It feels almost legitimate to be a Fringe reviewer. It’s kind of weird. My opinion matters! (Apparently). So, since Round One, I’ve been to a few more shows and here are some random thoughts on them. Ignore at will.
Stephen K. Amos
★ ★ ★ ★
I adore Stephen K. Amos but have never managed to see him live – until now! Though it was a work in progress, Amos had a lot of brilliant jokes and threads that kept the whole audience laughing. Including two audience members who went to school with each other, talk with twins and gay people in the audience, the show was brilliant because it wasn’t polished. There a a genuine humour to the evening. Seriously, no one laughed more than Stephen when he said “Fuck it, you paid £10 for this” only to be met with “It’s 2-for-1 today”. That rough and ready quality, the unexpected back and forth, that made it fantastic.
Jo Jo Smith
★ ★ ★
I couldn’t write about his show without mention of his friend who was given a 5 minute stage-slot. Admittedly wary of an unheard of comedian, I was proven entirely wrong. She’s bold and ballsy, and was all about the cock. Unphased by accidentally encouraging a 17 year old to go for the cock in front of her grandparents, she returned with “Well, they’ve loved the cock for years before you came along”. A surprise, but a really great one.
★ ★ ★
Knowing someone who’s a big fan of Ellie on Snog, Marry, Avoid, it seemed an ideal suggestion to see her stand up show. And I’m glad I did. I’m not huge on the blokey humour from women, but for some reason it really worked with Ellie. She bantered with the audience from the off, picked a male friend in the front row and flirted mercilessly and talked of moving back in with her parents, willy themed hen dos and issues with engaged friends. It might seem female-tilted, but her ballsy humour makes it accessible to everyone. She’s just a laugh, really. And that’s kind of the point, right?
Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Be still my beating heart! I would normally tell you I hate improvised shows, but I am eating my words after this. A sheer bonus it had Joseph Morpurgo from Truthmouth in it too. The premise is simple: the audience writes down suggestions for their own Austen novel (sadly my own choice of Spiderman and Sensibility wasn’t pulled from the basket), and they improvise an hour long show around it. Despite the announcer not knowing the latter term in Bagpipes and Basilisks, the group successfully navigated a classic tale with a surprisingly fluid (albeit ridiculous) plot in the end. Honestly, they’ve been turning people away every day for this show because the hype around it is so big, and I completely understand why. 100% recommend. Go. Now.
I did see one other comedian. ★ ★ He’s a friend of my boyfriend’s brother, and to be honest I didn’t think he was too great, so I don’t want to be mean and write a whole paragraph on it. Other than that, the Fringe is still being awesome. Onwards!