorry.

PHIL: We did it last year. That’s where last year’s gig found its feet. Before that, The Abridged Dapper Eleven-Hour Monochrome Dream Show was a disaster.

NATHAN: I went to university in Norwich.

JOHN: Oh, I’m sorry.

PHIL: I’m going to run a gig in Basingstoke.

JOHN: What? Into the ground?

PHIL: Probably. It’s a regular monthly gig.

JOHN: Called…?

PHIL: Goat.

JOHN: Because it will make people feel horny?

PHIL: No. It’s just a name.

DEC: Someone named their rap album Goat.


PHIL: I think there’s a band called Goat as well.

JOHN: And an animal.

PHIL: If you put the words ‘a Comedy Club’ next to it, it says ‘Go at a Comedy Club’.

NATHAN: Nobody says: “Go at a comedy club.”

PHIL: I do.

NATHAN: You should call it GOAT 2 – “Goat 2 a comedy club.”

JOHN: So why call yourselves Consignia?

NATHAN: We didn’t have a name in Edinburgh last year, but now we have retrospectively given ourselves a name.

JOHN (TO NATHAN): Are you going to fall forward unconscious into that soup or what?


NATHAN: It’s very hot.

JOHN: Why did you choose the name Consignia?

NATHAN: It was going to be the new name of the Post Office but they got rid of it, so we thought: We’ll have it.

JOHN: You didn’t think of calling yourselves The Post Office?

PHIL: It’s not as funny.

NATHAN: With Consignia, only a few people remember it happening. It was so stupid. I had to check with people: Did that actually happen?

JOHN: Ah. So it IS suitable for your shows, then.

NATHAN: We are hoping to get into a high-profile legal battle with the bloke who thought up the name.

PHIL: We like faded things.

JOHN: Is that why you invited me here?

NATHAN: We like pointless, meaningless things.

PHIL: That is why we like brutalism in architecture.


JOHN: Are you sure you are not misunderstanding the word? It is not just beating-up people in the street.

PHIL: We want to perform at The Comedy Store.

JOHN: In the Gong Show bit?

NATHAN: Yes. They film you and you can pay £5 to get a copy. We could probably use it in our new show: about us being booed off. We will just stay on stage.

PHIL: They will be gonging and we will just stay on until the bouncers come on to get us. They will think about it a bit.

NATHAN: Basically, we want them to get violent… and then we will see if we can still get the video.

JOHN: You really do misunderstand what Brutalism is.

NATHAN: He still hasn’t turned up.

JOHN: Who?

PHIL: Jason Bridge. He will be with us in Leicester. With my son.

JOHN: You have a son?

PHIL: No.

NATHAN: Do you remember anything from our show in Edinburgh?

JOHN: No.

NATHAN: The one you sat through twice.

JOHN: No. I do remember the second time was a revelation because I thought: I’ve never seen anything like this before.

PHIL: Do you not remember me covered in blood wearing a gas mask, holding my son?

JOHN: No. I thought I must have dreamt that.

PHIL: You saw my penis.

JOHN: Did I see it twice?

PHIL: Yes you did.

JOHN: I don’t remember it.

NATHAN: My girlfriend hates that.


JOHN: His penis?

NATHAN: No… Nicholas. Because Nicholas is covered in egg and mud…

JOHN: His son?

PHIL: …and guacamole…

NATHAN:…but I refuse to throw it out. It’s in our cupboard.

JOHN: Why is guacamole funny? All those Al Queda prisoners in there for years on end…

PHIL: Do you not remember our show at all, John?

JOHN: No.

NATHAN: You remember we put a carrot and some humus on stage…

JOHN: Did you?

NATHAN: …and then played a really slowed-down version of Daphne & Celeste and then walked off stage and the audience just looked at this carrot and humus.

PHIL: One night, we couldn’t find any humus. We could only find discounted guacamole.

NATHAN: That was the night the second show happened – the X-rated one – the night you were there, John. We did everything naked.

JOHN: Did you?

NATHAN: And, instead of putting a carrot in the guacamole, we put Phil’s penis in it and put a microphone to it.

JOHN: Did you?

NATHAN: And guacamole is a bit spicy so Phil said it hurt quite a bit.

PHIL: I had a mild burn for the rest of the Fringe.


NATHAN: That’s how committed we are.

JOHN: And your girlfriend is not keen on this?

PHIL: His fiancée now.

JOHN: (TO NATHAN) Oh! Congratulations.

NATHAN: She asked me.

JOHN: How did she ask you?

NATHAN: She took me to Belgium.

JOHN: Is that a euphemism I don’t know? I have heard “took me round the world” but never “took me to Belgium”.

NATHAN: Ghent. She didn’t go down on one knee. She just gave me a ring underneath the belfry.

JOHN: Is that another euphemism I haven’t heard?

NATHAN: December 9th. The wedding. It’s going to have a Christmas theme. We had a load of crackers delivered the other day.

JOHN: In January? For your December wedding? That’s forward planning.

NATHAN: She’s very organised. We have put the soundtrack for The Abridged Dapper Eleven-Hour Monochrome Dream Show up on Bandcamp and you can buy the full album for £1,000. You can also download individual tracks for free.

JOHN: It is all commercialism with you, isn’t it?
 Click Here

January 23, 2017 John Fleming's blog – SO IT GOES
The anarchic post modernist comedy group named after the Post Office. Not.
The anarchic post modernist comedy group named after the Post Office. Not.

The interior of Cafe Diana in Notting Hill
The interior of Cafe Diana in London’s Notting Hill

Consignia won last year’s Alternative New Comedian of the Year title. The comedy group are Phil Jarvis, Andy Barr, Nathan Willcock and now “newcomer Jason Bridge”.

Phil and Nathan had tea with me in Cafe Diana – a culinary shrine to the late Princess of Wales, opposite the Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in London’s Notting Hill and near the brutalist Czech Embassy. It was their choice of venue. Also present was Dec Munro, one of the begetters of Angel Comedy’s Bill Murray club.

Dec has let them have an entire afternoon of six previews at the Bill Murray on Sunday 5th February – from 1.45pm to 6.00pm, unless they repeat everything twice, in which case who knows?


Consignia were performing in Swansea last night. If I had been more efficient, I could have posted this blog before then to give the gig a plug.

But I wasn’t and didn’t.

At last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, I saw their show The Abridged Dapper Eleven-Hour Monochrome Dream Show twice. Well, I had little alternative. When it got to the end of their one-hour slot, they simply did the whole show again from beginning to end. When we met at Cafe Diana, Nathan was feeling ill and was very tired. Our conversation, under walls covered in photos of Princess Diana, went like this:

JOHN: I was surprised when you repeated the show in Edinburgh that there seemed to have been a script.

NATHAN: The Leicester Comedy Festival is the last time we will do that show.

PHIL: Yeah. Saturday 25th February.

NATHAN: And, after Leicester, we will do something new for Edinburgh this year.

PHIL: At the Edinburgh Fringe, I want to do an unofficial Dinner For One tribute show. I am trying to get the smallest room I can and put a table in it with six people round it.

JOHN: Isn’t the whole point of Dinner For One that he is serving things to non-existent people?

PHIL: But you could have someone playing the tiger rug and people playing the people who aren’t there.

JOHN: This show would run the whole duration of the Fringe?

PHIL: It would be a one-off. There would be a knees-up, because that’s what the show is.

JOHN: Is it?

PHIL: I think it is, yeah. A melancholic knees-up.

JOHN: A sort of Chas & Dave with tears?

PHIL: (TO ME) We are waiting for Bridge.

JOHN: Bridge?

PHIL: Jason Bridge.

JOHN: Like Godot?

PHIL: Mmmm…

JOHN: But, apart from your Dinner For One with six people, what is the new Consignia show for Edinburgh?


PHIL: Panopticon.

JOHN: Why is it called that?

PHIL: It has to be more pretentious than last year’s.

NATHAN: We have a gig booked in Norwich for it already.

