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

Eleanor Tiernan: Away With The Fairies

By Ron Bingham

Eleanor had a promising comedy career before Covid, constantly touring and living out of hotels and B&Bs, as well as appearing on a number of TV comedy panel shows. Lockdown has forced to her to reassess her life (sort of) and spend time with people she previously avoided (ie her housemates).

Eleanor is a born comedian who isn’t going to let a pesky thing like a world wide plague and shutdown get in her way. She kept herself busy writing some very funny songs, I really enjoyed the one about the death of comedy – in a morbid way – but could she have found some time for singing lessons, maybe? Other minor matters she dealt with during the lockdown included not being able to make a living from comedy and working through her sexuality in a rather awkwardly public way. And of course things don’t go down the path you might expect. Real life is weird.

The show ran for about 45 minutes and mostly consisted of Eleanor running round the stage like a manic Irish pixie, singing some very rude songs,  joking about the chaos of the last couple of years and generally telling sharply funny stories to a very appreciative audience.

Away With The Fairies is on at Gilded Balloon Teviot

Arthur Smith: My 75 Years at the Edinburgh Fringe

By Ron Bingham

This is Arthur Smith’s nostalgia show, in which he looks back at his triumphs and tragedies at the Edinburgh Fringe. It doesn’t quite span the full 75 years of the Fringe, due to the tragic circumstance of Arthur not being born until the 1950s.

Unsurprisingly he has some fantastic stories from the shows he has done throughout the years, as well as a couple of bits that didn’t make it into the originals (deleted scenes?) For our pleasure he includes a little Hamlet, some Leonard Cohen and a few poems. I especially enjoyed hearing his tale of being arrested in one of his late night tours of the Royal Mile back in 2002, as it filled in a few details Simon Munnery missed when referring to the same event in his 2022 show.

My 75 Years at the Edinburgh Fringe is an excellent show in self but especially wonderful for the long term punters as it will either remind them of great comedy events they had seen, or learn about things they missed from back when the Fringe was more chaotic and unhinged. There is a little swearing and the possibility of nudity. Arthur is an Edinburgh Fringe icon and must-see artiste with the room absolutely jammed with excited fans. I recommend becoming one of them.

My 75 Years at the Edinburgh Fringe is on at Pleasance Courtyard