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Edinburgh Festival 2012 - No topic yet?

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Alright ladies and gents, who's up going to see stuff?

So far I have seen The boy with tape on his face, was excellent. Tonight going to see Micheal Winslow aka Motor Mouth From Police Academy.

Anyone seen anything good/recommendations?

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Most of the free stuff is disappointing this year, from what I saw. Especially avoid Nick Doody's Look At This Massive Picture Of My Face, unless you're a fan of mediocre observational comedy buttressed with really awful racism, sexism, homophobia, and the like (but which pretends to be progressive).

I spent all of last week at the festival seeing various things. Nick Helm's new show This Means War is great although pretty similar to his last year's show. He kind of defies description so if you haven't seen him before, definitely make the effort to go. Just don't sit in the front row unless you are at peace with possibly being heavily involved in the show yourself.

The Beta Males' The Space Race is also excellent, in the same story-driven sketch comedy vein as their previous shows and with pretty great use of audio-visual aids. I'll also throw in my usual recommendation for Sad Faces (my friends' comedy group), whose show Sad Faces Remember It Differently is a very high-energy story-based sketch thing. Great physical comedy and some very good writing. I also saw Stewart Lee's stand-up Carpet Remnant World, which was brilliant. If it's not sold out, give it a go.

Aside from that, I saw Richard Thompson performing acoustic stuff on Tuesday night (fantastic but disappointing that he didn't do any of his electric set and only a little bit of his livelier, more humorous songs, and also the venue was stiflingly hot like the very fires of hell so everyone was sweating like crazy). And yesterday I went along to the Book Festival for a debate about Style versus Content chaired by Nathan Englander (an American writer) and with Ali Smith as the keynote speaker. She was great, and after her speech the floor was opened to the audience which was composed of well-known writers and then us plebs. I actually contributed to the debate, and afterwards got to meet and talk to various writers including China Mieville. I was a little bit starstruck, gotta admit. Ali Smith sought me out to talk to me after the event - she was really lovely. Really wish I had the chance to go to more of the book festival events but I need to head back to Aberdeen tomorrow and get cracking on my dissertation.

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I thought Failure and How to Achieve It was good, as was Genevieve Swallow is Sharing but my favourite was Folken Britain by Susan Harrison. Rest of the free shows I saw were alright.

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Just got back from the Fringe (and I meant to post on rllmuk to see if anyone was about). Rudi's got some of the bases covered: Stewart Lee was on blistering form, absolutely affirming stuff (and a good value ticket too, it's not just an hour) and I also really enjoyed Sad Faces too. The use of an overarching narrative is a real step up and the bags of enthusiasm they have makes it difficult not to enjoy the organised chaos.

I also really enjoyed Andrew Lawrence, who delivered yet another excellent hour of dark comedy and by contrast Bec Hill, back with a ridiculously cheerful set. Diane Spencer has perhaps the filthiest show on the Fringe and while it wasn't quite as accomplished as last year's All Pervading Madness, there was some delight in watching the middle-aged American couple in the front row squirming. Two words: Prune. Tip.

Anyone with even a passing interest in science should see Helen Arney's Voice of an Angle. Smart comedy from a charismatic performer.

Probably the highlight of the trip through was beat-boxer Shlomo doing a late night one-off hour with Michael Winslow. Some mad vocal dexterity going on there, the crowd were completely into it and took the roof off the Udderbelly.

The disappointments were Pete Firman (excellent patter but the venue far too big for such small scale tricks) and Andrew O'Neill, which very much felt like more of the same (non-sequiturs, mad bursts of song, being a transvestite).

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Eddie Pepitone is essential. The best stand up you'll see this year at the Fringe who isn't Daniel Kitson or Stewart Lee.

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I went for a week earlier this month and saw the shows below. Stuff with an (F) next to it was free. The numbers are my ratings out of 5. The only show that I thought was completely awful was Barry Castagnola, everything else was at least passable, or had some highlight that prevented it from being a complete write off. Especially impressed by Harry Baker who was free, in a tiny venue and completely amazing (we only went because a friend thought he was someone else):

Claudia O'Docherty: 5

Pappy's Last Show Ever: 5

Daniel Kitson (The Stand): 5

Harry Baker (F): 5

Daniel Kitson (Traverse): 5

Boy With Tape: 5

Domestic Science (F): 4

Jim Jefferies: 4

Celia Pacquola: 4

Late Night Gimp Fight: 4

Gordon Southern: 4

Toby Hadoke: 4

Sam Simmons: 4

Yianni (F): 4

Hannah Gadsby: 4

PBH showcase (F): 3

Lewis Schaffer (F): 3

Kieran & Joe: 3

Jigsaw: 3

Felicity Ward: 3

Simon Munnery: 2

Nick Doody (F): 2

Angela Barnes/Matt Richardson (F): 2

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre: 2

Izsi Lawrence: 2

The Ginge, the Geordie and the Geek: 2

Adam Hills: 2

Gemma Arrowsmith (F): 2

Bridget Christie: 2

Barry Castagnola: 1

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She is the standup guest on Richard Herrings podcast today (along with Simon Donald who started Viz)

http://www.comedy.co...ring_edinburgh/

She has a free show at Edinburgh too called Domestic Science which is very good. When I saw it she had a couple of guests in, some Horrible History song writer who wasn't amazing and a women who did sketches called Gemma Arrowsmith who was excellent. Unfortunately Gemma's full show wasn't great, it was a bit like seeing a trailer, then watching the full film and realising all the good bits were in the trailer.

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She has a free show at Edinburgh too called Domestic Science which is very good. When I saw it she had a couple of guests in, some Horrible History song writer who wasn't amazing and a women who did sketches called Gemma Arrowsmith who was excellent. Unfortunately Gemma's full show wasn't great, it was a bit like seeing a trailer, then watching the full film and realising all the good bits were in the trailer.

Peter Buckley-Hill was on when I saw Domestic Science and did a frankly bonkers rap about physics - he looked like he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

It's a shame to read that about Gemma Arrowsmith's show. She and Steve Mould (who does Festival of the Spoken Nerd with one H. Arney) were/are a good double-act. Their last two outings (Sketch Show in Powerpoint and In 3D) were a lot of fun.

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Didn't go to see much at all despite living in the city. I used to review Fringe shows back in my student days and got a little burned out. Plus I balk at some of the prices. I'd rather go see cheap, obscure acts than the big name ones, who you can see on TV anyway.

However, I have been listening to Richard Herring's Edinburgh Fringe Podcast, and decided to go yesterday to make a monetary contribution after all the months of listening to him. Pretty decent show. At the end if gave tickets away for his show Talking Cock as they didn't seem to be selling well for the last day. Result! I'd seen Talking Cock first time it came around and liked it just as much this time. Definitely one of his best shows.

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