Felix Dexter – Multiple Personalities in Order

***

3 Stars

There is no doubting that Felix Dexter can do stand-up and also, as an actor, characters too, so a mix of the two should have worked well, shouldn’t it?

Maybe it should, or perhaps it was the night I went, but I was a little disappointed by the overall product.

Dexter welcomed the audience as himself warming up for the first of his characters the slightly stereotyped Nigerian student Julius who chatted up the ladies, advised the men on seduction techniques et al. Although he held the characterisation, I felt the clichés jarring after a while.

Back to him self for some stand-up before Early D appeared. This wide-boy Harlseden entrepreneur, while well performed had no real substance and again hung on caricatures of street culture for the material.

Briefly it was Fletcher again, before his most successful characterisation, that of Aubrey a black architect who lived in the Cotswolds. His accent and attitude seemed spot on and for me this was the highlight of his hour.

This wasn’t a bad show, far from it; I did expect to enjoy it more though.

***

Reviewed by Geoff

Pleasance Above V33

4 to 30 August

21-00 to 22-00

Fringe Brochure P 61

Rosie Wilby – Further Science of Sex

****

4 Stars

I first saw Rosie Wilby last year when she presented her show The Science of Sex and although I enjoyed it, I felt it was somewhat undersold. 12 months on, and ‘Dr’ Rosie is back with an updated version, and this time she certainly made the most of her subject.

Some things have changed since last year Rosie is no longer in a relationship and a little of the break up featured in the show, the illustrations were similar some of the text and features remained, but what was added was a whole host of laughs, mostly laugh out loud belly laughs . Rosie rocked it most of the time and I was so pleased to see this personable young lady realise at least some of her potential.

Sex being the subject, a fair amount of the material, some fact based, some with the undoubted Wilby spin, is one that will often tend to get laughs and with an occasional foray into the audience to get a personal perspective on things..

It would have been slightly understandable that nearing the end of the Fringe an energy level drop from both performer and audience may have been expected, but it was not evident in any respect.

I look forward to seeing Ms Wilby next year with her 2011 show and hope the progress I have seen this year continues. I’ve no doubt it will be.

****

Reviewed by Geoff

Underbelly Delhi Belly V 61

6 to 29 August

16-125 to 17-05

Fringe Brochure P 117

Jessica Ransom: Ransom’s Millions

3 Stars

***

Jessica Ransom tells an almost plausible story of how a worker in a biscuit factory was tasked by her boss to give £1million to a person who had no links with him. This was due to some complex tenuous Italian connections.

This gives the set up for her to display her abilities as a comedy actress to play numerous characters who considered themselves worthy enough to walk of with the cash. Several of the characters were given one line descriptions but four gave longer, humorous monologues as their pitch to walk off with the cash. There was the avante-garde artist, the computer obsessed player of Quest, the female bounty hunter and the self help guru. This final character gives the show a lift with a volunteer from the audience benefiting from the advice offered.

A funny, well constructed hour of entertainment from a most talented actress but without any belly laugh moments.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number                  Pleasance Courtyard; V33

Dates                                                  4 to 30 August 2010 (not16)

Times                                                 16.45 to 17.45

Fringe Programme Page Number: 77

Ian D Montfort: Touching the Dead

4 Stars

****

Ian D. Montfort’s way of giving a literally spell binding performance is to talk slowly and precisely. His movement matches his delivery as he looks and assesses the individuals in the audience. Hailing from Sunderland, he describes himself as a spirit medium who is in touch with those on the other side.

With the help of his spirit guide, his ability to identify members of the audience and give personal details is uncanny. He can also put them in touch with famous celebrities such as Elvis Presley and John Lennon.

He performs several amazing illusions including an assist from William Shakespeare who helped him quote some lines from the Complete Works chosen at random. Between the extraordinary feats, he has a witty line of patter. This blend of humour and magic is a winning combination.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number                  Pleasance Courtyard; V33

Dates                                                  4 to 30 August 2010

Times                                                 14.15 to 15.15

Fringe Programme Page Number: 71

Adam Riches Rides!

4 Stars

****

Adam Riches superb, highly visual comedy comes from a selection of bizarre characters in a series of extended sketches. He opens with Pierce Brosnan as a singing and dancing centaur, his assistant playing the back end of the horse. A member of the audience is encouraged to ride the horse which eventually he achieves successfully. This sets the madcap tone for the sketches which follow. Volunteers from the audience are crucial to the play acting.

His energy never flags in his character roles, as he encourages and directs his volunteers to give a performance as well. There is plenty of room for hilarious ad libs. He reprises his super hero character, Victor Legit, who on this occasion is doing battle to fight against addiction to a certain make of drinking yoghurt. How Adam Riches gets away with all the silliness is his flamboyant, commanding stage presence and wonderful sense of timing.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number                  Pleasance Courtyard; V33

Dates                                                  4 to 30 August 2010

Times                                                 16.00 to 17.00

Fringe Programme Page Number: 22

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre – on the Telly

4 Stars

****

This is a non stop show of puns and daft, funny comedy. Two sock puppets form the classic double act; one is sensible and trying to keep to a planned script whilst the other is anarchic doing his best to hog the limelight.

The pace is frenetic as they play out sketches of different TV genres involving numerous costume changes. There is the period drama with rival claimants to the beautiful heroine attempting to fight a duel. We just know the puppet master cannot physically do the walking 10 paces apart and the compromise is hilarious. A sketch with the mixing of dialogue from a cookery programme and a gardening programme along with the appearance of superman calls for split second timing and dexterity. Between the sketches, songs are performed to rock classics with the lyrics twisted and made very adult.

The perfect synchronisation of the hand movements and the delivery of the lines bring the puppets to life. Undoubtedly, there are a number of very corny puns but with so many fired at you, there are some classics.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number                  Gilded Balloon Teviot; V14

Dates                                                  4 to 29 August 2010

Times                                                 21.15 to 22.15

Fringe Programme Page Number: 120

The Bruce Collective

2 Stars

**

There is a lot going on this show – improvised comedy against a green backdrop with computer wizardry to produce a science fiction film on a projection screen. Chris Harvey-John directs with his laptop as location scenes flash up on to the projection screen.

Suggestions and objects from the audience give the three performers, Jarred Christmas, Mike Wozniak and Simon Young, the ideas to work into a plot of good versus evil. There are some impressive special effects, talking heads for example. However, working the comedy into a pre-set framework meant that Chris Harvey-John’s direction seemed to cause confusion all round. Much of the fun of improvised comedy is when performers run and run, bouncing ideas of each other. Just as I felt they were going in a good direction, they had to move on because of the demands of the story. For me, it was a show that never quite took off.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number                  Gilded Balloon; V14

Dates                                                  20 to 30 August 2010

Times                                                 18.30 to 19.30

Fringe Programme Page Number: 38

Gary Delaney: Purist

****

4 Stars

Apparently Gary Delaney doesn’t think that comedy shows contain enough jokes and it his mission to address the problem with his Fringe 2010 show. And he does so in spades!!

He is not a narrative, long-winded comedian, hell no, Gary likes writing one liners and, if my arithmetic is correct, during the show include in excess of 175 jokes in a 55 minute set, shades of Tim Vine me thinks, except I found Delaney funnier!!

Some of his gags are silly, some are witty, some are clever, a lot are in a little bad taste. And some are pure bad taste. But generally all are funny some draw groans from the packet out audience, some belly laughs, but very few, if any, elicit no response.

A lot of Delaney’s material has found it’s way onto the internet vie Twitter and Facebook allegedly, and I suppose it is inevitable as clever one-liners are easier to repeat than stories, but he still seems to be able to come up with fresh ones.

This was the first time I saw Delaney perform and I certainly hope to catch him again. He is playing till the 29th so you still have chance to catch him this year, but be quick. The show I saw was sold out.

****

Reviewed by Geoff

Pleasance Cellar V 33

4 to 29 August

20-30 to 21-25

Fringe Brochure P66

Andrew Lawrence: The Too Ugly For Television Tour 2010

****

4 Stars

Andrew Lawrence could almost be the epitome of a ‘ginger winger’, that is if he wasn’t such a talented comedian. Boy does he get angry as he is only to happy to tell us on occasions throughout his hour.

A fairly quiet Tuesday night crowd had nothing to moan about though as he proceeded to entertain one and all with a whole host of his material, drawing laughter throughout.

Once Lawrence gets started on a subject, he will have his say without drawing breathe for what seems like ages, I was convinced he must be able to breathe through his ears at times. Rants on MOT’s, scones, Kellogg’s, Edinburgh Pleasance Courtyard, let’s call them self abusers, and his favourite species the Fringe reviewer all come under his microscope.

Lawrence seems to me to get grumpier each time I see him, and each time I see him I enjoy his show more, is that saying something about him or me? His material is funny, his style different and together they make for an entertaining hour of comedy that is always up to the mark.

He perhaps should think about changing his show title though, as I believe an appearance on a BBC Comedy Roadshow could well be in the offing. So get in first and check him out for yourselves.

****

Reviewed by Geoff

Pleasance Cabaret Bar V 33

4 to 29 August

21-20 to 22-20

Fringe Brochure P26

Ronna and Beverly: You’ll do a Little Better Next Time

4 Stars

****

Ronna and Beverly’s performance as two middle aged Jewish American mothers is marvellously funny with many surprises packed into an hour long imaginary TV chat show. They have several scripted routines about their self help book on relationships. Ronna is the more focussed and leads the presentations. Beverly follows but her butterfly mind goes all over the place. The addresses to the audience and their conversations have a natural feeling of spontaneity as they talk over each, agreeing or disagreeing.

Two guests appeared to be grilled about their relationships, much to our and their amusement and maybe embarrassment. First up was Ali Cook, the comedy magician, who also performed a couple of impressive tricks. He was followed by Guy Pratt, base player turned comedian, who has performed with the likes of Pink Floyd and Madonna. On these occasions, Ronna and Beverly’s spontaneity was for real as the improvised on the answers they received. Not once did they falter as they sustained the quick paced, complex timing throughout.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number                  Pleasance Courtyard; V33

Dates                                                  4 to 29 August 2010 (not 16)

Times                                                 17.45 to 18.45

Fringe Programme Page Number: 117

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