JOHN: Oh, I’m sorry.

PHIL: We did it last year. That’s where last year’s gig found its feet. Before that, The Abridged Dapper Eleven-Hour Monochrome Dream Show was a disaster.

NATHAN: I went to university in Norwich.

JOHN: Oh, I’m sorry.

PHIL: I’m going to run a gig in Basingstoke.

JOHN: What? Into the ground?

PHIL: Probably. It’s a regular monthly gig.

JOHN: Called…?

PHIL: Goat.

JOHN: Because it will make people feel horny?

PHIL: No. It’s just a name.

DEC: Someone named their rap album Goat.

PHIL: I think there’s a band called Goat as well.

JOHN: And an animal.

PHIL: If you put the words ‘a Comedy Club’ next to it, it says ‘Go at a Comedy Club’.

NATHAN: Nobody says: “Go at a comedy club.”

PHIL: I do.

NATHAN: You should call it GOAT 2 – “Goat 2 a comedy club.”

JOHN: So why call yourselves Consignia?

NATHAN: We didn’t have a name in Edinburgh last year, but now we have retrospectively given ourselves a name.

JOHN (TO NATHAN): Are you going to fall forward unconscious into that soup or what?

NATHAN: It’s very hot.

JOHN: Why did you choose the name Consignia?

NATHAN: It was going to be the new name of the Post Office but they got rid of it, so we thought: We’ll have it.

JOHN: You didn’t think of calling yourselves The Post Office?

PHIL: It’s not as funny.

NATHAN: With Consignia, only a few people remember it happening. It was so stupid. I had to check with people: Did that actually happen?

JOHN: Ah. So it IS suitable for your shows, then.

NATHAN: We are hoping to get into a high-profile legal battle with the bloke who thought up the name.

PHIL: We like faded things.

JOHN: Is that why you invited me here?

NATHAN: We like pointless, meaningless things.

PHIL: That is why we like brutalism in architecture.


JOHN: Are you sure you are not misunderstanding the word? It is not just beating-up people in the street.

PHIL: We want to perform at The Comedy Store.

JOHN: In the Gong Show bit?

NATHAN: Yes. They film you and you can pay £5 to get a copy. We could probably use it in our new show: about us being booed off. We will just stay on stage.

PHIL: They will be gonging and we will just stay on until the bouncers come on to get us. They will think about it a bit.

NATHAN: Basically, we want them to get violent… and then we will see if we can still get the video.

JOHN: You really do misunderstand what Brutalism is.

NATHAN: He still hasn’t turned up.

JOHN: Who?

PHIL: Jason Bridge. He will be with us in Leicester. With my son.

JOHN: You have a son?

PHIL: No.

NATHAN: Do you remember anything from our show in Edinburgh?

JOHN: No.

NATHAN: The one you sat through twice.

JOHN: No. I do remember the second time was a revelation because I thought: I’ve never seen anything like this before.

PHIL: Do you not remember me covered in blood wearing a gas mask, holding my son?

JOHN: No. I thought I must have dreamt that.

PHIL: You saw my penis.

JOHN: Did I see it twice?

PHIL: Yes you did.

JOHN: I don’t remember it.

NATHAN: My girlfriend hates that.
Nathan Willcock Facebook header image

JOHN: His penis?

NATHAN: No… Nicholas. Because Nicholas is covered in egg and mud…

JOHN: His son?

PHIL: …and guacamole…

NATHAN:…but I refuse to throw it out. It’s in our cupboard.

JOHN: Why is guacamole funny? All those Al Queda prisoners in there for years on end…

PHIL: Do you not remember our show at all, John?

JOHN: No.

NATHAN: You remember we put a carrot and some humus on stage…

JOHN: Did you?

NATHAN: …and then played a really slowed-down version of Daphne & Celeste and then walked off stage and the audience just looked at this carrot and humus.

PHIL: One night, we couldn’t find any humus. We could only find discounted guacamole.

NATHAN: That was the night the second show happened – the X-rated one – the night you were there, John. We did everything naked.

JOHN: Did you?

NATHAN: And, instead of putting a carrot in the guacamole, we put Phil’s penis in it and put a microphone to it.

JOHN: Did you?

NATHAN: And guacamole is a bit spicy so Phil said it hurt quite a bit.

PHIL: I had a mild burn for the rest of the Fringe.

NATHAN: That’s how committed we are.

JOHN: And your girlfriend is not keen on this?

PHIL: His fiancée now.

JOHN: (TO NATHAN) Oh! Congratulations.

NATHAN: She asked me.

JOHN: How did she ask you?

NATHAN: She took me to Belgium.

JOHN: Is that a euphemism I don’t know? I have heard “took me round the world” but never “took me to Belgium”.

NATHAN: Ghent. She didn’t go down on one knee. She just gave me a ring underneath the belfry.

JOHN: Is that another euphemism I haven’t heard?

NATHAN: December 9th. The wedding. It’s going to have a Christmas theme. We had a load of crackers delivered the other day.

JOHN: In January? For your December wedding? That’s forward planning.

NATHAN: She’s very organised. We have put the soundtrack for The Abridged Dapper Eleven-Hour Monochrome Dream Show up on Bandcamp and you can buy the full album for £1,000. You can also download individual tracks for free.

JOHN: It is all commercialism with you, isn’t it?
 Click Here

January 17, 2017 Salisbury Journal
Article about Andrew White - It Was Funnier In My Head
Andrew White to start first leg of his It Was Funnier in my Head tour in Fordingbridge
SALISBURY teen Andrew White is hitting the road with his own stand-up show.

The first leg of It Was Funnier in my Head will be in Fordingbridge at The Victoria Rooms on Friday, January 27, 7.30pm.

The show was previewed at Studio Theatre in Salisbury in November, which the 17-year-old Bishops Wordsworth student says was “very well” received.

He says: “In the first six months of the new year, I’ll be touring it around the South Coast at various locations up until June, and then in August hope to be taking it to the Edinburgh Fringe.


“The show takes a look at life as a parent dependent teenager, covering everything from passing out in PE to the banes of elderly neighbours, and from accepting baldness to travelling in China. I’ll even be introduced and warmed up by my very own dad.”

Entry is free. For more information email awtickets@hotmail.com or visit facebook.com/standupaw. Click Here

January 11, 2017 Jew in The City
This Orthodox Rabbi Was Named 1 of The Funniest People in the World - about David Kilimnick
This Orthodox Rabbi Was Named 1 of The Funniest People in the World

