Tag Archives: free fringe

Sean McLoughlin – Hail Mary

Sean McLoughlin – Hail Mary
16:45 Cabaret Voltaire – Main Room. Aug 2-26th
Free Fringe Laughing Horse

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sean McLoughlin’s Hail Mary is a lively, bouncy performance from the very start with excellent audience engagement and superb observational humour.
Brilliantly written and expertly delivered, this powerful performance is also very well structured with lovely little details that really set this show apart.
It is highly immersive and you can lose yourself in this show. It is pure, unadulterated escapism that truly is a pleasure to watch.
McLoughlin is a highly charismatic performer who draws his audience in with one sentence and subverts expectations with another.
The pace and energy is kept up though the entire show which is an incredible thing to witness and the material is consistently hilarious. This is definitely a show which made it difficult to review because I was laughing too much.

You need to go see this show. It’s absolutely fantastic. Let Sean McLoughlin do what he was clearly born to do and make you laugh and completely escape for an hour.

Totally brilliant.

Fiona Sagar – Sagar Dreamcast: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – 

Just as the show is about to start, Fiona hears her granny making her way to the room. Being the dutiful granddaughter, she goes to help ‘Granny’ in. Upon her arrival, ‘Granny’ is a fiercely funny reflection of a generation that believes the youth are wasting their time chasing their dreams, and perfectly shows Fiona’s superb ability to step into a character and work with in-the-moment energy gained from audience interaction, weaving it seamlessly with incredibly polished material.

This is a show which sees a whole spectrum of characters brought to life on the stage by Sagar’s faultless performance – a nursery school supply-teacher which was perfectly observed with a dark edge; a ‘man’s man’ who running a ‘saucy dating space’; a 1920’s (ish) Deep-South wife and a talking animal. Through each of these, there is a strong, clear and hard-hitting message about the strength of women and the toxic masculinity which continues to undermine. It is a narrative that carries the comedy down dark and unexpected turns. Each character’s stereotypes are thrown into both the light and the dark.

Fiona is a performer with a wealth of talent and brings it to the stage with a great amount of energy and verve.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Fiona Sagar – Sagar Dreamcast

Laughing Horse @ City Cafe, 1810

2nd – 26th August (except 14th)

James Nokise – Britain, Let’s Talk About The Golliwogs

James Nokise – Britain, Let’s Talk About The Golliwogs
Fireside (Venue 75) Aug 2-26th
Free Festival

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This informative, well thought out show deals with the subjects of race, identity and racism which can be exceptionally difficult to talk and hear about for some. It is however dealt with in the most delicate, funny and bold way possible by James Nokise, a highly charismatic man with a gorgeous voice that envelopes the audience and puts them at ease.
It is clear from the start that an exceptional level of research has gone into this show made evident with little details which add to the overall breathtaking quality of the show.
It really is like nothing else you will see on the Fringe, with a deep beauty in terms of language usage and journey, Nokise effortlessly proves that he is a natural story teller.
This performance is packed with positive messages throughout with gentle, friendly audience participation.

It is important that this show is seen and not to be missed. Go seek it out, you’ll be so happy that you did.

Rich Wilson’s Still Relevant

Rich Wilson’s Still Relevant
18:15 @ Sneaky Pete (Venue 437) Aug 4th – 25th
PBH’s Free Fringe

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Warm and friendly from the start and packed with dry humour Rich Wilson brings a brilliantly sharp & witty performance to his audience. Wilson is a born story teller who is charismatic, charming and an absolute pleasure to listen to. Wilson’s crowd work is effortless as he forges strong connections with his audience, drawing them closer, creating a relaxed environment in which laughter comes easily to all. Brilliantly funny and bold, this show is very playful in nature with descriptions and stories which are extraordinary, wonderfully self depreciative in parts and carry an overall positive message.

This show is like having a chat with a friend you’ve known for a long time and for me it felt like it was over far too soon because I was enjoying it so much. It’s also like going on a fantastic journey with an experienced guide who has a wealth of experience and just a touch of self depreciation making the entire package a wonderful thing to behold.

It really is a masterful performance and a must see show.
As the man himself says, enjoy yourself

Cam Spence & Jodie Mitchell – The New Babes: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The New Babes presents Cam Spence and Jodie Mitchell, two stand-ups with very different and complimentary styles in a show that is not afraid to take on all sectors of social consciousness – sexuality, politics, the class divide, popular culture.

While this is very much a show of two halves, Cam and Jodie introduce the show with an immediate charm and chemistry that brings the audience into their world straight away.

