Archive for the ‘ Reviews ’ Category

It’s Another No Punchline Christmas Comedy DVD Blowout!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so that means it’s time to enlist the help of Border-Straddling comedy guru Matthew Collins once again to give a rundown of the comedy DVDs you should be keeping an eye out for this year. Take it away, Mattie!

About a year ago I was a year younger. Nothing too amazing about that, I think the same is true for most of us. But the point was it was my birthday then and I had treated myself to a bumper crop of comedy DVDs. In fact Gerry asked me to do a Christmas buying guide round up of those self-same purchases and I happily obliged. If you’re curious you could look back at that round up and if you don’t already own them, they’re still just as funny and are probably cheaper this Christmas. Alternatively you could have a read of this year’s round up instead for more up to date funnies. So up to date in fact, that I am recommending them to you without as yet having seen any of them (since as I type this they have yet to be delivered).
I can guarantee that they are must have gifts this Christmas. In fact a few of them were must have gifts last Christmas. I put in the pre-orders without carefully reading them only to discover later that they did not dispatch in November 2010 as I thought, but rather November 2011. Who knew you could pre-order DVDs so far in advance. Not me I can tell you that much. I ordered these so long ago I had forgotten all about them (one of them, I had even forgotten that I had forgotten about it earlier in the year and tried to pre-order it again) but when I got an email update from Amazon the other day to tell me my order had dispatched it was a pleasant surprise, like a little birthday present from past me. How nice of him. And he knows my tastes so well. I should get him something. So here’s a quick round up of my pre-order purchases, which by the time you read this I’m sure will be on full release and available to buy for real. Some Ho Ha Ha stocking filler ideas.

Reginald D. Hunter – Live

This was the one I forgot about twice and tried to pre-order again, only to forget about that too. Reg is one of my absolute comedy heroes and this is his DVD debut. He is the living embodiment of cool and his voice just resonates awesome. He’s also just incredibly funny. I first saw him a few years ago in Kilkenny and then again in the Iveagh Gardens and he is one of my absolute favourite performers who I will always make an effort to see live. He once described me as looking like an undercover FBI agent that was just trying too hard.

Sarah Millican – Chatterbox Live

Who doesn’t love Sarah Millican? She’s a brilliant comic and a brilliant person. Cute and innocent face of a secretary, then she opens her mouth and out pours filth. Hilarious filth. Can’t tell you how much I love this woman. In 2008 she won the newcomer award at Edinburgh and has just gone from strength to strength. Earlier this year she had a BBC TV show project get the go ahead so there’s that to look forward to, but in the meantime we’ve got this DVD. Another DVD debut and about time too.

Dylan Moran – Yeah Yeah

In last year’s Christmas shopping roundup I mentioned a Dylan DVD that was just a 100 minute highlight reel of his previous 3 DVDs. Now this is what I wanted last year. New stuff. And excellent new stuff too I might add (having seen the show at the Galway Comedy Festival this year), but then what do you expect. This is Dylan. Worth the wait.

So that’s my pre-orders. Here’s a few quick recommendations of stuff just available now or available soon in the also on my wishlist category.

• New Ross Noble DVD, the Headspace Cowboy, only available via his website. Readers of last years review will know Im a massive Noble fan.

• New Adam Hills DVD, Inflatable, now available. From his website or in actual shops. Widely recognised as the nicest man in comedy, and also one of the funniest.

• New Tim Minchin DVD, Tim Minchin and The Heritage Orchestra (Live at the Royal Albert Hall). Some new songs, some classics. All accompanied by an impressive orchestral backing. Very cool.

