Arthur Smith Sings Leonard Cohen (Volume Too)

By Ron Bingham

Arthur Smith is a fabulous deadpan comedian who, you may recall from TV appearances on QI and as the MC in the Backwards episode of Red Dwarf. He performed Arthur Smith Sings Leonard Cohen (Volume One) quite a while ago (I first heard it on BBC Radio in about 2007 but according to Arthur’s website it was first performed in 2000). The first show is well worth hunting down if you like Leonard Cohen or comedy.

This show features Arthur telling some tales about Mr Cohen, talking about himself with a few stories about his mum, reading some poetry and singing some of Len’s songs with the help of his fabulous backing group (Kirsty Newton on keyboards and backing vocals, Carrie Marx on BV and various extra instruments and Allie Something on BV). Arthur is a master of self deprecating humour and the only person who really cops a serve during the show is one Leonary Nimoy, but that is a fair if you’ve ever read any of his poetry.

The entire show is a journey, with all of the little stories and songs helping develop the narrative of the tale and the point at which the surprise occurs is excellently timed (I can’t say what the surprise is but the entire audience were in fits of laughter). The room was full to bursting (on a Tuesday) and it will sell out. I advise fighting for a ticket as this is one of the shows that must not be missed. Sure, it’ll probably get recorded for the BBC but believe me when I say that will not come close to capturing the hilarity of the live show.

Oh yes, Arthur sings Leonard Cohen’s songs every bit as well as Leonard does (you can interpret that as you like).
PS Make Arthur a bit happier by buying his autobiography, My Name Is Daphne Fairfax. It’s excellent.

Arthur Smith Sings Leonard Cohen (Volume Too) is having a short run and finishes on August 18th.

It’s playing at The Pleasance Courtyard at 2.30pm

Book via the website https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/arthur-smith

Gordon Southern – The Kerfuffle

By Ron Bingham 

Gordon Southern is from Scotland, married to an Australian and living in Brixton. Apparently kerfuffle is a Scottish word, which is a fun fact. The audience were mostly from Scotland today, the ‘two for one’ Monday on a bank holiday brings them out, (according to Gordon – I’m not the one doing the racial stereotyping). The room is full and rather steamy.

The show has Gordon talking about his parents, living in Brixton during the riots, last year’s Jubilee and being married to a girl from South Australia (by the way, the number of UK comedians to go to Australia for a wife…. is there some sort of website where this gets organised?). It was a very subdued audience for the show this evening and Gordon wasn’t getting the laughs he expected at some points during the show, which I think was putting him off (he did mention the lack of response a couple of times).

There is a lot of good material in the show and it should become more polished as the festival goes on. The only props Gordon uses are some small animals and a sound machine. There are a couple of rap songs to finish the show and a tiny smidgeon of Greek mythology. Gordon’s interaction with the audience is polished and his fake biographies of a couple of audience members is well worked into the routines that follow. The stories about his dad and wife are well told and funny, but some of the linking material is a bit more edgy and experimental.

You can see it now while it’s cheap and he is still experimenting with his new material or wait a week or so until it’s (hopefully) seamless. The Kerfuffle would also have benefited from a more boisterous audience, but it was only 5.45pm and they’d only just started drinking.

Gordon Southern – The Kerfuffle is on at The Gilded Balloon Teviot at 5.45pm
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/gordon-southern-the-kerfuffle

The Aussie Invasion of the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe – Now With Extra Danger!

By Colin Flaherty

It’s almost August and that means Edinburgh Fringe time. Quite a few Australian performers are heading north for a Scottish summer.

Our London based Squirrel Ron will be covering Fringe for us; covering both Australian acts and other performers who may venture to our shores in the future.

A browse of the program reveals some interesting shows from the Aussies. Many comedians are bringing their current shows seen in the Australian festivals including David Quirk with the show that won him the “Piece of Wood Award”. Joint Newcomer winners in 2012, Ronnie Cheing and Matt Okine, are taking their current shows.

Tommy Little, Mel Buttle & Josh Thomas have recently cancelled their Edinburgh runs due to television commitments. Josh is going Hollywood instead, his TV series Please Like Me is being picked up by a new US cable channel Pivot TV which is aimed at young people and will air from August 1st.

Myf Warhurst hosts a chat show Showcatcher that features all manner of festival guests spruiking their festival shows.

Expat Bec Hill is going to be a busy beaver this Festival. She is performing in her own stand up show (Bec by Popular Demand), a two-hander show with Patrick Monahan (Bec Hill and Patrick Monahan’s Hour of Fun!), a children’s sketch show (Bec & Tom’s Awesome Laundry) and is hosting Pun Run, the UK’s only pun-based comedy club.

