21st August 2013 – Edinburgh Day 11

We started the day again at Whistlebinkies for Free Samples. Toby Muresianu introduced Murray Porter and Shane Mauss.

Then back over the bridge and to The Newsroom for two shows. Firstly Gusset Grippers, which was more educational than entertaining. My pelvic floor has never felt so good.

We stayed for Pete Otway & Kiri Pritchard-McLean doing a double header. Very good hour indeed.

Then to Cabaret Voltaire for the excellent compilation show ‘Test Tube Comedy’ with a cracking line-up hosted by Dec Munro of We Are Goose, Joe Davies, Jack De’Ath and the perennial crowd favourite Pat Monahan. As it was to turn out this was to be the first of three times we saw Pat that day.

Off to Bobs Bookshop next for John Flemings Chat Show, with Kate Copstick as resident guest and todays two guests Tim Fitzingham and you guessed it – Pat Monahan, arriving fashionably late, despite leaving the previous gig at the same time as us. The theme was record attempts and this was a really interesting storytelling hour.

Down to the Globe Bar next for an old favourite of ours Fin Taylor.  Really enjoyable fare, he surely has a big future.

Then around the corner to Cabaret Voltaire to Omar Hamdi and Pete Dobbin’s double header. Pete was first up and did a really good stint. We like Pete a lot having met him in three countries this year. He is always engaging and happy to chat. Next up one of the hardest working acts on the circuit, Omar Hamdi. We have seen him countless times, and his material is clever and reflects his heritage. As much as we call him a friend, this was to turn into a really uncomfortable half an hour. Part way through Omar’s routine about colour a woman in the third row heckled that this was the same as another comedians routine she had just seen. Omar went ballistic, and tore into her. Her heckle was unacceptable and deserved this barrage. But instead of moving back into the routine, Omar took the opportunity every few seconds to ask this woman whether the preceding bit of material was OK. It made for uncomfortable viewing for the entire audience. And it made a heckler much more important that she was. At the end of his set he had another major go at the heckler and said she had ruined the show before storming out of the building in a huff. We don’t agree, destroy the heckler, move on. Don’t then spend the rest of your set playing up to them and making the whole room uncomfortable.

Over to the Pleasance then and first up Terry Alderton, an hour of surreal majesty, unlike anything else we saw this year. Simply wondrous.

Then Brett Goldstein, with a powerful piece, which started off in uncomfortable fashion but turned into a story with multiple morals and ideas and really made you think. A thought-provoking hour. Really loved it.

Next up School Night, which we had really enjoyed last year in The Caves. This year it lost some atmosphere in Pleasance Beneath. The premise is simple, the crowd are the class, the MC is the headmaster and introduces acts who lecture on certain subjects. Keith Farnan was the head, but you might be excused for thinking this was just someone doing a regular warm-up. First up Yianni, doing Astrophysics. This was as close at it got to last years format, with an interesting lecture but ultimately not hugely funny. To be fair here, it was also a very small crowd so hard to get any atmosphere going. Next up Joe Bor in his Jasper Cromwell-Jones character talking about adventure. Then Hannah Gadsby did an interesting stint on cherubs in Art, very titillating fare. Finally Pat Monahan AGAIN doing drama in the form of an improv class. This involved most of the audience so left very few members watching this. I enjoyed my few minutes on stage and Carole enjoyed laughing at me from the crowd. Ultimately, though, this night was not a patch on the equivalent the year before and we were quite disappointed.

Finally to the Three Sisters for Chris Tavner’s hour ‘Real Men Have Beards’ back on top of the bus. Quite a big queue for this one and it had been filling every night. Pretty good for a 1am slot. And it was a really good hour. We have seen Chris twice in Plymouth and he is a very good standup with some solid material. A really good end to a very mixed day.

Show count – 11

Running total – 104

Acts Seen – 26

Running Total – 228



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