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

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

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

Ali McGregor’s Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night @ Assembly Checkpoint

Alex Williamson @ Gilded Balloon Teviot

Bec Hill: Bec by Popular Demand @ Gilded Balloon Teviot

Bec Hill and Patrick Monahan’s Hour of Fun! @ Gilded Balloon Teviot

Bec & Tom’s Awesome Laundry @ Gilded Balloon Teviot

Pun Run (hosted by Bec Hill) @ The Canons’ Gait

Claudia O’Doherty: Pioneer @ Pleasance Courtyard

Damian Clark in G’Damo! @ Gilded Balloon Teviot

Daniel Townes – I Think So I’m Ready @ Laughing Horse @ Bar 50

Dave Callan: The Psychology of Laughter @ Gilded Balloon Teviot

David Quirk – Shaking Hands With Danger @ Pleasance Courtyard
Here’s our review from MICF 2013 :

Dayne Rathbone – It’s Me Dayne @ Gilded Balloon Teviot

Die Roten Punkte – Kunst Rock (Art Rock) @ AssemblyGeorge Square

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

Eric Hutton’s Favourite Songs @ Laughing Horse @ Bar 50

Evolution of iMaAN @ Laughing Horse @ Espionage

Felicity Ward: Irregardless @ Underbelly, Bristo Square

Hannah Gadsby: Nakedy Nudes (Departs from Assembly Rooms, Bristo Place)

Hannah Gadsby: Happiness is a Bedside Table @ Assembly Roxy
Here’s our review from MICF 2013 :

Instant Order: Trial By Audience (featuring Karin Danger, Scott Gooding, Katie Lockett & Sean Fabri) @ The Dram House Upstairs

Jen Carnovale: Not a Person Person @ Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters

Jimeoin: Yes,Yes, Whatever…?! @ Venue150 @ EICC

John Robertson – The Dark Room @ Underbelly, Cowgate

Jon Bennett: My Dad’s Deaths @ Underbelly, Cowgate

Karin Danger: Hot Box @ Just the Tonic at The Caves ​

KelFi & FiKel @ Gilded Balloon Teviot

Lisa-Skye – Ladyboner @ C venues – C nova
Here’s our review from MICF 2012 :

Matt Okine: Being Black & Chicken & S#%t @ Underbelly, Bristo Square

Not Suitable for Drinking (Sydney sketch trio) @ Ciao Roma

Ronny Chieng: The Ron Way @ Underbelly, Cowgate

Rob Lloyd: Who, Me @ Just The Tonic at Bristo Square

Showcatcher (hosted by Myf Warhurst) @ Assembly George Square

Storytellers’ Club @ Pleasance Courtyard

Unmanageable (Featuring expat Kim Hope) @ Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters

Yianni in Think Big @ The Dram House & Venue150 @ EICC