DarkChat - Reviewing the Edinburgh Fringe since 2008

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How's Your Fringe?

We are big fans of Beach Comet, previously "Apocalypse Cruise Ship Affair", this year "Vampire

Hospital Waiting Room"  (review here). Founder Theo Macabe gave us his thoughts:

 

So, what are your thoughts about the 2019 festival so far, good and bad?

2019 has been a really good year for us - and that’s all that really matters isn’t it! We’ve been in our biggest space

and sold well and got good reviews. As for other people’s shows i haven’t seen much that’s blown my mind but to

be fair i haven’t had time to see much.  

 

 

Are there any shows you think are worth recommending?

I've heard great things about Ruben Kay. Also you should see Shivani Thussu and Flora Anderson who are always

hilarious.

 

 

When you are not performing how do you normally spend your day? 

I’ve been off the booze for most of this year... but i’m back on it now so have been spending every free minute

meeting friends, drinking myself into a stupor then crying myself to sleep.

 

We were surprised how many shows, especially comedy ones, mentioned the current state of the world,

mainly in pessimistic fashion. Have you noticed any recurring themes of this year’s festival?

Not really - But i have noticed that gender neutral toilets seem to be in fashion.

 

 

 

 

 

We love everything Naz Osmanoglu does and "Scandinaveland" is a welcome addition to his repertoire of

great shows (review here).  He took time out of his busy period investigating dark murders to answer the

following questions:

 

So, what are your thoughts about the 2019 festival so far, good and bad? 

2019 has been lots of fun so far. It's a physically tiring show this, year so I feel exhausted but I've really enjoyed it.

Good - had lovely audiences and seen some great shows. Bad - drinking a pint of milk every day in my show. Urgh

 

 

Are there any shows you think are worth recommending? 

Yes. 'Moon' at the Pleasance Courtyard. Great sketch double act, also Kieran Boyd - Late to The Party. 2.45pm

Marlins Wynd at Just The Tonic

 

 

When you are not performing how do you normally spend your day?

Actually this Saturday I had a day off and I spend it at a wedding eating some of the best canapés I've ever had.

Also there was champagne and dancing...

 

We were surprised how many shows, especially comedy ones, mentioned the current state of the world, mainly in

pessimistic fashion. Have you noticed any recurring themes of this year’s festival? 

I mean everyone has a Brexit joke.. But that was always going to happen. Yes I guess there is a slightly bleak

outlook but it's understandable. I of course completely ignore current affairs and went for a snow ridden Scandi

murder atmosphere. Which is arguably bleaker...

 

 

 

 

 

One of our favourite shows this year was "The Story Of Walter And Herbert" (see our review here)

Joe Bor kindly answered the following questions:

 

So, what are your thoughts about the 2019 festival so far, good and bad?

I’ve loved doing the show and the reaction from audiences has been lovely and has meant a lot. The show

is improving every day but I have still found it a bit more challenging getting audiences in, as my venue got

moved last minute and is incorrectly listed in the brochure.

 

 

Are there any shows you think are worth recommending?

I’m tempted to do what all acts do here and just recommend my friends. I actually haven’t had a chance to

see much yet but Carl Donnelly and John Kearns are always great.

 

 

When you are not performing how do you normally spend your day? 

I try to go to the gym or swim or do some writing, stuff that’s good for my head.

 

 

We were surprised how many shows, especially comedy ones, mentioned the current state of the world,

mainly in pessimistic fashion. Have you noticed any recurring themes of this year’s festival?

I think there’s a lot to be worried about. My show talks about the rise of the fascism and my concerns as a Jew.

In terms of other acts, I’ve noticed a lot of anger towards white men, not specific white men. There are a lot of

acts referring to white men in generic terms which I think is problematic and may actually fuel a further rise in

hostility from the far right. But people are becoming more politicised which is important.

 

As the festival headed into the final stages Jonathan Price (Phillipe from the stunning "An Isolated Dog" who this year are turning "Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde" on its head) gave us his thoughts:

 

Q: So, what are your thoughts about the 2019 festival so far, good and bad?

 

I feel like at any given time I’m only experiencing a tiny slice of the festival, and even over the course of a month these slices don’t nearly add up to something like a whole. The experience is always one of overwhelm, though this being our second go at it has brought with it a welcome familiarity.

 

Q: Are there any shows you think are worth recommending?

 

 

“Only Bones” which is on at the Assembly Roxy has been one of the most engaging things I’ve seen. And I just got back from La Galerie at Assembly Rooms which was fantastic.

 

 

Q: When you are not performing how do you normally spend your day?

