Tag Archives: edinburgh fringe

Zahra Barri – Zahra Warrior (Not Princess): A Review

Bunbury Magazine – 

Zahra moves on to the stage with the confidence of a warrior – she has never wanted to be a princess, despite what society has told her. This is a show about facing up to the stereotypes that women face in society, standing up to them and saying ‘no’. From the very start, Zahra has a strong confidence in her material and a great command of the room.

Her show takes in a whole host of topics – from growing up as a female in Saudi Arabia, to dating, the #MeToo movement and Repeal the 8th – there are plenty of hard-hitting moments in this show, and many dark jokes to go alongside them, but Barri has an instant charm that always makes the audience feel at ease, that this is a safe space in which to explore powerful concepts and ideas. Zahra also has plenty to say about the pitfalls of social media. There is a great structure to the narrative of this show, coupled with her self-assured delivery, brings a fantastic energy into the room.

Zahra is not a princess; this show proves she is a warrior of comedy.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Zahra Barri – Zahra Warrior (Not Princess)

Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire, 1515

Part of The Free Festival

2nd – 26th August

Isobel Rogers, Jen Wakefield & Kirsty Mann – WIP It: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – 

WIP It sees a rolling roster of Rogers, Wakefield and Mann presenting a half-and-half show of innovative, daring and touching comedy.  On the night in particular that I had the pleasure of this hour of comedy, it was Isobel and Jen taking to the stage, bringing a fantastic blend of character and musical comedy to the stage.

All three are members of the Soho Theatre Young Company and it is easy to see this in their sharp and professional delivery. Rogers presented excerpts from her show ‘Elsa’ (at the Pleasance Dome from 16th – 19th August). Not to give too much away about it, this was an absolutely engrossing and engaging narrative, story-telling of a very high order accompanied by extremely accomplished guitar-playing and singing. The detail and the characterisation in the story of Elsa were top-drawer and, were Bunbury still in Edinburgh, I would not be hesitating to see the full show to see how the whole tale unfolds.

For the second half, Jen Wakefield took to the stage for a music-laced half hour of a completely different variety. Jen talks with passion about a whole range of subjects, speaking from the heart about stereotypes and identities, flipping the conventions with a sharp wit and exceptional jokes. She also brings her years as a primary school teacher to the stage, as well as the cultural relevance of Drake and a fantastic grime tutorial.

For an excellent hour of comedy, this really cannot be missed. It should also be noted that my cousin was there too, and he loved it as well.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Isobel Rogers, Jen Wakefield and Kirsty Mann – WIP It

Southsider, 1900

Part of the PBH Free Fringe

4th – 25th August (Rogers 4th – 11th, Wakefield 4th – 25th, Mann 12th – 25th)

Phil Ellis is Ready For The Big Time

Phil Ellis is Ready For The Big Time
19:40 – Heroes @ The Hive (Venue 313)
Aug 2nd-26th

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Phil Ellis has the most unique entrance to a show I’ve ever seen and I’m not telling you what it is. You’ll have to go and see for yourself.

Brilliantly executed and dripping with charisma, Ellis has a magnificent stage presence and handles the room masterfully. There is a lot of audience participation which is relaxed in nature, leading to some unexpected, hilarious outcomes adding more layers to an already exquisite show.

This performance is totally charming and completely peculiar, playing with different styles and conventions while utterly subverting expectations. It is also ram packed full of dark humour and pure genius.

If it were possible to give this 6 stars, I would. I’ve never seen anything quite like this and I very much hope I do so again.

Go and see it. It’s an absolute must see show. Don’t miss it. It’s one of the best experiences out there.

Louise Bastock and Liz Guterbock – Sparkle Deli: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐

Welcome to the Sparkle Deli, where there are plenty of laughs on offer – a wholesale of silly and sinister laughs with a whole heap of sparkle thrown in.

Bastock and Guterbock are yours hosts at the deli, two comedians whose style and comedic themes compliment each other perfectly. This is a show in which Louise and Liz show how we view ourselves and each other through different lenses, trying to rectify the darkness that can be found which recovering from trauma and adversity – Bastock’s weight loss journey and Guterbock’s heartbreak. They have a great ability to bring the light side of these situations – which can often be bleak – and touching on the taboos of these topics while always leaving the audience assured that triumph is just around the corner.

While exploring these themes, Louise and Liz talk about subjects as varied as dating, self-image, tap-dancing, American chocolate and what it is like being an American in the UK. Their jokes have the ability to be cheeky and naughty but never over the line.

Get yourself over to the Sparkle Deli and check out what Bastock and Guterbock are serving up.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Louise Bastock and Liz Guterbock – Sparkle Deli

Southsider, 1745. Part of PBH Free Fringe

4th – 25th August (except 14th & 20th)

Conor Drum – …If: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – 

This year in at the Fringe, there have been a lot of innovative devices used upon which to hang the narrative of a show. Conor Drum’s is perhaps up there with the most innovative, presenting an hour of comedy around the demo-tape his fifteen-year-old self made with his band …If, which was found and reanalysed by his older self.

Conor brings a good amount of energy to the start of this show, urging the audience to come along with him on the journey of self-discovery and rediscovery. He has a sharp and surreal wit, able to cast sideways glances at all spectrums of social and popular consciousness – his analysis of the animals in Dublin Zoo was a particular highlight. He has a great ability to tell a story, with strong anecdotal comedy throughout.