Jodie Mitchell’s half of the show is a section of stand-up comedy that showcases her surreal eye for detail, full of beautiful and sharp-witted imagery and strong messages that cannot be ignored. The high point for me was one of the darkest and most poetic deconstructions of the Teletubbies I have ever heard. Cam Spence demonstrates her comedic talents with character comedy – from a sadistic clinic counsellor to a blindingly left-field parody of the aristocracy, this is dark comedy with a beautiful rhythm.

Cam and Jodie both demonstrate a fierce comedic talent in this hour of comedy which takes no prisoners.

Written by Christopher Moriarty

Cam Spence and Jodie Mitchell: The New Babes

1210 at The Banshee Labyrinth, part of PBH Free Fringe

5th – 25th (except 14th)

Mick Neven – Charm Offensive

Mick Neven – Charm Offensive
17:00 @ Sneaky Pete (Venue 44) Aug 4th-12th, 14th-25th
PBH’s Free Fringe

Bunbury Rating- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This tonally conversational show starts with excellent crowd work, Mick Neven puts the entire room at ease. From there, the audience discovers that the show is very aptly titled with bags of dark humour which is expertly executed. Blunt and to the point, it is a very confident performance packed with charisma with a cheeky quality to it and dealing with sensitive topics with sharp, witty material that is approached delicately at some points and not so delicately in others.
It is a pleasure to watch but not what you might expect in the best possible way. The performance is refreshing and bold with some weirdly positive messages running thought the heart of it.
If you want a show that provides proper deep belly laughs and relatable, penetrable humour, this is the one for you.

Go and see it. It’s gold.

Anthony Jeannot – Life Coach (Age 14)

Life Coach (Age 14)
22:15 @ The Free Sisters – The Wee Room (Venue 272) Aug 2nd-14th
Free Fringe Laughing Horse

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

From the very start the room is at ease with this show which is conversational in tone packed with very sharp and relatable anecdotal humour. The audience is highly immersed from the off because of the skillful story telling. Anthony Jeannot is a passionate performer who really takes clear pleasure in what he does and that also serve to draw the audience in. The timing and poise is just fantastic with wonderful descriptions which paint vivid pictures in the mind making this a warm an accessible show. it is a show about growing, changing and reflection.

A great watch. Make the time to see this show as it is so well performed and presented. It’s really hard not to adore Jeannot.

The Bunbury Guide to the Edinburgh Fringe

Hello to you all,
Editor Christopher here. Currently I am sat on the train with editors Keri and Malika, about to hit the Edinburgh Fringe for the fifth year. In that time, we have reviewed and interviewed upwards on 5 shows and their peformers. Impressive, no?
We have had the privilege of speaking to dozens upon dozens upon dozens of performers from all walks of life in the five years we have been travelling to the Fringe. Talking to as many people as we do every year takes preparation. As this is Mailka’s first time coming up with us, we thought we would put together a little suvival guide for getting through the Fringe. Maybe, it will come in handy for other Fringe virgins too, whether you’re a performer, reviewer or audience member.
1. Don’t forget your toothbrush

…and other non-cliche items. If you are planning on hitting the Fringe hard, and seeing as many shows as possible, the creature comforts will really get you through. A power-bank, because the new Walking Dead game really drains the battery. A bottle of water – those rooms in the venues get mightily hot, especially if the show is lucky enough to be at capacity. And other stuff like pants and your face will come in handy too.

2. Be prepared for insane weather

Last year, when Keri and I landed in Edinburgh, it was torrential. It was the precipitatory equivalent of the sunny weather we’ve been having for the last two months. My suitcase was one of the cheap fabric affairs so by the time we got to our accommodation, my week’s worth of clothes were wet! Impressed I was not. So unimpressed was I, I apparently turned into Yoda (if Yoda spent most of the films called everyone and everything a cunt). When packing for the trip, put everything in carrier bags in your suitcase, have an umbrella but also shorts and t-shirts a-plenty because two hours later, the sun will be trying to fry your face off.

3. Planning, planning, planning

There’s plenty going on at the Fringe, to say the very least. With thousands of comedians, magicians, poets, theatre companies and more besides, you won’t be stuck for something to do. Last year, in five days, Christopher saw 55 shows. If you want to cram in as many shows as possible, it takes planning, because trying to decide what venue and show you want, then deciding you want to go somwhere else and keep moving on kills valuable time. Download the Fringe app – it has a built in planner to help you keep track of what you have planned to see next.

4. …or just go with the flow

You will not be able to walk more than about seven steps in Edinburgh without being handed a flyer for a show. Some of these will catch your eye, and seeing an impulse show can often lead to experiencing some genuinely exciting art. The best show I have ever seen at the Fringe was one which I was flyered for five minutes before kick off when I should have been on my way somewhere else. 

