Susie Steed: Money Walks – The Unofficial Story of Capitalism

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Heroes @ Bob’s BlundaBus
Aug 25-27 (15:00)

‘What a wonderful way to spend my last afternoon at the Fringe,‘ thought I as Ms. Susie Steed was leading myself & a few other fans of either her, or her subject, through the streets of Edinburgh, in the rare unwindy sunshine that occasionally strikes the city. Her subject is finance, & the history of money, for Susie is an economist & the imperial & financial city that is the Scottish capital seems the perfect place to conduct her ‘Money Walks’ comedy lectures.

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IMG_20170824_151554981.jpgAs we are led place to pretty place, we become steeped in the iconography of money, especially that of Britannia, who has been transmorphed over the ages from coin to coin & onto the notes of our island, whose helmet Susie dons as she leads us about the place, her umbrella being waved about as if she were some holiday rep in Benidorm. Most of what she says is interesting, rather than funny, but she is a the master of digress & can burst the semi-seriousness in a Thalian flash. Alas, she is a little too soft-spoken to compete with the street-sounds of the Scottish capital, but apparently Susie will be returning next year with the same or a similar project, & will have her tweaks ready to turn.

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IMG_20170824_160709061.jpgDespite the audible quietness, Susie’s message, intelligence, storytelling & humour simply boom out into the aether; spending an hour in her company is a charming alternative to doing just about anything else during the Fringe. ‘We’re not here to talk about the dog,’ she tells us as we enter Greyfriars Kirk, – one of the quieter spots on the tour – ‘we’re here to talk about insurance,’ & by the end of the walk, I noticed just about everyone involved was waiting politely to speak to Susie, so cleverly – & wittily – had she piqued us all.

Reviewer : Damo

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Being HUEman Being

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Just The Tonic @ Caves
25th August

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Leaving the wonderful land of Oz for the competitive streets of Edinburgh’s Fringe, Luke Nowell brought his hilarious show, Being Hueman Being, for all our pleasure. With so much comedy at the Fringe this year, laughs have to be earned, and this show certainly does just that. Bouncing onto the stage like a 70s Space Hopper, dressed in an all-in-one grey & tight latex suit (with red shorts), the audience erupted. Being HUEman is a clever & funny take on what it means to be Human, and the many avenues we travel along to find perfection. Taking things back to the basics and using slap-stick comedy, Luke injects body and facial miming to elaborate his many characters, & with simple stage accessories he creates a world full of fun and humorous sketches. Through movement and gesture the show slides along with ease, delivering side splitting-moments of genius. Pulling the crowd into his imaginary world of art and using them like bate in a trap, he pounces like a Elephant in musk, knocking down everything in his way to get to the sacred place of love.

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Turning one member of the audience into a living sperm, they then proceed to chase an egg in a race to be the fertilizer king, a very human thing! Pouring from his suitcase were sketches about dating, boob size, men’s muscles, a woman’s need to look good and not forgetting the perfection of art. As Luke conducts us like an orchestra maestro, his character comedy acting is a breath of fresh air. Touching on our everyday hang-ups he gives you food for thought & a a feelgood experience which throws up hysterical moments using only bananas, balls, dolls and moustaches. Think of old school comedy capers, add in great acting with a twist of human nature, and you have Being HUEman’s cocktail of chuckles, gimmicks, tear-jerkers and howling laughter. Luke has devised a great comedy sketch show that is rare these days, and allows us to sit back have fun and to take stock of our lives. Who we are and what we become are strong messages throughout this excellent and brilliant show in every way.

Reviewed by Raymondo

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Tales from a Tampon

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Laughing Horse @ 48 Below
Aug 25-27 (20:45)

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At first glance, a comedian trussed up as a tampon seems like a gimmick, perhaps it is, but its one that really makes perfect sense. The woman behind the mask, Sarah Morgan-Paul, is actually here on a mission to teach us about the history of that ‘little cotton-bud,’ tho in the process manages to pull off some good ol’ fashioned northern humour as she does so. Sarah heralds from Leeds, where a blossoming comedy scene inspired her to quit her corporate job & follow her natural instincts – she is a performer & has the ability to see the comedy in life & also to translate it into laughs for a watching audience.

