There’s an over used tired expression that goes something like “You know you are getting older when [insert occupation here] look younger than you” Well in my case it’s not yet police officers or the Prime Minister but it is stand up comedians.
Rhys James Forgives might be one of the first fringe stand up shows I’ve seen where the material wasn’t specifically aimed at me.
James is very much a 90s kid. 25 years old and talking to millennials (of which I’m not entirely sure the meaning of but accept as a Thing too afraid to ask anyone to explain it to me).
I’m barely 30 but I feel like I just made it under the wire when it comes to several factors that 90s and 00s kids are lumbered with.
1. Such as being able to rent, definitely not buy, a half decent flat in a city rather than a rat infested damp cage.
2. Being able to have experience of a childhood free of social media pressures. MySpace and Facebook only started fucking up my self confidence once I was 18 and at university. I barely handled it at that age so I genuinely worry for my young relatives.
Lastly, if I had internet based communication access to Take That, the way One Direction fans do to their objects of desire today, I could not be held responsible for the filth I would have sent them. The passion was visceral.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. Rhys James. Yes. He is baby faced and young. But don’t let that fool you. He has a point of view and great jokes.
In some ways there isn’t anything particularly groundbreaking about his comedy but then again I did sense that a new generation is ready to take over. It’s quite exciting and I’ll look forward to seeing what James does next. I’ve a feeling he’s only likely to get better with age.
See Rhys James Forgives @ The Pleasance. For tickets, dates and times click here
Naomi Petersen lives in a theatre and has agoraphobia. She can’t go outside so you need to go to her. She’ll tell you how she ended up in this predicament through song, sketches and pizza.
Petersen is delightful and funny in her performance. It will strike a chord with anyone who has battled anxiety on any level. I left with a smile on my face.
Catch the show @ The Pleasance 15:30. For tickets and dates click here
There’s a very special nephew of mine celebrating a birthday tomorrow. So this Friday’s track is for him. His Cops and Robbers fascination gave me the opportunity to start introducing him to music. I played him this and now he sings it to me. Love him! Happy Birthday Neph 1.0.
After two days at the Fringe flyer-er fatigue was starting to kick in. It’s part of the fun but that much choice and that many people flyering you starts to feel like a sensory overload.
Feeling like I needed somewhere familiar I retreated to one of my favourite venues The Pleasance. I got about another 100 flyers and bought a ticket for Rose Matafeo is Finally Dead to make it stop! Well congratulations to the the flyer guy who pointed me in the direction of this show because I had an absolute blast.
I sort of wish Rose was my best friend. Her show is silly fun with flecks of dark humour. A routine about catering at wakes is closely followed by an exploration of cognitive behavioural therapy. Both subjects are close to my heart so she had me at “you shouldn’t feel like that” and “club sandwich”.
She mixes sketch elements with stand up beautifully with the help of her excellent side kick Paul.
It was definitely one of my favourite fringe shows this year. So listen to the flyer people!
Rose Matafeo is Finally Dead is on @ The Pleasance 17.45. Get tickets here
I was lucky to get a seat for this show. The room was packed. From what I hear people are now being turned away. Not bad going at all for this talented comic.
Goldsmith is hitting his stride in this hour. The subject matter will strike a chord with anyone embarking on married life or babies. Or even compromise in general.
Stuart Goldsmith: Compared to What is on @ Liquid Annexe 15:45. Info here. It’s free but don’t be a b******. Put cash in the bucket. Babies need feeding.
I was so excited about seeing Sofie Hagen. I built my whole day around seeing her show.
This meant I got to the venue early and saw the show on before Free Footlights who were annoyingly good. Sorry to sound prejudiced. It’s the working class class obsessed Englishness in me. Two things amazed me about Footlights. First, the fact that they dress just the same as Fry and Laurie in the 80s. It must be the uniform. Secondly, that one of the comedians didn’t split his head open on the low hanging light. The section of the audience I was in didn’t notice the show had started because he really whacked himself. His first joke was about a migraine and he didn’t reference his very public / very recent head injury. I hope he’s ok now.
If I had to recommend one act from this showcase, and they were all great in their own way, I would recommend Ruby and Luisa. They nailed their chicken factory sketch and I would have gone to see their show but the timings didn’t work out. They are definitely ones to watch.
