David Morgan: Triple Threat

5*****

David Morgan was a new name to me this year but on checking out his show, he almost certainly could be a major name in the near future.

From Solihull in theMidlands, Musical Theatre fan Morgan describes himself as a triple threat because he can sing, act and dance and for a male in AM Dram that is a disadvantage because he never got the lead being too versatile.

A fair amount of his material is based on his abhorance of sport, Musical theatre, his sexuality, and his trials and tribulations at school, he is a young lad still I suppose, and who supported him and who didn’t.

Morgan is a character who never stands still he is always moving about, but this adds to his performance, not detracts from it and his audience interplay is cheeky and funny. His set is personal, well written and delivered with his own style.

Having seen his show, I’m not sure if he is a triple threat though. More appropriately I’d rate him a quadruple threat, because he can add comedy to the very top of his other skills.

Reviewed by Geoff

Just the Tonic@ The Tron V51

4 to 28 August

14:20 to 15:20

Fringe Programme Page

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Jason John Whitehead: Letters from Mindy

4 Stars ****

I have been a keen viewer of this Canadian born comedian for a number of years now and always find him a funny guy with a mean line of stories and gags and I am pleased to say this year’s show was up there with the best.

Whitehead starts his set with a series of signs doing the introduction and once he starts speaking does so initially fro the foetal position on the stage as he describes the breakup with his girlfriend of five year, Mindy.

Whitehead lists the five stages of dealing with the breakup and how his friends tried to help him through it.

Through out the show he reads, sometimes with the audience’s help letters ‘magically’ delivered to his postbox from Mindy. (Jason is very proud of his ‘hi-tech’ postbox so please do diss it.)

Each letter highlights something else she objected to in the relationship, and he has this stage to respond.

Jason has a wicked sense of humour, some pithy, well written material and a pleasing delivery style, which even hold the late night beery crowd enthralled throughout the hour.

Certainly a good way of closing the Fringe evening before real partying begins.

Reviewed by Geoff

Udderbelly Dairy Room V 300

4 to 29 August (not 16)

22:25 to 23:25

Fringe brochure P 96

Phil Jupitus: Stand Down

5 Stars *****

The ubiquitous Phil Jupitus launched into the gig stating that it is ten years since he has done stand up, but such is the talent that he possesses it seems that he hasn’t been away from the scene for longer than ten minutes.

He claims to be doing this to keep his friend Eddie Izzard quiet and is unsure of the demographic of the age groups that would come to see his show.

Jupitus is still a larger that life personality even if he has shed a lot of weight recently and it is this, together with his comedy talent that flows from the stage engulfing on and all in the packed to capacity club.

Being a father of teenage girls is a source for one of the funniest sections of an excellent show and this alone is worth the admission money.

Other major winner is the Coldplay section, but it is probably unfair to single out any of his stuff the whole set is a winner.

Tickets are bound to be selling fast partly based on his TV appearances so do not be the one to miss out.

Reviewed by Geoff

Stand Comedy Club I Venue 5

5 to 28 August (not 15)

20:25 to 21:25

Fringe Brochure P133

Alun Cochrane: Moments of Alun

4 Stars ****

Alun Cochrane has steadily been building up a serious following in recent times and his sold out gigs night after night at Stand I will testify to his popularity.

Now it could be a surprising career choice for him as he claims to not really like people, but it is obvious the feeling is not reciprocated.

With a few topical references to the current affairs initially he is into his show with segments on his house move and some issues with the process, railway quiet coaches, motor home holidays, skiing and drinking all as part of the subjects he is able to talk about.

Cochrane is not confrontational; his material is well observed, written and delivered and of course is very funny. He is a natural raconteur so it seems therefore it is hardly rocket science to understand his popularity.

If there is one slight criticism that could be levelled at him that would be that he is fairly safe in his content, maybe a slight push of the boundaries would make him even better than he already is.
That said, you will not be short changed with this current set, in a real comedy club, not a converted classroom or university room.

Reviewed by Geoff

Stand Comedy Cub I Venue 5

5 to 28 August (not 15)

18:50 to 19:50

Fringe Brochure P 37

Oxford Imps

4 Stars ****

Oxford Imps have been performing at the Fringe for years now and they are still able to pack’em in at every show even though Impro comedy is maybe not in the current vogue as it was some years ago.

Seven young actors perform for 45 minutes or so a show of quality that is based on audience suggestions and although the ‘games’ are tried and tested, the Imps seem to be able to quickly make merry from the most outlandish suggestions.

There really is no point in going into the suggestions that were the topics for the show I saw as they will be obviously different everyday, but suffice to say they were fazed by nothing.

So if you fancy a bit of impro comedy then you really need look no further.

 Reviewed by Geoff

Gilded Balloon Night Club V 14

3 to 28 August

15:45 to 16:35

Fringe Brochure P129

Shazia Mirza: Busybody

3 Star ***

I’m never sure what to expect when going to see Shazia Mirza perform. The lady has the knack of being something of an enigma as far as I am concerned.

I like her, but feel at times she can be her own worst enemy.

She starts of this show by not so much breaking the fourth wall but obliterating it. Showing off the ‘elaborate’ waiting area, wandering around the audience, ‘borrowing’ an audience members coat putting it on and going through the pockets. Strange stuff!!

Starting off with theLondonriots in an area where she once taught, Sahia goes into a little history of her life and heritage and her parents desire for grandchildren.

There was a segment about British and complaining, Trip Advisor, Points of View and being asked her opinion on things she has no knowledge of. Also the trend for people to talk in clichés, something that she dislikes

The audience on the night I attended consisted of a predominantly mature ‘Guardian reading’ crowd and at times she struggled to make headway with them.

Ms Mizra is a well prepared performer, she is intellectual, she is erudite, but I feel she can get disillusioned if the audience are not going with her and on this night they were not.

Reviewed by Geoff

Gilded Balloon Teviot V14

3 to 28 August

20:15 to 21:15

Fringe Brochure P150

Orpheus & Eurydice

4 stars
****
This was lovely, with some beautiful and poignant moments. Both actors sing well, with Eurydice having a beautiful voice – her spoken dialogue could be clearer though, some American slurring made it difficult for these Scottish ears to make out all the words. But the songs work well and are really nice.

A gripe would be that hell wasn’t very hellish and the show is quite short. Well worth catching though, a nicely done, gentle tale of love.

Review by Alan.

C eca, until 16th August, 22:55.