31 Jul – 24 Aug
Laughing Horse @ Espionage (Kasbar)
The Free Pick of the Fringe is a compilation of some of Laughing Horse’s more established comedians, and they have a fresh selection of acts each day. They actually put on four of these shows back to back starting at 4.45pm, with a short break in between to presumably collect glasses, and there is a bar in the room, so on a rainy day it could be a good place to shelter and see fresh comedy for hours.
On the day of review, the line up was Marc Burrows, Tom Goodliffe and Jay Handley, with the rather cool Sully O Sullivan as compere. Apparently another act was also booked and had to pull out at the last minute, but the line up was incredibly strong and presumably did slightly lengthier spots so it did not feel at all lacking.
Overall this was a fantastically well programmed show, whether by accident or design, it had a great balance of cool and geeky new guard comedians, some of which are certainly going to go far. While it is a free show they do collect donations at the end, but the overall quality is at least as good, if not better, than some of the paid compilation shows, and the money goes to support the free festival and the comedians. If you want to catch some of the best before they have made it, this is definitely worth a look (and maybe even staying around for one of the other compilations too). Four Stars