Nine gigs and only one cancelled for lack of audience. Welcome to the Free Fringe. Two lovely, packed gigs to finish at Comedy Brass at the Meadow Bar with Anthea Neagle and Scott Adams and WLTM with Phillip Wragg and Elena Kombou, with the brilliant Michelle de Swarte headlining. I have erased all mental trace of the power-surge-afflicted microphone at the So You Think You’re Funny? semi-finals and now only happy, false memories of that night remain. Above, on the chalkboard of the Gilded Balloon for the first time. “Boom.” As they say.
Writing in today’s Independent about comedy, being offensive and the importance of silliness. The most offensive (and silly) thing about Edinburgh is how exhausting it is. Despite the intensely reviving properties of Luisa Omielan’s hi-energy Beyonce show last night, Edinburgh has broken me. Six shows down, three to go. And there are people here who have done over 70 shows in four weeks. They look virtually dead.
Good shows at Domestic Science at Canon’s Gait, Funny’s Funny at the Free Sisters (different line-up every day at 7pm) and Funny Women at Harvey Nichols. Bit hit and miss (code for: NIGHTMARE) on the outer edges of the Free Fringe. Everyone moaning that audiences are low because of the Olympics and the recession. It cannot have anything to do with the quality of the shows. (JOKE, JOKE, alright?) But you can make it work. The (free) Beyonce show is turning people away.
What I’ve loved: The Horne Section, Tom Webb, John Gordillo, Lucy Porter, Tim Shishodia and Pat Cahill’s show, Luisa Omielan’s What Would Beyonce Do (catch it tonight or tomorrow if you can — at the Meadow Bar, 10.45pm). I will be in bed.
Beyonce pic by Naomi Nunez.
Great time at the Funny Women Semi-Finals at Music Palace, Crouch End. Lovely venue, big crowd. Sofie Hagen, a young Danish comic, was the winner. A curse upon her. And it was worse. She was really good. A double curse upon her. I came runner-up alongside Kerry Bilson.
This gives us both a Wild Card for the Finals in September. Meanwhile Bridget Christie did a knock-out headline set which was massively inspiring and massively depressing at the same time. I will never be that good.