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Fringe Review: Neil Delamere, Diviliment

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* * * * (4 stars).

Moving up from a club set of twenty minutes to the full hour that is an Edinburgh hour is not always easy, but if anyone wanted an example on how to carry over the energy of the regular show, while taking advantage of the imitate properties that sixty minutes hands a comic… They should look no further than Neil Delamere.

The confident irishman took to the stage with not a little bit of trouble. Throw some tech issues, late audience members, and a lively crowd, and some would struggle to get the giggles from the opening. Delamere threads everything into the fabric of the rest of the show.

And while the scripted material might not push any boundaries, once Delamere warms up and starts riffing on his own material, the magic happens. As long as he overrides the voice of reason in hours head, the audience will be rewarded handsomely.

The only thing missing is the voice of Peter Dickson (the voice over man from The X Factor) shouting “Neil DelaMERE!“, but that’s only going to worry the four Fighting Talk fans who recognise Delamere’s name.

* * * * (4 stars).

Neil Delamere
Divilment

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Fringe Review: Jerry Sadowitz – Comedian, Magician, Psychopath

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* * * * (4 stars)

Thanks to the show title and the opening line of the description on the Edinburgh Fringe site ("If you like Hitler, you’ll love Jerry Sadowitz!") you go in with your eyes open, and what you see is a versatile performer who is on top of their game. A comedian who wins over the vast audience of close to 800 people in the Assembly Hall within ninety seconds; a magician so confident and assured that routines that could easily be the climax of another act are discarded with anger towards the wings of a stage; a psychopath who is so clinically accurate that the logic of Sadowitz underpinning the comedy makes perfect sense.

And he rapidly gets to his almost trademarked Madeline McCann moment within four minutes.

There is an artistry here, a delicate light touch which is easily lost behind the forceful personality and verbal assault of the comic. The tools of Sadowtiz trade might be distasteful to the Morningside ladies who would normally sit in the Assembly Halls, but his words are poetic, their construction is impeccable, and should it matter that where other comedians draw breath and pause, Sadowtiz appears to be using swearing for punctuation?

A manic performer, bouncing around material that I suspect could last for hours, going wherever his mood and the audience takes him, there’s no way to say exactly what sort of show you’ll get or where the balance between magic and comedy will be. But you’ll get to see a master craftsman, in his element, at full speed for an hour.

* * * * (4 stars)

Jerry Sadowitz – Comedian, Magician, Psycopath
Assembly Hall

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Fringe Review: Comedy Club 4 Kids

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* * * * (4 stars)

The Comedy Club 4 Kids is a stand-up gig for children with comedians from the adult comedy circuit performing family-friendly material.

The compere Tiernan Douibeis excellent, very good with children and very quick with his observational humour. He is also very silly, which has the children (and me) in fits of laughter. I was particularly impressed with his memory – he chatted with many children in the audience, asking them a few questions about where they were from, and was always able to come back to a child he’d spoken to before and remember their name and what they’d said. That was a really nice touch, and more than my memory’s capable of!

Of particular delight was his struggle with Scottish names and places, which the children roared with laughter at.

There were two acts on the bill, the first a character comedian by the name of John Roast who told a series of jokes all with a punchline rhyming with “roast”. It did gather speed and had people laughing in the end. The second act was Nick Doodie who was very funny but who accidently swore twice during his act. My children didn’t notice however.

There will be different comedians throughout the Fringe taking part in the Comedy Club 4 Kids, check www.comedyclub4kids.co.uk for a list of who’s on when.

Eilidh (age 9) says: “It’s just that: comedy! Funny, hilarious, silly, they’re all words to describe the Comedy Club 4 Kids!

Mairi (age 7) says: “It was fun making the noises of dying animals. It was funny when this guy told us how mad his granny is.”

* * * * (4 stars)

Comedy Club 4 Kids
The Bongo Club

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Fringe Review: Peter Pan on Dinosaur Island

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* * * (3 stars)

A swashbuckling tale of pirates, dinosaurs, time vortices, biology and belief in fairy stories.

