The List Fringe Launch Party

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Omeara
London
31-05-018


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There is a moment every May when we here at the Mumble put down our glass of pimms on the freshly mown lawn, with the gay flutter of butterflies wafting against one’s skin, pick up our phone to check on messages & shit, open an inbox & see an email from the first Fringe publicist to have finalised their line-up. A week or two later then pops up an invite to the List launch party, where the Soviet-Bloc of Assembly, Gilded Balloon, the Pleasance & the Underbelly all converge on a single place for free booze, fifteen minute highlights & this year’s ‘Bibles’ of those mini-Fringe guides which tell you whats on in chronological order, rather than having to wander the labyrinthine horrors of the main fringe guide.

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This year’s event was at Omeara in the Borough, London, on a lovely balmy evening on the last day of May. For everyone there, on waking up the next morning they’d have a terrific hangover, & the lovely welcoming into the bosom of June – just two months to go peeps! Omeara was glitzy, but informal, with a lovely roof terrace & a curvy cellar main area, the latter rather like the Caves in Edinburgh, but with the ability to breathe.

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‘Everybody comes! Nobody remembers!’
Anthony Alderson

After Pleasance head honcho Anthony Alderson bounded through his obligatory in-joke laden speech, the six acts hit the stage in quick procession. We had the manic-medleys of Jess Robinson, who at one point took on the persona of Julie Andrews singing ‘All About the Bass.’ Next was Koko Brown’s cunningly sharp spoken word act, then Luisa Omielan’s unbelievably relentless sentences, whose breathless & brilliant delivery is as funny as her material.

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I missed the News Revue as I was on the roof terrace drinking the free gin, but I came back downstairs to check the eternally sound idea that is Showstoppers, whose improvised musical japery is a sure-fire winner, as long as you’ve got the right people involved. The cast changes every year, but watching this group’s portrayal of a tumultuous Brexit-driven love story set in Liverpool proved to me they’ve got what it takes to pull off this year’s campaign.

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Then SHE came on the stage. I’ve never seen Gingzilla before; a suprisingly sexy, extremely tall drag act, who is just beyond brilliant really. She’s deffo on my review list for August, whether at her ‘Late Night Lip Service’ at the weekends (Gilded Rose: midnight) or at her eponymous Gingzilla all month at the Assembly George Square (8PM). Roll on the Fringe, I’m getting excited now, if a little worried about my curious attraction to a 7 foot drag act…

Damian Beeson Bullen

A Cheeky Interview with Mr Twonkey

The Fringe wouldn’t be the Fringe without Mr Twonkey, so all praise to the Comedy Gods because he’s coming back to Edinburgh this August. The Mumble managed to catch him on the phone for a wee blether…


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Hello Twonkey, so you’re heading to Brighton, whats going on?
Twonkey: I’ve been in fact I’m just in the door but went super well and I had a busy house both nights.Its a sweet show this year.

What was the show & will we be seeing it in Edinburgh?
Twonkey: Twonkey’s Night Train to Liechtenstein….and yes it’s coming to Edinburgh.

Ah, a new instalment in the Twonkey saga – what’s the latest news?
Twonkey: A tale of Inherited Wealth… and murder.

You’ve recently had your face plastered over the cover of the Prague Fringe guide, how did this come about?
Twonkey: They liked the picture. Its like a poster for a rave but it catches your eyes. Inside the mag is a feature about the festival. I am told my show will sell out….so fingers crossed. Every major restaurant and clubs have copies.

When does Prague kick off and what’s are the logistics behind your stay there?
Twonkey: Its Prague Fringe at the Museum of Alchemists 2018: 25th, 26th and 27th of May, 19:45 hours. I’ll be staying near the Žižkov Television Tower but the festival is in the old town just over the Charles Bridge.

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What makes Mr Twonkey want to return every year on the wings of a new adventure?
Twonkey: I’m sick I’ve got the bug ….I enjoy it. I still have new ideas for it. Its getting better. The day I stop having fresh ideas I will stop. Its hard work….but its worth it when it clicks into place.

For anyone who has not seen a Twonkey show, what shall they expect?
Twonkey: The above video will tell its own story. I sit with my puppets and sing to them. I have a story. I have warped songs. I try to keep it funny. I like it to be moving…. I like dressing up, and been silly.

