Knightmare Live

Pleasance, King Dome

Run Complete

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

Welcome watchers of illusion!!! The successful Knightmare Live returns to the fringe with an updated and revitalised show. This adaptation of the 80s kid cult TV classic is wonderfully nostalgic; we have fond memories of watching the show as little kids. This stage version of the program is hilarious with its combination of panto acting and ad libbing from the cast as they improvise their way through the show. What keeps the show fresh is that you never know what will happen as the contestants, props, realms and off the cuff dialogue changes every night. An audience member is chosen from a sea of risen hands to wear the iconic helmet of justice, they are given instructions from 2 fringe comedians to help navigate them through the dungeon as they come up against various dangerous tasks and puzzles to solve.

What we loved about the show was that it stayed true to the original format with its ramshackle set, brilliantly rubbish masks and homemade props. The cast really bounce of each other with their observational humour with an added adult element. Audience members shouting out the famous catchphrase “YOU’RE IN A ROOM” reminded us that the room was full of diehard Knightmare fans, some taking the whole thing quite seriously. This is a hysterical walk down memory lane with its quick witted cast and brilliantly replicated set; this is one not to be missed. We look forward to reaching the next level of the game if they return in 2017.

Reviewers : Laura & Ema Murray

five-stars

Omid Djalili : Smuck for a Night

Pleasance Courtyard

Edinburgh

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

This man needs no introduction; stand-up comedian , actor, television producer and writer, he has graced our stages and screens for many years now.  Having been in Gladiator and The Infidel,  Omid is a diverse entertainer that can turn his hand to many a challenge .  On the road with his new stand up show, Omid Djalili : Smuck for a Night, he has landed at the Edinburgh Festival for 5 nights only. Being played out in the huge arena that is The Grand at the Pleasance Courtya,rd the 300-strong crowd gathered for an afternoon of smutty jokes and laugh-a-minute comedy. With the show nearing its start, the loud speakers bellowed out some smooth reggae sounds, loosening us up for what was to come.

Entering the stage to massive applause, Omid milks every moment of it,  pressing his fans for more as the show begins with a bang !!!!  This is a stand-up show that takes you through the mind of a comic marvel. Adapting to fit around the current affairs of today and the world we live in his array of material is mind-bending. With attacks on politics, twitter, whats up, Brexit he takes on the world with his witty sense of humour.  Loud and consistent, taking no prisoners, he bombards us from left to right with fire-friendly jokes sending the audience into stitches of laughter.

Ploughing throw his set like a tank on a battlefield, we are soon thrown head-long into his hilarious world of ISIS.  Being of Iranian decent this gives him a free passport into this world of delicate matters. Powerful and fast paced this show strikes at the heart of comedy, moving along with ease as Omid pokes fun at hairy bears, culture, celebrities, religion, age and the world as a whole, his decision is finally made.  Life is about fun and Omid appears to have conquered that with his Smuck for a Night show. They say laughter is good for the soul then Omid hits the spot!!!!

Reviewed by Raymond Speedie

4

 

 

Andrea Hubert

The Counting House

26/08/2016

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

“Perhaps 3.45 in the afternoon isn’t the best time to be making jokes about vaginas,” offers Andrea Hubert in response to a tepid audience response to the first half an hour of the show; perhaps she’s right, we’re in a tight space, it’s sunny outside, hot inside (We’re in a room accurately described as The Sitting Room) and to the comic’s annoyance, she’s in competition with a heavy metal band playing in the courtyard outside. Given the subject matter and that there are only three days of the fringe left, there is cause for concern here.

The theme of the show is living with depression (for 25 years) and we’re promised that that we’ll find “mental illness hilarious”.  Andrea begins by telling us that she had a breakdown in Waitrose and then we take many misanthropic digressions before returning to the breakdown in Waitrose and the resulting visit to the doctor. It’s clear that the humour isn’t to everyone’s taste: it’s perverse, absurdist, scatological, Rabelaisian, and full of grotesque bodily images; Andrea tells us she would like to be an observational comic like Michael Mcintyre, pointing out the absurd social mores that everyone recognizes and finds funny; but how do you do that when your observations are based on the dark web of the mind? Well, perspective and extreme reactions to the everyday behaviours, actions and attitudes of others. Amongst other things, Andrea tells us anecdotes of her reactions to pregnant mothers who stroke their belly, and women who wear white dresses; whatever a white dress may symbolise, to Andrea it means a smug, “I will not spill or dribble food on my dress at any point during the day”; her riff on the stroking of the pregnancy belly comes closer to Macintyre’s observation of social mores: “I made this, (stroke) me and God (stroke), oh and of course with a little help from the father” (stroke). A successful part of the show was called Good Deeds, the audience were asked to write down a good deed they had performed, Andrea then pulled them out of a hat in order to “shit on them.” Metaphorically, of course. The audience played a part here, writing down a succession of surreal good deeds, including giving a baby to a homeless man, eventually we discover it was meant to read a brolly.

So, was it hilarious? At times, there were a few big laughs, some mild amusement and the occasional dead end; No doubting Andrea’s stage presence though, she demanded the audiences’ attention, approached the material with energy and was anything but weak in character or delivery— as in the punning title.

The show was far from perfect for all sorts of reasons but I enjoyed it. However, apart from the difficulties of heavy metal, heat and the  time of day, there were two or three people playing on their mobile phones during the performance—one challenged by Andrea, “I can see the bloody blue light”. I’m of the generation that uses a mobile just for phone calls; I’ve no idea whether this a new way of giving a Roman thumbs down or just bad manners, but if you don’t like the show or are not interested, wouldn’t it be better to just leave? Well, as Andrea said during the show, “I like the illusion of progress”.

Reviewer : Paul Rivers

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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