This unique approach to children’s theatre begins with the provision of pencils to complete the puzzles in the programme, which also contains relevant amazing facts, to entertain and amuse children (and their grown-ups!) while the audience settle and wait for the show to begin.

Written to allow maximum audience participation (although at times this can make the plot feel a little stretched and tedious – it is a long show) with children being invited to help out frequently. However, not all children managed to get a turn of going on stage while others were chosen repeatedly. For the most part though the interaction was very good with the children keen to do battle with pirates and dinosaurs.

The costumes were excellent, and the small cast worked very hard to portray a large number of characters. I asked my nine year-old daughter during the interval how many actors she thought there were. She counted six (only identifying two characters played by one actor, and not counting the various dinosaurs at all) and was very surprised to hear that there were only three actors sharing so many roles.

Overall this is a fantastic adventure for the kids, but adults may find it a little long-winded at times.

Eilidh (aged 9) said: “A funny story that mixes old and new tales. It’s a perfect family show, and kids are on stage throughout!”

Mairi (aged 7) says: “It was funny when we threw dino poo. The baby dinosaurs are cute.

* * * (3 stars)

Peter Pan on Dinosaur Island
Spotlites at The Merchants’ Hall

Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

One final though, merchandise (flashing pirate swords and other sparkly things) are on sale while you are queuing and as you go into the venue. Also, there is an interval with ice cream and other refreshments on sale. If you intend to give in to your child’s pleading, make sure you’ve brought cash!

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Fringe review: Street Dreams

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Come and spend an hour in a strange world of boxes and newspaper where a little Old Man is at the end of his tether.

* * * * * (5 stars)

Seemingly simple puppets come to life at the hands of five skilled performers who interact only with their puppet while the puppets interact with each other. The Old Man who is the focus of the show is handled by two dedicated puppeteers who act more like the compassionate carers of an elderly gentleman. The show takes us on an emotional journey as we experience the Old Man’s full range of emotions – no mean feat with a solid, painted head! It’s testament to the skill of the puppet builders, puppeteers, musicians and director that we empathise so strongly with a character we are beginning to see as real, despite being manhandled (puppethandled?) throughout by two humans making no attempts to manipulate him from a hidden position. Towards the end, as the Old Man began to interact with the audience, I had to remind myself that those brooding eyes could not see me, could not return the gaze that I felt so strongly.

Adults will be enchanted by the technical brilliance of the performance; children will love the banana skins and when the Old Man goes to the toilet!

Eilidh (age 9) says: “It’s about an old man who lives on a rubbish dump and it is hilarious! I highly recommend it and I hope you love it too. A great puppet experience.

Mairi (age 7) says: “Its clever how they make him walk. It was funny when he jumped on a banana peel.”

* * * * * (5 stars)

Street Dreams
The Underbelly Big Belly

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Twenty comics to catch at the Edinburgh Fringe

Posted by in Around Britain, Celebrity/Showbiz, Edinburgh Fringe, Featured Post, Reviews, Scotland | 0 comments

Edinburgh institution Kate Copstick, like many of us, has sat down with the Fringe program and picked out her favourites – although a nod from Copstick in The Scotsman is more likely to appear on the flyers of the twenty chosen acts than "Ewan says we’re quite nice."

Unless you follow the comedy circuit, a lot of these names are going to be new to you, but I can’t see a duff name in this twenty. I can see some comics that aren’t my cup of tea, but I’ve been known to drink tea with milk without complaining in the past. What I did enjoy about this list was the number of names that were featured in the Edinburgh Fringe Podcast many years ago, and continue to pop up like old friends that only see each other once a year. Acts like Axis of Awesome, Sam Simmons and Andrew Lawrence.

If you need a starting point for the thousand or so comedy acts, Kate’s list is as good a place as any.

More Fringe fun at the Edinburgh Fringe Podcast, follow the podcast in iTunes or via the dedicated RSS feed.

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