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Olaf Falafel: STOAT


Olaf Falafel: STOAT

The Pear Tree

38 West Nicolson Street
Pear Tree Indoor Stage: AUG 4-15, 17-28 at 15:00 (60 min) - Pay What You Can

Olaf Falafel: STOAT

Olaf Falafel is the holder of 'Dave's Best Joke Of The Fringe' but more importantly he is also the holder of 'Person Whose Show Description You Are Currently Reading And Are Tempted To Book Tickets For'. Olaf guarantees two things - It will be stupid and it will be funny.

This year we have two entry methods: Free & Unticketed or Pay What You Can
Free & Unticketed: Entry to a show is first-come, first served at the venue - just turn up and then donate to the show in the collection at the end.
Pay What You Can: For these shows you can book a ticket to guarantee entry and choose your price from the Fringe Box Office, up to 30 mins before a show. After that all remaining space is free at the venue on a first-come, first-served bases. Donations for walk-ins at the end of the show.

News and Reviews for this Show

August 22, 2022   The Scotsman

The comedian and children’s author, Olaf Falafel, had two lines shortlisted [for Dave's Funniest Joke of the Fringe], and came a close third with another culinary-themed joke: ‘My attempts to combine nitrous oxide and Oxo cubes made me a laughing stock.’

In eighth place was his deadpan remark: ‘I spent the whole morning building a time machine, so that’s four hours of my life that I’m definitely getting back.’

August 16, 2022    Beyond the Joke

Olaf Falafel's show is always one of the daftest, looniest shows on the Fringe. It's also free if you are what Falafel calls an "opportunistic chancer" who is quick enough to do a runner before Falafel gets to the door with his bucket and card reader at the end. Seriously though, payment is optional but this is deinfitely a show worth paying for.

Falafel is a master of the well-crafted one-liner so it's a given that here are plenty of them here that might be serious contenders for Dave's Joke of the Fringe award. But in his latest show STOAT – see the show to understand the title – there is also more of a genuine narrative thread. It's cat-related and a bit sentimental, but lovely.

There are also lots of prop gags, some of which aren't quite as original as others. There's some comic mind-reading which is something of a staple, from Vic Reeves thirty years ago, to Joz Norris over at the Pleasance Dome during this current Fringe. Falafel also has an audience participation section where a fan has to toss a sausage into his fanny bag/bum bag. It's not a million miles from Tim Vine's Pen Behind The Ear routine but that doesn't make it any less hilarious.

Elsewhere there are visual gags piled on top of other visual gags onscreen and you get to see a strawberry levitate. And for long-term fans of his 'cheese of truth' he has upped the annte this time round after he found someone else was doing something similar online. Talking of online, I remember when Falafel first broke through he was big on Vine. Does anyone remember Vine?

Needless to say there's a cameo from old favourite Mark Silcox and did I mention lots of footage of Falafel's beautiful cat who pretty effortlessly steals the show? I think its fair to say you'll come out feline happier than you were when you went in. Click Here For Review

August 13, 2022    Gonzo Magazine

After five minutes an elderly man stands up and announces ‘I have had enough of this. This is too stupid!’. His Danish/Swedish accent makes the audience suspect a plant (later we discover that Falafel’s daughter is in the audience), but this brief overreaction is useful as Falafel avoids the usual point-scoring that occurs after walkouts or interruptions, and distinguishes himself amongst his peers as less combative and more collaborative.

After his sudden but brief interruption Falafel seems genuinely surprised. Angry punters do not usually storm out on sets that studiously omit identity politics or other contentious issues. Audience participation is the key aspect of this set and the crowd are on board.

A mother and son combo assist with the punning and video-assisted clowning, providing fodder for the call-backs, bespoke sing-a-longs and weird associations. The rather Vic & Bob fishing-for-insults-using-a-miniature-rod-and-ducks-velcroed-to-a-bike-helmet produces some of the most specific and gentle insults you will ever hear at a Fringe show that purports to have such a segment.

Falafel has also arrived in Edinburgh armed with several gags to rival his best joke of the Fringe in 2019: ‘I keep randomly shouting out broccoli and cauliflower – I think I might have florets.’ There is also more than a little Harry Hill in his animal punning surrealism, but also a little of Jim Tavare in his appearance and how he structures a gag. All of which makes his material feel familiar and reassuring, and it is obvious why Falafel also brings a children’s show to the Fringe and has managed to parlay his stand-up career into the world of children’s books.

