Mary Flanigan : Everyone Dropped Out of my Sketch Troupe

By Ron Bingham

Ah, the danger of having to think up your show title in January. We may not get a sketch show from Mary Flanigan but we do see some solid and hilarious stand up. Mary is a Catholic from Belfast, who now resides in Birmingham.

She is playing in a karaoke bar in a basement. The room has a padded bench seat running round three of the walls and very uncomfortable little benches in the centre so I recommend getting there very early as the benches on the walls are prime real estate. The room is not much larger than a king sized bed, yet we managed to fit nearly 30 audience members and one comedian in. This is quite an intimate experience.

Mary gives us just under 45 minutes of stand-up comedy gold. She talks about the joys of online dating, being Irish, being a Catholic (and all that lovely guilt), being single, her exciting job and much more. There is some swearing (of course), but this shouldn’t offend anyone and you’d be a fool to miss this show. In fact, the show was so popular that people were being turned away on day two. If she doesn’t have a bigger room by next week, there is something wrong.

Everyone Dropped Out of my Sketch Troupe is on at Laughing Horse @ City Cafe until August 13
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/everyone-dropped-out-of-my-sketch-troupe

Róisín and Chiara : Get Nupty

By Ron Bingham

Standing in the queue outside this show I was chatting to a couple who were going to see Phil Ellis in the next room. When Phil suddenly was cancelled due to technical problems, I recommended Róisín and Chiara (Róisín O’Mahony and Chiara Goldsmith) explaining to them that it was surreal and hilarious (going on the show I saw last year). They gave it a try and thanked me afterwards.

This anarchic and crazy duo gave us an hour of props, costumes, songs, dances, characters, passion, hilarity and joy. It is difficult to explain what exactly happened during the show, but I did get a kiss (for removing lipstick) although I failed to perform my knightly task of beheading the horse. This meant I didn’t get to have that romantic sit-down Italian dinner with Róisín.🙁

If you want to laugh until your sides are splitting, I can only suggest you get along to see this show before the word gets out. It’s part of the Free Fringe, but it is recommended to book tickets to avoid missing out on a seat. After these joyous and madcap hijinks I still don’t know what nupty means. Ah well!

Get Nupty is on at Heroes @ The Hive until August 25
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/roisin-and-chiara-get-nupty

Ange Lavoipierre: Final Form

By Ron Bingham

Despite the dark edge to this show, Ange is a bright and perky performer who reflects upon her youth in Bathurst (sort of near Sydney), while trying to work out which aspects of her complex personality will be remembered by others at her passing.

Final Form contains stories of youthful enterprise (where she was engaged in mass slaughter  – of snails), her relationships with her family, friends and loved ones, being single, living life to the full, her passions and fears. We get the full gamut of emotion in an hour. Phew. There is also a bit of classical cello playing and some video screen action. I especially loved the seahorse.

This was Ange’s first show in Edinburgh, the day before the Fringe officially begins, so it was still a little rough round the edges as she got used to her performance space and the tone of the audience, as well as fighting a little jet lag. The room, The Wee Coo, is small and intimate so expect to be very close to the stage. There is a little audience participation, but the responses are scripted so it’s actually a lot of fun and the embarrassment factor is low. Once Ange has the room and audience sussed out (say, by the time this review is published),she will get into her groove and have an absolute hoot.

As well as the comedic stories, there are a few scary scenes, a possible haunting and some slightly freaky songs to round out the hour. Well worth the money and an excellent way to end the night.

Final Form is on at Underbelly, George Square until August 26
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/ange-lavoipierre-final-form

Polenta and Sage Take To The Stage

By Ron Bingham

This show is only on for five nights, and it’s away from the main venues (take the 23 or 27 bus to Tollcross), but it is well worth making the trip to see this perky pair telling us all about their lives, bedtime routines and dreams. Polenta and Sage wear brightly patterned pyjamas and nightgowns and have some entertaining props (including a very special robot). There are some very creepy yet upbeat songs and being very much on brand, we all get to have some yoghurt (Yum!).

This is a venue with wooden bench seats (no backs) and it sounded like there was a fight happening in the next room (we were in the basement of a Scottish pub after all). Despite these less than perfect surrounds, Polenta & Sage were confident throughout the show in both their wonderful scripted material and clever ad libs using some audience suggestions. They had a number of well placed props which worked well until they found that one of their bags had a hole in it and was empty (or was that part of the show?). I had a ball and felt this sterling surrealism deserves a longer run near the centre of the Fringe action.

The audience were very vocal in their appreciation and I can only forsee big things in the future of these two young ladies.  Part of the Free Fringe, so remember to bring a fiver to support this talented duo.

Polenta and Sage Take To The Stage is on at Laughing Horse @ The Cuckoo’s Nest until August 6
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/polenta-and-sage-take-to-the-stage

Australian Comedy at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe

Scotland’s capital city is bursting at the seams with talented artists as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe begins this week. As is usual many Australian acts are heading up to “sunny” Edinburgh to show the world what they’ve got. If you’re in town, be sure to check out some of these fabulous funny folk listed below.

We’ve compiled a list of all the acts we could find, along with links to the reviews of those shows that our Squirrel writers have seen at previous festivals. As usual we give the disclaimer that Festival shows are ever evolving beasts so the show that we saw could be rather different to current iteration.

If we’ve missed anyone, feel free to drop us a line (or contact us on social media)…

3’s Comedy – Adam Knox, Luka Muller and Peter Jones
Laughing Horse @ City Café
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/3-s-comedy-adam-knox-luka-muller-and-peter-jones

Aaron Chen: Piss Off (Just Kidding)
Pleasance Courtyard
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/aaron-chen-piss-off-just-kidding
Here’s Colin’s review from MICF 2019: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=13744

Aboriginal Comedy Allstars : Kevin Kropinyeri, Andy Saunders and Steph Tisdell
Assembly George Square Studios
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/aboriginal-comedy-allstars

Absolute Zero: Jez Watts
Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/absolute-zero-jez-watts-1

AC/DC: Australian Comedians / Dope Comedy
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/ac-dc-australian-comedians-dope-comedy

Aidan ‘Taco’ Jones – 52 Days
Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/aidan-taco-jones-52-days-1

Aidan ‘Taco’ Jones – Lightfoot James
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/aidan-taco-jones-lightfoot-james

Alex Williamson: Sin on My Face
Just the Tonic at La Belle Angele
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/alex-williamson-sin-on-my-face

Alice Fraser: Mythos
Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/alice-fraser-mythos

Ali Kennedy Scott: Fourth Cousin, Once Removed… Forcibly
Laughing Horse @ The Golf Tavern
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/fourth-cousin-once-removed-forcibly

Andrew Roper: Break Point
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/andrew-roper-break-point

Ange Lavoipierre: Final Form
Underbelly, George Square
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/ange-lavoipierre-final-form

Angus Brown: Everest
Imagination Workshop
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/angus-brown-everest

Apocalypse Comedy Club featuring Mick Neven
PBH’s Free Fringe @ Sneaky Pete’s
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/apocalypse-comedy-club-featuring-mick-neven

Ashes: A Comedy Showdown
PBH’s Free Fringe @ Liquid Room Annexe/Warehouse
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/ashes-a-comedy-showdown

Aussiental : Arnie Pie
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/aussiental

Bart Freebairn: Maximum Delicious
Just the Tonic at The Caves
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/bart-freebairn-maximum-delicious

The Best Show We’ve Ever Done at the Edinburgh Fringe : The Fish Girls
PQA Venues @Riddle’s Court
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/best-show-we-ve-ever-done-at-the-edinburgh-fringe

Brown Panther – Ruven Govender
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/brown-panther-ruven-govender

Celeste Barber: Challenge Accepted
Pleasance at EICC
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/celeste-barber-challenge-accepted

Comedy Boxing – Best of the Best (Kyle Legacy)
Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy-boxing-best-of-the-best-1

Comedy Striptease
Laughing Horse @ The Lock Up
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy-striptease-1

Craig Fridey: The Darkness Distillery
Laughing Horse @ Sofi’s Southside
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/darkness-distillery

Daniel Connell: Piece of Piss
Underbelly, Bristo Square
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/daniel-connell-piece-of-piss