 

We have only had one day off this festival. It was spent seeing other shows. And resting!  

 

Q: We were surprised how many shows, especially comedy ones, mentioned the current state of the world, mainly in pessimistic fashion.Have you noticed any recurring themes of this year’s festival?

 

 

The politics of gender, identity and representation are massive this year, as they were last year, and I’m sure will be for some time to come. A lot of biography and personal stories. The feeling of impending environmental collapse seems to hang over everything. But I try to avoid shows that remind me of the contents of my facebook feed. Actually, thinking about it, I avoid shows with “themes” in general!

As the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe enters it's final week we asked some of our favourite performers how they're lasting and how 2019 has been for them.

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In the latest of our  series of mini-interviews asking "How's Your Fringe" we talked to DarkChat favourites Briony Redman and Robin Morgan about what the 2019 Fringe has been like for them and what else they have been up to.  First Briony took time away from  her show "Briony Redman is Indecisive (or Isn't, You Decide!)" (our review here) to answer a couple of questions for us.

 

 

So, what are your thoughts about the 2019 festival so far, good and bad?

I have really enjoyed this festival so far, it's been fun, relatively relaxed and I've seen lots of great shows. I think the weather

has been a positive. I love the mix of rain and sun, it's why I spend my summers here and not London. It's not Edinburgh

unless you have sunscreen and a brolly in your bag.

 

 

Are there any shows you think are worth recommending?

Soooooo many. But to name a few:

•Samantha Hannah: How to Find Happiness in A Year - heartfelt and funny (also she's my cousin).

•Kai Samra: Underclass - brilliant stand-up and moving, think it's my favourite show of this fringe.

•An Audience with Yasmine Day - includes one of those moments you can't stop laughing at.

•Ciaran Dowd: Padre Rodolfo - It should be a movie or TV series, it is so much fun.

•Stevie Martin: Hot Content - so many, very funny jokes in an hour and great theme.

•James McNicholas: The Boxer - another moving show as well as very funny, beautifully written and performed.

•Shivani Thussu: Prefer Not to Say - not seen it because it clashed with me but Shivani always makes me laugh with

everything she does.

•Paul Foxcroft: Debut - again couldn't see it because it clashed with me but he is a storytelling, stand-up champion.

•Bryony Kimmings: I'm a Phoenix Bitch - this is theatre, not comedy. Utterly amazing so had to include it on this list.

•Tom Lenk is Trash - he just makes me laugh all the time. Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigs List was one of my

highlights last year (and is on again this year). I love the messy fun of this show.

Plus a load I have forgotten to mention and also loved.

 

 

After your earliesh performance start how do you normally spend your day?

Aside from drinking coffee and eating cake, I have been doing writing in my afternoons and then trying to see something in

the evening when I am not doing improv at Questing Time or with Anxiety Club. I also did one Werewolf Live which was loads

of fun (I killed villagers with the help of Stevie Martin!)

 

 

We were surprised how many shows, especially comedy ones, mentioned the current state of the world, mainly in

pessimistic fashion. Have you noticed any recurring themes of this year’s festival?

Yeah, impending doom due to our inability to look after our own planet did seem to be a recurring theme. But I think that's fair,

we may be causing our own extinction so it's hard not to think about that. On the positive side I thought it was great to see many

comedy shows talking about representation, equality and mental health. Gives you hope that if the planet survives we will be

better, kinder and fairer humans on it.

 

 

 

Comedian Robin Morgan let's us know how his show "What a Man, What a Man, What a Man, What a Mighty Good Man (Say It Again Now)" has been going at the Pear Tree.  You can read our review of this show (which was already good in July!) in preview here

 

 

So, what are your thoughts about the 2019 festival so far, good and bad? 

I’ve had a lovely time. I’ve worked really hard and had a bit of luck so the rooms have been full. I absolutely don’t want it

to end but also want to be home right this minute. The madness of Edinburgh.

 

 

Are there any shows you think are worth recommending? 

I loved Tarot. I thought it was joyous and scary and stupidly funny.

 

 

When you are not performing how do you normally spend your day?

I do quite a few other gigs throughout the day, try and eat something that isn’t 100% carbohydrate, and watch box sets that

I’ve already watched 100 times before.

 

 

We were surprised how many shows, especially comedy ones, mentioned the current state of the world, mainly in

pessimistic fashion. Have you noticed any recurring themes of this year’s festival? 

My show talks about masculinity and what it is to be a man nowadays, and I think a few comics (especially men) are talking

about this stuff this year. It’s good!

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