What I Saw at the Fringe: Day 4, August 8
It was the first Monday of the Fringe, and many shows were doing 2×1 deals for tickets, so I unsuccessfully waited in the PWYC queues for Josie Long, then Catherine Bohart. Luckily, I had nice people to talk to, since I ran into a friend of a friend from Barcelona, then chatted with an older Scottish man who claimed to be one of the only locals who embraces the Fringe. Running into people I know and talking to strangers are some of my favorite things about the Fringe. And one of my other favorite things is when I have no idea what show to see but a flyerer gets me at the right place and time and I end up seeing people I’ve never heard of before.
While wandering by the Three Sisters, this exact experience happened, and I ended up squeezed into the Wee Room (it was really, really wee) surrounded mostly by Boomers to see Louisa Keight and Niamh Curran: Banana Split. It was definitely not the target audience for these young comics, who told quick and clever personal jokes about growing up around Liverpool (Louisa) and Northern Ireland (Niamh), dating mishaps, and their current relationships. Despite being interrupted a few times by children walking past at inopportune moments, and the over-heated over-50 audience, it’s clear these two acts have a lot of promise and would shine brighter under different conditions. Go check them out and give them the laughs they deserve!
After doing Broke in Barcelona to a small but mighty crowd, I’d gotten tickets to see the Kiwi pop-comedy duo Two Hearts: We’re Pregnant and the Baby is Music. Billed as an over-the-top, high production value extravaganza, the show ended up delayed for half an hour due to “extreme” technical difficulties which resulted in them doing a “lo-fi” version of the show. The TV screens they used for many of the songs and bits weren’t working, and one of the 5 computers they used to run the show (apparently, the most important one) was broken, but they still had a huge light setup, backup dancers, and multiple costume changes to prove they really went all out on this show. Even though they had to cut a few parts of the show, they handled it with a smile, and still delivered hilarious songs with silly, tongue-in-cheek banter in between. I hope they sort out the technical issues for the rest of the run so that when you go see it (which you should!) you get to enjoy the full experience.
My final show of the night was an Edinburgh Fringe institution, and one of my favorite shows to see here, ACMS (the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society). The show runs from Sunday-Wednesday, from midnight til 2:45 AM, and welcomes alt-comedy acts, as well as regular stand-ups, but they encourage everyone to try their most experimental material. And that’s what the audience (made up mostly of people who have been to ACMS before, but it’s not a cult, they promise) really wants. There are a few rules everyone must follow, including a list of permitted heckles, and the traditional call-and-response at the end of each act: “A failure!” “A noble failure!” Monday night was brilliantly hosted by Thom Tuck and Andrew O’Neill, who got progressively more drunk as the night wore on, and featured a killer lineup of mostly stand up acts with a few musical and alternative acts mixed in. The alternative comedy included some absurd lists from Seymour Mace, meta singsonging from Al Lubel, and the best goldfish comedian currently on the UK circuit (played by Alexis Dubus who recently performed at the Comedy Clubhouse as Marcel Lucont). The two musical acts were also amazing, with a song about the high school fingering shed by Michelle Brasier, and hilarious duo Caitlin Cook and AJ Holmes (Two Thirds of a Threesome) with a song about how to behave at a show and another using only things their friend Emily has said in her sleep. Ultimately, the show mostly featured killer stand up acts Eli Matthewson, Sam Morrison, Tessa Coates, and Ruth Hunter. I’d recommend seeing any one of these acts do their full shows based on these short sets in this weird show. And, of course, I highly recommend staying out late to see ACMS regardless of the lineup!
Now I’m off to see more shows! Remember that you can send us any recommendations on Instagram or Facebook if you think we’re missing someone!