The Edinburgh Fringe 2014 has so far been the worst collective human experience in living memory. It stutters on without merit like a man determined to finish a race he long ago lost, the crowd dissipated, an elderly man waiting impatiently to sweep up the rain torn flags that litter the ground around him. No shows are going well and what few audience members there are have all been proved racists. Comedians have been forced to somehow watch their own shows just to make up audience numbers. Two shows have been arrested and one fell deep in a flyer-mulched ditch and doesn’t look like getting back up any time soon. Plus the food is fuckbad
That said, I have seen some cracking shows! Here are my top picks so far:
Why The Long Face?
A late night show, with a difference! Every night four top acts from the circuit will attempt to make you neigh with laughter, except that one of them isn’t a stand up comic at all but instead is an actual horse! The trick being, can you work out which one is the horse and which ones are not the horse? What a totally great idea for a show! Ha ha! The night I saw the show it was fairly obvious which was the horse as it wasn’t doing stand up, it took a fair while to cajole it onto stage and it just sort of stood there a bit plus was the size of a horse. Even though the comedian Sy Thomas was desperately eating oats from a bag to try and throw us I knew it wasn’t him and it was the horse that was the horse. I can’t wait to go back and see it I can work out which one is the horse again! Will I be able to? If you work it out 3 times you apparently get to ride the horse into a battlefield so what are you waiting for?
I have also seen some great theatre because I thought it might get me laid. This was the best of them! A brave and unflinching look at a very modern problem of global terrorism all told through a series of emojis sent directly to your phone. Perhaps a little overlong at 3 days, 7 hours, this play nonetheless was well worth the investment and crucially never shied away from some really controversial emojis. I would say that some of the emojis used might be upsetting for a sensitive crowd of real crybabies and pricks, but for me the raw power of the piece was inescapable and at the end I was left wondering who the real terrorists were? Was it the people firing bombs and killing people to engender a reign of terror, or was it actually someone else? I decided it was the terrorists and then I had an ice cream and two more.
Woaha! Clowning OMG!
Let me be the first to say it, I think clowning might be about to have a resurgence. Yeah you heard. Clowning! Oh what, clowning not your cup of tea? Well then get the heck out the Fringe and go back to boxsets of Men Behaving Badly or etc because that is the sort of thing you like. If you think clowning shows are all about people in funny wigs hitting each other with ladders whilst a man in a hat disapproves then I feel pretty bloody sorry for you in truth. Clowning is actually all about getting your dick out whilst middle class people are made to feel uncomfortable but pretend they aren’t and it is amazing. Woaha! In this one the man got his dick out which you don’t normally see! It was funny and it was sad a bit and the night I saw it an audience member got involved and you weren’t sure what would happen but what happened was CLOWNING. I left feeling I should get my own dick out more, which is one of the nicest feelings you can get from seeing a show.
A late night show, with a difference! Audience members get into a small, unkempt bed with a different guest comedian each night who then whisper jokes into your ears before they start sobbing and meekly try and spoon you. What a totally crazy idea! It might not have worked and if it hadn’t I would have been incredibly angry and taken it out on the people and environment around me but I needn’t have worried as it DID work. And how! When I saw it Alexis Dubus cried faux-French tears onto a happy Greek man and Joey Page fell off the bed! I’m not sure if it was deliberate or not but my laughter was real enough, I could taste it in my nose for days. Duvet make you laugh? I certainly did! I also left thinking I should get my own dick out more.
Improvised King Lear
A Shakespeare show, with a difference! As a 47 guest comedians a day attempt to improvise the entirety of King Lear with only the script and a few weeks practice to help them! Can they do it? Will it be as funny as the original? I had my doubts as King Lear is one of my favourite movies but I can honestly say I have never laughed so much at King Lear as I did when I laughed during this production of it that they did. Everyone was spot on with how they did the show except for Luke McQueen who fucked it and I can’t believe it was improvised because a lot of what they said seemed funny enough to be scripted but it wasn’t. Come divide your lands (of laughter) between 3 daughters (fellow audience members?) in the best possible way possible!
Comedy For Dogs!
Looking for something to do with your dogs in the daytime? I can definitely recommend this show! It seems like if you want to make money on the fringe these days, dog shows are the way forward. The day I went to this show it was packed out with dogs (and their owners!) In fact they had to turn a few dogs away. That got nasty and there were a few fatalities but it was all worth it at least! All the dogs liked the show and there were a few cheeky laughs for the non dogs in the room as well. Get there early! Oh, and bring a dog. Else you’re gonna look weird and actually a bit unpleasant. We all left agreeing we needed to get our dicks out more. Only problem? There were a lot of dogs there. They also do a show for cats on weekends but it is truly awful and I wish I had never gone to it.
Also be sure to check out: “Nicholas Parson’s Lunchtime Nap”, “Hotel Rwanda – The Musical” and “My Usual Clubset But I Cry at the End”
All 3 Tom Bell stars!
LOVE DA FRINGE