As a side note, try and be polite to the flyerers, especially if the performer is flyering for their own show. It’s really hard work advertising your own show, building an audience and then performing it – as well as appearances elsewhere – for the entire month. It can be demoralising to see a wave of apathetic faces breeze past. Give them a smile and a hello. It may be the boost they need.

5. Do not listen to Andrew W.K.

…and this will be the only time in my life I will ever say those words. When we interviewed Phil Jupitus a few years ago, he gave us the very sage advice to not treat Edinburgh like a party. If you go up with the sole purpose of getting drunk every day and night, it will ruin you – physically, spiritually, financially. Plus, comedians have hollow legs and are jaded to the prospect of dehydration so trying to keep up with them will be as futile as using a conker shell to hold back the tide.

6. Eat well

If you are planning on hitting as many shows as possible, you need plenty of fuel to burn – sounds daft, I know, but sitting through show after show can be exhausting (in the best possible way). It is possible to eat really well, for cheap. There are plenty of Subways around for a healthy(ish) option, but our big recommendation would be the Mosque Kitchen on West Nicholson Street. Beautiful food, reasonably priced and right by one of the best venues on the Fringe – The Counting House.

7. Take a chance

This kind of ties in to advice number 4. A lot of people will go up to Edinburgh to see the established TV comedians. While it is good to see those people, the true heroes of the Fringe are all those that perform for the free fringe, in all its different models. They put themselves on the line in every way possible to make the Fringe as spectacular as it is. You never know if you’re going to walk into a free show and see the next big thing. You could day you were there! And it’s free too!

8. We say free…

…it’s free to get in to those shows, but not to get out. Donate as generously as you can to the performers on the free fringe. If they have some merch, grab something. And make sure you have change too! It’s considered bad form to put a tenner into a bucket and take a fiver back.

9. Book early

We booked our 2018 accommodation in November 2017, and we still struggled to find something really. As I said before, prepare, prepare, prepare. The prices can be eye-watering, and may run the risk of shutting the entire thing down, but there’s no way around it, because the daily commute from Tunbridge Wells would be a bitch.

10. Make friends

Remember when I said before to smile at the performers if they are looking blue while flyering? The Fringe is a big family (you should see the commotion over Christmas dinner.) and everyone is really supportive. Get involved. Having someone to share the highs and lows with you up there will increase your enjoyment exponentially.

That’s about it I reckon. There’s probably loads of stuff I’ve missed off here but we’re just past Lancaster and I’m beginning to feel travel-sick. Time to try and squeeze in a couple of hour’s sleep before the madness begins.

Chella Quint: Adventures in Menstruating

Bunbury Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Chella Quint’s ‘Adventures in Menstruating’ is a brave and ambitious venture into the taboo that is menstruation, and how we stop the destructive influence its having on women and girls alike.

The show draws on Quint’s experiences as a teacher. Alarmed by the lack of menstrual education in schools, she embarked upon research into where the miseducation has come from that has left adolescents so clueless about periods – thus, ‘Adventures in Menstruating’ was born.

From the off, she knows how to break boundaries. She uses audience interaction to break down barriers and draw people out of their comfort zones, before getting into the gory details. It’s a daring but effective move – even the handful of men looking unsure of what they’ve got themselves into are in stitches in minutes. Though approaching an uncomfortable topic, Quint’s the tendency towards sharp pun or timely punchline is impeccable.

The show is a manifestation of Quint’s mission to normalise periods, and it achieves just that. As a performer, she is instantly charming, shameless, sometimes silly and always warm and affable.

’Adventures in Menstruating’ explores some of the misconceptions around the monthly affliction, and explores the sources of the contrived shame surrounding period that Quint seeks to dismantle. Her research pays off; even the most seasoned menstruated will more than likely take something from this informative presentation. Never a dull moment, the show is a unexpected and refreshing experience.

‘Adventures in Menstruating’ will be running at 22:10 on Friday 10th August at The Banshee Labyrinth and Saturday 11th August at 15:00 in Central Library.

Alex Farrow: Allow It

Alex Farrow: Allow It
12:00 @ Moriarty’s (Venue 332) Aug 2nd – 26th
Free Festival Laughing Horse

Bunbury Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This show has a warm, welcoming and gentle feel right from the start with strong but comfortable audience participation. It is a very cleverly written show which has been well researched and brilliantly put together. Wonderfully informative, Farrow’s teaching background is evident and used to great effect.
The audience is made to feel relaxed and at ease while a wide range of topics are covered in this seemingly effortless performance. It is honest and interesting and really, very, very funny indeed.

It really is one of those shows that feels like it’s over too soon because it’s so funny and genuinely enjoyable.

It’s well worth going to. Alex Farrow gets top marks from us…  I know, I know. I’m sorry. I’ll leave the funnies to Alex.