Can you describe in a single sentence the experience of performing at the Fringe?
Twonkey: The Fringe is a hoot and a toot but its going to burn you out in the end.

What will Mr Twonkey be doing in 2019?
Twonkey: Twonkey’s Trouble in the Dordogne is next for 2019….and a play I’ve co-written about David Lynch.


You can catch Mr Twonkey at the Fringe

Heroes @ Dragonfly (Venue 414) ​

Aug 3-7, 9-21, 23-26 (18:00 )

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www.twonkey.blogspot.co.uk

An Interview with Lew Fitz

THE FRINGE IS COMING!! One of the first comedians to get their poster finished is the clearly professional & incredibly funny Lew Fitz. The Mumble got the fella on the phone & had a wee blether…


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Hello Lew, so where ya from and where ya at, geographically speaking?
LEW: From Manchester, now I live in South London. Moved away from Manchester when I was 18 on a Lacrosse Scholarship to North Carolina. Got kicked off the team a year later and ended up transferring to the University of Florida. I started writing in Uni but didn’t perform for a about a year, did my first show at an open mic biker bar just outside of Gainesville in 2013. Then I graduated moved to Miami and started gigging regularly 3/4 times a week there for about 2 years then moved to London in 2016.

When did you first realise you could make people laugh?
LEW: I’m not really sure. Probably school. I found it easier to drift in and out of social groups and use voices or act outs or whatever it might be to make people laugh. It depends entirely on who I’m around. I always wanted to make people see the joy in themselves and then bring that out. People and situations wherein you have to be serious don’t interest me at all. So yeah, I’d say school and around my family.

How did you get into stand up?
LEW: I started writing in University and did a couple of gigs up there. First open mic was a biker bar just outside Gainesville, FL. Then just hit the open mic circuit hard in Miami and continued that in London.

What are the differences between an American crowd and a British?
LEW: I’d say its the regionality. The inside jokes that you have with a British crowd, being a British performer. You have rules and schools of thought that you both share so references and phrases and experiences are similar so you can connect more quickly. American audiences differ because as a British person I was an outsider so in a way a spectacle instead of someone having a shared experience with them. On the whole they are the same because people are people and I started in America so I’m a different comedian. I’m better now because of it, but I’d just say its a little easier for me to connect to a British audience and then as a result, get more of a response from them.

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Which comedians inspire you, both old skool and on the scene today?
LEW: Billy Connolly is probably the main guy, he’s the first comedian I watched with my Dad. Then where I’m from Peter Kay is God so I’d have to say him. Especially his energy. For me people like John Kearns, James Acaster, Maria Bamford, I like the oddballs. People who command your attention and they make you laugh and you don’t know how they’ve done it. People that make you think and say something interesting or in an interesting and risky way.

What does Lew Fitz like to do when he’s not being funny as fuck?
LEW: Ha! Nothing too exciting. I work from home so I’m usually doing that if I’m not gigging. Hang out with mates, few beers, I’m a pretty big Man City fan and I love American Football. Hanging out with next doors cat Marmalade is also one of my favourite things to do.

On the outside its an unlikely pairing, one person who is very intense, chaotic you might say then another who is calm, collected, methodical.

You’re bringing a show to the fringe this year, but you’re not alone, what’s the crack?
LEW: It’s called “The Neighbours Are Worried” a split bill with me doing 30 mins and my good comedy pal Akin Omobitan also doing 30 mins. We are at Just The Tonic’s, The Caves (Venue 88) at 10:15pm every day of the Ed Fringe Festival. The aim of this year is to continue to try and get better and learn as much as I can.32105483_10157372973738835_4920953045610659840_n.jpg

Can you describe your working relationship with Aki in a single word?
LEW: Fun

Can you give us a hint of the topics and themes covered by the show?
LEW: We talk about all kinds of things, all rooted in real life experiences from two people that grew up in very different places. On the outside its an unlikely pairing, one person who is very intense, chaotic you might say then another who is calm, collected, methodical. But what we are going to reveal shows that no matter the appearance we’ve all got worries and people that worry about us.

What will you be doing after the Fringe?
LEW: After the fringe I’ll be back in London, back to gigging and seeing what I’ll be doing the next fringe. At this stage I’m considering a Work In Progress for 45 minutes but who knows?!


You can catch Lew Fitz & his pal Akin Omobitan this August (2nd-26th)

THE CAVES (venue 88) 22:15

 

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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