JANUARY 11, 2017 BY SARA LEVINE

What do you get when thousands of comedians from dozens of countries go head to head in The Laugh Factory’s “Funniest Person in the World” competition? Six finalists, including an Orthodox rabbi named David Kilimnick. The competition, which took place this past month in Finland was created in the hopes of bringing peace to the world through laughter. Before the final five were selected, the thousands of applicants were narrowed down to 89 semifinalist from 56 countries.
Kilimnick grew up in a Modern Orthodox home in Rochester, NY, and humor seems to run in the family. His cousin is another hilarious frum Jew, Emmy-winning Modern Family producer and Orthodox Jewish All Star Ilana Wernick. Though he studied to be a rabbi and a social worker, after spending a short time working for Jewish organizations in the U.S., he realized that he had a flair for comedy. He made aliyah, started doing stand-up and opened his own comedy club: the Off the Wall Comedy Basement.
A few years ago, he sponsored a friend’s entry into the “Funniest” competition. This year, it was Kilimnick’s turn. He was shocked to be sponsored, supported, and break into the Semifinals. “It was an honor to make it there because there were some amazing comedianscreen-shot-2017-01-10-at-9-32-52-pms. It was the most beautiful experience I’ve ever had as a comedian.” Coming to Finland, he warmed up with a show for the Jewish community. For the Finals, Kilimnick focused on comedy about being a religious Jew and living in Israel. “Tons of people can bring material about relationships. Why would I do the same thing they are doing? [We are a part of] a competition that praises being unique.” Specifically, it is his religious perspective that he thinks people respond to so deeply. “If Torah is truth, then share that and people will connect with that.”
It was the international participants who inspired him to take off his baseball cap and perform with just his kippah on. “I came out on stage and I said, ‘I feel weird being here in Europe. I bet you’re all thinking: I thought we got rid of these people.'” But while his comedy celebrated his difference, he was thrilled to discover so much in common with the others, even if they were participating from India, Malaysia or Saudi Arabia – they were all in it together.
While the other five finalists spent the last day of the competition campaigning for votes, Kilimnick choose to forfeit as it was Shabbos. “I never felt better not competing.” He might have lost the finals accordingly, but he still feels like a winner. In comparing his victory to that of Sandy Koufax not playing in the World Series on Yom Kippur, Kilimnick hopes to inspire other Shabbos observers to achieve all they can while staying true to what makes them unique. “I see kedusha (holiness) to comedy. It’s therapeutic in that sense…. Comedy is emes (truth). I’m trying to touch on [that].”
What’s next for Kilimnick is an exciting array of comedic opportunities. The next tour will take him to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and on a show about defending Israel. “The Laugh Factory wants to give me gigs when I come to America now. I’m not just doing this for Jewish groups or shuls. It’s a real thing. I’m a real person in the profession.”
Kilimnick sums up his experience in how he perceives the role of Jews in the world at large. “We can be a Kiddush Hashem by just being us and sharing our values by the way we act. If you have a strong enough foundation of who you are, it’s going to be seen by other people. I’m one of the people who was chosen to live with the mitzvos. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else… I just try to share laughs with people.”


Read more: http://jewinthecity.com/2017/01/this-orthodox-rabbi-was-named-one-of-the-funniest-people-in-the-world/#ixzz4gpLnZaVJ Click Here

January 7, 2017 The Daily Echo
Article about Andrew White - It Was Funnier In My Head
Teenage comic Andrew White embarks on first stand-up tour
SALISBURY teenager Andrew White is taking his first ever stand up comedy show around the South Coast for six months before making his Edinburgh's Fringe Festival debut in August.

And he has chosen none other than his dad to be his warm-up act for the shows.

Andrew, 17, who is a full-time student at Bishop Wordsworth School in Salisbury is also studying hard for his A Levels in the hope of gaining a place at Cambridge University.

He told the Daily Echo: " I would love to go to Cambridge to study History and join the famous Footlights as well! It'll be a dream come true if I get through these next two years with good grades. After that, comedy and writing is the career I'd love. Arts and entertainment is my passion."


Andrew's show, entitled 'It Was Funnier in my Head', was previewed at Studio Theatre in November, to an almost full house and was very well received.

The first leg of the tour in Fordingbridge is now on sale for Friday January 27 at The Victoria Rooms. Other dates and venues, yet to be announced include Bournemouth, Hastings, Fareham, and two nights in Salisbury.

Talking about the show Andrew says: "It takes a look at life as a parent dependent teenager, covering everything from passing out in PE to the bane of elderly neighbours, and from accepting baldness to travelling in China. I'll even be introduced and warmed up by very own dad!"

Andrew was just 15 when he started his comedy journey two years ago at a youth open mic in Salisbury.

" I started out with hardly any originality or style and just went out and told one-liners and puns. The woman running the mic, Flo, was in comedy and helped me work out my own style and material. I worked towards, over the last two years a more professional act which I'm very proud of now. I like to write a lot, so poetry kind of slotted in perfectly to my act."

Despite his Dad, Marc White, being his support act Andrew is not following in his footsteps but quite the opposite:

"Oddly, my Dad was actually inspired to do comedy by me! He had always been tempted and once took a course, and after I started he took to doing bits here and there alongside me.


"My biggest influences have been from other comedians and hearing them talk about writing material, going into the business etc. On a personal level Flo and Jonathan the Jester, (an Amesbury-based comedian, youth worker, and entertainer) have helped me hone my act hugely."

Certainly the future is looking bright for Andrew who apart from the tour has booked 20-40 minute slots at several charity gigs and compilation shows. He will also be on Hope FM on February 1 in the studio talking and joking with the host and another guest.

All dates on the Tour will now be Pay What You Want! Reserve a seat for free entry, and pay what you feel the night was worth on the way out!

More information on Andrew's Facebook page:

www.Facebook.com/StandUpAW Click Here

November 18, 2016 Croydon Citizen
Article about James Bone's TOWNIES
Townies: A Saturday evening on the silly side
As readers of the Croydon Citizen, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how good Matthews Yard is for a drink. But it was my first time in Theatre Utopia, and it was a really great setting for an evening of comedy.

Townies is fronted by James Bone and to sum it up in a few words, it was an hour of pretty silly humour. Luckily I like that (and the audience clearly did too), so that was fine by me.

Think more Little Britain than Have I Got News For You. Funny voices. OTT costumes. Eccentric characters. Which means if you’re after satirical, cutting humour, it’s probably not for you.

The show consists of a set of short monologues from some of the characters that come by the Townie Arms in Croydon. To get you on the right sort of lines, one of them is an Australian man with bunny ears who digs his way here. We meet a few other characters along the way too (all played by James), with the pub’s cleaner, Margaret, doing a solid job of tapping in while he makes some quick changes. (There was something a little Catherine Tate-ish about her.)

James was funniest when he was more self-aware. He had people in stitches when he acknowledged a Status Quo cover band doing a soundcheck next door. And, for me, the other points where he was improvising were probably his funniest. (I’d watch him do an hour of that.)

If you don’t like being put on the spot, don’t sit in the front row
He also did an excellent job of getting the audience involved (and by that I mean getting more than one person on stage, more than once, and getting them to wear an array of props), without it feeling awkward. A word of warning then: if you’re not the sort of person who likes being put on the spot, maybe don’t sit in the front row.

James also made a small acknowledgment of the previous week’s Croydon tram disaster. It was a very nice, respectful touch.

So, if you’re after a light-hearted hour’s break, I’d recommend seeing Townies next time it comes to town.
 Click Here

October 12, 2016  London Pub Theatres 1
Review of A Poke in the Eye
A Poke in the Eye @ Soho Theatre
GEORGIE MORRELL: A POKE IN THE EYE at Soho Theatre – Review
OCTOBER 12, 2016 LAST UPDATED: NOVEMBER 20, 2016 4:57 PM BY TERRY EASTHAM

GEORGIE MORRELL: A POKE IN THE EYEEveryone at some time has imagined the worst thing that could happen in their lives and how they would react to it. For the majority of us, these musings never get any further than a small shiver down the back and a thankfulness that nothing bad is really going to happen. However, for Georgie Morrell, the worst did happen and she is more than willing to share the story of how she coped with her one-woman show A Poke in the Eye.

Georgie was blind in one eye but managing to live the exciting life of a twenty-something in the bright lights of London when disaster struck and she lost the sight in the other eye and went completely blind. Her story could so easily be one of depression and unhappiness but somehow, Georgie, who is obviously an amazingly strong lady, manages to get a one-hour comedy routine out of it. Yes, the sadness is there – it would be impossible for anyone to be hit by sudden blindness and it not have a negative effect – but there is laughter as well. Dreamy voiced doctors, navigating the living room without kicking the dog, well meaning ‘friends’ coming to cheer you up, all of these have so much comedy potential and Georgie really knows how to bring her audience into her world where laughing at someone’s disability doesn’t feel wrong.

Watching the show, it’s obvious that Georgie is relishing every moment on the stage and it really comes across not only how strong she is but the strength of her family as the disembodied voices of her parents talk about their thoughts at the time. Although not seen, the family is there with her constantly and I have to say, her brother sounds like a really excellent guy in the way he handles Georgie and her lack of sight.

Without giving too much away, various parts of the show really stood out for me. The amazingly convoluted and bureaucratic discussion when applying for benefits was probably the biggest one for me. I’ve only, thankfully, had limited dealings with the people in Job Centres, or whatever they are called this week, but I was instantly back there filling out forms in duplicate and trying to convince the person behind the desk – who doesn’t make the rules – of the validity of my claim. You would think, being Blind, it would be pretty easy for Georgie but her interview was a wonderful example of bureaucracy at its best.