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The theme of her first Fringe show, then, is the tampon & the inner workings of the lady garden, although she does manage to slip in some conventional comedy here & there. In Sarah’s world, men have jingly-jangly bits, Skippy The Kangaroo is still fuckin’ hilarious & the magical properties of the female period are described as a ‘Menstrual Paul Daniels.‘ Yes, its all good, Sarah Morgan-Paul is smart & despite being dressed like a tampon, has got style, trust me! As she bounces & banters beautifully through her material we’re all on her side & loving the ride. Tales From A Tampon is a history lesson that is properly funny & you can’t just help falling for the cute little face that bobbles out from her sensational Tampon costume.

Reviewed by Damo

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ADRIENNE TRUSCOTTS : One Trick Pony

 

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@ the Hive (Niddry Street)
Aug 19/23/24/26 : The Hive (14.15)

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Photography by Allison Michael Orenstein Art Direction by Signe Mae Olson
Photography by Allison Michael Orenstein Art Direction by Signe Mae Olson

Having trawled through the Fringe Festival Programme, this was one show that certainly jumped out at me, the mad but elegant Adrienne Truscotts: One Trick Pony Show (or Andy Kaufmann is a Feminist Preformance Artist and I”am a Comedian). From Linwood in Pennsylvania USA, Adrienne has brought her show to Edinburgh, but packing a light suitcase full of clothes seemed to be at the bottom of her list. Appearing for the first five minutes face down and butt naked on stage we are treated to an introduction from Snow Patrol. Yeee Haaa !!!! Bemused and bewildered it soon becomes apparent why Andy Kaufmann is her comedy hero. Rising slowly like a seed reaching for the sun, Adrienne soon blossoms into the wild flower of a comedian/storyteller that she is. With feminist tendancies and strong political views this show of pussy politics was sure to shock or thrill you. With so many serious topics rolled up and wrapped into a condom for our pleasure you would expect the worst, but Adrienne has done her research and delivers it in a way you can only applaud. Direct and in-your-face proves the best way to go with this show. In a recent interview with The Mumble, Adrienne told us about why she was bring One Trick back to the Fringe;

Well, I brought it here before. I really loved the show but it got really bad reviews – from everyone! And so I thought a lot about it and made it better and that feels like what a fringe should be about – the possibility of failure and improvement. It’s a better show now, so I guess I have to thank those harsh critics for that proper bashing I got last time!

Photography by Allison Michael Orenstein Art Direction by Signe Mae Olson
Photography by Allison Michael Orenstein Art Direction by Signe Mae Olson

The laughs were loud and continuous and with no let-up the show powers on. Breaking down so many barriers that keep us locked up in our mindful prisons, its a breath of fresh air to see a genuine piece of truthful and nutty comedy. Here is a woman that has a lot to say and by god does she say it; men, politics, women, wrestling, relationships, sex and more sex… indeed, sexual organs descrided like you have never heard them described before are all thrown into this mash up of fun and laughter. This is a hard-hitting show dressed up like a Sugar Coated Iceberg and is well crafted and delivered. Thought-provoking at times, & packed with interesting subject matter, Adsrienne teases and ticklesus from start to finish. Like a sexual assault on your senses, One Trick Pony strikes you like a blow from a baseball bat and knocks you out the park. Very effective and strong it unleashes many a hidden thought with only laughter following behind. Why so serious? Go see Adrienne and have a formal education in world domination. Explosive and exciting, this is a must see this summer…

Reviewed by Raymondo

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An Interview with Luke Nowell

index.jpgHello Luke, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
I’m from Sydney Australia but currently living in London after having just finished studying at Ecole Philippe Gaulier in France for two years.

When did you first realise you were an entertainer?
It all started in the family home. Doing shows in front of the family, dress ups, magic shows, mini golf courses, film making and a lot of other things that involved a lot of cleaning up.

What is it about performing live you love the most?
I love playing on stage and I love watching other people playing on stage. I remember when I was young, and to this day, watching other people perform live and love experiencing the way it makes you feel and think. I love creating an experience with those people, in that moment, in a way that won’t be repeated.

What does Luke Nowell like to do when he’s not being funny?
I love alone time. I like documentaries. I also like skateboarding and watching live skate competitions – it’s not funny, it’s lethargic.

What is the creative process behind writing your sketches?
I think a lot, I play a lot, I make new associations and then I try playing with it in front of an audience. I tend to find the game for my ideas when I do it in front of an audience. It’s all about playing with and juggling the audience.

