Bruce Fummey

The Stand in the Square

Until Aug 28th (17.40)

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Material :four-stars  Delivery : four-stars   Laughs : three-stars

We struggle for more than an hour to find somewhere nearby the venue to get a sit down meal to no avail. I’ve decided to go out on the busiest day of the fringe or so it feels. The world’s largest arts festival is a symbol of Scotland’s success in the world and I’m visiting a show which attempts to look at the origins of Scotland.  Where did this band of noble savages come from?

I’ve never seen Bruce play before, despite him being from my neck of the woods, Perth (as well as being half-Ghanaian).  We’re in a packed yurt in St. Andrews square.  After Bruce asks the crowd, it appears mainly Scottish and English but I think there were many folk from further afield unwilling to raise their arm for fear of retribution.  I was with one! To be fair Bruce’s jibes at national stereotypes are aimed at all including his native country.

The opening part of the show is a hilarious love-in about history (History Channel +1 – for those who like their historical a tiny bit more historical), haggis hunting, Scottish history and fucking the Tories.  He was excellent and totally at ease with the audience and felt in some ways like you had known him for years (or at least 5 pints).  Bruce adeptly deals with a heckler; he’s clearly dealt with much tougher audiences that this partisan yurt rabble.

Bruce makes good use to slides to illustrate the scots journey from tribesmen fighting the romans and Vikings right up to modern times.  The part in the middle is more factual than funny but it’s certainly informative and accurate (some of it) and I actually learned a couple of things I didn’t know.  Bruce apologises for this part of the show by saying he is not going to apologise.  I thought it was really excellent and an interesting light-hearted section from a passionate firebrand Scot.

My only criticism is that the show didn’t last 10 minutes or so longer.  The educational part of the show affected the pace and although he went back to the comedy afterwards it was too short a time to get the audience back where they were before.  That said Bruce’s show was thought-provoking and coherent effort from and engaging home-grown talent.

 

Reviewer : Dave Mcmenemy

4

James Veitch: Game Face

10 Dome – Pleasance Dome

3rd Aug 2016 – 29th Aug 2016 (17.:40)

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Material :three-stars  Delivery : five-stars   Laughs : four-stars

For those who are frustrated by pointless emails or the awkwardness of the online encounter in general, James Veitch offers relief in the form of retaliation. No faceless scammer is safe from his witty and charismatic trolling.  Whether it’s the Sainsbury’s customer service team or a scam-bot on Tinder, Mr Veitch will find a funny way to get them messaging back with increased confusion and exasperation. It would seem that Mr Veitch has dedicated many years to the craft of politely winding up those who make the mistake of getting in touch with him.

Not to say that spam emails are the limit of Veitch’s humour – he branches out into his love life, the delights of shared accommodation and the social dynamics of online gaming. Indeed, the analogy of life and game is one he is keen on, and he even makes a brief trip to the land of existential absurdity. He is humble and self-deprecating in his humour, making as many jokes at his own expense as he does at the Sainsburys customer service team.

The trolling is, however, by far his strongest suit. In truth, some of the jokes do seem somewhat recycled. But perhaps the greatest accomplishment of Veitch’s performance is that he can tell pretty much the same joke in seventeen different ways, and still have you laughing at it each time.

Reviewer : Hugh J. Downie

4

Mumble Five Stars (22nd August)

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With One Week To Go Here Are Five Of Our Five Star Choices Of What Is Still Showing This August

(click on a name to read their review)


COMEDY

Pippa Evans

Bannermans

Aug 6-9, 22-28 (1.45pm)

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Laughs: five-stars   Material: five-stars   Deliveryfive-stars

Larry Dean

The Plesance Courtyard

Aug 22-28

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Laughs: five-stars   Material: four-stars   Delivery: five-stars

Ross Hepburn

Banshee Labyrinth
Till 28th August
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Laughs: four-stars   Material: five-stars   Delivery: five-stars

Opium, Nightclub

Aug 21-27

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Laughs: five-stars   Material: four-stars   Delivery: five-stars

Heroes @ Dragonfly

Aug 4-28  (22.30)

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Laughs: four-stars   Material: five-stars   Delivery: five-stars

