Elyce Phillips Pretends To Be On Tropical Holiday For 50 Minutes (Definitely Not A Scam)

By Colin Flaherty

It has been a rough couple of years for everyone, we all deserve a break and Elyce Phillips is here to help. Sit back and relax as we all experience the  delights of the “luxury resort” Poseidon Sands from the comfort of a Butterfly Club seat. On this surprisingly wild adventure we learn more than we bargained for on topics such as marine life, the shonky and just plain creepy people in this world, and Elyce herself.

This is a brilliantly chaotic experience with silly props, unexpected characters, silly (Covid safe) audience interactions and wild plot twists. There was a sense of comedic desperation to the performance that belied the fact that Elyce was in complete control, creating superb characters and owning the room.

Most characters we encounter are variations of needy individuals on the brink of a breakdown but Elyce gives them plenty of warmth and depth. Through clowning, dodgy puppetry, animated characters and silly costuming she plays each role loud and large, addressing the audience in a hilariously forced self-effacing manner. We see that she certainly is a performer unafraid to look the fool while getting good and messy.

The small sized onstage screen is regularly very text heavy with blurbs selling the resort to potential guests but thankfully a voiceover introducing each segment helps if you are up the back. The slides benefit speed readers so if you can read quickly enough you will catch some truly bizarre & hilarious descriptions to tickle your funny bone.

There is an amusing companion website ( http://poseidonsandsresort.com ) for this “resort” where you can not only buy tickets (to the show), but can leave reviews of your “visit” (guest roleplay is most welcome alongside any genuine feedback).

The show title betrays what comedic treasures lie beneath the surface. What starts as a silly bit of theatre has plenty of clever, shrewd and biting societal satire waiting to pounce. So pull up a virtual deckchair and laugh yourself stupid in this whacky “paradise”.

Elyce Phillips Pretends To Be On Tropical Holiday For 50 Minutes (Definitely Not A Scam) is on at The Butterfly Club until April 7


Gabbi Bolt – Odd Sock

By Lisa Clark

Last year as we came bleary eyed back to MICF from covid lockdowns there was one new name rising above the others, everyone was talking about Gabbi Bolt. It was her debut and she was wowing the building crowds. Odd Sock is Gabbi’s 2nd album of sorts and if you couldn’t get in to see her last year Gabbi’s back to show us what all the fuss was about.

The exuberant opening song “I got Nothin’” is very funny and fills the room with energy and expectation. Her lyrics are dense and packed with jokes so quick you might miss them if you’re not paying attention. She warns us that, like Seinfeld this is a show about nothing, and in some ways it is; it has no grand overriding theme or sprawling story to tell but through her songs we learn a lot about Gabbi, where her mind is at, how she sees the world and her politics.

Gabbi writes silly songs, and autobiographical songs, but her best stuff pokes hard at power. Gabbi is very politically astute, which is not surprising, as she originally came to the attention of the public through her political songs on Tic Toc during lockdown, when she went a bit viral. She has been embraced by the Australian comedy scene but in particular by the political comedy scene as a regular contributor to A Rational Fear live recordings in Sydney, she’ll of course be appearing on their MICF one off special too.

For added interest, there is an audio-visual element to the show, pictures and videos pop up on a screen, and it has its good points and bad. The screen is a bit small for people up the back, and can sometimes distract from the song, (who’s listening to her dense lyrics when there is a cute doggie on the screen looking at us?) and do I want to look at feet? No. But you might come specifically for the feet pics and if so, good luck to you. The positive side is that it breaks things up, creates a running gag for Gabbi and helps to prompt the audience in what she is joking about, though one portrait did not help me identify an obscure politician she references, maybe it was a NSW thing, there were a couple of laughs from more politically savvy audience members for that.

The opening song has a real Tim Minchin vibe and her closer “Love Song fo an Incel (I’d get on with Your Mum)” is reminiscent of Geraldine Quinn at her best, they were the night’s highlights, along with her stinging eye opener about Police Training. The song about her movie star crushes teach us that Andrew Garfield has made a LOT of shitful films, and Spiderman.

She’s certainly the best new musical comedian I’ve discovered since Jude Perl. Like her peers Gabbi is blessed with all the requirements of a top musical comedian, she can sing, she can play, she can write great toe-tapping tunes and most of all, she’s funny. In such a short time she’s come a long way, there’s still some way to go yet and I look forward to watching her grow and reach the heights she deserves. Look out world.

Gabbi Bolt performs Odd Sock at The Butterfly Club at 7pm every night!


Róisín and Chiara: Sex on Wheels!