Daniel Muggleton: Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy (But I Reckon it’s Easier for Straight, White Men?)
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/daniel-muggleton-pimpin-ain-t-easy-but-i-reckon-it-s-easier-for-straight-white-men

David Tieck: What Would Bill Murray Do?
Just the Tonic at The Grassmarket Centre
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/david-tieck-what-would-bill-murray-do

Demi Lardner and Tom Walker: We Musn’t
Monkey Barrel Comedy
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/demi-lardner-and-tom-walker-we-musn-t

Demi Lardner: Ditch Witch 800
Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/demi-lardner-ditch-witch-800

Dilruk Jayasinha: Cheat Day(s)
Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/dilruk-jayasinha-cheat-day-s
Here’s Lisa’s review from MICF 2019: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=13724

Dolly Di*mond’s Bl*nkety Bl*nks
Underbelly, Bristo Square
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/dolly-di-mond-s-bl-nkety-bl-nks

Double Denim: Adventure Show
Underbelly, Cowgate
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/double-denim-adventure-show

Garry Starr Conquers Troy
Underbelly, Cowgate
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/garry-starr-conquers-troy

Gavin Lind: Shattered
Sweet Grassmarket
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/shattered-1

George Dimarelos: Acting Natural
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/acting-natural

George Dimarelos: A Booklover’s Comedy Show
Laughing Horse @ 32 Below
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/booklover-s-comedy-show

Glenn Grimwood: Unf*ckable
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/glenn-grimwood-unf-ckable

Grant Busé: Touché Busé
Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/grant-buse-touche-buse

The Human Show : Those Big Bois
Laughing Horse @ The Golf Tavern
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/human-show-free-fringe

Imaan Hadchiti: Being Frank
Heroes @ Bob’s BlundaBus
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/imaan-hadchiti-being-frank

Jocks, Geordies and Aussies
PBH’s Free Fringe @ Whistlebinkies
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/jocks-geordies-and-aussies

Josh Glanc: Glance You for Having Me
Monkey Barrel Comedy
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/josh-glanc-glance-you-for-having-me
Here’s Nick’s review from MICF 2019: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=13739

Julia Rorke
Underbelly, Cowgate
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/julia-rorke

Laura Davis: Better Dead Than a Coward
Heroes @ Bob’s BlundaBus
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/laura-davis-better-dead-than-a-coward

Louisa Fitzhardinge: Comma Sutra
Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/louisa-fitzhardinge-comma-sutra

Love/Hate Actually (Act/React)
Imagination Workshop
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/love-hate-actually

Love is a Work in Progress with Tara Rankine
Just the Tonic at The Charteris Centre
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/love-is-a-work-in-progress-with-tara-rankine

Luka Muller’s Gong Show
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/luka-muller-s-gong-show

Luka Muller: Haha Cool
Laughing Horse @ The Raging Bull
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/haha-cool

Motherhood: A Comedy: Tara Newton-Wordsworth
Just the Tonic at The Mash House
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/motherhood-a-comedy

The Nasty Show Australia
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/nasty-show-australia

Nath Valvo: I’m Happy for You
Assembly George Square Studios
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/nath-valvo-i-m-happy-for-you

Neal Portenza is Joshua Ladgrove in Edinburgh’s Only Bilge Pump Sales Seminar
Heroes @ Boteco
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/neal-portenza-is-joshua-ladgrove-in-edinburgh-s-only-bilge-pump-sales-seminar

Nick Elleray: Big Nick Energy
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/nick-elleray-big-nick-energy

Ray Badran: Everybody Loves Ray, Man
Pleasance Courtyard
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/ray-badran-everybody-loves-ray-man

Rhys Nicholson: Nice People Nice Things Nice Situations
Underbelly, Bristo Square
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/rhys-nicholson-nice-people-nice-things-nice-situations

Sam Kissajukian: Alcohol is Good for You
Laughing Horse @ The Lock Up
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/alcohol-is-good-for-you-sam-kissajukian-1

Sam Kissajukian: Good Evening Edinburgh
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/good-evening-edinburgh

Sam Taunton: It’s Nice, It’s Modern
Assembly George Square Studios
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/sam-taunton-it-s-nice-it-s-modern

The Stevenson Experience: Takes One to Know One
Assembly George Square Studios
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/stevenson-experience-takes-one-to-know-one