Ultimately, A Poke in the Eye was surprisingly funny and not at all what I was expecting. I, along with the rest of the audience was thoroughly entertained. In my mind, I would have loved it to go on longer but then realised that we were dealing with someone’s disability here. I have to admit that if the worst ever happens to me, I hope I can face it with half the strength of character that Georgie showed because then I know I will survive.

4 stars

Review by Terry Eastham
 Click Here

September 24, 2016 We Know Melbourne
Article about It's My Funeral and I'll Throw Glitter if I Want To
Fringe Review: It’s my funeral & I’ll throw glitter if I want to
As an independent woman, taking charge of one of the most significant, and well let’s face it, last, major events of one’s life is a pretty huge, albeit important task. So, ‘after a (tiny) mental breakdown, Isobel Marmion decided to throw her own funeral (fancy dress and lots of glitter) rather than wait for her untimely and obviously impending death from one of the many illnesses she’s currently suffering from…’ which she goes on to list at the start of her aptly-named show.

Pre-show we are warned to brace ourselves for what is described as an ‘intimate look at mental illness and the fear of dying alone, but in an uplifting, funny way’ – this was delivered loosely wrapped around what comes across as an intimate 50 minute long confessional.

From this description, and as the show unfolded in front of us, it became clear that it was less about the funeral, and more so about Isobel’s very real struggle with mental illness – balancing bipolar disorder in a society which demands high function, something that Isobel appears to have a hold of in the way that someone might throw forward jokes to cover up awkward and uncomfortable moments.

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there.

IMFAITGIIWT (the official acronym) is like stepping into Isobel’s bedroom for a girly sleepover, sharing her deepest darkest secrets, fears and feelings, and watching her give birth to a three-litre bottle of milk full of glitter.

It then goes out with a glorious, pyjama-clad, boss-shoe wearing bang. Click Here

August 19, 2016 Campaign
Article about How I Said 'F*** Y**' To The Company When They Tried To Make Me Redundant
How I fought redundancy and turned it into a show at the Edinburgh Fringe.
 Click Here

August 17, 2016 
Article about How I Said 'F*** Y**' To The Company When They Tried To Make Me Redundant
Audience reviews after performances of this show at the 2016 Fringe:

‘ Redundancy is such a common and painful experience – so great to gain some satisfaction & well shared! Most company bosses & HR are all the same & your comments so accurate & relevant. Keep on sharing & inspiring.’

‘The antidote to corporate bollocks. Intelligent, human, well-written – in fact all the things corporate bollocks is not.’

‘Very real, very funny. A realistic insight into work life and the hypocrisies of faceless corporations. Loved it!’

‘Brilliant monologue – bringing to life an everyday occurrence that impacts on people’s lives in a humourous yet thought provoking manner.’

‘He speaks with such ease and eloquence. I was engaged right from the start. It is a story worth hearing.’

‘Loved it – When they kick at your door, how are you going to come – with your hands on your head or on the trigger of your gun? – Guns of Brixton, The Clash’

‘Thank you.’

‘Fantastic! Great writer, love the sentiment(s). Enjoyable, enlightening, thoughtful and witty. Speaks for a lot of people and so eloquently for himself.’


‘A humourous and candid account that pulls you right there into the office with him. You are willing David to slay Goliath all the way. Inspiring. Go and see it!’

August 14, 2016  The Open Door
Review of AUNTIE
Auntie: Hackney Gospels
The hardest thing a performer can ask of a small crowd is audience participation. The smaller the audience, the harder it gets. So I was astounded to see the first thing our host Gavino di Vino do was go straight for gold, and get every member on their feet dancing. His energy was infectious and in seconds he had united his guests. We were together, and we were in safe hands.

Di Vino’s performance as Auntie, an African immigrant in the heart of Hackney, is impressive. His embodiment of the character is unshakable and honest, every word and gesture filled with humour and reality. Auntie tells us how she came to the UK, met a less than respectable Scouser (with an immaculate accent to boot) and winds up pregnant and married. Vibrant comedy is balanced with moments of genuine hardship, including a well-written story of meeting her new husbands family. This exemplifies the blind ignorance immigrants have always been met with – a topic close to everyone’s heart in the current political climate. The only flaw in this character is clarity of speech. Whilst the accent is accurate and unwavering, it can be a little too strong for the audience and some plot points were lost.

We then meet Auntie’s son Mtoto, a gay hipster trying to find his place in a clash of cultures. His story is heartfelt and relate-able, an expression of individuality when you are being bombarded by both a ghetto culture and the influence of gentrification. Whilst the writing is solid, I did feel that di Vino’s confidence flagged in comparison to the first half. It was frustrating for the audience to be invested in colourful stories, and then have momentum lost. I felt he was almost apologising to us, which was unnecessary given the strength of the piece.

I left the theatre feeling that I had been allowed to witness the early stages of bold new theatre. The text needs finesse, and di Vino needs to find his rhythm in the words to avoid dropping the pace, but I do believe that the Camden Fringe was home to the first preview of what will be a great piece. It fills me with confidence to see someone create something original and real.
 Click Here

August 8, 2016  The Skinny
Review of The MMORPG Show II - No Rolls Bard
It's only a game show
In Paul Flannery’s The M.M.O.R.P.G. Show [★★★★], three brave representatives are plucked from our midst to carry out a quest taking place in our collective imagination. This is a phrase that will either put you off entirely or have you clamouring for a seat already. This is the magic of the game: those of us who want to be there really want to be there, and it’s the crowd's enthusiasm that gives Flannery fodder for excellent storytelling.

With a skilled questmaster comes greater flexibility for the audience’s suggestions; tonight, our adventurers meet a friendly floating pineapple who has become a really sympathetic character. As with radio, the scenery is better – this show's floating pineapple is all the better for only ever being in our imagination. This show is fantastic in all the senses of the word; stomach-crampingly funny, and one to return to night after night. Click Here

August 4, 2016  EdFringe Review
Review of The MMORPG Show II - No Rolls Bard
EdFringe Review
Fantasy fans will be in their element when entering the unique world that constitutes ‘The M.M.O.R.P.G Show’. 'Lord of the Rings' jokes and 'The Hobbit' references prevail, and receive guttural laughs from audience members in the know. The self-professed and unapologetic ‘nerd culture’ around which the show rotates is a breath of fresh air, and the excitement and sense of community that specific cultural and fantastical references incite in the audience is great to be a part of.
The show, created by and starring Paul Flannery, has only one regular cast member, as the other three characters are plucked from the audience itself. The show takes the format of a fantasy roleplay game, but even those not chosen to sit on stage will have plenty of opportunity to alter the course of events should they so wish. A drink or two at the venue’s downstairs bar certainly encourages audience members to shout out and contribute to the game’s narrative, creating a friendly and immersive atmosphere that suits the Fringe down to the ground.
The unpredictability of such an organic format is unsettling at first, with the occasional lack of cooperation on the part of volunteers giving an awkward edge to the performance. Similarly, the dependence on audience contributions leads to often bizarre movements in the show's trajectory (seductive moths and mother penguins were mentioned frequently during our sitting – if you see it you may understand), and as a result the humour often became a little ludicrous.
But game-maker Paul Flannery redeems these inevitable improvised moments with a quick wit and a comedic assurance that leaves little to be desired. His confident, funny and charming monologue is consistently reassuring. Flannery seamlessly and considerately influences the game’s turn of events so that, despite the apparent spontaneity of its course, it is clear that he is always in control. The warmth with which viewers (or players) applauded him at the end is a testament to his charm. Click Here

