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(M) 5 out of 45
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None = Unmissable

= Unwatchable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme



M***** Makes It Live At The Hive. (Page 48).

Drams full glassfull glassfull glassfull glass (easily two without Harry Ainsworth)...
Venue Beehive Inn (Venue 178).
Address 18 Grassmarket.
Reviewer Anna Kay.

It is completely beyond me how Garth Cruickshank won the Perrier Newcomer (2002). I can only hope that his act - character comic Harry Ainsworth - is supposed to be ironic, although I doubt this at times. Cliched material and ‘jokes’ that just aren’t funny make his an embarrassingly poor set.

Fortunately the show features four further acts who are well worth waiting for. Compering is ‘New Deal Comedian’ Tony Carter (conversely a winner of a Tap Water Award last year) with an upbeat happy style that really warmed the audience to the whole show – even bringing them round after Ainsworth’s set, to be supportive of the next act - Ewan John . Some of John’s gags are somewhat predictable but his deadpan, surrealist style seems to make up for this, making me laugh almost despite myself. The show is headlined by Kiwi Simon McKinney , whose new twists on old themes make for a strong ending, but the best in my view was Steven Davidson. He has a great style of boy-next-door mixed with utter absurdity which provokes many genuine laughs.

Watch out for these last four – they will go far.
© Anna Kay 17 August 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to August 19 at 21:30.
Company Steven Davidson, Ewan John, Simon McKinney, Garth Cruickshank, Tony Carter.

   

Mervyn Stutter's Pick of the Fringe (Page 47)
Drams full glass .
Venue Gilded Balloon Teviot(Venue 14).
Address 13 Bristo Square.
Reviewer Neil Ingram.

Mervyn Stutter is an institution at the Fringe - well it's certainly better than being in one. Now in its 13th year, Mervyn's Pick of the Fringe has a loyal if rather mature audience, though as Mervyn points out, this is the generation who the politicians now have to listen to. In Stutter's show they are daily provided with a remarkably diverse range of entertainments. It's a different line-up every day, and you can expect music, comedy and theatre in the mix.

The day I was there the selection included music from bluesman Adrian Byron Burns and from Bongo Fury, two young men who create sounds from anything they can hit with sticks, comedy from Gamarjobat, two amazing Japanese mime performers, duo Colin and Fergus and the inimitable Scott Capurro, and exerpts from two theatre shows - Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolves, a scary piece of childrens' theatre, and The Translucent Frogs of Quuup, a tribute to the English upper classes' quest for the unknown. The whole show is skilfully compered by Mervyn Stutter himself, who also entertains with a couple of witty songs about the English aristocracy.

Nice jacket, Mr Stutter, and a very nice show.
© Neil August 14 August 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to August 30 at 13.00 every day, except 17.
Company – Mervyn Stutter.
Company Website www.mervynstutter.co.uk
   

Miles Jupp Presents The Lost And Lonely Rebels. (Page 48).
Drams full glass.
Venue
Assembly Rooms. (Venue 3).
Address 54 George St.
Reviewer Anna Kay.

I have seen a lot of sketch comedy done really badly. It is very difficult to translate what is so often seen on screen to the medium of a stage. However, Jupp and his ‘rebels’, Humphrey Kerr and Stuart Murphy, fell into none of the traps employed by lesser comics. People, for example, often feel a need to employ a series of strange costumes and wigs, but these three let the material and the strong quality of their acting do their own job.

They present a series of extraordinarily well-constructed sketches with surreal Monty Python-esque observations and sideway looks at the world, even making a couple of very old jokes into new and ever-funny sketches. I couldn’t believe how quickly the show’s hour flew by, leaving me longing for more.

It’s a shame there is a need to title the show with Jupp, purely because he is a ‘name’. The performance quality was consistent amongst the three. Someone give them a TV series!
©Anna Kay 27 August 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Run ended.
Company RBM.
   

Millie and Tillie Do You!. (Page 48).

Drams full glassfull glassfull glassfull glassfull glass in fact the whole bottle.
Venue The Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 5).
Address 60 The Pleasance.
Reviewer Anna Kay.

A record!  This is officially the worst show I have seen this Fringe.  Two women with faux upper class accents and tweed bumbling their way through an hour of what claims to be a comic life makeover show.

In reality they produce a show which is not only technically poor but failed to raise in me the faintest half smile.  And musical numbers?  Why?  They can’t even sing.

In all fairness, I may have missed a joke in there somewhere as I found it incredibly difficult to maintain my concentration.  I only wish they hadn’t felt fit to remind us at the end that we were now an hour closer to death.  I really felt it.
© Anna Kay 27 August 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to August 30 at 13:30.
Company Razima Productions
   

My Life As A Ten Year Old Boy. (Page 50).
Nancy Cartwight in a recording studio with mike and earphones blows a kiss.
Nancy Cartwright.
© photographer.
Drams full glassfull glass if you're adult, Two fizzy pops if you're not.
Venue Assembly Rooms (Venue 3).
Address 54 George Street.
Reviewer Rowan Smith.

Nancy Cartwright's show has a few funny parts but it isn't well ordered. At one point she told a heart warming and very sad story, then when it finished she went almost straight back into comedy. There were lots of voices for the audience, but, when I went, she didn’t say that very well known catch phrase "aye carumba". I'm sure lots of us would like to hear it live.

She talks about her childhood and how she was the sound effects machine for the town. Although she has many voices, she tells us she doesn't own any of the voices of many The Simpsons' she has recorded and is so well known for. Despite the The Simpsons' popularity it's very strange to me she doesn’t realise that at just after 19:15, the time of her early shows, kids will be present. Surprisingly she says a bad word a couple of times.

If you are a massive Simpson fan then you should go and see this show. If not you probably won't enjoy it.
© Rowan Smith (Aged 11) 16 August 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 30 August at various times not 10 or 17.
Company – Nancy Cartwright..
Company Website www.nancycartwright.com



(M) 5 out of 45
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