Suren Jayemanne: I’m Here, All Weak
Laughing Horse @ Bar 50
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/i-m-here-all-weak

Thomas Green: Tweak
Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/thomas-green-tweak

The Three Deaths of Ebony Black (Amberly Cull)
Underbelly, Bristo Square
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/three-deaths-of-ebony-black

Tom Ballard: Enough
Monkey Barrel Comedy
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/tom-ballard-enough

Tom Cashman: XYZ
Underbelly, Bristo Square
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/tom-cashman-xyz

Tom Walker: Very Very
Assembly Roxy
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/tom-walker-very-very
Here’s Will’s review from MICF 2019: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=13707

Totally Plucked: Grandma Josephine
Underbelly, Cowgate
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/totally-plucked

Two Little Dickheads: Kapow!
Just the Tonic at The Charteris Centre
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/two-little-dickheads-kapow

Wil Greenway: The Ocean After All
Underbelly, Bristo Square
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/wil-greenway-the-ocean-after-all

Zoë Coombs Marr: Bossy Bottom
Monkey Barrel Comedy
https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/zoe-coombs-marr-bossy-bottom
Here’s Lisa’s review from MICF 2019: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1265

Ethnic City

By Hooi Khaw

Ethnic City is a new  month long run of standup comedy gigs in Melbourne that brings to the stage a lineup exclusively made up of performers of colour. After going on a marketing rampage, with shout outs in The Age, The Herald Sun, and Triple R radio, Ethnic City sold out the 53 seat theatre at The Improv Conspiracy on opening night. The hype lives up to the expectation, boasting formidable lineups since the start of the run. The buzz of the audience is palpable, as they mill about the licensed bar, waiting for the show to start.

In an industry that is often decried for lack of representation, diversity has become a hot topic, and shows like Ethnic City create a space where performers can be appreciated for their talent and not seen as a token (with that added pressure to “represent”).

Room runner, local comedian Brendan Wan speaks to us in more detail about Ethnic City:

H: What is the intent behind Ethnic City?

B: The intent behind Ethnic City was to create a show where not only Performers of Colour can showcase their talents but also give audiences from diverse backgrounds a chance to see members of their own community do their thing on stage. Sometimes, it’s as simple as seeing someone that looks like you on stage that gives others the confidence to pursue their own certain projects. It’s no secret Melbourne’s creative arts industry lacks diversity. I know far too many incredibly talented ethnic actors, writers and comedians who need to create projects in order to pursue their artistic goals as their ethnicity isn’t regarded as marketable. When I started comedy, especially improv, I could count the number of people of colour on one hand. Gradually more people of diverse backgrounds have been welcomed on stage but we still have a long way to go until ethnicity isn’t regarded as unique.

H: What is your approach to balancing new comers and experienced comedians of colour?

B: I guess this is the same case with any comedy show, you have a big name headliner who initially attracts the general audiences and then the up-and-coming talent to support. I’ve been luckily enough to have the bigger name acts of Lawrence Leung and Sami Shah involved to perform at Ethnic City and they’ve been incredibly supporting of the whole show.

H: Have you been actively recruiting the acts, or are people asking for slots?

B: I’ve been actively recruiting acts but as the show has gone on for a few weeks, there have been a few people approaching me for spots. In the stand-up comedy side of things, I’m in a fortunate position to have more performers than I actually have spots for. But the nature of the show is that it’s a variety show, since comedy comes in all different genres, so finding ethnically diverse acts in other areas of comedy ie improv, clowning, cabaret, sketch – that’s been a bit of a challenge.

H: You’re currently booked for a four week run, what are your plans for Ethnic City moving forward?

B: There are definitely plans for Ethnic City to come back! However there will be a bit of a hiatus for the next few months since I’ll be involved with a few projects. There’s a lot of effort and behind the scenes work required to do this kind of show so juggling full-time work, with several projects can be stretching me real thin. So when it does come back, I’ll be giving it 100% commitment.

Ethnic City is on Friday’s 7pm at The Improv Conspiracy from the 24th of May 2019 until the 14th of June 2019. See website for Details –

https://improvconspiracy.com/shows/ethnic-city