May 30, 2016 PYT Blog
Article about Odette!
Prague Fringe Festival - Tuesday 30th May
There are a lot of female solo-shows at this Fringe that centre around relationships. Off the top of my head I can name Kontra Alt, Be More, Do Better but Don’t Change and Nothing Like Your Profile Picture. I think what sets Odette! apart is how interesting it is to see a show centring on a pregnant woman. Modern culture avoids representation of pregnant women in paintings and films and when they are depicted they’re usually hysterical and hormonal. Odette! is far from hormonally stable but underneath her erratic mannerisms she is a human being that just wants to be appreciated. The show uses a lot of audience interaction and there are always two people selected to play Shauna and Brian. In the performance I saw, I played Shauna and I can’t speak for the audience but I had tremendous fun slipping into the role of arch nemesis.
As well as being a great actress, Marina sings beautifully and one moment that touched me a lot was her final song where we see her love and devotion for the child she carries. She was thoroughly entertaining, human and relatable – not to mention bold and beautiful. Her character was wonderfully well-defined and I could picture her in pretty much any situation knowing exactly how she’d react and just hear her voice in my head. There is a hilarious evening to be had at Golden Key. Click Here

May 16, 2016  Everything Theatre
Review of Rosie Wilby: The Conscious Uncoupling
Everything Theatre review
 Click Here

April 15, 2016  Theatre People
Review of NAKED
Funny, clever and incredibly entertaining, Diana Nguyen’s Naked is an absolute joy to watch.
She is a brilliant talent that needs to be seen, both here and overseas. Click Here

November 8, 2015  Greater Manchester Fringe blog
Review of The Idiot's Guide to Kink
It’s brave enough in this reviewers mind to mention to someone you have even tried BDSM, let alone talk in depth about your experiences in an hour long comedy show.

Ros Ballinger’s ‘The Idiot's Guide to Kink’ pulls no punches when it comes to anecdotes and jokes about BDSM.

A small room at the back of Gulliver’s in the Northern Quarter is the perfect setting for a show like this, intimate, but not overly so.

Props are a key component in the show, as is audience participation, with Ballinger relying on the audience to mimic the sound of a vibrator level by level, from one to ten.

Of course a BDSM stand up show wouldn’t be complete without a complete dismantling of the phenomenon that is Fifty Shades of Grey, which Ballinger does with both hilarity and vulgarity.

The pacing of the show slips slightly when Ballinger goes for her props or a swig of cider, but being a part time comedian comes with a bit of leeway and this certainly accounts for that.

Ros Ballinger would be a nice act to follow, and that most certainly is a compliment. The subject matter allows the audience to open up a bit as we are laughing at her own experiences and subconsciously our own.

Well rounded and enjoyable show from a self-professed part time comedian. Click Here

October 4, 2015 Barmoetern (Sweden)
He paints an uncompromising world : Dark, twisted absurd and seemingly without mercy. Barometern

He skillfully pushes the boundaries and expectations of the audience. Arbetarbladet Click Here

October 4, 2015 Barometern (Sweden)
He delivers ruthless comedy
He paints an uncompromising world : Dark, twisted absurd and seemingly without mercy. Barometern
He skillfully pushes the boundaries and expectations of the audience. Arbetarbladet Click Here

August 26, 2015  The Skinny
Review of Michael Legge & Caroline Mabey are Two Stupids
Fringe Comedy Reviews: Best of nonsense
The final show is in no way absurdist or surreal like the above but a mirror image of a normal comedy hour. There is perhaps a healthy concept here for any artist, with all those ideas that Michael Legge and Caroline Mabey can't fit into their main shows given a run out at the Liquid Rooms. What's more, while Fringe venues tend to sabotage comedians, every disaster here only adds a new dimension. As stalls that are meant to be closing off doorways fly across the stage when accidental entrances are made into the room, it seems like a slamming door stage farce is being plotted in front of us. Countless times Legge dutifully has to escort incomers out to the more popular neighbouring show The Coin Operated Girl. And this is before we get to any of the actual comedy material of Legge's and Mabey's B-sides. Newly invented swear words and piss takes of the faux-embarrassment of reading old diaries (the sort of thing that constitutes much mainstream comedy) stand out. But if there's a criticism of this show it's that Legge and Mabey are of such a calibre that Two Stupids [★★★★☆] is too good – their shit-lists bettering many set-lists on offer. Click Here

August 17, 2015  Broadway Baby
Review of Christian Talbot Is A Work In Progress
Christian Talbot is Shite at Being Irish
 Click Here

August 16, 2015  the wee review
Review of Left Wing Conspiracy Theorist (with Dyspraxia)
Dyspraxia & Politics: The Two Sides of Don Biswas
 Click Here

August 12, 2015 A Younger Theatre
Article about Boys & Girls
 Click Here

August 12, 2015 A Younger Theatre
Article about Boys & Girls
A Younger Theatre Review
 Click Here

April 23, 2015 Youtube
Article about Phi and Me
Phi and Me - Audience
 Click Here

February 24, 2015  The Advertiser
Review of Marcus Ryan - Love Me Tinder
 Click Here

September 12, 2014 review
review
He is a different kind of act all together. Completely unpredictable and unbelievably funny, I wouldn’t call him surreal because I think he is funnier than that. I’d call him a naturally funny man (We all had a beer afterwards and he had me in fits just talking about all manner of bollocks) who had the audience on the edge of their seat all the way through his set. The beauty of what Sean does is that you never know what’s coming next, from buffing (you had to be there) to cheering to singing he keeps you involved all the way through. I love Vic and Bob, the fact that his act reminded me of them inside 30 seconds of first seeing him live is testament to how good he is. Click Here

August 27, 2014  The Mirror
Review of PLAYBACK IMPRO
The Mirror
'A real standout from all the stand-up, this is comic improvisation theatre-style. Four actors each take it in turn to direct a narrative supplied by the audience.It can be anything from a mundane event on the way to the theatre, to a traumatic childhood experience. The interaction is fun, compelling and very imaginative. And the quick-witted troupe step into your story, giving it a genre and treatment in seconds - making it very slick. A show that will keep you coming back for another unrepeatable performance Click Here

August 27, 2014  The Mirror
Review of PLAYBACK IMPRO
PLAYBACK IMPRO
'A real standout from all the stand-up, this is comic improvisation theatre-style. Four actors each take it in turn to direct a narrative supplied by the audience.It can be anything from a mundane event on the way to the theatre, to a traumatic childhood experience. The interaction is fun, compelling and very imaginative. And the quick-witted troupe step into your story, giving it a genre and treatment in seconds - making it very slick. A show that will keep you coming back for another unrepeatable performance

August 10, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of The Brain Is In The Heart
Reviews
You’ve got to have a bit of a thick skin to go to Russell Hicks: Unprepared. The whole stand-up show is entirely improvised off the back of the audience. Whoever you are, you’re going to end up being at the butt of at least one of his jokes. And Hicks pulls few punches. If you’re up for a bit of a roasting, it’s hilarious stuff from a comedian who has a talent for riffing off the fly.

Hicks has a sharp wit and a cutthroat style.
Hicks has a sharp wit and a cutthroat style. He’s got the pessimism of Jack Dee mixed with the deadpan aggression of Dennis Leary. He’s offensive and not particularly PC and he’s not afraid of making his audience feel uncomfortable. Nothing’s off limits. To make his stand up work, Hicks observes his audience well and interacts with every one of them, creating a stand up based almost entirely off his crowd. He has a few topics to discuss while he’s deciding his moves, including but definitely not exclusive to stuff from the 80’s. He also tends to bring up a grudge match he’s developing with a certain small performer you might find around the Just the Tonic Venues. Sorry if that gives the game away Russell, but the dark side in me wants to see that battle. Like I say. Nothing’s off limits.

So stay away if you’re particularly sensitive. But if you’re looking for a rip-roaring night of tough love from a witty comedian, get yourself over to the Tron one night for Russell Hicks’ free show.

 Click Here

August 7, 2014 The Circus Diares
Article about Grumpy Pants
‘The Little Big Show’, by Laughter House Productions
Inside the Spiegeltent’s light and child-friendly younger cousin, the Kazador, we enter to sit around the tiny stage to an upbeat Elvis soundtrack, welcomed at the door by genial smiling host Mr Vita.

