By Ron Bingham

Tedfest is a loving celebration of the brilliant Irish 90s sitcom Father Ted and this, as our host Father Joe Dolan explains, is a condensation of the annual four day Tedfest that has been taking place off the West Coast of Ireland for the past nine years. As the original Tedfest only allows 500 tickets and is held in the freezing February temperatures, I recommend this as an acceptable substitute (but you should visit the Aran Isles in summer as they’re lovely – I couldn’t help but wonder if the Irish Tourist Board are sponsoring the show?).

This mainland version of Tedfest starts with a song from Fr Dolan, then moves into a very heretical dance from someone called JH Christ (who did a very good impression of Roger Voudouris – Google it, kiddies), which gave the ladies in the audience quite a turn. After the stage had been cleared we moved on to the “Ted’s Got Talent” segment, which tonight saw a harpist battle with a comedy magician for the chance to move to the next round. I was very much on the harpist’s side until she made disparaging comments about my homeland.

Following this it was the turn of the “Lovely Ladies” to negotiate the intricacies of walking across the stage and chatting to the Father. They were both lovely, so why does there always have to be a winner and a loser?

The final section of the show was the tryouts for The Toilet Duck Award, which had the longest and most repetitive introduction in history. Four comedians were given precisely two minutes to deliver a routine and win the audience’s hearts.

Tedfest was a load of fun. If the references above make little sense to you, no matter, you don’t have to have been an obsessive fan of Father Ted to enjoy yourself but fans will know the sort of twisted humour to expect and this is a joyous shared experience for all. There’s a fair amount of swearing and some things of an irreligious bent, but it’s all in good fun (ah, buy a ticket, g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan g’wan ….)

Tedfest is on at Underbelly, Cowgate.
For Tickets and more information go to the Edinburgh Fringe Website: