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Fringe Diary, 2nd week

To be honest the first show I went to see was on the 6th August (the Fringe doesn't officially start till the 7th, I think). I was bored, and after searching around for a bit on the Fringe website, I found a show I liked the sound of - The Free Beer Show at the Baby Belly.

Steaming pile of crap. The beer was a warm can of Carlsberg (usually not too bad but a. can b. warm beer). The Baby Belly is nothing more than a cave, complete with dripping water and the heat of 100 or so bodies crammed into one space. Everyone was really tired, comedians included, so no one really laughed much.

Rent was due and had to send some pounds home to silence the credit card companies so nothing for the rest of that week.

Sunday 14th August, ticket to see Tom Gleeson at the Gilded Balloon Teviot. Very relaxed comic, and it was a cosy setup. His routine was all about nicknames, and a bit of a bitch about his sponsors and the next door neighbours. Not the sort of comic to pick on people in the front row (unless they heckle him). A few good belly-aching laughs, though generally it was like being on cruise control. Couple of good nicknames came out of it (Tom's top ten from doing the show): Clock - guy who had several fingers cut off one of his hands in a lumber yard accident (has a big hand and a little hand). Milky - had some toes amputated (Lactose - lacked toes). Mermaid - what some truckies call weighbridge operators (cunts with scales).

I didn't have anything else planned for Sunday night, I was going to go home and sleep (very long weekend). Then Paul msg'ed me asking if I wanted to go to a late night show. What the hell.

The show was officially called Phat Cave, but was really just a reason for some Fringe comics to let loose and have some fun at the end of the night. Mickey D compered; I'll admit I was pretty tired by this point though Mickey D was sufficiently funny to raise the vibe of the place. First up was Julia Wilson, then Tammy Lee Davies, some weird English guy from Croyden, Ed burns and finally, Brendon Burns, who was in the Free Beer Show, but in much better form here. Tammy Lee is a "Little Person" ie a midget. Her routine was based around her stature, to be honest I do feel a little guilty laughing about it, but then in the context of stand-up comedy its ok.

Julia Wilson was ok; she is an ex-bouncer from Australia, and funny in parts, but I think she wasn't really on form partly because she was sick and it was very late. Weird guy from Croyden was strange at first, and had a tendency to rapid-fire some of his dialogue so it was difficult to understand. Subtle humour but well-executed. Ed Burns is a classic and experienced stand-up. Some well-established routines, little bit of improv, some front row poking. (By this time we were, as an audience, well warmed up, so the laughs were coming thick and fast now). Brendan Burns as I mentioned before was on at the Free Beer Show; and is a very aggressive, shouty, swearing type comic. Very unpredictable. Even sitting 3 rows back may not guarantee you from being picked on (let alone the front row). I was too tired to appreciate him at FBS, but in Phat Cave I was well and truly warmed up by the high quality of comedians on before him.

Burns by default tries to be completely unpredictable; one of the first things he did is throw the mic down in disgust at the lack of enthusiasm displayed by the crowd and demand to be introduced again. Then he proceeded to jump on a poor woman in the front row and force his tongue down her throat. Looking up at the slightly shocked audience, he proclaimed, "Its not rape because its funny!". He tried it on the guy in front of us after that, but he called Burns' bluff: the guy was gay, and simply picked up Burns and started dry humping him on the floor. The audience was in hysterics, then the gay guy gave him some chewing gum and it was all over for us. Burns continued on with a sample from his routine, then picks on a front row couple, eventually getting Tammy up on stage to kick his ass. Julia comes back up on stage to throw Burns on his ass. A couple guys at the bar start talking while he is talking, which draws ire from Burns. (Apparently during one of his Fringe shows, some guy got up to go to the toilet. Disgusted at the breach of etiquette, Burns invited everyone to follow the guy to the toilet, and then finished his routine standing on the basin in the mens) "Wasn't the sight of a midget jumping on a guy and kicking his ass enough to keep you interested?".

The last kick that brought the house down happened when Tammy kicks Burns' ass, then drags him off stage. The other comedians take turns to come on stage and do their best Brendan Burns impression. ("You're all fucking cunts, cuntlips cocksuckers cunt-cocker-lips-suck-fucking-fuckity-fuck ..." etc etc) Burns returns and sits in a corner and sulks.

I didn't get much sleep Sunday night. Monday was a very slow day, thankfully boss didn't show up so I slept through the day.

Monday night Jess was home, and she came with to go watch The Umbilical Brothers at Pleasance Courtyard. These guys are comedians, but they usually stick to a fairly rigid script/routine. Due to the impersonal nature of the theatre (seated say about 500-600 at a shot, compared to Tom Gleeson/Phat Cave which could fit maybe 50 at a time in) there wasn't a whole lot of audience participation. Very, very funny though. There was an excellent joke involving a plant in the audience - who was loudly and obviously kicked out for disrupting the show by answering his phone, only to be called later by the performers (who needed him back). On the phone you can hear Jimeoin in the background, kicking him out of his show for being a terrible plant. You had to be there.

Speaking of Jimeoin, thats on the agenda for tonight (2150 start). Tomorrow night The Presidents of the United States of America are playing the Liquid Rooms (as part of T on the Fringe) so I've got tix to go check that out. Thursday I'm off to see the Chinese State Circus (only cause they have Shaolin dudes with swords) in the Meadows. Friday - Friday is New Pub Friday, which pretty much explains itself. But also Friday means pay day, which means new round of ticket-buying for shows for next week, which should include, but are not limited to:

Busy, busy month. With my second job going on during the weekends, I haven't had a day off for over two weeks now, and probably won't have one until the 2nd week of September now.



Steve P
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