Also wanna give a quick shout out to the website www.gofasterstripe.com a little indie business in Wales that specialise in bringing some of the less well known comedy acts to the DVD market in a form that’s affordable for all (the comic and the consumer). I love the ethos of these guys and I think it’s a great little business model and would be cool if something similar existed here in Ireland. (Abie Bowman, might well agree after his admirable efforts to crowd fund the independent recording of his 3 shows for DVD).
There are some absolute gems available here and only here, including some of the earlier shows of the likes of Stewart Lee and Richard Herring. I head there every so often and pick up some excellent shows you won’t find anywhere else and at bargain prices. Well worth considering as that extra little gift for someone you don’t love quite as much to buy them an expensive gift. (or just a genuine fan of comedy, who’ll really appreciate some of these fantastic shows). Here’s a quick rundown of some of my recent gofasterstripe purchases, but they’ve got an extensive catalogue for your perusal well worth a look.

Craig Campbell – Death of a Badger

Craig Campbell is a Canadian stereotype, a bear of man and absolutely hilarious. I watched this DVD this evening and then settled down to write this entire Christmas roundup almost solely so I could recommend this show while it was fresh in my mind. Very funny stuff and also the first show I’ve seen where the show and the filming doesn’t stop as the comic changes his trousers at a logical interval point. Worth the price of the DVD even for just the introduction story about him given by Brendon Burns before bringing him on stage. Buy it.

Tony Law – Tony Law’s Brainporium

 
I love Tony Law. He’s surreal and he’s awesome. “Books are good….unless the acting in your head is shit”. That’s a quote I will always remember from the first time I saw Tony live and it will always stick with me. Tony is a real comedian’s comedian. Not everyone will love him as much as I do, but those that love comedy can’t help but love what he does as he deconstructs established comedy tropes before your eyes in his own weird and wonderful way. This year at the Edinburgh festival Tony won some Amused Moose competition that means his latest show “Go Mr Tony Go” will get a full in shops DVD release. It’s an excellent show and one which has been on my wishlist since it was announced. But this is the Edinburgh show from the year before and that along with an earlier dvd also available here (An Hour and some of Tony Law) are must haves for any self-respecting Tony Law fan. Also when I saw ‘Go Mr Tony Go’ this year there was an awesome call back to what Tony had been doing the year before. Now you too can get that joke if you buy this DVD.

Kevin Eldon – Kevin Eldon is Titting About

DVD debut from “the actor Kevin Eldon” as he is often referred to by Stewart Lee. You’ll have seen Kevin over the years acting in any number of comedy tv shows but he’s also a marvellous comedian in his own right. Some great character pieces and just generally hilarious. Saw this show live in Belfast earlier in the year and glad to get a chance to own it on DVD.

And that’ll do it. If anything I’ve recommended too much, but can you really ever have too much comedy? Probably, but the beauty of DVDs is you can keep them on your shelf and watch them at your leisure. (When you’re not out enjoying live comedy like you should be). Just a few gift ideas from a bearded man at Christmas. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good laugh.

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24 Hours at the Edinburgh Fringe

And so another year of my comedy adventures rolled by without me sacking up and doing an Edinburgh show. Year after year I’d hear stories and reports from my comedy cohorts about the comedy Bootcamp that is the yearly Fringe festival, and year after year I’d nod and say, Maybe next year. Truth is, it’s unlikely I’ll get to put on my own show in Edinburgh for a long time; it would require a financial outlay that I’m unable/ too miserable to commit to, plus I’ve yet to find the right way to word it to my girlfriend that I’d be using all of my holidays from work to bugger off to do comedy for four weeks. But all that doesn’t excuse the fact that I’ve never even BEEN to Edinburgh, to even scoot over and see what the festival is like… flights cost fuck all, I have a pal living over there so I have accomodation…why not just hop over for a day and see some shows? So this week, that’s exactly what I did.

The story begins on Wednesday at Idiot O’Clock, as does most RyanAir flights. Eager to get over as early as possible (read; save a fiver) I booked a flight at six in the morning, so that picture up there is me waiting on the Aircoach outside Quinns at like half four, barely fit to stand. compounding my idiocy, I had nipped downtown the night before to do a set in the Mish-Mash, meaning I was one grumpy fucker in the morning (I died on my hole the night before as well, which didn’t help). I was hoping the early part of this blog would be a bunch of witticisms about Airports, Airport security, RyanAir and what the “deal” was with the whole thing, but in reality Air travel is a fairly well oiled machine at this stage. I had printed my boarding card the night before and pretty much strolled through security, and got my seat and flew off. It was a doddle. The only thing of interest the whole time was the fact that Sean from Foil Arms and Hog was pictured on the overhead bins as part of the Meteor a campaign, and I nudged the person beside me in a stupor of sleep deprivation/ and six am in-flight Heiniken (classy) and said “See that lad? It’s his birthday today”.

