Felicity Ward- The Hedgehog Dilemma

4 Star

**** 

Yet another Aussie comic on the Fringe? Hell yeah, but who cares where they come from as long as they are funny right? And Ms Ward is certainly that. And then some!!

The title intrigued me as did the poster but this was soon answered by our comic in the first few minutes, as was the question why she opened the show in a wedding dress!!

Heading back on the occasionally illustrated story of her unconventional life and living arrangements Felicity powers through a hectic, energetic and extremely funny set for the full hour without the pace dropping or the quality of the content either.

She is very often the butt of her own stories, but she is laughing at events, even the sad bits, and there are some that drew aahhhs from the audience not being needy in anyway.

This was the first occasion nearly all of her sell out crowd had seen her before, but I’m willing to bet all will be back such was the impression she made. She is one hell of a bonza comic

Reviewed by Geoff

Udderbelly The Dairy Room

Until 27 August

22-00 to 23-00

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Nina Conti – Dolly Mixtures

4 Stars

**** 

Now the stunning Ms Conti has been a Fringe regular for ages, and of course in her early shows she was really part of a double act, her of course and the irreverent Monkey and what a trial to her he was!!

Gradually over the years others have stepped up and poor Monkey is now only a small part of the show, but I am not alone in wishing he still had larger role.

That is not to say I don’t like the others, just I’m wondering if half a dozen or more puppets are just maybe a step too far for most of her audience.

There is now audience participation as well as some ‘lucky’ audience members find themselves as extra puppets for this very inventive lady.

The concept of the show seems more than just having fun here, but one cannot take it away she is a very talented performer and also being exceptionally popular as constant sell-out shows will attest to.

Reviewed by Geoff

Pleasance Kingdome

Until 27 August

20-30 to 21-30

The Oxford Imps

3 Star

***   

Every year the Fringe is graced by The Oxford Imps, a troupe of Improv comedians, complete with an MC and a keyboard and these guys and gals work their way through a selection of random audience suggestions to questions from Dylan the MC.

Now they had a pretty out there selection on the afternoon I attended, and a noisy vociferous bunch they were, especially the Canadians, but our Imps, all 7 of ‘em made the best attempt possible to work these suggestions into a variety of by now standard Improv games along the way.

By and large I think they succeeded, okay they had a few dodgy moments along the way, but with enthusiasm and no little skill steered the show home safely, and generally accompanied by a lot of laughter.

This is not a new art form obviously, it’s difficult to be truly different, but these guys are certainly worth checking out for an afternoon hour of mayhem.

Reviewed by Geoff

Gilded Balloon Sportsmans

Until 26 August

15-15 to 16-15

Daniel Sloss – The Show

5 Star

*****

It seems like only yesterday when I saw a young child like comedian doing a slot at The Stand Comedy Club but his 10 minutes that night blew me away. I have charted his progress with interest over the last 4 years with numerous appearances on TV, radio and performing live along the way and is it hard to believe that this young guy is now playing a room of upwards of 300 every night as if he is born to it.

Things have changed some, he no longer has the buffer of living at home, he has come out of a long term relationship, he has had a serious hair cut, and where as you could never call him a shrinking violet he has a cool confident air of control while on stage.

Sloss is a naturally funny guy, and he sure knows how to write and more importantly sell a gag, and this years show is packed full of quality material. It is interesting watching the make up of his audience; he does attract a high percentage of young girls, could it be the gags or the eye candy, both I guess.

I know there is a DVD in the pipeline too, so there will b e a chance to own a performance, but until then get along to The EICC while there still may be a ticket or two available.

Reviewed by Geoff

EICC

Until 26 August

18-30 to 19-30

Luke Toulson – Luke Who’s Talking

4 Star

**** 

It’s been a couple of years since I have seen this really tall comic perform during  the Fringe and I have to confess I’d forgotten how good he can be.

A number of years ago he was nominated as a Best Newcomer in the Perrier Awards in conjunction with his the comedy partner Stephen Harvey.

Address his similarity in looks to a certain Dutch footballer he is off and running from the start royally entertaining his sell out house. He has plenty of stage presence, and it is perfectly safe to sit in his front row as audience interaction is almost non-existent.

Toulson has a fairly complicated family relationship and a lot of the humour with in his set was based on and around this together with a whole bunch of other subjects and we even get a self written song towards the end.

I had a major observation on his performance and that is for large parts of his hour he didn’t make eye contact with his audience, there must be an interesting floor in the Delhi Belly, but it did slightly distract.

Reviewed by Geoff

Underbelly Delhi Belly

Until 26 August

21-05 to 22-05

Jen Brister – Now and Then

4 Star

**** 

Jen Brister is an Anglo-Spanish female who has been on the comedy scene for a while now but strangely this is the first time I had seen he Fringe offering.

Ms Brister feels she is getting old, but no one would think that by looking at her, and the majority of her set is spent looking at her earlier life, the trauma of growing up with three brothers, coming out and wondering how long she can still shop in certain shops. And what is the attraction, and worries of red tights?

She has two major stories towards to end of her hour, stories that are both funny and occasionally cringe worthy, but she relates them in a style that makes them totally acceptable.

It’s a small but recurring part of her act, but I love it when she does a hilariously funny impersonation of  her Spanish mother, I could listen to that all night.

Reviewed by Geoff

Just The Tonic at The Caves

Until 26 August

19-35 to 20-35

Chris McCausland – Not Blind Enough

4 Star

**** 

For a few years now I have been watching this Liverpool born comic and each time I have seen him it has always been a really good show and this is no exception.

For those who don’t know already Chris is a blind comic, but as he has no guide dog, no white stick or wears dark glasses no one seeing him would ever know.

It was been an eventful year for McCausland and the first part of his hour is giving a brief resume of what’s happened to him and then we get to the thrust of the show, following on from a booze fuelled discussion with a TV executive

McCausland is probably slightly darker in content this year .than in previous show, but for me this is certainly not a criticism. I liked his other shows but this one was equally as good.

McCausland might be classified as disabled due to his lack of sight, but no one could ever accuse him of this comedy wise. Certainly a show well worth catching.

Reviewed by Geoff

Pleasance Below

Until 26 August

16-30 to 19-30