We are a tiny audience, but he invests as much energy and warmth on us as he would a full house, gently getting us going, and explaining the nature of his ‘mostly silent show’. Who needs words when you have a face – and eyebrows – as expressive as his?

The morning version of The Little Big Show is a half-hour solo spot, followed later in the day by a 45 minute mini-cabaret of four various artists. If they are all as engaging as Mr Vita, I wouldn’t hesitate to book.

His generous and warm-hearted clowning doesn’t falter for a minute when confronted by two very shy children of the three in attendance, and he gently coaches them to become the next generation of volunteer superstars – whilst cheekily involving the ‘Mummy’s too.
IMG_2935
‘The Little Big Show’ at the Kazador

His object manipulation generates an awed ‘It’s floating!’ from in front of me as he smoothly rolls a large crystal contact ball over his fingertips, arms and chest; a cigar-box style manoevre with three big red balls is fun, and he loves our appreciation so much that we love giving it to him.

He balances objects on his face, launches forks that emerge from his creaking box of props into a dartboard, and is a strong and funny communicator through his mime and few words, faux-preening and showers of confetti.

Mr Vita is a consumate professional and charismatic performer who can entertain the whole family. A big personality on a little stage. Click Here

July 31, 2014  Now Magazine
Review of Dylan Gott: Cool Guy, Lots Of Friends
Stand-up supremacy
WE farted combines the talents of John Hastings and Dylan Gott, two excellent comics who, though quite young, have enough material separately for their own albums.

The production has problems: the sound levels are uneven, and for some reason they trade off after each joke, meaning it's hard to build any rhythm.

But the jokes stand on their own. The major revelation here is Gott, who completely nails his persona as an overweight, late-20s, underachieving slacker.

Some of his best material is about eating in fast food restaurants: staring down a McD's cashier when ordering four sandwiches, theorizing why Burger King doesn't have mirrors in its washrooms, getting banned from one restaurant for botching a dirty joke.

Gott, who's got a modest vibe with flashes of anger lurking beneath, knows what he must look like, and some of the best jokes re-enact physical scenarios. The image of him in his underwear eating beans out of a can and taunting a cat is one for the ages.

Hastings has great focus and energy that work well onstage. Unfortunately, that's not evident here; he seems a little arrogant. When he stumbles over a few words, he recovers but doesn't always undo the damage.

He wisely ends with a brilliant joke about nerds ambushing a children's reading of The Hobbit, and the two comics share the mic at the end for a bonus track recounting their first time performing. Click Here

July 31, 2014  Now Magazine
Review of The Family Friendlyish Stand Up Show
Stand-up supremacy
WE farted combines the talents of John Hastings and Dylan Gott, two excellent comics who, though quite young, have enough material separately for their own albums.

The production has problems: the sound levels are uneven, and for some reason they trade off after each joke, meaning it's hard to build any rhythm.

But the jokes stand on their own. The major revelation here is Gott, who completely nails his persona as an overweight, late-20s, underachieving slacker.

Some of his best material is about eating in fast food restaurants: staring down a McD's cashier when ordering four sandwiches, theorizing why Burger King doesn't have mirrors in its washrooms, getting banned from one restaurant for botching a dirty joke.

Gott, who's got a modest vibe with flashes of anger lurking beneath, knows what he must look like, and some of the best jokes re-enact physical scenarios. The image of him in his underwear eating beans out of a can and taunting a cat is one for the ages.

Hastings has great focus and energy that work well onstage. Unfortunately, that's not evident here; he seems a little arrogant. When he stumbles over a few words, he recovers but doesn't always undo the damage.

He wisely ends with a brilliant joke about nerds ambushing a children's reading of The Hobbit, and the two comics share the mic at the end for a bonus track recounting their first time performing. Click Here

May 12, 2014  Broadway Baby
Review of PLAYBACK IMPRO
PLAYBACK IMPRO
Five actors in their pyjamas create a show from audience anecdotes, bringing them to life with their expressions, postures and words. The idea of playback impro is simple: audience members tell stories and which the actors reflect back to them in a particular style. Production company A Drunken Sailor made it seem like an easy task. But how do you become an angry wasp? You grab a stool, place it on your forehead and start chasing the target with it of course. The performance was spontaneous, ingenious and thoroughly entertaining.


One hour was way too short for this treat.

The cast proved to be solid professionals. The five strong London-based group were Julia Munrow, Kelda Holmes, Chloe Conquest, Nathan Allenby and Roderich Millan – a good mix of experience and playful enthusiasm. If I had to pick a favourite, it was young Chloe. The performance of the night goes to Kelda for her hilarious drunken Irish women, but there are no weak links. It’s evident from the quality of the performance that group have been working together for over a year.

Different formations and styles kept it interesting and soon we got used to the impro lingo: ‘short form’ is a brief moment in life, ‘free form’ means the actors decide the style and so on. We had normal chorus, diamond chorus, split chorus, pairs, and what not, with styles ranging from horror to opera. I still feel out of breath just thinking about it. Wearing identical pyjamas was a stroke of genius. It acted as an ice-breaker, dissolved gender and age, and guided the audience to the world of bedtime stories.


The show ended in an amazing medley, which formed an absurd yet intriguingly coherent narrative.

We were fortunate to have a selection of really funny stories from the audience - a 21st birthday party where a guy dressed as a caterpillar decides to drink a bottle of expensive perfume. Or a girl who cuts off her great grandmother’s plait with scissors and places the hair on her doll. The loose theme seemed to circle around childhood misdemeanours. The show ended in an amazing medley, which formed an absurd yet intriguingly coherent narrative.

Those audience members who don’t like to be involved can rest easy as well. There is no hackling or pressure to perform. But most were more than happy to see their memory played back to them. This was one of the few shows at the Brighton Fringe that I really didn’t want to end. One hour was way too short for this treat. There are still two more chances to catch the show at the Quadrant. It’s free and the afternoon matinee time means that kids can go too. So what are you waiting for? It doesn’t get any better than this.
Click Here Click Here

August 24, 2013  Three Weeks
Review of 99 Club Stand-Up Selection - Free
Free – 99 Club Stand-Up Selection (99 Club / Free Festival)
Free – 99 Club Stand-Up Selection (99 Club / Free Festival)
By Kyung Oh | Published on Saturday 24 August 2013
Compèred by James Woroniecki, this comedy night delivered many laughs by four very accomplished comedians. Brett Goldstein effortlessly won over the crowd with his polished delivery, while Carly Smallman, singing with her guitar, found humour in the unlikely topic of incest, as she sang about fancying her (thankfully imaginary) little brother. Richard Todd criss-crossed all over the stage with his scraggly hair, showcasing his surrealist sense of humour with. The night was rounded off by Matt Green, who actively engaged with audience members he picked out, making jokes on the fly, as well as telling stories of his travels in Paris. A great opportunity to get a taste of four capable comedians. Click Here

August 24, 2013  Three Weeks
Review of 99 Club Stand-Up Selection - Free
99 Club Stand-Up Selection (99 Club / Free Festival)
Compèred by James Woroniecki, this comedy night delivered many laughs by four very accomplished comedians. Brett Goldstein effortlessly won over the crowd with his polished delivery, while Carly Smallman, singing with her guitar, found humour in the unlikely topic of incest, as she sang about fancying her (thankfully imaginary) little brother. Richard Todd criss-crossed all over the stage with his scraggly hair, showcasing his surrealist sense of humour with. The night was rounded off by Matt Green, who actively engaged with audience members he picked out, making jokes on the fly, as well as telling stories of his travels in Paris. A great opportunity to get a taste of four capable comedians. Click Here

August 14, 2013  The Skinny
Review of 99 Club Stand-Up Selection - Free
99 Club Stand-Up Selection
Presenting a new selection of four of the finest comedians from the Fringe each night for free, this show is stonkingly good value. These ripe talents will offer you a rich punnet of satisfyingly funny standup, so dig in! Tonight’s line-up demonstrated just why this show is so highly regarded each year.