By the time the Footlights had ended the queue for Sofie Hagen was already snaking around the building. I joined the back, behind a group of “lads” who, thankfully, were in the wrong queue and were actually there to see a show about Cards Against Humanity. It was a good job a member of staff noticed them because I was about to tap their shoulder and tell them I wasn’t sure that this show would be for them. But I didn’t because I was a lone female and they were drunk 20 year olds who were threatening to “jump on the stage if the show is shit”. They stuck out like a sore thumb in a line of Guardian readers and Podcasts listeners. Only in Edinburgh during August is it possible to differentiate people this way.
Inside the warehouse, usually a nightclub, we were greeted at the door by the lady herself and the show began. Hagen was talking about so much I could relate to. Parental disappointments, mental health, body image, social anxiety, rejection… the list goes on. It was a remarkably touching and bittersweet show. Funny as anything too.
If Adele did stand up, and was Danish, she’d be Sofie Hagen. There is so much heart and soul in the subject matter and the way she relates to her audience.
It may be free but you should most definitely get in that queue early. And then put £10 in the bucket. Heads up: there maybe sweets and badges 👍🏼
I started reading A Book for Her on the train up to Edinburgh last week and it was my bed time reading after days binging on Fringe shows. I couldn’t think of a better accompaniment to my stay.
I’m writing this on Monday, my first full day back in normality, and just had a boring evening of nothing. That feeling of missing out on the Fringe fun is horrible. Take me back! I may lose a husband and a bank balance but blimey it would be fun.
Bridget Christie is a stand-up comedian, idiot and feminist. On the 30th of April 2012, a man farted in the Women’s Studies Section of a bookshop and it changed her life forever.
A Book For Her details Christie’s twelve years of anonymous toil in the bowels of stand-up comedy and the sudden epiphany that made her, unbelievably, one of the most critically acclaimed British stand-up comedians this decade, drawing together the threads that link a smelly smell in the women’s studies section to the global feminist struggle.
The through line of the book (aside from the aforementioned fart) is Christie’s many years of stand up at Edinburgh Fringe. From being an unknown to winning the comedy prize in 2013. Or whatever that prize is called. Who knows anymore. Anyway in true Bridget Christie style she isn’t going to give the world a tome on how fabulous she is, and she is indeed fabulous, she is going to give you the tools to fighting female oppression. All with dry wit and that “regional accent” singing off the page. It genuinely made me laugh out loud at least every five pages. Even amongst the heavy going gender violence bits, Christie knows how to throw in a curveball and break the tension beautifully. For comedy fans. For feminists.
A little preview: I’m currently tearing through my next 20 Books of Summer choice. It is so good! So expect a rave review coming soon!
I’m back home from a week at Edinburgh Fringe. I packed loads in so expect plenty of reviews over the next week.
This is the song I had on loop during my four hour train journey. I’m now sick of it (as you can imagine) but it’s an excellent slice of summer melancholy as my week off work winds down.
Fringe theatre is something I’m relatively new to. It feels like I’m learning a new language. When there is one person and a simple set design it’s the audience, the performance and the material. Nothing else to hide behind.
After seeing this I wasn’t sure how to feel. What I do know is as of writing this, it’s three days later, and I can’t get this show out of my head.
*Mild Spoilers Ahead*
The play is so intimate I feel like I met someone, heartbroken Adam (played by Alistair Donegan) who I liked and even felt sorry for. Then I slowly realised he had a more sinister side to his charecter. The most unsettling part is he will never know just how messed up he is.
It’s made me question my judgement of people. If it’s even possible to get the measure of someone ever. Whether that be after an hour or four years.
I realise none of this sounds like a ringing endorsement but, honestly, it is worth your time. Just be prepared for how it will stick in your head.
Mr Incredible is on @ The Underbelly, Cowgate 16.40. For tickets click here
In this excellent hour of stand up Ward reflects on the year 1996 and what it means to be a teenage girl. The 9 point plan is the kind of advice I’d love to have written up to pass on to my teenage relatives. They make me feel incredibly old as I watch them make the same mistakes every teenager makes. Specifically in terms of their love lives.
I suppose that is how every generation feels about the up and comers. Snapping at their heels in the game of life. There’s part of me that thinks “if I could just impart my wisdom of everything I’ve learned in the last decade they need never feel the pressures of growing up a girl” It’s bullshit of course. Everyone needs to make their own mistakes that is the only way you learn. Unfortunately.
This is a great show that everyone will love but I really hope young women, in particular, seek it out.
Danielle Ward – Seventeen is on at Just the Tonic @ The Caves 14.40. For tickets click here