And half an hour later, BAM; Edinburgh. A bus into town, no problems… other than the fact that it wasn’t  eight o’clock yet and no-one was up. Deluded as I am, I started sending a few texts to comedians wondering if they were around for coffee or breakfast (they would reply many, many hours later and inform me that they had been asleep at the time which, to be fair, what the fuck else was I expecting). I make up my itinerary for the day; the first Irish show I want t see is around twelve, then there’s another at half one. Then lunch, then skip over and catch two more shows before meeting up with Abie Philbin Bowman who has kindly agreed to let me perform at one of his shows around five. The catch the first half of one show before nipping out to catch the second half of another, then catch more shows after that. Dinner, another show, then a few pints then home. Spoiler Alert; none of this happens. I get off the bus and meet my friend Noel, fellow CMXican currently working in Edinburgh, who draws me a map of where everything is.

"Here be dragons"

Following our meeting, I set off on my noble quest, the first half of which involves waiting around for two hours for anything to start. I find the Royal Mile, Fringe central, where everyone had told me tales of how packed and mental the whole place is. I don’t see the big deal; it’s kinda quiet. This is half nine, however. I wander up and down the mile, taking in the castle sights, finding a few directions to shows I want to see, and sitting down for a breakfast which includes my first ever taste of haggis.

Haggis is FUCKING DELICIOUS.

Ten thirty, and the Mile is picking up a bit. Theater performers are starting to draw the attentions of the crowds; there are fucking mimes everywhere. The place is a Mimefield, ho ho. Seriously, back the fuck off, man. On top of the ac-tors and the mimes are the street performers, juggling fire and yelling to attract crowds. Most of them seem to spend the first twenty minutes assembling a crowd and begging them to come “a little bit closer”. Then they do their juggling act and, AND, they do a bit of whip work. WHAAAAA-TISHHH! When did street performers get whips? This is a new thing. Like, every one of them has a bullwhip. I watch one guy for a while then bugger off. Through the course of the day, I will see him perform four more times. The sensory overload of the mile gets to be a wee bit too much for me, and I find myself spending twenty minutes watching a guy do nothing except be upside-down in a bucket.

ART.

I have a flick through the Fringe brochure/ catalogue thing while having a coffee (my drinking schedule for the day is intended to see me remain relatively sober, and goes alcohol-coffee-alcohol-coffee… That’s sustainable, right?). Other than all the Irish acts, one show name catches my attention and makes me laugh. I figure fuck it; It’s a free show, it’s on early in the day, I have fuck all else to do… yeah, take a chance! Go see a show by some new comedian you’ve never heard of. That’s what the Fringe is for, right? The show is on in Jekyl and Hyde, (not far from The Stand, and yes I did go in and introduce myself to the office staff to try and wrangle a few gigs out of them later in the year; I may be on holiday but hustle doesn’t sleep) a venue which has Aidan Killians bright blue eyes postered all over the front of it. I make a note to return for Aidans show later (Spoiler Alert; Doesn’t happen) and sit down with eight other people to watch a young English comedian launch into his show.

It is AWFUL.

