Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Michael Dolan

Comedy's bleak philosopher is back asking the questions nobody else will. When did I last go outside? Am I already dead? How are you meant to maintain a happy marriage in the face of the unstoppable decay of everything that exists? Stand-up comedy for people who are too tired to get angry. But please read his answers to our questions here. We are confident they will bring a smile to your face. As will his show.


Edinburgh Preview: Matt Forde

Satirist Matt Forde has a problem. Just as he mastered his Ed Miliband impression Ed went and got wiped out at the election. Forde now has to master either Andy Burnham, Jeremy Corbyn or put on a skirt. Luckily he also has his wits to fall back on. So even if the voices aren’t quite right the jokes usually are. Forde’s profile has risen rapidly in the last year. The former flatmate of Jon Richardson has appeared with his old mate on his C4 series about growing up and has also become a regular wingman for Rory Bremner.


Edinburgh Preview: Trygve Wykenshaw

There seems to be no stopping the inexorable rise of clowning on the Fringe. Ever since Dr Brown won the Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2012 I feel as as I have been inundated by press releases mentioning acts who have trained with esteemed French tutor Philippe Gaulier, who teaches performers to unleash their inner idiot. I don't know if Australian physical comedian Trygve Wykenshaw has done a stint with Gaulier but he has certainly found his inner idiot, prancing around like a loon, sometimes naked, sometimes in a skin-tight costume.


Edinburgh Preview: New Jewish Jokes

I've got a confesion to make. When I saw Ivor Dembina in Edinburgh a couple of years ago I nominated him for A Dave Award. Not for the Best Joke of the Fringe but for the Worst Joke of the Fringe. Dembina's classic Borscht Belt Catskills cheesy kosher style has always teetered on the edge of cringe and that time he overstepped the mark with "There is nothing worse than seeing your own kids go hungry on Christmas Day.


Edinburgh Preview: Pete Firman

Every few years on slow news days journalists dust off the old “magic is the new rock and roll” story. This year, though, it might almost be true. As well as Derren Brown touring, there are two major prestidigitation (look it up) shows opening in big theatres. Impossible opens later this month while The Illusionists opens in the autumn. And then there is Pete Firman, who has been around for a while now with his excellently chirpy brand of comedy magic.


Edinburgh Preview: Phil Kay

Phil Kay is a comedy legend. Period. Do I really need to say more? The madcap Scot has always done things his own way, occasionally rubbing shoulders with the mainstream but never compromising. He was nominated for a Perrier Award way back in 1993 and landed his own Channel 4 series. Recently Nick Helm appeared naked on his BBC3 show but his privates were pixilated. Kay did the same thing on his show but was fully exposed. You never really know what he is going to do next. I’ve seen him have awful gigs but even those are eventful.


Edinburgh Preview: Juliette Burton

Performers are always asking me how to get coverage in the media. The trouble is that I’m in the media and I’m not sure if I know the answer myself. There certainly isn’t a formula. I usually say “work hard” but a more honest answer might be “by accident”.


Opinion: Is The Edinburgh Bubble About to Burst?

There is a section in Daniel Kitson's current show, After The Beginning. Before The End, in which he talks about his difficulties with relationships. When he loves someone they don't love him and vice versa. One always wants what one can't have. I've had the same sort of thought this morning, only in terms of reviewing shows.

TV Review: Badults, BBC3

There is a lot riding on Pappy's new BBC3 sitcom Badults. The much-loved sketch combo has already had two tries at transferring their lunatic stage sensibility, doing a pair of C4 Comedy Lab pilots, so is Badults third time lucky? It certainly comes when their confidence is riding high. Last year's Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated Fringe show, Last Show Ever, was their best live show to date.

Review: Pappy's, Edinburgh Fringe 2012

This is my review of Pappy's that ran during the Edinburgh Festival last August. I was on the Foster's Award Panel and I really thought they had a chance of winning it. Their shows had always been huge fun but this one upped the ante, adding an emotional kick to the giggles. They are also very nice down-to-earth people, though that did not have any bearing on the result.


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