Dillie Keane on Tom Lehrer: songs that led me to torture my parents
The American singer and songwriter mocked the absurdities of the human condition by using jolly tunes and foul lyrics Tom Lehrer exploded in my unhappy 15-year-old head like the best firework display you ever imagined. I was at a convent in the 1960s and a friend returned from the US with a copy of ... [Read More]
Class of 2015: who are the Edinburgh fringe's funniest newcomers?
Jonny Pelham, Tez Ilyas and Lolly Adefope aren’t among comedy’s big names – yet. But there is charisma, fresh material and young talent to spare at the festival this year. Here are eight of the acts to watch out for …To watch Jonny Pelham’s Before and After, you would ... [Read More]
The Wrestling at Edinburgh festival review – must be seen to be believed
Pleasance Grand, EdinburghTwenty standups and wrestlers clamber into the ring and smack down in Max and Ivan’s spectacular sporting-panto free-for-all “Comedians. Wrestlers. Blood.” It’s a potent recipe for entertainment, and tonight, on its third outing since its debut in 20... [Read More]
Alex Edelman at Edinburgh festival review – unshowy and intelligent
Pleasance Courtyard, EdinburghBulletproof set-pieces exploring the theme of cultural identity confirm this Bostonian as a talent to watchAlex Edelman won the best newcomer gong at last year’s Comedy Awards with a show I found easier to admire than love. Its follow-up is an improvement: the Bos... [Read More]
Is the Edinburgh fringe as middle-class as we think?
The perception of the festival crowd as entirely middle-class leads standups such as Sarah Callaghan and Kevin J to package their working-class backgrounds as exoticIt’s a cliche that the Edinburgh fringe is a middle-class event but, even taking that into account, something is changing in the ... [Read More]
Mark Thomas at Edinburgh festival review – a bulletin from the frontline of dissent
Summerhall, EdinburghIt may not by very funny, but the standup and activist’s vehement, animated piece about the privatisation of public spaces certainly has a lot of convictionPicking up where his last standup show, 100 Minor Acts of Dissent, left off, Mark Thomas’s latest responds to t... [Read More]
Shazia Mirza: 'Look at me – Isis would stone me to death'
The Muslim comic received prizes and hate mail for her dark humour in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. She talks about the British jihadi bride schoolgirls who inspired her new showWith her trademark deadpan delivery, Shazia Mirza is discussing the east London school where four pupils have left for Syr... [Read More]
Edinburgh festival 2015: the six shows you shouldn't miss
A Desert Island Discs spoof, brooding circus performers who strip naked and a Yoko Ono-inspired love-fest … our critics choose their hot tickets at this year’s fringeO No!In less skilled hands, this might be teeth-grating whimsy. Instead, Jamie Wood’s blissful show is the fringe a... [Read More]
From drugs to infidelity: the comedy couple exposing their romance on stage
Standups Harriet Kemsley and Bobby Mair have turned their bumpy relationship into material for their individual Edinburgh fringe shows – and in doing so, have learned to love each other’s flawsIt was love at third sight. On 25 March 2012, Canadian Bobby Mair officially fell for Harriet K... [Read More]
Modern comedy too sanitised? What a strange thing to say…
Comedian Sam Simmons’s rant against ‘relatable’ comics in his Edinburgh show does both him and the festival a disserviceAussie absurdist Sam Simmons is one of the best-loved comedians on the fringe. Twice nominated for the Edinburgh comedy award, in 2011 and last year, he also won ... [Read More]