Day 17: Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Day 17 started poorly. Had a show which picked us back up again and the audience seemed to love it which was nice.

Then I had a serious day of comedy prepared. Sweeeet!

So off I toddled into the Brass Monkey there on Drummond Street with the beds in the back and sat down with my phone and confirm the tickets I had ordered. Marcus Brigstoocke and his improv crew The Beau Zeaux were first, then Jimeoin and finally Al Porter to finish off. I was excited about the line up.

They are on at 5.45pm (Pleasance), 7.30pm (EICC) and 21.15 (Guided Balloon) respectively so I had just enough time for a quick chat with them all after, a super quick snap and then a fast walk to the next venue. Just how I like it really, no overstayed welcomes or unnecessary questions.

The Beau Zeaux’s 4 Stars

Beaux Zohs 2

The improv crew were first. They are such a nice bunch of people. I’d give the show itself **** (4 Stars) but the level of talent of the individuals in the troupe is unbelievable. Rachel Parris and Thom Tuck were great, Murphy and Deborah Francis White shone and Marcus Brigstocke was his usual charming, quick-witted self. Such a funny show. The reason I’m giving it four stars is they all seemed a little bit tired, concentrating on other shows to come or gone that day and the material they chose to run with didn’t really hold the audiences attention as some five star shows do. I’m sure they will perk up when we only have a week to go. It’s a five star cast with a three star tiredness if that makes sense.

Speaking to them afterwards they were already preparing for their next roles but were really lovely.

The Beaux Zohs

S Tobolowsky 2

Then I bumped into the legend that is Stephen Tobolowsky of Grounhog Day Insurance Salesperson fame (as well as many many other credits). What a nice guy. We had a brief chat about his new show in Pleasance and how he is telling seven different stories on seven different days on incidents that happened in his life. I can’t wait to attend (The Tobolowsky Files – Pleasance – 5.20pm).

Stephen Tobolowsky

Jimeoin and Brian Nice

My next attendance was to be at the EICC (The Edinburgh International Conference Centre) at 19.30. Which would have been grand if it wasn’t so far away…in Edinburgh terms of course. It’s only about half a mile from Cowgate but I had to fly to get there.

There I was to have the pleasure of seeing one of my favourite comedians Jimeoin. I had met him on two previous occasions, both in passing on the street, both which we stopped to say hello and he was kind enough on the second meeting to put me on the Guestlist x2 for his show in the EICC. I ran my little Tiger legs up to the counter at 19.32 (late as usual) and the lady on the reception has my two tickets in an envelope with my name on it.

Even this fact shows how good of a performer and how nice a man Jim is.

Sure, some other comics come out and greet you after their show or wear a smile in your presence when all they want to do is sleep or cry, but, in my opinion, a measure of a comic is how they treat you personally. How much of an effort they make which has no selfish motives. Jimeoin is a comedian in top league.

He has a team behind them that he trusts, they have been through lots together, so he calls up Marlene and says two tickets for TPJ tomorrow please. She says no problem, job done! It was a brilliant show too which made my night.

We had a lemonade when he came down. An easy 5 Star show from me and such an impressive and inspiring man. No wonder he’s selling 500 seats per night.

Jim Eoin Full Crowd On Jimeoins Stage IMG_2386 (2)

Unreal fire photo

My final stop was a brisk walk to Guilded Balloon to see one of my favourite up-and-coming comedians Al Porter.

Al is a gent – a dapperly gay, superbly sharp, gentleman who is as nice in person as he is onstage or on the Colm Hayes radio show in Ireland.

I’d met Al the previous night. We run in the same circles in Ireland, actually he runs in the same circles that I got out of when I was younger…so we had a lot to talk about.

He is a great guy and the show is deservedly selling really well (despite it feeling like we were sitting close to the sun in the audience). He deals with controversial issues such as homophobia, racism and politics briefly but concentrates predominantly on the superficial. That’s where his strength lies. He is an observational comic who uses the beneficial aspects of his personality to enhance his show.

I’d give the show a 5 Star review – just. It’s by no means perfect but I love a show with potential and a hard working, sane chap who is caught in the lights and enjoys the business. He is going to be the next Ed Byrne or Andrew Maxwell, there’s no doubt about that. I know he has signed with a new agent in England, and is with the brilliant Lisa Richards in Ireland so his career should sky rocket in the next few years.

We’ll grab a photo of him later in the week.

We finished off the night up in the Loft Bar with Tommy Tiernan and Eddie Izzard strolling around the gaff. I don’t really like too many people around me looking to see who I was so I went downstairs in the rain, straight to the pizza shop…ate the pizza and used the box as my umbrella. Happy with that. Into bed at 11.30pm. Not a bad day at all.

Reviews to follow

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