Going to the Fringe and want a few pointers of what’s worth your time (and money)? Then, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s Sarah Millican, Mickey Noonan and Sofie Hagen with more.
Deborah Frances-White: Friend of a Friend of Dorothy
The Blind Poet, West Nicolson Street, 2.45pm
Deborah Frances-White could tell me about her life for hours and I would never ask her to stop. She is so naturally funny, articulate and intelligent and knew exactly where she was taking us.
The story she tells in Friend of a Friend of Dorothy is touching, hilarious and powerful, but just watching how she took the stage, owned the room and subtly controlled an entire audience with just her eyes and mere presence was extraordinary. Oh, and it’s a free show. You have no excuse to not see this.
Caimh McDonnell: Bride and Prejudice
Cabaret Voltaire, 1.20pm. Free fringe.
Usually when I see the term ‘storytelling’, I think it means ‘less funny’ than traditional jokey jokey jokesters but Caimh McDonnell has the enviable skill of being able to tell a story jam-packed with punchlines. I almost couldn’t breathe for the first 25 minutes, I was laughing so loudly and regularly.
Like Saving Private Ryan but instead of bullets, we were sprayed with gag-heavy stories of weddings, prejudice and being a white man married to a black woman. And I’m pretty sure no-one died. Properly funny.
Angela Barnes: Come As You Are
Pleasance Courtyard, 8.15pm
Angela Barnes makes me want to be a better comedian. She was casually moving around on the stage, looking confidently at the audience, telling jokes and stories with such a precise kapow!-effect that there was absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that we were watching a COMEDIAN. She is so quick – it’s a multi-layered punchline-cake and it’s being served with extra frosting. I laughed and cried and sometimes both at once. Go see her now.
If you’ve read any of Sadie Hasler’s excellent work for Standard Issue, you’ll know she’s a no-holds-barred writer who wears her heart on her sleeve and isn’t afraid to put it on the line. Pramkicker, her two-hander for Old Trunk, is this and then some.
Jude (Sarah Mayhew) and Susie (Hasler) are sisters in their 30s. Jude’s in trouble, having booted a pram down some steps. Susie’s in trouble of a different kind. Both situations are jump-off points for brilliant and thought-provoking musings on the whole do-I-don’t-I baby quandary. Heart-swelling, heart-breaking, rude, brash and blisteringly funny stuff. With badges.
Jenny Bede: Don’t Look At Me
Pleasance Courtyard, 3.30pm
Whenever I talk about Jenny, I sound like a five-year-old telling my mother about my new best friend. She is really funny, she can sing real good, she is so pretty and sweet, oh, oh, oh and she has cool shoes! Can I please go play with her?
Her show is just the perfect debut show: it simply captures the ball of positive energy that is Jenny Bede. It is funny, it is feminist, it is like a party where I do not want to go hide in a bathroom. I just want to hang out with Jenny and make her my best friend.
Zoe Coombs Marr: Dave
Underbelly, Cowgate, 9.20pm
I’ve seen drag acts before. Usually men dolled up as impossibly glamorous women and I sit there wishing I’d at least washed my face. In Dave, Aussie Zoe Coombs Marr flips that and plays a boorish, sexist, new male comedian falling into the beginners’ trap of being, well, a bit crap. But what Dave lacks in skill, Zoe has in abundance. Her parody of the arrogant yet broken new comic is wonderfully observed, spot-on and very, very funny.
Funz And Gamez Tooz
Bosco Tent, Assembly George Square Gardens, 3.20pm
Daft, anarchic and almost too much funz to handle, the sequel to last year’s word-of-mouth smash and panel prize winner is barely controlled chaos that’ll leave you grinning like a loon. Phil Ellis is the gangly gameshow host with the most… desire to win (life lesson from the original FAGZ: losers get nothing) in this kids’ show that’s as much for parents and stretches boundaries like pizza dough.
Bonzo the Dog (Will Duggan), Jim Elf (James Meehan), Uncle Rick/Mick (Mick Ferry) and new addition The Num-Bear (Mat Ewins) all join the joyous dance on – and often over – the line between appropriate and, um, really not.
Graham Clark: Graham Clark Reads the Phonebook
Assembly George Square Studios, 5.20pm
I would never recommend a comedian just because he is hot and has a beard. So I am really lucky that this one is also hilarious. Phew! Did I check if he was funny before I went to see him or did I just let my cavewoman-urges drag me along? Well… Why all the questions? Let’s just get to the show. Graham Clark is part of the long-running podcast Stop Podcasting Yourself – one of my favourites. Graham radiates kindness and funny bones and his show is like a snapshot of its own place in time. I urge you to go and see it. And him. Enough said.
Time for more than that? Here’s where you can get tickets for shows by dozens of Standard Issue contributors.
Abi is a standup comedian. She trained as a classical singer in Moscow and worked as a session vocalist and recording artist before becoming a comic. She can be found treading the boards at the UK’s comedy clubs.
Brydie is a Sydney-raised, London-based comedian and writer who has never met a Buffy reference she couldn’t shoehorn into conversation.
Cariad is a comedian, actor, improviser and writer. Her dream is to one day pay off her student loan and to finally find the perfect concealer.
Diane is a standup comedian and writer. Her favourite genres include comedy, horror and sci-fi. Loves halloumi.
Elaine is a comedian, writer and science communicator. Raised in Northern Ireland, lived in Wales, now resides in Glasgow – bewildering brogue.
Standup, writer, actress, sister, introvert. Almost no street smarts whatsoever. Avoids the bandwagon if possible.
Felicity is an Australian comedian, writer, actor and full time knucklehead, based in the UK.
Jessica is a writer, comedian, actor, law degree-waster, sister, daughter and beard-fan with an unabashed food infatuation.
Standup comedian. Comedy writer. Crime fighter. Happy drunk.
Juliet is a writer (for radio and television), comedian, feminist and middle-lane swimmer.
Juliette is a docu-comedian, actor, writer, thinker, dreamer, doer and person. She has a history of mental health problems and loves The Muppets. These two things are in no way linked.
Kiri is a Welsh standup comedian and one fourth of sketch group Gein’s Family Giftshop. She is also a farmer’s daughter. The subtext to all this? Great at swearing.
Laura is a comedian, writer, baker and glorious feminist. She is nothing if not enthusiastic about everything.
Lou is a comedian, writer, actor, lover of curry and cheese, and is also a giant simple child.
Pippa is a comedian, improviser and the co-founder of Sunday Assembly. She lives in London.
Rachel is a comedian, musician, actor and improviser. She is best known for her award-winning musical comedy songs, presenting Thronecast on Sky Atlantic and improvising in hit show Austentatious.
Sarah is an Australian standup comic who lives in London. She likes pictures of cats with lasers coming out of their eyes.
Sofie is a Danish standup comedian based in London. She is also a body positivity activist and a comedy writer.
Funny Women Variety Award Winner 2012. ASDA Kate Bush.
Tania is a standup comedian and writer.
Likes music, swearing and biscuits. Media underling by day, fledgling standup comedian by night.
Some of Standard Issue's brilliant women's carefully crafted words for your reading pleasure.