Andrew Maxwell – That’s The Spirit

5 Star

*****

Andrew Maxwell has been packing then in at Fringes since I can remember and this year is no exception with the sold out show attracting fans old and new and as usual he delivered.

Maxwell is not the most dynamic of comedians, no running around his stage for him, he seldom goes to the audience, but when he does it’s to great effect.

His well written as always set, his laid back delivery are just part of his persona, but the content is as always biting and he is unafraid to share his opinion on some subjects other comics may shy away from.

He starts off with football, the Olympics, progresses to the Scottish Independence question and the world money crisis and we are not even half way through. As to the rest of his hour well the quality was equally as high as the first section.

Maxwell is a born raconteur and his accent could lead one to believe he is a ‘typical Irishman’ but not in the New York stereotype he assures us. He seems to find his own observations funny as well and why shouldn’t he? It is very funny after all.

I guess tickets will soon be very difficult to get soon so don’t wait too long to book

Reviewed by Geoff

Assembly George Square Theatre

2-26 August (not 13)

21-05 to 22-05

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Comic Strip

4 Star

****

Well this is exactly as it says on the tin.

Comedy and burlesque in a tent. A bar a night time warmed up crowd. The conditions were perfect.

Compere for the night was the funny and on the way up Aussie Asher Treleaven This vintage clad funny man explained the rules, warmed up the healthy crowd, not that much was required in this mode and then we were off. Australian burlesque star Gypsy Wood got the glamour department up and running much to the pleasure of the audience.

The first comedy guest was American comedian Abigoliah Schamain. This lady hit the stage running and hr ten minutes went down very well.

Next burlesque performer on the night was the somewhat aggressive looking Kiki Kaboom, again well appreciated by one and all.

Asher then did a very entertaining set prior to the return of Ms Wood for her premium set and what a performance.

Headline comic on the night was the highly acclaimed Benny Boot. It was only a short but packed session from him, but one that was well received.

This was the line up when I saw it, but of course although the format will remain, the comics and dancers may differ.

Reviewed by Geoff

Assembly George Square Elegance

2-26 August

22-40 23-40

Active Virgin

5 stars
*****

True to form, One Academy Productions return to the Fringe with new writing in the form of Active Virgin. Although it covers such serious issues as body dysmorphia and the unhealthy quest for so-called ‘perfection’ it does so in a quirky, surreal and often spontaneously funny production.

The direction and choreography are inspired and provide just as many visual laughs as does the witty dialogue. Attention to detail and high production values always lift One Academy’s productions into the professional realm and this is no exception – the singing and harmonies are tight and spot on and the whole production is very slick.

Definitely a show to catch this year and one of the highlights of the Fringe so far.

Review by Alan.

C
1-27 August (odd dates only)
12:00-13:00

Cabaret Whore:- Her Finest Hour

5 Star

*****

Sarah Louise Young is such a versatile comedy singer and actor that one just can’t help believing she is the ‘person’ she is creating. She has a whole stable of characters on offer, I think seven at the last count, so who was gonna be greeting us this time?

Sammy Mavis was afforded that honour and the trailer trash, C& W singer onetime porn star welcomed all, especially the men, flirting her way through the opening section of three songs every inch the siren she was playing.

A miniscule change time and then old favourite Bernie St Clair was back. Bernie a musical theatre star of a bygone age and somewhat in the twilight of her career continued to entertain one and all with her style of singing and little gems of links in between too. Her time in the spot light was brief but enjoyable.   

The finale the scary personification was the slightly psychotic La Poule Plombee, a French diva with a pomme frit on her shoulder and a knife in her hand. A onetime compatriot of Piaf but now somewhat bitter at the hand life has dealt her, yet sings like an angel, so much so she is forced into an encore.

And there was an added surprise too to finish.

This show is on a limited run so be quick to get your tickets for what could be the last performance for a while.

Reviewed by Geoff

Udderbelly Pasture Ermentrude

2-12 August

19-30 to 20-30

Loretta Maine – Bipolar

4 Star

****

Edinburgh Fringe is honoured one again to have the presence of Loretta Maine gracing it with her presence following a year of trawling the comedy fleshpots of the UK and has brought with her a whole new hour of her songs and humour together with a backing band.

Hard drinkin’, coarse spoken Loretta hits the stage with the opening number ‘Bipolar’, grabs the audience by the scruff of the neck and doesn’t drop ‘em for the rest of the hour.

A number of songs follow, ‘White Wine Witch’ was one that particularly grabbed me but all had their merits, were interspersed with links and boozing stories from our star. She even ventured into the audience on a number of occasions prancing an dancing in the aisle getting to know some of her fans.

What came across to me was the quality of the characterisation she demonstrated together with a really funny and clever selection of songs, and she is quite a musician too.

She is selling plenty of tickets so be quick or you’ll miss out.

Reviewed by Geoff

Just The Tonic at The Caves

2-26 August (not 14)

18-00 to 19-00

Holly Burn – The H Club

4 Stars

****

Ever wanted to join a private members club but couldn’t get in? A thought that had never preoccupied me I must admit, but wacky Holly Burn has solved the problem for us all by opening the H Club and everyone is welcome.

Now Ms Burn is definitely someone who you ignore at your peril. She is certainly not a stand up although she is definitely funny, she is not really a character comedian , but she does play characters at times, she mixes styles with almost slapstick at times, certainly physical comedy and obliterates the fourth wall throughout.

Her shows can seem chaotic, yet it is controlled mayhem and where some stuff is a little surreal for my tastes the overall package is more than worth checking out.

The audience are actively involved, some probably more so than they would wish with the participation in one of her games, but it is always Holly who pays the price.

It took me a wide to tune into her style but once I did I look forward to see where her fertile imagination is taking us to this year, so it’s you chance to find out too.

Reviewed by Geoff

Just The Tonic at The Caves

2 to 26 August (not 14)

16-40 to 17-40

Jo Caulfield – Thinking Bad Thoughts

4 Stars

**** 

It was always a highlight of my Fringe to see the Jo Caulfield show as apart from on TV occasionally it was my only chance to catch a comedian who for me always delivered a show packed with quality material in he own unique style.

Since however she is now Edinburgh based I get the chance to see her perform more often, so wondered if I would still enjoy an hour as much as previously.

I need not have worried.

From the off she was straight into her stride and the usual high standard of material was flowing. Bad thoughts? I suppose it is dependant on your point of view, but Jo does have definite strong opinions on things and not all of them are positive, but throughout the hour the laughs she elicited were thick and fast.

The range of topics as always is wide and varied, Waitrose, Twitter, overheard conversations in ladies loos, TV programmes, and the difference between female and male friends on a night out all come under the microscope, but these are just a sample of those covered, and her thoughts are maybe bad on most. However this is not a negative show and she is definitely a class act and one that should certainly be checked out.

Reviewed by Geoff

Stand Comedy Club I

2-26 August (not 13)

20-15 to 21-15