Saturday, 2 August 2014

2014 and all that...

After an eleven month blog hibernation, the Fringe returns, so it's time for me to indulge in a bit of wandering round the Fringe and rambling about what I see!

For the past 10-12 years I've habitually stuck to the same plan on day one and two of the previews... Plonk myself down in the middle of the Pleasance and wait for all the performers to offer me free tickets to their preview shows (which happens surprisingly more than you think, see my second ever blog post for more info). That, mixed in with a trip to the Free Festival Launch Party and the odd trip to Shaggers was pretty much my staple Fringe diet.

This year I've started a new job and being only a few weeks in I felt it was a bit soon to be asking for holidays so I've had to curtail my activities somewhat and my Pleasance squatting has taken the biggest hit!

I still went to the Laughing Horse Free Festival Party, which was fantastic as always and I'm getting to know more faces year on year.

With a limited amount of time I've been sticking to showcases so far, starting with Game of Loners at the Beehive (Scottish Comedy Festival), moving on to a couple of Laughing Horse Free Pick of the Fringe shows and finishing with Shaggers last night, which was great banter as always, with regular Shaggers Mike Belgrave, Christian Elderfield and Matt Price all on form and headliner Katerina Vrana (the only act on the bill I'd not seen before) rounding the show off nicely.

Game of Loners is a three comics in an hour show, with local acts Gareth Waugh, Gareth Mutch and Robin Grainger all doing 20 minutes each. I've seen all three before and all are improving well. Gareth Waugh is probably the most established of the three, doing comedy full time and performing regularly at The Stand out with the Fringe, but all three have something different to offer and are decent acts in their own right. The show I saw was the very first preview two days before the Fringe officially started on a dreich Wednesday afternoon, so understandably it was quiet which made it difficult to really get the room rocking, but once the festival is up and running and they get bigger crowds, I'm sure it'll be a hit.

The Laughing Horse showcases were similarly quiet on Thursday but two comics really stood out in difficult conditions. Tom Goodliffe had the ideal combination of likeability and good material and Oliver Meech's mix of geeky science banter and magic immediately made me want to see more of the show which is aimed at kids aged 8-80 but on during the day, so I probably won't get a chance!

Two more local comics who have come through the ranks are Rik Caranza and Richard Gadd. They're very different types of comedian who have graduated from doing 20 minutes of an hour long show to doing a full hour by themselves. I managed to catch both of them in the last couple of days and enjoyed both shows, so they'll be my first two full reviews of 2014, when I get round to it!

No comments: