thu 18/07/2019

Comedy Reviews

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Joseph Morpurgo/ Daphne/ Tom Parry

Veronica Lee

Joseph Morpurgo, Pleasance Courtyard *****

 
In Soothing Sounds For Baby, Joseph Morpurgo uses found objects - vinyl LPs with content so esoteric you would swear he had invented them - and the framework of Radio 4's Desert Island Discs to fashion an ingenious and wonderful show.
 
Morpurgo is supposedly Kirsty Young's guest on the radio show - although in his painstaking cut and paste clips of the programme, Young's questioni

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Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Nish Kumar/ Adam Hess/ Dial Medicine for Murder/ Larry Dean

Veronica Lee

Nish Kumar, Pleasance Courtyard ★★★★

There's been so little out-and-out political comedy at this year's Fringe that it's a real joy to find a stand-up so engaged with politics as Nish Kumar.

Kumar lays out his stall early on. The issue of diversity in the arts is, he says, "a subject very close to my face". He goes on to discuss why men still dominate everything, and the reasons why Jeremy Corbyn is popular. Full marks for being bang up to date.

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Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Diane Chorley/ LetLuce/ Lazy Susan

Veronica Lee

Diane Chorley, Underbelly Potterrow ★★★

Diane Chorley is the former owner of The Flick nightclub in Canvey Island, Essex. Back in the 1980s it was the place to go, and celebrities – from Michael Barrymore to George Michael and Mick Jagger – used to pass through its doors. In fact, it was David Bowie who gave her the title "Duchess of Canvey".

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Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The Kinsey Sicks/ Minor Delays/ Rhys James

Veronica Lee

The Kinsey Sicks, Gilded Balloon ****

 

The Kinsey Sicks, a four-piece drag a cappella act, were formed in 1993 and have played off-Broadway and Las Vegas; this is their UK debut. Their name is a play on Kinsey 6, the point in the scale of sexual attraction as exclusively homosexual, and they bill themselves as “Barbarella meets beautyshop”, or “chicks with shticks”.

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Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Aisling Bea/ Funz and Gamez/ Chris Stokes

Veronica Lee

Aisling Bea, Gilded Balloon ★★★★

Aisling Bea received an Edinburgh Comedy Awards best newcomer nomination for her excellent show in 2013, and she returns with another high-energy hour of clowning about and rapid-fire delivery mixed with some astute political observation. Entitled Plan Bea, it's ostensibly about confidence and shame, although a clear theme never quite emerges.

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Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Tom Allen/ Sarah Callaghan/ BEASTS

Veronica Lee

Tom Allen, The Stand ★★★★

Tom Allen tells us Both Worlds is about being gay, watching daytime TV, doing the gardening and his  "crushing sense of wasting his life". But this is no misery comedy, far from it, as Allen gives us an hour of sparkling wit, much of it aimed at himself, while slinging a few piercing arrows at deserving targets.

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Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Katherine Ryan/ Adrienne Truscott/ Gein's Family Giftshop

Veronica Lee

Katherine Ryan, The Stand ★★★★

"TV's Katherine Ryan," she introduces herself with heavy irony; the Canadian has gone from Fringe performer to never off the telly in just a few years and knows that the sobriquet can be both a compliment and a drawback. Yet when her waspish humour is such good value it's easy to see why producers love her.

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Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Bridget Christie/ Mark Steel/ Beth Vyse

Veronica Lee

Bridget Christie, The Stand ★★★★

Bridget Christie, the comic credited with bringing feminism to the fore with her 2013 Edinburgh Comedy Awards-winning show, broadens her target for withering political analysis and to great effect.

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Rob Delaney, QEH

Veronica Lee

Most people in the UK will know US comic Rob Delaney from his wonderfully sardonic Twitter feed (1.17 million followers) or his autobiography Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage - a painfully honest (and often snortingly funny) account of his alcoholism as a younger man.

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Tommy Tiernan, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee

Tommy Tiernan tells us not to take him seriously at the start of his latest show, Out of the Whirlwind. “I’m like a cow mooing for the sake of mooing,” he says – which neatly explains the surreal riffs in a mesmerising 80 minutes, but also lets him off the hook for some of his edgier material. He has often courted controversy in his native Ireland, and there is the occasional line tonight that draws a shocked response from the audience.

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