The Irish in Edinburgh
August; the month when comedians migrate to Scotland to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I don’t know what it’s like for comedians in other countries, but in Ireland the Edinburgh Buzz seems to last all year long; from early talk of who is and isn’t going, to months of previews, to a long period after the festival where war stories are told and retold as boys that went to the festival come home as men, and use this newly minted comedy prowess to invigorate the Irish comedy scene with honed performances and fine-tuned material.
To all the men, women and sketch groups setting off to perform, I wish you all well; everyone here has a favourite among you, and knows of your abilities in front of an audience. To the people attending the festival who may not know what shows to attend I say this; keep an eye out for the Irish. It’s to this extent that No Punchline will be running several features on the Irish in Edinburgh, with dates and times and a few reviews of the shows on offer; I can only hope the modest traffic that this site enjoys can be of some benefit in raising awareness of the wealth of talent that has left this site to perform (most of my google hits are some variation of “Irish” and “comedy” so it can’t hurt).
Helping me with all this is Fellow Comedian Vinny McHale, who kindly offered to submit reviews of some of the preview shows he went to see. Hopefully for these guys, it’s the first of many glowing tributes. First up from Vinny, it’s a show which I loved so much I went to the preview twice;
In 2010 he was the youngest performer at the Edinburgh fringe festival. This year last years young pup may or may not be the youngest but he may well be unrivalled in maturity and development of material in his show.
O’Toole is the most adventurous of these years Irish comedians who are showcasing their talents at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. He has chosen to exercise his comic chops on the obscure subject of fonts. This kind of show will either appeal to you or it won’t. But what unfolded before my very eyes makes me certain that the non-believers will be drawn to the show on the word of mouth by the believers.
Conor O’Toole’s Manual of style is a perfect introductory course to the history and world of fonts. His lecture is delivered by using a number of quirky and innovative techniques. My favourite is at the end where he ties everything together with a musical comedy number on his homemade guitar. This homemade guitar makes him the comedy Brian May of fonts.
O’Toole delivers a hilarious and accomplished show that will stand out in the audiences mind for some time to come.
Conor O’Tooles Manual of Style runs from 4th to 28th August in Just the Tonic at The Store, and is well worth your attention.
And while you’re at it, keep an eye out for more of the best of Irish, starting with;
“Aidan Killian, once an investment Banker explains that all debts and mortgages are just an illusion, he explains how he dealt with his mortgage. Not only will you laugh but you will leave the show feeling a whole lot of love. He believes that “Together, we can save this world one endorphin at a time”
Valerie Lynch and James Belfast
“Once upon a time The Earl of Belfast set out for County Cork. After weeks of tracking, he caught a musical gypsy, leaving only one choice: a two person stand-up show. See the differences between growing up in a castle and growing up in a cave in a culture clash of true 1980s comedy proportions (from two people born in 1990)”
Marcus O’Laoire and Lucy Montague- Moffatt
“Marcus Olaoire, named ‘the next big thing’ by Neil Delamere, is an undeniable charmer with cringe-worthy stories about not trusting vegetarians plus his chilling misfortunes in the kitchen. Lucy Montague-Moffatt was a 2010 Nothing But Funny semi finalist just four months after her first performance. Basically she’s a vegan weirdo and, judging by what she reveals about herself on stage, has no shame … or social skills”
No Punchline will be back again soon with more reviews from Vinny and more can’t-miss shows from the irish in Edinburgh!