Larry Dean

The Plesance Courtyard

Aug 22-28

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Laughs: five-stars   Material: four-stars   Delivery: five-stars

When I got the chance to review this show I was well chuffed… I had been looking for a ‘straight’ stand-up Weegie comedian for ages; no nonsense, no gimmicks, just banter. I was not to be disappointed at all – Larry absolutely nailed it, he was well on point with a show full of one-liners and comical anecdotes. The venue itself was good and a decent size holding maybe 100 people with built up seating on all sides of the stage. This worked well for Larry and gave it a very intimate feel; like you were round your pal’s house having a bevy and Larry was cracking all the jokes. Larry should appeal to everyone, I hope, and is highly entertaining for almost all of his show. There is minimal audience interaction, but like all the greats he doesn’t need to rely on us to feed his laughs.

He has good strings of jokes throughout the show which get funnier every time he uses them. He reminded me a little bit of the ‘big yin,’ the way he was able to go off on tangents and then scramble to get back to what he was on about. In one of the reviews I read before seeing him, he was compared to Kevin Bridges, but I wouldn’t agree with that — Larry is his own man with his own style. Go and see his show with an open mind and you will definitely have a lot of fun and tons of laughs. This wee guy is well worth going to see one of the best shows I have seen this year (& I’ve seen a lot)!

Reviewer : Mark Parker

five-stars

Pete Otway: Six Years from Then

The Mash House

Aug 22-28 (17.00)

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Material :three-stars  Delivery : two-stars.png   Laughs : two-stars.png

I was a little dubious going along to this one as it was based around a relationship break-up and then reconciliation. We all know a thing or ten about relationships ending and it really isn’t that big a deal; especially when it is someone else’s! Thankfully, the show is quite loosely based on this theme and you don’t hear too much about it. I thought the show was more about growing up and realising its ok to acceptyourself for who you are – even if that someone is a little crazy with the occasional homicidal tendency. Pete talks you through a few events in his life in a humorous and light-hearted way, giving us a bit of insight into his own mind as he tries to figure his shit out. The show itself was funny, and thankfully there where more than a couple of jokes! It was easy to relate to Pete as he just lays it all out there with no fear of judgment.

I believe Pete is trying to share his experiences to not just help himself – vocalising his thoughts to also help others who may be going through similar situations. Is he original, cutting edge, about to break through; no I don’t think so. I would also question if there is any where the show could go. Don’t get me wrong, Pete is certainly talented, and I am glad he was able to work through his issues and was rooting for him at the end. However, I wouldn’t wish that his life turns for the worst again so that he can have some different material!

Reviewer : Mark Parker

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Ross Hepburn is Beetlejuice’d

Banshee Labyrinth
Til’ 28th August
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Laughs: four-stars   Material: five-stars   Delivery: five-stars
Well… today’s Mumble Mission didn’t go according to plan. I went in search of Poetry reading Pandas and found comedy that was genuinely funny. It was a warm, balmy Sunday evening and Edinburgh was in the swing as I entered an old Goth haunt that held more than a few good memories. I grabbed a pint of extra cold Guinness and wandered the Banshee Labyrinth in search of Pandas reading Poetry. I couldnae find any Pandas, but I did find a gaggle of Poets. Aha I thought, this must be where I am supposed to be. Alas the show was close to the end, the poetry was OK, but there were no Pandas to be found. there was a poet who had a beard that was weird, it kind of puffed out at the sides. Most unique. Then the poets left. I sat patiently as a new audience took the seats available. To my surprise,where I was expecting Pandas, in walked Ross Hepburn dressed in a suit of parallel lines. Immediately i thought “Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!” & as if by magic, an hour of very entertaining comedy began. The film Beetlejuice and its director Tim Burton are Divine favorites, so this comedian had my attention from word go.
I loved the guy’s style and his delivery, and his audience lapped it up, the more animated Ross became the better his audience felt. With a room full of freaks laughing out loud, Ross made having a personality disorder fun. Weaving his own autism into the show, this was one of the best surprises I have had this season and although the poetic pandas were hiding, I had found a genuine rising, original & funny star. With a performance this good, he will nae be part of the Free Fringe for long, I expect and foresee great things for this young man. He made my day. Brilliant Comedy.
Reviewer : Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert
five-stars