Once more unto the breach – and so, as we have a 11.10 am appointment with the fabulous Bridget Christie (at the Stand 1) we have ventured over the bridges to George St’s The Standing Order for a nice big cooked breakfast (Wetherspoon – “oooh you are spoiling me Monsieur!!”). The server mixes our order up, not once, but twice and I have to wait for my veggie option.
A run down the road to the Stand for Bridget then. I get why they call it the Stand – as we are at the back of the queue – there are no guaranteed seats and we have to stand for the entire show, along with several others. Dave also stands behind me giving me a lovely neck massage (as he should for this show and for this comedian, Bridget is a feminist icon). Her show, An Ungrateful Woman, is a masterpiece. She gets going with material about last year’s show, any why some people seemed to think she should change subjects as she has “done feminism” – as if all of the issues that women face can be solved in an hour.
This year Bridget had decided she is not going to do adverts anymore, especially since a reading/audition she did for Muller, when she had to deal with someone’s ridiculous idea re some guy in a fridge handing her a yogurt when she opens the fridge door. It’s a delicious piece of writing and she comes back to the audition scene time and again, castigating the premise more each time. There’s some fabulous digging at her husband who she declares to be racist and misogynist, giving details – all the better if you know who her husband is (Bridget doesn’t name him)! We also cover FGM (female genital mutilation) and, for once, Bridget is getting onside with the government around information going out to schools. There was more info for us in envelopes on our way out of the door. This show is far too brilliant to be covered in a paragraph or two so I thoroughly recommend you get yourselves over to the Stand and go see her (but queue early or you WILL be standing for the duration!)
By the time we had come out of The Stand it was bucketing down with rain, proper Edinburgh summer monsoon weather, and to be honest, it didn’t let up for the rest of the day, which made it a pretty horrible afternoon and evening coming in and out of the Pleasance This venue for our eight shows scheduled there.
Anyway, we started off with A Little Nonsense – a theatrical piece with two actors – about the clown inside the man who distracts him when there is work to be done.
Next up we had Robin and Partridge, having a countdown with Death – great sketch comedy. The boys are very energetic and it’s a hot little room – loved the twerking!
After that in the room we had Dan Jones. We’d never seen Dan before so did not know what to expect. We had an hour based around the construct of a supposed “comedy night” with Dan acting as an MC character and bringing on other personas. Unfortunately the “star turn” did not show up. Neither Dave nor I got anything out of this show at all – and the room energy was just about non-existent. If Dan was trying to make us and the rest of the audience uncomfortable, he succeeded. An hour of our lives we will never get back.
Thunderbards was our next show – a welcome relief. Great sketch based around the mechanism of “time watches” whizzing the lads backwards to previous times. Lots of laughs and a good end to the first shift in the room as we were now heading off to The Hive to see the fab Tim Renkow in At Least Hell Has Ramps.
Tim has fairly severe CP and uses it to great effect in his act. He likes to make his audiences wriggle and if you don’t know him you’d be damned uncomfortable at least half a dozen times during his hour. He has the most wicked sense of humour and knows how to push buttons you didn’t know you had. Go see him doing his free show (as with all the free festival expect to donate on the way out) and have your conceptions about disability knocked flat.
Straight after it was another sprint back to the Pleasance Courtyard for Lloyd Griffith and his Voice of an Angel, Body of a Trucker. Good solid stand-up with Lloyd demonstrating his angelic voice, in several different registers. There was also a slow dance with a male audience member – more homo erotica.
Simon Feilder’s All The Things I’m Not was next. It’s whimsical with lots of interactive media. A little hit or miss but enough to keep the audience (and us) engaged.
Our last show at This was Ed Gamble and Gambletron 5000. This is Ed’s first solo show at the Fringe. He has reinvented himself since losing a pile of weight a couple plus years ago. He took up the gym and jogging, and we had a nice descriptive piece on “runners trots”, a phenomenon of which I’m well aware, being a runner myself. There was more brutal honesty around a small op he’s had and even more around masturbation. The audience were absolutely lapping it up and several lads in the front row (I think I ws the only woman there!) were curled up in recognition. All great stuff. Ed is confident and assured with a great delivery and we really enjoyed this.
I headed off home straight from this one but of course Dave, going the extra mile for the record attempt, headed off to The Counting House for Cosmonauts at 1am. This is a young sketch group from Lancashire University. It’s about a cosmonaut who has been in space his entire life and who then comes down to Earth to see what human life was like. Dave said that it was a very good show and that he really enjoyed it – there is definitely plenty of good stuff being presented on the Free Fringe Festival so go check it all out!!