I mean, really terrible. The show starts with him welcoming us to a show that has been called “Tedious, unfunny and a downright waste of time by critics”, and then sets about living up to that hype. I want to leave.There is no way I can waste an hour at this. I keep giving him another five minutes to get better, to make a point or to be at all entertaining. This goes on for a half hour until I cannot stand it any longer. I’ve never walked out of a comedy show in my life. What if he draws attention to the fact that I’m leaving? What do I say? What if he makes a show out of me? Do I get defensive? Do I tell him the truth? This is awful! I hate this! Is this what it’s like to be an audience member at a comedy show? This is terrible! I’m never going to a comedy show again! I duck and swivel off my chair and scuttle out as if I’m dodging return fire. Back on the street, I make my way up to the center of town again, bumping into the girls from Shinoxcy on the way. They’re quieter than I’ve ever seen them, and after a long month performing at the festival I couldn’t blame them. I’ve been here six hours and I’m shattered. That’s not something that gets better when I reach the Royal Mile, where things have gotten somewhat busier…

The mile is considerably harder to negotiate at this stage. People cram fliers into your hands every five steps. Every show seems to have gotten four star reviews. When you put one flier into your pocket, you’re handed two more. I have made a mental note to drop the next mime that prances in front of me. I head to Finnegans Wake to catch Ian Perth ripping it up with his solo show Schoolbooks in Wallpaper. This is the polar opposite of the shite I’d seen earlier in the day; energetic, funny, striking the right tone with the crowd, and altogether entertaining. After the show, I have a chat with Ian and Patser Murray, about how the month has been so far. They  have had good attendances at most gigs, so they’re pretty happy. They show me around the city a bit, so I can see where all these shows are that I’ll end up not going to. After they leave, I visit some of the venues out of curiosity. Just the Tonic at the Store, which will host Conor O’Toole and Rory O’Hanlon, looks very nice from the outside. The Gilded Balloon where large numbers of Irish acts will play looks imposing from the outside. Opium, where Eric Lalor will be playing in a few hours, looks kinda scary. I make a note of where all these places are and vow to come back later (Spoiler; doesn’t happen). It’s at this point that Edinburgh, keen to show me everything it has to offer, decides that it’s time to let the rain start falling.

Shit just got grim; umbrellas threaten to poke out eyes, Mime make-up begins to run. This curious love affair I’m having with the city ebbs and flows; I walk for fifty yards thinking wow, I’d love to be here for a month, doing my show and living it up. I walk another fifty yards and I can’t wait to go home. Halfway down the road, I meet Rory O’Hanlon, who informs me that it’s been raining like this, solid, for a week. He seems in good spirits though, with his shows doing well, but there is a look in the mans eye that suggests that he wouldn’t mind joining me in a baton charge on some drama students. I toddle off to a place called Cafe Roma, where Abie Philbin Bowman has offered me a short set. I meet Abie (and my friend Noel) and proceed to help in drumming up a crowd for the show, introducing me to the other delight of performing at Edinburgh; flyering.

"Hello Sir, madam, would you like to..."

"...A free comedy show, if you would like to...sir?"

"Hello? Hello? Could you... Hello?"

"ACKNOWLEDGE ME, DAMN YOU, I AM A PERSON!!!!!!!"

Abie, on the other hand, is a dab hand at flyering, and has assembled a fine crowd of about forty people in the small downstairs room. I go down and do a lovely wee gig, taking care not to do any material that too irish-centered, to see how I play to the largely British crowd. It goes over quite well, as does the headliner for the show Robbie Bonham. I shuffle on after the show and meet up with Trevor Browne on the Mile, who was hard at work getting people into his show. He’s waiting on some reviews to come in from previous shows; this strikes me as something important to all the guys over here. Most of them are performing well and most of them are doing alright out of the donations buckets after the show, but what they really want is the reviews; good reviews that they can use to book more work with, both back home and in the UK. I leave Trevor to his work and head off to Noels flat to wash and get ready to go back out, missing most of the shows I’d wanted to see in the process. I get a call from Marcus O’Laoire to help him out with his show, to fill in for Lucy Montague-Moffatt who has gone down with food poisoning. Maybe she had the same haggis as I did, cos it is starting to give me a dose of the Tom Tits. I head over to Marcus’ show, where he’s ripping it up.

