Tuesday, 2 August 2005

Edinburgh Fringe Recommendations, 2005

I shan't be going to Edinburgh this year, so I've been spending July going to lots and lots of Edinburgh previews. Here are my top five, all of which I heartily recommend you see if you're planning on visiting the City That Never Stops Smelling Of Beer.

Dara O'Briain

No theme, just one hour of yer straight-forward vanilla stand-up. But he's hugely likable and (apparently) effortlessly funny. Now with added crutch.

Daniel Kitson

An hour long discussion about how an Australian critic was wrong about him. Sounds terrible. Is captivating.

What's the Time, Mr Lion?

Jeremy Lion's latest show is a superb, terrifying, beautifully-crafted hour of the worst children's entertainment imaginable. I am still laughing at lines from this several days later.

Dan Tetsell - Sins of the Grandfathers

Fascinating, personal, thought-provoking, and far-funnier-than-it-ought-to-be account of how it feels to grow up knowing that the answer to the question 'What did you do in the war, Grandad?' would have been 'Well, funny you should ask- I was an officer in the SS.'

Alex Horne - When In Rome

Alex Horne and loyal assistant Tim teach you Latin in an hour, pushing both powerpoint and punning to their very limits. They've put far too much work into this, and it really shows.

Other things I haven't seen, but would still recommend, include:

Comedy Zone - four comics do quarter of an hour each, so you're bound to enjoy at least a couple, especially as one is the extremely funny Matt Green. And I don't just say that because he's a friend of mine- I say it despite that.
John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman - the best satirical comedians around (alongside Armando Iannucci).
Richard Herring, Colin and Fergus, John Shuttleworth, Ben Willbond, Stewart Lee, Mark Watson, Simon Munnery - you can't go far wrong with any of these.