Company

5 stars
*****

Sondheim’s classic is in fine form here with One Academy’s excellent production and they make it look and sound so easy.

The production, as you would expect, is as professional as you can get on the Fringe. The featured solos/duets are spot on with superb acting throughout and the ensemble numbers are tight and well balanced. The cast are miced but are not too loud and the sound balance with the onstage band is spot on – very well done all round.

Although everyone does a sterling job, I have to say Douglas Walker’s ‘Being Alive’ was outstanding but huge congratulations to all involved and for bringing the full show to the Fringe. A very well-deserved five stars.

 
Review by Alan

C
1-27 August (not 13, 20)
16:20-18:50

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Comedy Academy Graduate Show

(Due to nature of show not given stars)

Although I am locally based I was unaware that this scheme even existed until recently and what’s more it’s the second year it has been running.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society organised the course which lasted 10 weeks in conjunction with Virgin Money, The Mike Wescott Memorial Fund and of course The Stand Comedy Club. Fifteen intrepid 22 to 27 year old local comics signed up for the process

This was a chance for the graduates to have a few minutes on the stage of the large Stand III space with a good sized audience to show off their prowess unfortunately not all could attend but those who did loved the chance and the audience were well impressed with most too.

Stand favourite and comedy legend Susan Morrison was the Headmistress of the Academy was compere on the night and the performers David Baxter, Struan Logan, Nehar Neya, Rory Telfer, Katia Kvinge, Pete Gwynne, Innis Smelling, Liam Tait, James McIntosh and Jamie Griffen where the students showcasing their stuff.

Each had their merit, some had a more general appeal than others, but I’m sure all will get work in the comedy clubs around the country. Scotland proves again what a well of talent is available to draw talent from.

The evening was finished off by the very funny Mary Burke who showed in her twenty minutes what these graduates should aspire to, and I’ve no doubt there certainly will be some who follow in her footsteps.

Ceratainly we at one4review will watch their progress with interest.

Reviewed by Geoff

Stand Comedy Club III

20-00 to 21-00

20 August only

Jubilate! by Rosalind Adler

4 Star

**** 

There is no doubt that Rosalind Adler is an excellent character actress and this play gives her plenty of scope to showcase these skills as she portrays five women whose life interlink with each other.

Anna, the vicar’s wife is a know it all and acts somewhat as a puppet master, in some ways controlling, Cheryl, Deborah, Pat and Lucy, certainly usually feeling she has all the answers, but does she?

With the simple addition of a different piece of clothing and a slight change or hairstyle the story is told by these five creations, and a story perhaps one would not expect.

The play is nicely written and staged somewhat in a minimalist style, but it is Ms Adler’s excellent characterisation that is really the selling point for me. Surely this is a excellent way to start a Fringe day.

Reviewed by Geoff

Pleasance Below

Until 26 August

12-40 to 13-35

The Drowsy Chaperone

4 stars
****

‘Drowsy’ is one of those shows which is so hard to describe other than telling people to “Just go see it!” – the name doesn’t inspire and neither does the synopsis really, but it is an absolutely fantastic show and is sure to take off over here in the next few years.

EUSOG’s production is a very competent version, well directed and very well sung throughout. The staging is simple and the choreography basic but that’s always going to be a limitation in this venue. It is a huge pity that “Message from A Nightingale” was cut as it’s such a brilliant moment but I can completely understand why give the constrictions and it was covered well.

The small band is excellent and not too loud however the cast were drowned out frequently – Augustine’s needs mics for musicals, it’s such a pity we couldn’t hear bits of dialogue over underscoring and solo voices over ensemble backings.

Kudos to ‘Janet’ for some outstandinging singing and to the ‘Man in Chair’ for excellent characterisation and comic timing. But well done to all, a fabulous show.

Review by Alan

Paradise in Augustine’s
6-19 August (not 13)
22:15-23:45

Steve Shanyaski’s Life-Survival Bible

4 Star

****

It can’t be easy doing a show in a glorified ships container, well it feels like that anyway, late at night yet still selling the show to a weary audience, but I tell you what this Manchester based comic managed it and with style.

He had a reasonable sized crowd for the show although well spread around the venue so it didn’t give him a real focus, but all were included as he went through his hour of how to survive life.

Shanyaski has been in a long term relationship for 5 years now, so he is in a position to advise those younger, the majority of the audience, and to remind us more mature members of the essentials of surviving in the real world.

He breaks this down into a series of topics and with the use of his observational style; some good well crafted gags and even a couple of songs as well and really the hour passes too quickly.

He has an infectious personality on stage and his delivery style is excellent. I can see him transferring to radio or TV with ease so this could be a chance to see him as stand-up prior to greater things.

Reviewed by Geoff

Pleasance Hut

Until 26 August

23-00 to 24-00

Jarred Christmas: Let’s Go MoFo

4 Star

****

Jarred Christmas is a well seasoned comic, an excellent compere but in his heart he is a dancer (!!) as illustrated in his New Zealand traditional Haka opening.

Christmas is in control from the onset, but it is a Sunday night crowd so maybe he has to work harder than he should, but with the challenge down in the opening dance he rises to the occasion like a trouper.

The material is not the most ground breaking but what the hell, he is a funny guy and with the breaks into short routines of dance, it’s obvious his appearance on Let’s Dance for Comic Relief have left an impression.

His material ranged through his heritage, his family, brave fetes he has achieved, joining a gym and school. And where does a rubber chicken fit into all this?

The closing section of his set sees him being assailed by an arsenal of nerf guns while attempting to answer questions. Why? Just go and find out I suggest you are guaranteed to be in safe hands throughout.

Reviewed by Geoff

Gilded Balloon Dining Room

Until 26 August

21-30 to 22-30

Vikki Stone: – Hot Mess

4 Star

**** 

How to describe Vikki Stone!! She is a funny comedian, she is a fabulous singer, and she is one hell of a piano player. She is so talented it could almost be unfair to everyone else around and it is totally understandable that she is selling out virtually every show, with even extra dates added.

But to the show, Ms Stone is no stranger to the Fringe and this does show. Her opening song and initial comedy routine set the standard, and she goes on to explain the show title. And we are off, on a roller coaster of some of her irreverent songs, funny gags and she even introduces a Stone version of Deal or No Deal into the equation.

It’s no secret that Vikki has a thing for silver fox Philip Schofield even dedicating one of her songs to him, which se managed to play live on ‘This Morning’ where she also met The Hoff another one of her fancies.

Strangely single she has a section on dating backed up with some hilariously funny material and of course a song along the way and then it is all over. All over that is until her ‘encore’ and another of her crushes gets the Vikki treatment.

If you can get a ticket, she is a very entertaining performer that should not be missed.

Reviewed by Geoff

Udderbelly

20-10 to 22-10