Yianni has an intriguing concept this year: a series of free shows at The Dram House leading up to a huge ticketed show at Venue150 @ EICC. Will he fill Edinburgh’s largest room?

The 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe runs from 02 – 26 August. Shows for 2013 are now on sale!

 

Here’s the list of shows. If we’ve previously reviewed a show we’ve added the link.

If we’ve missed anyone, please drop us a line.

 

Adam Hills: Happyism @ Assembly Hall
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/adam-hills-happyism

Ali McGregor’s Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night @ Assembly Checkpoint
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/cabaret/ali-mcgregor-s-late-nite-variety-nite-night

Alex Williamson @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/alex-williamson

Bec Hill: Bec by Popular Demand @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/bec-hill-bec-by-popular-demand

Bec Hill and Patrick Monahan’s Hour of Fun! @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/bec-hill-and-patrick-monahan-s-hour-of-fun

Bec & Tom’s Awesome Laundry @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/childrens-shows/bec-tom-s-awesome-laundry

Pun Run (hosted by Bec Hill) @ The Canons’ Gait
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/pun-run

Claudia O’Doherty: Pioneer @ Pleasance Courtyard
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/claudia-o-doherty-pioneer

Damian Clark in G’Damo! @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/damian-clark-in-g-damo

Daniel Townes – I Think So I’m Ready @ Laughing Horse @ Bar 50
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/i-think-so-i-m-ready

Dave Callan: The Psychology of Laughter @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/dave-callan-the-psychology-of-laughter

David Quirk – Shaking Hands With Danger @ Pleasance Courtyard
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/david-quirk-shaking-hands-with-danger-aus
Here’s our review from MICF 2013 :
http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3355

Dayne Rathbone – It’s Me Dayne @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/it-s-me-dayne

Die Roten Punkte – Kunst Rock (Art Rock) @ AssemblyGeorge Square
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/cabaret/die-roten-punkte-kunst-rock-art-rock

Dr Professor Neal Portenza’s Interactive Goat Hour: There are no goats and the show is only 54 minutes long, excluding the bonus minute @ The Dram House Upstairs
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/dr-professor-neal-portenza-s-interactive-goat-hour-there-are-no-goats-and-the-show-is-only-54-minutes-long-excluding-the-bonus-minute

Eric Hutton’s Favourite Songs @ Laughing Horse @ Bar 50
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/eric-hutton-s-favourite-songs-free

Evolution of iMaAN @ Laughing Horse @ Espionage
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/evolution-of-imaan

Felicity Ward: Irregardless @ Underbelly, Bristo Square
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/felicity-ward-irregardless

Hannah Gadsby: Nakedy Nudes (Departs from Assembly Rooms, Bristo Place)
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/hannah-gadsby-nakedy-nudes

Hannah Gadsby: Happiness is a Bedside Table @ Assembly Roxy
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/hannah-gadsby-happiness-is-a-bedside-table
Here’s our review from MICF 2013 :
http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3771

Instant Order: Trial By Audience (featuring Karin Danger, Scott Gooding, Katie Lockett & Sean Fabri) @ The Dram House Upstairs
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/instant-order-trial-by-audience

Jen Carnovale: Not a Person Person @ Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/jen-carnovale-not-a-person-person-free

Jimeoin: Yes,Yes, Whatever…?! @ Venue150 @ EICC
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/jimeoin-yes-yes-whatever

John Robertson – The Dark Room @ Underbelly, Cowgate
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/john-robertson-the-dark-room

Jon Bennett: My Dad’s Deaths @ Underbelly, Cowgate
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/jon-bennett-my-dad-s-deaths

Karin Danger: Hot Box @ Just the Tonic at The Caves ​
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/cabaret/karin-danger-hot-box

KelFi & FiKel @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/kelfi-fikel

Lisa-Skye – Ladyboner @ C venues – C nova
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/ladyboner
Here’s our review from MICF 2012 :
http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1210

Matt Okine: Being Black & Chicken & S#%t @ Underbelly, Bristo Square
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/matt-okine-being-black-chicken-s-t

Not Suitable for Drinking (Sydney sketch trio) @ Ciao Roma
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/not-suitable-for-drinking

Ronny Chieng: The Ron Way @ Underbelly, Cowgate
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/ronny-chieng-the-ron-way

Rob Lloyd: Who, Me @ Just The Tonic at Bristo Square
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/rob-lloyd-who-me

Showcatcher (hosted by Myf Warhurst) @ Assembly George Square
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/showcatcher

Storytellers’ Club @ Pleasance Courtyard
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/storytellers-club

Unmanageable (Featuring expat Kim Hope) @ Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/unmanageable

Yianni in Think Big @ The Dram House & Venue150 @ EICC
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/yianni-in-think-big
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/yianni-in-think-big-the-big-one