This is a show about discovering your inner rocker and your inner self by a performer who is not afraid to show his most embarrassing moments – there are some cringe-worthy photos of his younger self he has offered up for laughs – which adds a nice layer of vulnerability to the show.

Underneath the comedy there is a strong message about always being true to yourself. If you do that, you can’t go wrong and that is exactly what Conor has done with this show.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Conor Drum – …If

Laughing Horse @ City Cafe, 1845

Part of The Free Festival

2nd – 26th August

Gary G Knightley: Twat Out fo Hell

Gary G Knightley: Twat Out of Hell
11:35 @ City Cafe Aug 2-6, 8-20, 22-26th
Free Festival Laughing Horse

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This show is lively. Very lively. Quick witted with strong audience work, sharp observations and great stage presence Gary G Knightley commands the room and supplies some close to the knuckle, very funny material.

The show has good structure and is very well written and thought out. The pacing and timing come together to form a brilliantly funny performance for adults with a filthy sense of humour.

Knightley beings bags of charisma to the show with boundless confidence and some fairly unusual approaches to solving some of the world’s major problems.

If you’ve ever thought ‘I’,m going to hell for laughing at this’ not only is this the show for you but I’ll see you down there.

This is very much worth taking the time to see, just make sure you don’t take the kids or that reflective you have who’s easily offended. For me, this is top notch stuff.

Rory O’Keeffe – The 37th Question: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – 

Rory O’Keeffe presents the story of Stuart and Zoe, two strangers who complete the psychological experiment the 36 Questions on their first date. This is a well-written story by a comedian and story-teller that has a great ability to draw the audience into the word he has created.

This is a story where the audience chooses the direction, the streets the narrative takes towards the end. Rory is a published writer – having written for the Love Island and X Factor choose-your-own adventure apps. He has brought the structure to a show that has a depth to its subject matter – a story about falling in love, how secrets can spread through a relationship, about keeping relationships together. Rory has a keen eye for detail while painting vivid imagery that helps bring the story alive. The characters are fully-formed and believable, helping in their formation by the use of recordings of their first date, laying a dual past-and-present narrative, which turns according to the decisions the audience make.

The story poses the idea of the 37th Question, moving along at a pace that is never broken as it swaps from then to now. What will the 37th Question be? The audience is never anythigngless than gripped as Rory weaves his words.

Rory is certainly an engaging performer that can craft a thought-provoking story and engage his audience in a funny and charming way.

Written by Christopher Moriarty

Rory O’Keeffe – The 37th Question

Banshee Labyrinth, 1320.

Part of The PBH Free Fringe

4th – 26th August

Aidan ‘Taco’ Jones – 52 Days: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – 

The narrative that Aidan ‘Taco’ Jones is one of a year spent journalling his exploits on a pack of playing cards – 52 stories; one for every week of the year, with cards drawn at random and chosen by the audience is an innovative structure to a stand-up show.

The stories told will change from performance to performance, as is the nature of the structure; one the night I was in attendance, there were stories of drunken excess, new loves and heartbreak that spanned the globe from Australia to South America. There is a brutal honesty to the stories that are being told by Aidan, engaging with a great blend of easy charm. Sometimes, the stories pushed on the taboo, with tales of sex, but these are dealt with a sensitivity that never puts the audience on edge.

Aidan carries the structure of the show with a great energy that brings the audience along with him on his adventures, stepping in to the levity of situations while finding the darker side of things as well.

Aidan’s unique storytelling is never less the engrossing and he has a lot of tales to tell – 52, to be exact.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Aidan ‘Taco’ Jones

Laughing Horse @ City Cafe, 2230

Part of The Free Festival

2nd – 26th August

Gethin Alderman: Limelight

Gethin Alderman: Limelight
14:40 @ Hispaniola (Venue 79) Aug 4-14, 16-25th
PBH’s Free Fringe

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Bursting with energy from the start, this peculiar performance is intense and welcoming from the start. Gethin Alderman even includes audience members loitering by the door, unsure whether to venture in. The hyper surreal quality of the performance continues on at the same pace, with the same energy throughout.
There was a wonderful ad-lib bit in the show where at one point a group of Spanish children came in and sat down to watch. Alderman began speaking in Spanish to them. This to me set him apart and added an extra fantastic layer to the show.

Alderman is quick on his feet in all senses of the phrase providing all round good fun for all the family, incorporating interesting and well developed character work and excellently crafted jokes.

Limelight is a cleverly written show that has positive messages and leaves the onlooker happy if not ever so slightly baffled but in the best possible way.

Go and see it for a total break from seriousness.

Trev Tokabi – Cool Story Bro: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – 

Trev Tokabi welcomes his audience to the room with perhaps the most relaxed and easy-going style I have seen from a performer, taking a seat along with the comedy-goers to present an hour of relaxed but high-energy comedy.

This is a show about the awkwardness of growing up – through his parents’ divorce, growing up at army boarding school, the trials and successes of living with a dual identity both in the UK and the Ivory Coast. He has a great story-telling style, which builds his own narrative throughout the show and leaves room for big, silly jokes while still moving round dark corners. When his does meander away from the light, his warmth and friendliness reassures the audience that everything is still OK, and that there is a big, daft laugh right around the corner.

He has a good talent for bringing the crowd along with him on his journey. His relaxed style is the perfect night-cap to a day at the Fringe, easy-going comedy with an edge that will round off your day in the right way.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Trev Tokabi – Cool Story Bro

Laughing Horse @ City Cafe, 0025

Part of The Free Festival

2nd – 26th August (except 15th)