You are a Gaulier-trained clown and physical comedian, how did you find conducting such a prestigious education?
It was incredible. I came to the school with a very set idea of how I performed. This school and Philippe opened me up, taught me freedom and beauty. I didn’t realise how much more you could discover by being pushed so hard by a man who challenged, pushed and berated you until you did something on stage that was full of so much spirit, whilst bearing your soul, that it makes the audience laugh AT you. This school is great for taking yourself less seriously and learning to play, and play with you’re audience and with your scene partners. Philippe taught me to listen to my audience and now Philippe is always sitting at the back row of a show for me now.

Alongside White Sardine Productions, you have been churning out solo-shows relentlessly. How are you so prolific?
I’m not entirely sure myself. But what I would say is that it comes from a passion and a drive – it’s an extension of who I am. If you really want something in life, you’ll make it happen.

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You are in the middle of bringing ‘Being Hueman’ to the Fringe, can you tell us about it?
Being Hueman Being is show full of ridiculousness and a world of fantasy. I take us in an adventure in a show about what is funny and colourful about being hueman being. It’s quite an absurd show, visceral and I love doing it. If you like your comedy different this is your kind of show.

How has it been going so far?
This fringe has been amazing. My run had been very good, as well as days where I’ve learnt a lot and had to refine what I’m doing. I’m very grateful for my experience this year.

Can you describe in a single sentence the experience of performing at the Fringe?
It’s a beast and it’s aged me a few extra years

What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Luke Nowell?
2017 involves finally resting a bit, doing a few more shows, there’s also potential doors currently opening up for me in Asia and then I head back to Australian circuit at the end of the year.


If you’re quick you can catch Luke’s last couple of shows @ The Fringe
Just the Tonic at The Caves : Aug 25-26 (13.15)​

 

Tamar Broadbent : Get Ugly

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Underbelly Med Quad
Aug 24-28 (17:30)

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Apparently when you go through a break up you become 25% uglier, prone to wearing hats, making strange faces on dating apps, and catching STD’s... but her driving skills are frankly awesome.  Londoner Tamar Broadbent turns her comic genius to this most common, and lets face it, not very enjoyable experiences.  Truly the mark of a good comedian to find the laughs in our most difficult experiences.

Tamar does this brilliantly, with her bubbling enthusiasm, sharp wit, great singing and keyboard skills, sexual revelations and a little bit of life lessons.  She switches between stand up and her own songs.  It’s mostly light hearted, mocking quinoa eating hipsters,  super fit gym girl envy, her amazing driving skills, trying to delete your face book account, visits to STD clinics, waxing her vagina and misplaced pants as well as being able to move the fridge, if you find yourself divorced.

The title of the show “get ugly” also deals with issues of body image.  She embraces this subject in her comic material, always able to laugh at herself, but with a confidence that she imparts to her audience.  Standing up for yourself and realising your own self worth is a big message from the show, and she ends on the slogan “25% uglier but 100% awesome!”.  While much of the material might appeal to a twenty something audience, she is able to reach out to the whole audience, and they loved it.  She’s eminently likeable and the show is great fun, but also addresses self esteem and the inevitable pitfalls of separation.  Great show…plenty of laughs and good advice!

Reviewer : Sophie Younger

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Cam Spence : The Matriarchy Experience

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Ciao Roma
Until the 26th (20.20)

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Cam Spence is almost at the end of her first foray into the Fringe, within the cerebral, pink, neo-classical basement of Ciao Roma. What the Mumble caught at the end of her run was an extremely funny bout of character comedy, as polished as a Sultana’s gemstone, & we wondered how she would have been at the start. Either way, Cam is a consummate comedian who likes to mess about with us like some trickster goddess from Asgard, but does it with such self-belief in her abilities that her audience are simply lapping up whatever titbits she deigns to throw at us.

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Her principle persona is Slapper Laughs – whose accent is half-Brummie/half-Australian – whose main theme is the creation of the Matriarchy, a flip-flop role reversal straight from the Amazonian steppes. Spence is a natural born entertainer, & a very witty satirist at heart, & despite her butter-wouldn’t-melt appearance, we find said butter trickling down an orgasmically pulsing thigh as she penetrates our sexuality with subtlety & finesse &, of course, a great deal of fun.

There is a pasture out there that are the Elysian Fields of Ms. Spence’s creativity, & at the moment the youthful cubs of her comedy genius are grazing. As these cubs mature & flesh out into full bullocks, I imagine some powerful & meaty comedy will be the result. Cam Spence, please come back to Edinburgh next year & let us see how they have grown!

Reviewer : Damo

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