What I Saw at the Fringe: Day Six – Hannah Becker

What I Saw at the Fringe: Day 6, August 10

This was a big, busy day with not enough sleep. But who needs sleep at the Edinburgh Fringe? I’ve only got a few days left, so I’m taking it more like a sprint than a marathon. Shout out to the people doing the whole month and getting proper rest! (And to the people who are here for the whole month and not getting proper rest, because they probably need the support even more.)

The first show I saw was one I randomly walked into because it was just starting and I wanted to see a show, and I’m so glad I did! Allyson June Smith and Daisy Earl: Working Out was the perfect way to start my day. These two rock-solid pros are working out new material (not actually doing a show about working out, thank god!) and it’s amazing to see them in action. Daisy started the show by expertly warming up the crowd then launching into material about moving back in with her parents after getting married that had the audience rolling with laughter. Allyson took on the second half of the split bill, mostly joking about the different problems people have and providing earnest advice on how to solve them. They both had great quips about bullies, living in different places, and body image, and included the audience in this intimate, friendly show. It’s hard to believe that this was new material from both of them because it was so well written and performed. This is only a limited run, so go check out these killer acts while you can, or you’ll have to wait to see them at a huge club or on tour!

Straight after, I went to see Terrence Hartnett: 1 Ball Show to a sold out crowd. This NYC comedian wrote a hilarious hour about getting diagnosed with testicular cancer, which was the “first bad thing that has ever happened to him”. As a handsome white guy, he reminds the audience that he knows he’s had it easy for most of his life, and this self-awareness instantly drew the audience to his side. It’s the perfect mix of US and UK style comedy, with a killer laugh rate, and a nice throughline to keep the show together. Bouncing between silly dick jokes, and touching moments, he seamlessly created and broke tension throughout the show, and had the cackling audience in the palm of his hand. I highly recommend you check it out, and am wishing him a run of sold out shows! Don’t miss it!

In the evening, I was lucky to get a ticket to see Olga Koch: Just Friends in a sold out room. She has firmly established herself as one of the best acts at the Fringe, bringing killer shows year after year, and this one was no different. She starts off by singing the praises of “hoe culture” and talking about how she thrives when she’s single. The hour then continues with relentless energy and endless jokes about sexuality, heartbreak, dating, and confusing text messages, ending on a surprisingly sweet note after an hour of beautifully executed filth. It’s easy to see why she has been blowing up over the past few years, and it’s clear she was born to be doing this. I’m sure she’ll enjoy a sold out run this year, so grab your tickets now!

The last show I attended was another favorite from the last time I came to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019, Erika Ehler: Femcel. This hilarious debut hour from the Manchester-based Canadian comedian is not one of those typical Fringe shows that gets emotional, she warns early on. Femcel is an hour of her signature dark, sardonically delivered, and expertly written jokes about her sex life, punctuated by truly bizarre clips from men she’s interacted with (are they OK?) and a video she made for her bullies in grade school. It’s sharp, dirty, and definitely not for the faint of heart. She’s been making some big moves over the past few years, so go get your ticket to see her now while you can! (She’s also one of the minds behind the late night showcase, Ghost Orgy, if you want to see some dark and dirty comedy after midnight.)

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