A pomelo? Looks like a grapefruit

Not long in from seeing Palimpsest in the Balcony room at Gilded Balloon Teviot. I quite like the irony of having to head to the lowest level to reach the Balcony, that’s just to queue then there’s a different set of stairs to get to it. The Balcony used to be one of the hottest rooms of the Fringe, yay, thank god for air-conditioning units.

Palimpsest, just googled it, apparently it’s something reused or altered but that still bears visible traces of its earlier form, ah, that makes sense! I’d never heard the word before, never heard of a pomelo before today, either (it does look very like a grapefruit);a day of discoveries! Palimpsest is also the name of a play by Alex Lacey, which she also stars in alongside Rob Kemp (he also has his own show Rob Kemp: Agenda reviewed last post).

Yes, I did see Palimpsest on the back of Agenda, good decision, loved it too. The flyer calls it a meta romcom, it’s meta and then some. If you enjoyed the film Free Guy that’s a good starter to liking this. The play starts normal enough, each actor delivers short monologues then the other joins in with the same line and takes over with their own monologue……until Jess tells Jim to stop interrupting her! The initial play is funny enough, but when the characters go off script, wow, its brilliantly written with really fun ideas – your head may hurt a bit after seeing this! Just go have a drink somewhere, you’ll be fine (the Library bar doesn’t have a lovely stock of real ales anymore, sadly, so head somewhere else if you want a good ale).

This career off-piste into a wickedly funny existential crisis reminded me of Phil Jupitus‘ play Waiting For Alice at a Fringe many years ago about Tweedledum and Tweedledee, but that was quite melancholy and sad, it’s the existential bit that’s similar. Both Palimpsest and Agenda are on until the final Sunday, time enough to fit them in!

Here comes the rain again

Today is the start of the second week of the Edinburgh Fringe, the day that a lot of full run shows take off; if not today, tomorrow or a few take Wednesday off. Certainly all the Just The Tonic shows are not on today – are they all having like a huge works party somewhere?! Thunder rumbled through yesterday evening and night heralding the end of the heatwave, this evening we have torrential rain forecast from around nine o’clock onwards, settling down to steady rain from first thing Tuesday morning until sometime in the early evening. All the wetness should be cleared by Wednesday when most shows are back on, it’s how it often goes, an August institution.

Another August institution is the ever delightful Thom Tuck, who is, of course, here again, yay. Indeed, I just went this afternoon to see his show, Thom Tuck: An Even More August Institution. He’s only doing it for three days, this was the first one – almost like he knew in advance that the weather would be rubbish, so folk would want to head indoors! Well, he knows how August in Edinburgh pans out, he’s been here for plenty of them, and his show this time features a number of tales of Fringes past. I could have quite happily sat listening to him for another hour, the man is witty, erudite, silly; always a pleasure ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thom did mention that he studied philosophy at university, couldn’t help wondering if he’s ever a guest comedian at Stand-up Philosophy? I’d definitely go to that, the chap could wax lyrical on anything I reckon. I have actually been to Stand-up Philosophy once already this Fringe but it is one of those, a different show every night. The afternoon I went along the topic was identity, the host had three comedians lined up to do short pieces on the topic, after each he’d join them to chat and get questions from the audience, it’s an interesting idea for those wanting something a bit different from stand-ups. ⭐⭐⭐1/2

Late morning today I went to see Rachel Creeger at The Globe Bar (PBH’s Free Fringe) on the basis of seeing her doing Stand-up Philosophy. Good choice, she comes across well; the raconteur style of stand-up rather than jokes, and there is plenty to laugh about in her stories. Probably not to everyone’s tastes but I had a lovely hour in her company, oh, and she’s an orthodox Jew, there’s a few mentions about food – you will be feeling hungry by the time you head out. ⭐⭐⭐1/2

Just time for another mention before I head out to see Aidan Goatley, a show that I saw as a WIP last year Rob Kemp: Agenda. Until this year I don’t think I’ve ever been in The Hive in Niddry Street, in the last two weeks I’ve seen three shows there, all great. The Hive rooms are an extension to the Monkey Barrel Comedy Club, so tickets can be bought in advance or PWYC at the end of the show. Anyways, Rob Kemp: Agenda is a great show, he’s great, great legs too. This is an autobiographical show about Rob dealing with societal expectations versus his identity as a man who likes, when the mood takes him, to wear sequins and make-up, a pansvestite (his term). It’s honest and blunt, also very funny and touching, loved it last year, loved it this time too ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Must dash. Toodle pip!

Twenty One Returns

That is to say, there are a number of shows that did make the effort to come to Edinburgh last year, that are back again, some did come as WIPs (Work In Progress) in ’21 so there will be changes to them. I’m excited to see Rob Kemp: Agenda in a couple of days, that was excellent last year, I wonder if I’ll spot the changes. All three Privates are back with last year’s shows, alas, again no actual Privates show even though they do have a new show Great Ideas by Geniuses, which was premiered at the Brighton Fringe earlier this year.

Due to extremely popular demand last year I didn’t get to see Tom Curzon in The Flop: A Band of Idiots but this year I’m determined (he was in another show last year which I did see but thats not being repeated). Luke Rollason and Christian Brighty were both at Monkey Barrel last year so I was able to get tickets in advance to ensure seeing them. Christian has moved over to the Pleasance Courtyard (Below), let’s start with him.

Christian Brighty: Playboy is a brilliantly silly show with plenty of bawdy Carry On style humour. One obvious change from last year – no bows and arrows left on any seats for the audience to fire at him, shame! At least in Pleasance Below there’s quite a gradient up to the tech desk, so the avian messengers had easier downward flights to the stage. Pingback back time, if it works, see last year it was A win by a gnat’s crochet for young Brighty (click on the highlighted bit to see last year’s review), could he do it again?

Well I’m pretty damn certain there was no talking armchair in Luke Rollason: Bowerbird last year! It even has a wee segment to itself when it invited someone to sit on it (the guy at the front wouldn’t, nothing would persuade him, Brighty boy was in the audience and obliged the armchair), then Luke reappeared, kind of like those little odd bits in The Young Ones, remember them?! I did think he spoke more this year, as I previously noted that it seemed almost weird when he did talk. I’ve checked and my review from last year still stands, he is A barrelful of funny. Another pingback there, do let me know if they’re not working.

But which one won the battle of the Privates this year? Oo, gonna have to say Luke Rollason: Bowerbird (and that’s not just because he had badges at the end!). Mind, if you go to either of these shows and enjoy it, then do check out the other.

This evening I trotted up to Cabaret Voltaire to see Alex Farrow: Philosophy Machines last year it was Philosophy Pig – a man who doesn’t stray far from his favourite subject! Another interesting and entertaining show, oh, he did get in a mention about Andrew Nagel and his book again (well, I do recall his liking for bats). Last year Philosophy Pig did very well with plenty full audiences, mind that was a smaller room, but I’d say go for the Pay What You Can in advance option, this chap could get very popular again!

I’ll put this up I’ve seen some things, you know as it has my review of Alex Farrow: Philosophy Pig in it along with my reviews of The Return of Sherlock Holmes and Stand-Up Philosophy which are both back again. I’ve noticed that the company that put on Embassy Stomp are back again, hmmm. And John-Luke Roberts’ show was my favourite at that point of the Fringe. Ah well, it’s very late, to bed!