24th August 2013 – Edinburgh Day 14 – The penultimate day

We started with Free Samples at Whistlebinkies again, sitting at the back eating our breakfast while watching. Toby Muresianu introduce Lady Carol, Ben Clover, Alejandro The Magician and Al Lubel. Sorry the magician was crap and we still don’t get Al Lubel.

Then to Cabaret Voltaire for ‘Crunch The News’ which was a tedious little hour and got me wound up with a supposedly left wing ex MP turned comic boasting about spending the £24K she got as redundancy payment for her 4 years in office. Surely someone should do something about these mostly rich parliamentarian scum getting half a years salary as compensation for losing their job, when most people are lucky to get a week for each year. Disgraceful.

Down to the Caves for Afternoon Delight. For a fiver this was a cracking little show. Scott Bennett hosted (we had seen him in Plymouth earlier this year). He introduced us to an eclectic little mix. First up Britain’s Got Talent’s Jack Carroll, leapfrogging comics with many years experience. I am sure he will make a fortune with the backing he has but nothing here to write home about. Next up Simply the Jest an OK sketch offering. Then Lovedev Barpaga again laughing at his own jokes more than anyone else did. Kate Lucas and Mike Newell raised things up again before we had to sit through a bit of a play ‘The System by a South African troupe. Bizarre. Dane Baptiste brought an up and down show to a good end.

The rest of the day was to be spend at the Pleasance. First up Catriona Knox, who I had met a week before when she tried flyering me while we were in the middle of our accommodation woes. I was initially quite rude to her, but went and had a chat to her and she was pleased to know we were coming to her show today.  It was a delightful hour solo sketch show. With loads of clever characters and crowd interaction. A lovely show and a lovely lady. One of my new favourites.

Then Sam Fletcher. We first saw him in Bristol a couple of years ago and then went to see his free show at Bannermans last year. A show that earned him a best newcomer nomination. Unfortunately there seems to have been little progression and this hour was tedious, with nothing other than gimmicks to keep it going. Little structure or point to the whole thing. And a ridiculous ending supposedly showing off speed typing skills? We are not quite sure and don’t really care.

Next up a lovely hour of pure standup from youngster Ivo Graham. Ambrosia Creamed Rice will never be the same. Carole got a tin for her birthday from Ivo. Oh yes, this was Carole’s birthday!

Things were starting to overrun at the Pleasance and our next show started and finished late. Rhys Mathewson, who we had seen several times in the South West this year, put together a fab little hour. A few bits we already new, but the material that was new to us kept us entertained. He had to rush the ending a bit to not overrun too far which was a shame. A youngster with huge potential and an addictive personality.

We had to run back around the corner for Suzy Bennett – Dancing on Thin Ice, We missed the first minute or two. But caught the rest of this engaging tale of obsession with Torville and Dean. A nice ending too from a local Plymouth lass.

We grabbed a quick Panini and got o say hi to Tim Fitzingham and Terry Alderton in the Pleasance Café. Then to the masterclass that is ‘The Boy With Tape On His Face’. We have seen the show before, but a different audience made it a different show. A wondrous hour and Sam (The Boy) deserves all the acclaim that comes his way. It was again a hot ticket and quite rightly too. Brilliant.

Another overrun however, so we barely got to That for Mat Ewins in ‘Once Upon A Time in the Jest’. As soon as we sat down Carole realised she had lost her bag, containing everything including keys, car keys, wallet etc. She went running back to The grand where the audience were still exiting, forced her way back to our seats and – NOTHING. The girl said she needed to go to the box office to report it, so off Carole went, only to be chased by the girl who had found her back at the end of the row, where it had been kicked by the exiting hordes. Carole made it back 15 minutes into the show. Mat is billing himself as a historical comedian doing various skits as Cleopatra, Henry VIII, Peter Da Vinci and Apollo 13. Ending with a bizarre video game. We like Mat a lot, he is clearly talented, but it is so surreal a number of people simply don’t or won’t get it. We had already seen a preview in Bristol and we were in a minority of those who loved it. Can’t wait for next years offering.

Final show of the evening the Pleasance Late Show with another great lineup. Joe Bor MC’d, Jim Campbell, Donny Donkins, Gary Delaney, Romesh Ranganathan and Phil Nicol. Very little new to us here, but all quality. It is always a good evening that ends with Phil Nicol and ‘The Only Gay Eskimo’.

And so to bed after a lovely day.

Show count – 11

Running total – 136

Acts Seen – 29

Running Total – 298

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