Don’t worry madam, he’s a trained stunt dog.

Another sweltering night in Auld Reekie, the cars go swooshing by outside, the occasional drunk screeches her boyfriend’s name, a nearby gate gratingly squeals open and clatters shut again. Ah, the Gotham effect! Love that show, sooo stylish.

And a duo who definitely have their own distinct style would beĀ The Establishment, not unlike a couple of really creepy henchmen, who you may be fooled into thinking are just buffoons but they’re really creative geniuses in the art of psychological torture. Do go see themšŸ˜†Ā  This year they’re doing two shows,Ā Fool Britannia which runs right through to the final Sunday andĀ Le Bureau de StrangeĀ just two nights where they’ll have “very special guests”. I’ll fit inĀ Fool BritanniaĀ but I have a number of late night shows to choose from and at my age beauty sleep is essential!

Another duo, possibly the most distinctively recognisable duo at the Fringe for more than ten years areĀ Gamarjobat; a mohawk-sporting, shades-wearing mime comedy act from Japan. Yeah, I know, mime, a word that can inspire almost as much disdain as juggler, but these guys are seriously and uproariously brilliant at it! They should be, they’ve been doing it for yonks.

The first couple or so years I think they were just a street show, then in 2006 Bud and I saw their first proper Fringe show and the following two years. In 2008 was probably the first time the second half of the show wasĀ The Boxer not a million miles from Rocky in it’s storyline, this was mime on another level, to this day a standout Fringe moment for me (and probably Bud too, he was a big fan of Rocky and got bits that I missed). They still perform on the street when they’re here, so even if you don’t go to the show you can catch them, still mohawked!

Seeing double

I do like a good laugh (really? I never would have guessed) and there are plenty to be had at the Fringe, as long as your Fringe-dar is working well. You’ll know it needs resetting when the third show in a row just doesn’t work for you (it happened to me some years ago, I still shudder remembering that day).

My fringe-dar was working well when I first picked up on Goodbear a few years ago. This year it bleeped at The Intimate Strangers: Mr Bond. Yes, it’s working fine, these two are very good. They have some great ideas and twists, some pure genius, but there’s something not quite right yet, something needs something!? Heck, I’m only a moose, sometimes words fail me. I do hope they return, I want to see them back next year, I’d definitely get a ticket.

Another duo new to me are Studio 9, though I think they are Fringe veterans from another show. These two are what I think The Intimate Strangers could be, again great writing and ideas, these two have a great chemistry and perfect timing with each other, needed for the pace they go at. Really liked the seagull sketch, one of those that sneaks up and grabs you by the funny bone.

Oo, another duo I saw early on, The Establishment, playing at the Omnitorium this year. I caught them towards the end of the Fringe last year, an unexpected delight of whimsy and absurdity, so glad they’re back. The Omnitorium is a great venue for them, being odd and quirky with a slight air of anything could happen. The show is ridiculously bonkers, as two terribly British chaps they are wonderful but there’s a sinister layer underneath bubbling away. I did feel the material was a bit thinner by the end, but still entertaining.

There was a bit recently on the BBC News website about whether comedy duos have had their day, judging by this lot I’d say there’s new day dawning for duos.

Local prices for local people

Those lovely folk at Assembly Festival are putting on a special offer to local residents. From the 2nd to the 6th we can buy tickets for a fiver for shows at their venues (proof of being local like a utility bill required). So who was I to refuse?

I’ve just about wrapped up my preview shows but nothing much further. A quick reconnoitre of my possibilities and the venue show lists, five shows presented themselves, utility bill found, five tickets bought (and no booking fee!), huzzah!

One show I’m really looking forward to is The Establishment: Eton Mess at the Omnitorium. I saw them last year the Dragonfly bar, quite odd, surreal and slightly discomforting but still somehow charming and so terribly British. I reckon the Omnitorium will be a great venue for them, as it too is quirky but with its own charms. It came into being last year and a real ragtag bunch of vaudevillian oddities gathered to it, not the least of whom were the irrepressible Boris and Sergey and huzzah, they’re back again. I love those guys!