47 shows, 3 misses, 2 no entries and 1 walk out (in the first category) and I'm done. Lots ofn reviews to be written up for use by Googlers over the rest of the year (as these shows are either World Premieres or European Premiere). I met and spoke to Sa mmy J, Celia Pacquola, Alan Cumming, Phill Jupitus and post-win, Russell Kane who were all lovely. Also saw Clive Anderson and Jo Brand plus numerous other performers. This is the first, and last year, I have seen every nominee. Sadly some of them are just not to my taste nor of award quality. But the sad news is of course that it's all over for another 48 weeks and 1 day...
30 August 2010
28 August 2010
A violent crime happened in the middle of the day today as a young tourist from New Zealand was shockingly gagged and mugged in broad daylight. The young man, nothing more than a boy called , is at the end of his three week stay in Edinburgh and is missing a statue and valuable title that is rightfully his. It is believed that the crime was organised by Nica Burns who is well known in Edinburgh circles and it is understood that an inoccent third party, Londoner Roisin Conaty, is currently in possesion of the 'stolen' property, although it is being stressed she doesn't deserve any blame. People are being advised to keep their eyes open to try to see The Boy With Tape On His Face and spread the word about his un-just loss.
So the winner's have been announced. Once again we are in a position wheren the Best Comedy Show award does not go to the best comedy show, but rather the Most Consistent Performer, much liken when Rhod Gilbert lost out to David O'Doherty. Russell Kane has won despite both Greg Davies's and Bo Burnham's shows being significantly better than his, in fact the non-nominated Kevin Eldon possibly had a better show too (although Russel's was better than Sarah Millican, don't know about Josie's yet). Interesting fact about Russel Kane's show this year: I had to give away my ticket because of his big finale, although I did get to re-book.
Best Newcomer is Roisin Conaty and I'm seeingn her in a few hours (not personally though, just in her show!). She will have to be awe-inspiring to have justifiably beaten The Boy With Tape On His Face. Bo Burnham gets the Panel Prize and should have really been runner up in the main award, if there was such a position. Another year of lowest common demoninator decisions for the shortlist and most consencious building show for the awards.
25 August 2010
12 August 2010
10 August 2010
9 August 2010
8 August 2010
7 August 2010
6 August 2010
But this review is just about Sammy J and I have to start it by summarising a conversation I was very lucky enough to have with the show's star the next night. The whole content of this show is true. You will find it hard to believe but I have it from the source that everything (well, with one obvious exception) is real. With this in mind Sammy takes us along on a musical and stand-up journey from his teenage years, to his future death, back to falling in love, being a performer in Adelaide and previous years in Edinburgh. Breaking out from two years of character driven story telling Sammy performs with a confidence and smoothness that acknowledges his physical limitations ("Sammy ain't a fighter") whilst looking very sharp in his trendy suit. The hour flies by as Sammy effortlessly delivers his well-paced disparate sets. Thoroughly enjoyable, light-hearted relief from a real talent doing his third different style of show in as many years. 8 out of 10, aka 4 stars and a certain re-booking for next year (which rumours have it means Ricketts Lane comes to the UK!).
Along the way we have insights back into Celia's shameful childhood and the relationship she has with her mother. It's not all personal discover as there are some very good jokes and concepts in there, especially a cleaning joke that seemed to not get the credit or time it deserved (but that might be a cultural thing). Her merging between video, props and music is very smooth and seamless, just like her lights & clicking trick from last year. The show builds to a climax for Celia to genuinely stand up on her own two feet, even beyond the scope of the stage, and achieve something that seemed totally impossible at the beginning of the show. The audience really loved it and left elated and feeling so positive, in fact I defy anyone to leave the show not feeling uplifted (cue inevitable comparisons with Adam Hills and quite rightly so). A thoroughly enjoyable hour from such a likeable person, 8 out of 10, aka 4 stars and I will be back to see Celia again next year!
She performs her characters with relative proficiency and wraps up the last 15 mins with callbacks and closure to earlier stories but by this point the audience just didn't seem to care. It took 10 mins for me to start looking at my watch and wondering why I had gone to see another humourless show like Nick Mohammed, whilst someone left after the second scene (about 20 minutes in, which is about the same time I stayed for Nick Mohammed's show two years ago). Was there anything of any note in her show? Sadly not. If you are interested in seeing someone do an average job of pretending to be characters that are slightly exaggerated and follow stories peppered with silly statements in lieu of jokes, then I'm sure you can pick from many others in the same category as Sophie. 6 out of 10, aka 2 stars, which is sadly the same disappointing start to this year's Fringe as last year!