First up the hilarious Dan Nightingale, who revealed how turning 32 had encouraged him to appreciate the value of reasonably priced, reasonably comfortable and reasonably fashionable clothes from Burton. It's also turned him into a Dickensian schoolteacher whenever he converses with the agonisingly hip staff in Topshop.

Second, Lee Wong, who takes advantage of his part-Chinese heritage to, among other things, shout through his letterbox and put off unwanted charity collectors coming to his flat. A witty young guy with a brilliantly dry and self-effacing humour.

Third, Michael Fabbri, who highlights how the internet can spiral out of control and off subject, demonstrating how you go from China to rich tea biscuits in just a few posts. An astute, funny comic who had the audience in creases.

Fourth, and my personal favourite, Australian Benny Boot. An energetic dude who buzzes on the stage and fires out a serious of incredibly funny short jokes. Covering everything from parrots to dynamite microphones, his enthusiasm is infectious.

Overall this foursome had the packed audience chortling throughout. Take advantage of this opportunity to see some of the finest acts of the Fringe for free – highly enjoyable and incredibly funny.
 Click Here

July 12, 2012  The Torontoist
Review of Dylan Gott: Cool Guy, Lots Of Friends
Fringe 2012: Dylan Gott: Medicine Woman
Dylan Gott is a stand-up comic, and a pretty good one. As we mentioned in our Fringe preview, he’s been the opener for popular comics like Todd Barry and Brian Posehn. A full set of Gott’s stand-up is exactly what you’ll get at his Fringe show—no more, no less. His style of comedy is self-deprecating; he kicks off his opening by shuffling out on stage and explaining how his leg was broken when he was beat up by some kids recently. The entire performance is full of references to the ways his awkwardness gets him in trouble in public. He comes off as likeable, though this is not, as the program warns, a show for those disturbed by occasional foul language and sexual references. Look at it this way: paying for a ticket to see him at Fringe is considerably cheaper than paying to see him headline at Yuk Yuk’s Click Here

July 12, 2012 The Torontist
Article about The Family Friendlyish Stand Up Show
Fringe 2012: Dylan Gott: Medicine Woman
Dylan Gott is a stand-up comic, and a pretty good one. As we mentioned in our Fringe preview, he’s been the opener for popular comics like Todd Barry and Brian Posehn. A full set of Gott’s stand-up is exactly what you’ll get at his Fringe show—no more, no less. His style of comedy is self-deprecating; he kicks off his opening by shuffling out on stage and explaining how his leg was broken when he was beat up by some kids recently. The entire performance is full of references to the ways his awkwardness gets him in trouble in public. He comes off as likeable, though this is not, as the program warns, a show for those disturbed by occasional foul language and sexual references. Look at it this way: paying for a ticket to see him at Fringe is considerably cheaper than paying to see him headline at Yuk Yuk’s. Click Here

April 5, 2012  Herald Sun
Review of Phi and Me
Phi and Me - 4.5 Stars
A MOTHER'S love never hurt so good as in this razor-sharp, magnificently over-the-top explosion of ethnic humour. Click Here

April 1, 2011 The Pun
Article about Phi and Me
The Pun - Phi and Me
If you enjoyed the material of Russell Peters, Hung Le and Anh Do and the style of The Kumars at No 42 and Greek on the Roof you will certainly appreciate Phi and Me. This show is very family friendly and would appeal to those who seek a bit more substance to their entertainment. Click Here

June 28, 2010  Remotegoat.com
Review of An Arrangement of Shoes
Walking in someone else's shoes
Abhishek Majumdar's work, An Arrangement of Shoes, is a one-woman show with a spectacular difference. Set in a small railway colony town in India, the production channels a complex web of different stories, memories and experiences through the single speaker so that, when the performance draws to a close, it is hard not to imagine grandparents and soldiers, film-stars and worshippers all rushing on for the curtain call.

With the time of her grandfather's burial just a short time away, Rukhsar hunts through a mountain of stolen shoes trying to work out which ones belonged to him. In this debuting production of the work, the truly sparkling Radhika Aggarwal drives the rich monologue of family-orientated Rukhsar through the delightful hour's performance, spinning a web of identities and belonging, with shoes at the centre.
Through the course of the work, the shoes move from coveted items which reflect an idealised urban life to something deeply symbolic and completely powerful in sculpting the past. By testing out all the stories that go with each and exploring the relevance of personal histories, Rukhsar brings the footwear to life generating a quirky breed of metonymy that sees lost shoes take on the stories of the people who once wore them.

Rejecting the rational view of others, including that of her twin sister, Rukhsar uses the shoes she has acquired to tell her family's story in a exquisitely creative way, using the footwear as a springboard for a rich and multifaceted narrative. Sometimes, her play with shoes brings out puns as homophones are drawn on for humour and meaning. Using this method, the wedges that make up the links between trains are illustrated by a pretty little pair of wedged sandals so that, with a playfully understated stroke of wit, memory and possessions are visually linked. At other points, the shoes provide the key to meaning as they take on the parts of other props, seen as Rukhsar excitedly chats into the soles, mimicking her family on a telephone. The third, and perhaps most powerful, way in which shoes function as a theatrical device becomes evident as they mimic the actions of those who supposedly wore them so that when shoes collapse off the rack and hang motionless from their heels, we are forced to imagine the unfortunately fate of the people they represent. Standing not only for the individuals whose stories they tell, these shoes also represent the absences; unclaimed, they hint at the loss felt when all is left of a person is their possessions.

As different narrative voices are employed by the solo actor, we are brought into a fascinating voyage of questioning with ancestral identity at the very heart of the expedition. Specific in its time and place, this piece takes us on a fascinating journey in other peoples shoes, broadening the narrative to provide a very familiar womanly voice and a truly warm wit. Click Here

June 28, 2010 Broadway Baby
Article about Samantha Pressdee: Back 2 Basics
#EdFringe17: Samantha Pressdee Goes Back 2 Basics
Sammy describes herself as “an anarcha-feminist, who confronted the patriarchy with my tits out.” In her new show, she will be baring her soul instead of her chest. Sammy chats about the ‘Free the Nipple’ movement and explains why she doesn’t see eye to eye with some other feminists. Click Here

June 28, 2010 Cornwall Live
Article about Samantha Pressdee: Back 2 Basics
Topless 'Action Barbie' who is sick of being treated like a sex toy is performing in Cornwall
Comedian Samantha Pressdee – who calls herself "an Action Barbie who's sick of being treated like a toy" – is known for performing and campaigning topless as part of the #FreeTheNipple campaign.
Read more at http://www.cornwalllive.com/topless-action-barbie-who-is-sick-of-being-treated-like-a-sex-toy-is-performing-in-cornwall/story-30293416-detail/story.html#V3eK5gvt4il4821C.99 Click Here

June 28, 2010 Broadway World
Article about Rik Carranza: I'm a Fan
EDINBURGH 2017: BWW Q&A- Rik Carranza
Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a Scottish/Filipino comedian based in Birmingham. As well as being a stand up comedian, I'm the host and creator of the comedy debate panel show, Star Trek vs Star Wars, a host at sci fi conventions, and lover of all things geek! Except Twilight. No one likes Twilight.
Why bring it to Edinburgh?
It's my home city. So basically I get to do 2 shows a day on home soil. See some friends and family. Plus I get to go to Wings again. I like chicken wings and I like beer. Wings has both of these things.

