Fear of a Brown Planet

3 stars ***

This show brings you two funny people for the price of one. Not, as I had been expecting, double-act stand-up, but half an hour each of Nazeem Hussain and Aamer Rahman, each introduced by a video-montage poking mild fun at various political idiocies.

Edgy, pithy, sharp political-point making is not the sum and substance of this show, although at times it verges on it. Rather, it has a good-natured prod at some of the interesting and point-worthy differences and occurrences between white and ‘brown’ people: the disproportionate over-selection of non-white people for scrutiny at airport security or the under-representation of white people as Hollywood villains. While these are interesting, and are generally acceptable as comic subjects, I got the feeling that both Nazeem and Aamer, being engaging and likeable people, could, had they chosen, have successfully taken the audience with them to some very edgy and sharply political places indeed.

A blunt-talking show about subjects many – brown and white – are wary of.

Reviewed by Laura

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 19:15 (1hr)

Until 29th Aug

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Fiona O’Loughlin: Spirited

4 Stars ****

Fiona O’Loughlin is the self-styled Queen of Australian comedy and returns to the Gilded Balloon after too long an absence.

ThisAlice Springsbased mother of five has always been a funny lady, but this year it is different, she’s doing it sober.

The basis of the hour is the story of her life before and subsequently after her spell in rehab and visits to AA.

She has always had the ability to entertain, but with the added sobriety factor, it seems to have sharpened her already impressive wit and sense of humour. She is hilarious in the descriptions of some of her more outrageous drunken exploits and is equally as erudite in her descriptions of her ‘illness’ and the descriptions of her vast extended family and their behaviour.

Ms O’Loughlin is well worth the cost of a ticket, and I defy you not to have a good hour at her show.

Reviewed by Geoff

Gilded Balloon Night Club V 14

3 to 28 August

21:00 to 22:00

Fringe Brochure P 74

Neil Delamere: Divilment

4 Stars ****

Neil Delamere is yet another off the seemingly endless conveyor belt of comedy talent fromEireand having had a year off in 2010 I was delighted to see he was back, this time at the Pleasance for 2011.

The show title Divilment refers to the Irish term for mischief making and my goodness does Delamere have a bucket load of this in his soul.

The normal warming up of the audience uncovered a rather stunning lady from Azerbyjan, with here British husband and it gave him an easy source of fun in a non-threatening way.

But his set was packed with material, and given the speed he talks…., probably twice as much as others may need to use for their hour. He can be topical, he can be and is anecdotal, and has the craft to paint vivid pictures in his telling of these stories, he can riff with the audience, in fact I feel that he is the complete package.

In previous years I have been totally impressed, and I’m pleased to say this year was no different. It amazes me why he I not the huge draw that others are. He is as good as most and a lot better than a fair number too.

Don’t just take my word for it, try for yourself, you wont regret it.

Reviewed by Geoff

Pleasance Above V 33

3 to 28 August (not 15)

19:40 to 20:40

Fringe Brochure P 125

Ronnie Golden: First A Fender

4 Stars ****

I had been aware of Ronnie Golden for quite a while now probably mostly for his on going Fringe double act with Barry Cryer, and as a good guitarist, singer and funny man in particular.

But I didn’t realise that he had been a rock star as front man for the Fabulous Poodles who the late great John Peel really rated as a band for a long time.

Golden with his trusty guitars, yes one was a Fender, and even a ukulele as well, gives a master class on how to play guitar with simple chords, relates some anecdotes as his time as a musician and generally makes you feel one of his friends for the duration of him show. All this is of course punctuated with jokes and gags, well he is a comedian too.

I suppose it was inevitable, that partway through his show his old mucker Barry Cryer appeared on stage to sing one number with him.

This was a very appealing hour and all would agree I’m sure one well spent in good company. Roll on next years version.

Reviewed by Geoff

Gilded Balloon Wee Room V14

3 to 29 August

16:30 to 17:30

Fringe Brochure P144