This show is fun and undemanding (unless you are allergic to silliness) and is a nice palate cleanser amidst the politicising and point scoring of his peers. Click Here For Review

August 12, 2022    The Scotsman

I arrive at my allotted show to be told that the comedian doesn't want reviewers in until the world is a better place. Or something like that. But because this is the Fringe, I just go downstairs and, through a curtain in a pub, I find a world of happy. A world with a laugh in every moment. Except the ones that take us to the edge of tears. But Olaf keeps them till the end, which is, structurally, the best place. Fun, Olaf insists (with the help of a visual aid and an enthusiastic call and response) needs structure. STOAT has everything. It has a duck-covered insult hat, sausage hurling for blessings (Halle Berry!), a lizard in a power tool and even a Mind Reading Mic Stand which reveals our thoughts to the room. Surprisingly, it turns out we are all hilarious.

I thought I gave my inner child up for adoption years ago, but two minutes with Olaf Falafel and we are giggling uncontrollably as we are shown the original prototype Spongebob Squarepants (much better) and strawberries being levitated. And of course we are treated to a barrage of ridiculously silly one-liners and Olaf's legendary Cheese of Truth makes an onscreen comeback in “Xtreme” form. Even the charismatic Falafel Daughters make appearances along with Snake, the comedy cat with musical paws and life lessons to teach. This is a big, beautiful bearhug of a show. I will not spoil the ending but a Neil Diamond Singalong makes everything seem better. These days comedy is used to do many things. Olaf Falafel uses it this afternoon to make my life a lot more fun. And for that I thank him. Halle Berry! Kate Copstick

Silly prop-heavy comedy for any generation

August 6, 2022    The List

Silly prop-heavy comedy for any generation

Olaf Falafel (Derek Chickpeas’ daftly endearing alter ego) graces any day of Fringe comedy-going with his singular presence. Delivering a smorgasbord of puns, prop comedy, song pastiches, video gags, crowd engagement and general feelgood silliness, STOAT ought to appeal to all ages and anyone with a sense of humour.

With the motto that ‘fun needs structure’, he breezes through his list of set-pieces, which include levitating a strawberry and a glorious running joke in which he updates that dismissive 1990s brush-off ‘talk to the hand’ for millennials. A childish sense of play is instinctive in everything Falafel does. And his video content testifies to a happy home life with his daughters and cats, the latter of whom come to play an increasingly important role in the show and afford it an unexpected bit of emotional heft by its finale. Superior, multi-disciplinary idiocy. Click Here For Review

50 Edinburgh shows picked by a true comedy lover

July 28, 2022   Chortle

50 Edinburgh shows picked by a true comedy lover

A bit of a change for our Edinburgh preview feature today. Rather than based on any theme, these are 50 shows chosen by comedy connoisseur Corry Shaw.

In a long career in the industry, she worked for Chortle, tour promoters and agents Gag Reflex, and the Stand and Komedia comedy clubs – and was one of the organisational powerhouses behind Mark Watson’s marathon shows.

However, illness forced her to retire from the business she loved a few years ago, and has left her unable to attend the Fringe this year. Yesterday she posted this list of 50 shows on Twitter as what she would have seen, were she able to make it Edinburgh.

’This list isn’t exhaustive and I’ve almost definitely missed people off,’ she said. ‘Blame it on my damaged brain, not on the quality of their show. Please go and see as many shows as you can of people you’ve never heard of. Support live comedy.’

Watson then took up the baton and asked his fans to fill this schedule – and vowed that for the first ticket bought to each show on the list he and his partner Lianne Coop would match the price with a donation to a new fund to help build a fairer, more widely accessible Fringe.

Most of the shows have now been claimed but a few have not. If you want to help complete the list, check tinyurl.com/corry50 and buy a ticket for one of the unclaimed shows. Put your name down and tweet @watsoncomedian a picture with your confirmation.

Watson tweeted: 'The emotional side of this for me is: Corry are I are famously like THIS (closeness gesture), met at Fringe, it was our playground, and comedy is her oxygen (not literally).

‘For her to be too sick to go is heartbreaking. This is a way of her Fringing vicariously and in the process starting to build a financial bedrock which will help the two things she cares about most (other than cheese): access/equality, and the health of the comedy ecosystem in general. The fund will soon have its own proper donations page. But this is a "loosener".

‘So, please get involved and also share this, if you are comedy-involved-or-adjacent. It's easy (and fair) to complain about the Fringe but it's on people like me, who have been treated so well by it, to start building drawbridges for the next lot. This is a start. Thank you!

‘Is drawbridges what I meant, is that a good analogy? Well. You get the idea. OK, as I say: THANKS, OFF YOU GO.)

... Click Here For Article

Press & Media for this Show

Olaf Falafel: STOAT