None = Unmissable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme
Adam Hills - Cut Loose (page 14)
VenuePleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
Address 60 The Pleasance
Reviewer Kim Oliver.
Would you take your kids, or any one else's, to a Jerry Sadowitz show? Judging by the number of kids at Adam Hills - Cut Loose show last night he must be becoming more middle-of-the-road as time goes on. Like Sadowitz he swears gratuitously, he insults audience members and covers deeply distasteful topics. Yet critics have been crying out for Hills to attempt comedy which is edgier, harder and less eager to please. Hills' defiant delivery is like the Australian weather - dry and sunny. It's impossible to be offended, and that offends a lot of people.
He spends a mutually fulfilling 75% of the time improvising with the audience. Although there is obviously a tried and tested formula behind routines which exaggerate different national characteristics, Hills flits from gag to gag like a xenophobic language teacher, falling back occasionally on steadfast observational humour at the expense of the Glaswegian contingent.
Thematically, the title of the show does nothing to illuminate potential punters with the impression that this material was a response to the Bali bombings. This is not a glib attempt at aligning himself with an atrocity for the impact alone. Hills had friends who were involved, and was actually given some material by a woman who lost ten friends in the attacks. So there is a sense of legitimacy earned. However the idea that this allows Hills the luxury of really cutting loose and going for it since anything could happen at anytime... 'any Chechnyans in the audience?' is slightly suspect. Surely stand-up is the one career where censorship is entirely self-imposed, ...or is that the Perrier looming on the horizon for Hills?
© Kim Oliver Aug 19 2003 - Published on www.EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to Aug 25 at 20.30pm every day, extra show on Sat 23 at 16.15pm, signing for deaf on Sun 24
Company Off the Kerb Productions.
Company Website Off the Kerb Productions.
Aisle16 - Low Brow Beat Poetry (page 14)
Drams . Some bits aren't perfect, but there's a damn promising spark.
Venue Pleasance Dome
Address 1 Bristo Square
Reviewer Nathan Dixon
Tucked away in a corner of the Pleasance is a little gem. Aisle16 are a young, likeable and talented gang of mainly performance poets up here, on a shoestring, to tweak the noses of modern culture's many faces. When not punching them full on in the gob, that is. Among the targets lined up for verbal assault are cheerleaders, Channel Four, McDonalds, 'geezers', mobile phones and Customer Services management teams. They all deserve it too, damn them. It is the sort of performance you'll be proud of finding, having rooted it out from among all the other hundreds of events.
The evening is fast-paced and rarely misses a beat. The impression is that there's far more material where this stuff came from. A special mention for Paul MacJoyce is deserved for his twenty (count them!) syllable rhyme; seriously, see for your self. Also, Tom Sutton is judiciously slotted between the two full-on performance poets, with his novel and highly engaging 'correspondence comedy'. He writes lampooning letters in the style of 'much aggreived from Leamington Spa' - all that is needed is for the routine to be hammed up just a tiny bit more and it'll be perfect. But it's damn funny as is. Deceptively butter-wouldn't-melt faced Luke Wright is the enjoyably acerbic opening act throughout the show's entire run, which will see different poets taking over from each other on different weeks. It promises a lot from what was seen on Tuesday 5.
What's perhaps the most refreshing aspect about these clever chaps is that they are all far better than they think they are - especially for guys in their early twenties. Go along, all of you, and let them know it. It would be interesting to see what they could do with a bigger budget. Whew, it's hot at the moment. I'm thirsty... Perrier anyone?
© Nathan Dixon 7 August 2003 - Published on www.EdinburghGuide.com
Runs through to 25 August except 12 and 19
Company Website - www.aisle16.co.uk
Amused Moose-Comedy's Hot Starlets (Page 15)
Venue Assembly Rooms
Address 54 George Street
Reviewer Claire Sawers
This late-night slot is for 'stars in the making'. That means a line-up of 5 comedians per night (rotated from a group of 24) who have cut their comedy teeth at the Amused Moose club in Soho - but not quite hit the big time yet. First up last night (and appearing every night) was Andrew O Neill. His humour is surreal and more than a little nerdy - think lots of historical references and military jokes. Considering the poorly chosen material, his delivery was confident and energetic - in fact borderline hyper - but certainly not scared off by the sea of mostly straight faces staring back at him. The best gag in his 6 minute performance was when he explained that during the second world war, they used to measure distances in terms of their relation to Tipperary. Not very far from, nowhere near, a long way from etc - and that's where the war-time song came from. Its definitely not the sort of stuff that will rocket him to stardom fast but it raised a smile.
Australian comic Pete Jonas was next up with a routine that was only barely more amusing than eavesdropping on a pub conversation between a couple of lads - 'my girlfriend says I don't listen to her - or something like that, I wasn't really paying attention'. Pretty tired material based on drinking, student-life and women, delivered without any real charm or originality unfortunately.
Rohan Agalawatta fared much better delivering oddball observational humour in a relaxed style - not unlike the material we could expect from the likes of Eddie Izzard. A pity the performance seemed so nervous though - after losing the thread a little, it was painfully obvious that he also lost quite a bit of his bottle too and stumbled through the last half of his act. Last up was
Will Hodgson, whose physical presence alone should guarantee him a career in comedy - pink fingernails at the end of long skinny arms, beer gut exposed through ripped punk-rock t-shirt and football shaped face topped off by a pink and blonde mohican.
The most interesting material of the night - intelligent but obviously polished to perfection and then reeled off parrot fashion. Brilliantly nostalgic childhood jokes about his sports-day failures, and collection of Rainbow-brite toys and Care Bears. Quite a bit of audience squirming in seats, a fair few jokes that went the way of a Led Zeppelin, no belly laughs all night but some refreshingly raw performances.
© Claire Sawers 19 August 2003 - Published on www.EdinburghGuide.com. Runs through to 24 August at 11.45pm every day. Company Amused Moose Company website www.amusedmoose.co.uk