By Ron Bingham

What can I say about this pair of brilliantly crazy performers. Róisín O’Mahony and Chiara Goldsmith are one of those acts that can have me bursting out into surprised laughter at their antics both on and off the stage.

The daring duo are unafraid to go that one step too far, whether it be covering their faces with butter or oranges or toothpaste(or all three), twerking through the audience with massively enhanced boobs and bums, throwing in an impromptu jig or two, teasing the audience while they scream with laughter and so much more.

Putting what they did on the stage in writing cannot evoke the magic of their show. They have an almost perfect stage chemistry and a touch of brazen madness. You really have to see Róisín and Chiara live, but unfortunately they were only performing Sex on Wheels! in Edinburgh for two nights. So if you do see their name on a comedy line-up, or future festival then buy a ticket as they are consistently and excellently eccentric.

Sex on Wheels! is on at Assembly George Square Studios

Ange Lavoipierre: I’ve Got 99 Problems and Here’s an Exhaustive List of Them

By Ron Bingham

Scared of spiders? A warning that there is a lot of spider talk and Ange may be dressed as a spider at the start of the show, but we must stress, there are NO Actual Spiders.

We DO get 99 problems in Ange’s life, but luckily most of them wiz past us as she presents them in song form to save time. There is a satisfying narrative arc to the cleverly written show with some incisive comments on the zeitgeist and really excellent zingers.  She is clearly using this show to work through some issues. The main afflictions that Ange focuses on involve an ex-boyfriend and spiders.  The spider problem is explored via a delightful retelling of the classic story Charlotte’s Web, while the boyfriend problem is demolished in both song and story. She gets some help from the audience and doesn’t put too much pressure on them thank goodness.

The happy but crowded audience is jammed into rather small hot box (even more so than most Edinburgh venues) so take a flyer or fan to keep cool. Ange is a seasoned performer with a confident and assured manner in her tales of woe and arachnids and there were laughs aplenty in the stories to help us forget our own problems for an hour.

I’ve Got 99 Problems and Here’s an Exhaustive List of Them is on at Underbelly, George Square

Emmanuel Sonubi: Emancipated

By Ron Bingham

Emmanuel Sonubi is many things – a stage actor, an ex-bouncer, a put-upon little brother to five big sisters, father of two and, most of all, a very funny comedian.

Emmanuel is aware that he is a big man standing on a raised stage directly in front of the punters, but he wants to be sure we are not intimidated by him. He’s here to make people happy and help us find the joy in our lives. Being through a traumatic medical experience has changed his world and he wants to change ours but Don’t Panic! This isn’t a seminar and I don’t remember him asking us to find Jesus at any point.

Emancipated centres around a medical scare he had while performing in Dubai in 2019 and the fall out from that. Emmanuel is exploring the expectations put upon him and how he can subvert them in a positive way. It also served up a lot of funny stories about his time as a bouncer at nightclubs, his experiences as a comic on cruise ships and more surprisingly running a hairdressing salon.

There is a little swearing in the show, and Emmanuel does make some disparaging remarks about how dumb and irritating kids can be, but on the whole this is one a family can enjoy, particularly with older kids. The full house certainly loved the show and I got the feeling Emmanuel was equally pleased with the responses from the audience.

Emancipated is on at Underbelly, Bristo Square

Grant Busé: SentiMENTAL!

By Ron Bingham

A chaotic start to the show, as the audience couldn’t find the entrance and most staff had no idea. Eventually we were all herded grumpily to the backstage entrance. Not a great warmup act for a Comedy show.

The cheery energy of Grant Buse soon had us forgetting the outside world, while laughing and tapping our toes. Grant took us back to the simpler times of the 1990s, a time when I had dropped out of the mainstream somewhat, so I missed some of the references to boybands and Sex & The City. I also don’t think I’ve ever had a Calippo, but there were enough general references to get some laughs from me. The rest of the audience were having a wonderful time, though, and a lot of the later parts of Grant’s show were more entertaining (for me) as he analysed people’s adoration of the good bits of the past and teased the audience with some very funny songs about love and lockdown. The finale was brilliant, partly thanks to a couple of gents dragged up from the audience to help him, and a big finish full of lycra and hair work.

Like most other comedians in this year’s Fringe, Grant included a section about the Covid lockdown, in which he was forced to leave his budding career in the UK and return to the family home in Brisbane. Does anyone think about the parents in this situation, being forced to have their adult children back home after a brief period of freedom? Anyway, SentiMENTAL! was an engaging hour of high energy songs, nostalgic stories and jokes, with a frenetic ending that will have you dancing out the door.

SentiMENTAL! is on at Gilded Balloon Teviot