The Pow team have upped sticks and are in Edinburgh at the biggest arts festival in the world. With the fringe fully underway this is your one stop for our picks of the fringe, the definitive guide to the best shows the fringe has to offer.
Kate Barron: Losing Myself
9pm Just The Tonic – The Tron
You want to be friends with Kate, from the hour I spent in her company I could tell this is a woman who would tell it to you straight that your new boyfriend is awful, and a fringe wouldn’t suit you. Barron holds the audience’s attention despite the sound of the raucous Saturday night pub crowd bleeding through from upstairs, a few ‘lads’ wander in half way through and she hooks them with excellent gags about the clientele of Pegasus air and they settle in for the rest of the show, and it is a show worth staying for, Kate tells us about her journey to losing 13 stone. It’s raw, honest, and hilarious
Fills Monkey: We Will Drum You
4pm Pleasance Grand
Was I expecting to watch a man play drums with an electric whisk at 4 in the afternoon? No. Did I enjoy it? Yes! I was unsure if two guys drumming was going to hold my attention for an hour but its funny, inventive and they are an undeniable talent. A must see for music lovers but strobe lighting means it’s not accessible for all which is a real shame
Doktor Kaboom and the Wheel of Science
12pm Pleasance Courtyard – Beyond
Doktor Kaboom is a live science show in which he spins a wheel and carries out the wacky experiment it lands on. The kids were literally on the edge of their seats, there were jokes for the grown-ups and when volunteer Molly expressed, she didn’t want to remove her hair tie for an experiment, Kaboom applauded her and spoke to the kids about consent. A class act and nothing short of perfect family entertainment.
Outside Pleasance Dome
Crammed inside a sweltering shipping container is the unlikely sight of a Victorian Séance room. You lower yourself into a chair, don some headphones and settle in to your experience in pitch black. What follows is 20 mins of disorientation and for me, a fair amount of fear. If you like a fright, you won’t want to miss this
2.50pm Underbelly George Square – The Wee Coo
Delivered as a one-woman monologue, Lightweight shifts through different characters to tell the story of Amie’s time in a rehab facility. Flitting between do-goody art teachers and brash family members the underlying pain associated with long-term eating disorders is hidden under a rigid false cheeriness and flippant remarks. For anyone that has suffered or seen someone suffer with such an illness, this is all too true to how problems can be hidden and pretended away, expertly showing the ignorance of family members turn to guilt and confusion. Whilst on the surface a light and often comic piece, Lightweight offers an insight into the world of addiction often masked by false narratives and delusion.
Glenn Moore: Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, Glenn I’m Sixty Moore
4.05pm: Pleasance Courtyard – Cabaret Bar
This show is hilarious and does not let up, it is laugh out loud funny from the moment Glenn enters the room panting from the back. He is not your average one liner comic stood in a spotlight with a smirk delivering punchline after punchline, these are immaculately crafted gags and physical comedy that Moore may not be best known for, but is faultless. If you can only see one comedy show this fringe, see this.
Alison Spittle: Wet
4.45pm: Pleasance Courtyard – Attic
If you don’t already know Alison Spittle, get to learning. Whilst tales of contraception and the misdemeanours of an Irish youth meeting boys in the ‘kid’s smoking area’ might seem geared towards a particular demographic, the skill of Spittle means that the entire room, with an audience spanning ages and gender, were roaring with laughter throughout. Non-stop brilliant fun that will leave you with face ache.
Sam Morrison: Sugar Daddy
6.20pm: Gilded Ballon Teviot – Balcony
A gorgeous, heartfelt and hilarious show from this US comic. Morrison expertly guides us through the story of his grief and its physical manifestation with beautiful written jokes, smutty gags and the most exasperating audio recording you will ever hear. This tragic love story is a wonderful tribute to his boyfriend. You will laugh, cry and fall in love with Sam.
Dave Johns: A Comics Tale
8.45pm: Gilded Balloon Teviot – Wine Bar
If you don’t know what to expect from an hour of comedy from a man best known for Ken Loach’s realist drama I, Daniel Blake you’re not alone. Dave John’s himself may have similar musings. Despite a lack of precision, the ability of Johns to chat and riff with the audience reveals the 30 odd years’ experience of a deft storyteller and hilarious stand-up meandering between real anecdotes, facts that occur to him in the moment and mad long-form concept jokes with the confidence of someone who’s been in the game a while. Spending an hour with Dave is not the slick routine you might get elsewhere but it’s certainly not any less enjoyable for that.
Red Richardson: Shots Fired
9.55pm: Pleasance Courtyard – Bunker two
His stache may be dodgy but his jokes are on point. Red thought he was going to die in a terrorist attack, only he wasn’t and it wasn’t. Some great tales about his apartment block and relatable chat about social media addiction, this is a great way to end your evening at the fringe
Mark Thomas: Black & White
1.30pm: The Stand
Black and White is a show that does not disappoint, although it is definitely one for the lefties amongst us or you might not find it quite as funny, in fact, Mark tells any Tories that have wandered in by mistake to leave in the first 5 minutes so we can get on with the show with all the sensible people present.
Insightful, political humour about the state of the powers that be and the world in general, that has you crying with laughter, rather than just crying, over the sheer nonsense of it all.