What sets it apart from other shows at the Fringe?
I love hosting Star Trek vs Star Wars. What's more enjoyable than watching 2 geeky comics try and argue which is the better franchise. Last year we had fans of both and neither, all enjoy themselves and this year the stakes have been raised with new questions and new rounds.
I'm a Fan is a lot more personal. It's a story for anyone who has changed themselves to fit in and whether or not it is worth it. Should you embrace who you are or should you bow to peer pressure. It's a story about love, life, death and Star Trek.
Who would you recommend comes to see you?
Star Trek vs Star Wars:
Definitely the hundreds who saw the show last year! Anyone who's a fan of Star Trek, Star Wars or anything in between. Even fans of neither would as it's just a really fun show. The show has also had endorsements from Rony Bridges (an admiral from The Force Awakens), and Katie Purves (mother Ewok from Return of the Jedi).
I'm a Fan:
Anyone who's ever been a fan of anything.
Are there any other shows you're hoping to catch at the festival?
I hope to see Bec Hill, Abigoliah Schamaun and Juliette Burton. I also want to see every show at my venue (Heroes@Monkey Barrel). It's such a great line up in there but if I had to pick one, it would have to be Rob Kemp: The Elvis Dead.
Timings and ticket information for I'm A Fan and Star Trek vs Star Wars are available on the edfringe website. Click Here

June 28, 2010 Oxford Times, Stratford Herald
Article about DICK IN SPACE
Reviews
REVIEWS

This is the world premiere of DICK IN SPACE. Dick Spacey made cameo appearances in an earlier show CHAOS, CARNAGE AND KULTURE. “This show is anarchic, gut-wrenchingly funny and full of wonderful theatrical surprises.” Oxford Times.
“ Dick Spacey…is what Tom Waits would be like as a stage character on amphetamines.” Stratford Herald.
“Excellently funny - John Dowell meets Philip Marlowe.” Evening Telegraph.
“Funniest and most provocative show I’ve seen this year…Dick Spacey is comically brilliant – my only criticism is that the jokes and puns come so quickly you have to concentrate all the time…Poignant, surprising, very funny.” Oxford Mail

June 28, 2010 BuxtonFringe.org.uk
Article about Nathan Cassidy: The Man in the Arena
Best show nominee - Buxton Fringe
 Click Here

June 28, 2010 John Fleming blog
Article about What’s your name? World’s Best MC Award Grand Final
John Fleming blog
 Click Here

June 28, 2010 Female First
Article about Samantha Pressdee: Back 2 Basics
Samantha Pressdee Discusses The Inspiration For Her New Show 'Back 2 Basics'
My psychologist Vivienne once said to me “Sometimes compassion is grabbing someone by the scruff of the neck and pulling them out of the fire.” I literally had to do that once with my friend Tom Palmer. He was dancing in a bonfire, wearing a dress. Tom had mental health issues. 1 in 4 people are affected and because like attracts like. I make friends with all the 1’s.

I met Tom at what was the Sweets Way Estate in Barnet, it’s now a luxurious new development unaffordable to its former residents. Activists, squatters and residents had united and taken the estate under political occupation. We were resisting social cleansing; the idea that the poor are being pushed out of London by gentrification. The campaign was lead by women, but backed up by good men. Tom was one of those men, but not everyone saw him that way. He arrived on the estate like a wrecking ball, which is exactly what we were trying to avoid. It was July 2015, we’d been in occupation since February. Tom came in with a squatting crew, The Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians, but they preferred the acronym ANAL. Known for their mischief they were very different to the core group at Sweets Way, who had a safe space policy. That was never going to wash with ANAL, most of them didn’t like washing at all.

Tom was a kindred spirit. I could see past his wild ways as I was only a year into my recovery from a mental breakdown myself. I understood his frustration at the mental health system and wanted to help him. I’d invited him to come stay with me in September 2016, when I would return from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The plan was to get him under my mental health team and help him apply for the disability benefit ‘Personal Independence Payment’. Getting my basic financial and support needs met has helped me maintain mental stability, I was hoping it would do the same for Tom.

Tragically. I was too late. Tom died on the 22nd of August last year. He was only 28. The cause of death was a heroin overdose, he’d taken the drug impulsively. Many believe he was self medicating.

Tom believed in revolution, he’s the inspiration for my show this year. Back 2 Basic’s is about creating equal ground, the firm foundation of basic security we all need in order to maintain mental health. I can’t bring him back but I can honour his life by doing my little bit to create the future that he, myself and many others imagine.

What happened to Tom, was the ultimate social cleansing. He fell through our disintegrating welfare safety net. I like the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income, which is currently being trailed in Finland. Essentially it means no matter what, people have enough money to cover their basic needs. We also need safe social housing.

The consequences of austerity are starting to show. It’s not saving us money, it’s costing lives. Social Housing, not social cleansing was the core message of Sweets Way Resists. I’m angry that it’s taken the tragedy of The Grenfell Tower fire to bring social housing issues into the mainstream conversation. I don’t believe it was the fire that killed the victims of Grenfell. It was an absence of compassion within our political system, leading to a lack of resources to pull them out before it was too late. As the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase, it’s time we asked ourselves as a society. How much is enough?

Samantha Pressdee: Back 2 Basics

Venue: Laughing Horse @ 48 Below

Time: 19:30pm

Dates: Aug 3rd-27th
 Click Here

June 28, 2010 Broadway Baby
Article about Rik Carranza: I'm a Fan
#EdFringe17: Rik Carranza is a Fan
Rik tells the story of love, life, death and being a geek. Enjoy 15 minutes of stand up and chat with the comedian who feels that he doesn’t fit in. Where is he from? Who is his favourite Star Trek Character? How has he got a girlfriend? Click Here

June 28, 2010 North East Theatre Guid
review
Sean Turner at times was absurdist and surreal, he was just as good as American legend Steven Wright. The moment when he diffused his difficult jokes by singing a song in a club-land style was Reeves and Mortimer at their finest. It was thoroughly entertaining.
 Click Here

June 28, 2010 Broadway World
Article about Samantha Pressdee: Back 2 Basics
EDINBURGH 2017: BWW Q&A- Samantha Pressdee
Tell us a bit about Back To Basics.

Back to Basics is a show abut creating equal ground. It looks at what our basic needs are as a society and how we can meet them for ourselves and each other. I talk about a campaign against social cleansing I was involved in Sweets Way Resists. Families were fighting for their social housing in London, which was to be demolished to build luxury flats they wouldn't be able to afford. People were being asked to move out of London, away from their support networks and the lives they had created.

Lack of social housing and our complicated welfare system is not only destroYing Lives but costing lives. Without a feeling of security we can't maintain mental health. With the gap between the rich and the poor continually increasing, could giving every citizen an Unconditional Basic Income be a firmer foundation then our current disintegrating welfare safety net?

Why bring it to Edinburgh?

I feel like comedy is a good platform to get my voice heard. People are more likely to listen to hard hitting truths if you also make them laugh. Edinburgh can be a springboard to further opportunities.

I'm hoping people from the comedy industry will come see this show as I want to spread this message further. Also Edinburgh is really fun. Its the one time of the year when I feel truly part of a community. Lots of my friends are in one place and there is so much to see and do.

Why is it important for people to see it?

I'm taking about politics based on my lived experience. Its a working class perspective, which I feel is underrepresented in the arts. It's sad that it's taken for something as tragic as what happened with Grenfell Tower for social housing issues to become part of the mainstream conversation. This is an extreme example of social cleansing. It's awful that it takes an atrocity like this for the wider population to become aware of how many underprivileged people are really suffering and at risk.

I've been lucky with the support I've received from my local council for my mental health issues, a friend from the next borough to me was not so lucky. This show is in memory of my friend and respected Occupy activist Tom Palmer.

Who would you recommend comes to see you?

This show is for anyone that believes in creating a better, fairer and more secure future.

I've had people from all walks of life come to see the show in preview. It doesn't matter who you are, or where you come from if you care about community you'll be able to take something from this show.

Are there any other shows you're hoping to catch at the festival?

Looking forward to seeing Fern Brady, I enjoyed her show in preview. I always go see Mark Thomas, his show sounds very cool this year & Sarah Callaghan is someone I've been wanting to see but haven't had chance too yet.

Timings and ticket information for Samantha Pressdee: Back to Basics are available on the edfringe website. Click Here

 

 

      

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