You can see the difference a month makes in Marcus’ performance; the intensive comedy training that you can only get from a full month of focused gigging shines through in his act. he’s sharper, his timing is better, his material has no fat on it at all. In Edinburgh, you cannot fail to improve. It’s bootcamp for comedians. Marcus brings me on, and I have a great time. It’s a lovely gig in a lovely room, and I do quite well based on the fact that it’s ninety percent irish and I don’t have to change fuck all of my set (which is a bit disappointing as I would have liked to have had a bit more of a challenge). Still, we wrap up and go out and get stocious. Marcus takes me and Noel and some other to a wee bar and we get drunk on viscous, syrupy beer while Marcus eats a cheese and cold meat platter.

KEEPING IT REAL.

As for the rest of the night; Edinburgh has me now. The night descends into a boozy Russian Roulette game of Pop-Up Pirates with a bunch of surly Aussies, and then… I don’t know. I just don’t know.

I wake up next morning in Noels flat. He puts me on the bus out to the Airport and I fuck off back home on a RyanAir flight seemingly piloted by someones cousin, given how hard he slammed it onto the Dublin tarmac. Looking back at the day gone by, it struck me all at once how much I would love to do my own Edinburgh show, and how much I would hate it. The brilliance of the audiences versus the trudge of flyering. The spirit and pride of the performers versus the spitefullness of some reviewers (and I would point out the assassination of an esteemed Irish act by a Chortle reviewer as my citation here; seriously, the last time there was an assassination like that, it kicked off a World War). The long days and the getting up to it all over again. The sunshine versus the driving rain. The delicious haggis dinner versus the vicious haggis skitter. Could I go through it daily, for a whole month? Maybe we’ll find out next year, but for now I have a renewed respect for those that have done it this year, and will be coming home next week. Well done, each and every one of you.

And if you see my Liver on the Royal Mile, bring it with you would ya?

The Irish in Edinburgh part 6

Welcome along to the last part of The Irish in Edinburgh, be sure to catch part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5!!

Well, the Fringe Festival is in full swing, with great reviews rolling in left and right for the Irish acts. I’m heading over myself in a few weeks to try and catch as many shows as possible in one day (and who knows, maybe try to book one or two spots myself). Thanks to all who kept an eye on the blog for the last few weeks, thanks very much to Vinny McHale for submitting his reviews, and for those that clicked over here from Edinburgh-related Google searches, I hope you took the time to catch some of the acts featured. If not, there is still time before the festival finishes, including last but not least, this final selection of Irish acts, starting with my own review of a show by one of my favourite acts on the Irish Circuit today!

I caught several previews of Rory O’Hanlons third Edinburgh show “Is it Just me that’s Mental?”, the follow up to the acclaimed “Ginger Nuts” and “United by Liverpool”. In the drafts that I watched, Rory explores several themes that should be familiar to those that know his previous work, along with a wealth of new topics and opinions ranging from troubles with visiting Heads-Of-State to dabbling in self-help guides. Delivered with Rorys trademark laid back charm, this show contains what could probably be my favourite joke I’ve heard all year… You would be mental to miss this show.

“Is it Just me that’s Mental?” runs until the 28th at 16:20 in Just the Tonic at the store.

And further to that review, I’d like to post a few more links to other Irish acts in the fringe. I know I’ve probably missed shitloads more acts and for that I apologise, but for now why don’t you check out….

Eddie Naessans

The critically acclaimed Eddie Naessans brings his show “Butter People” to Dropkick Murphys, playing at 17:00 until the 28th. For more on Eddie, click here.

John Lynn

I had the pleasure of gigging with John in the run-up to Edinburgh time and caught glimpses of his latest show; audiences are in for a treat if the head to the Gilded Balloon at 9:30 until the 28th. For more info, head here.

Keith Farnan

Fresh off his work on Michael McIntyres Roadshow and his shows “Sex Traffic” and “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs, All Welcome”, Keith Farnan brings his new show “Money, Money, Money” to The Underbelly on Cowgate street, at 18:20 until the 28th. Head here for more on Keith.

So head on over and check out all the links to all the acts featured here over the past few weeks; proof for those that needed it that Irish comedy is still exporting raw talent, year after year. No Punchline will be back soon, perhaps with an account of my one day excursion to Edinburgh, and after that we get back to the serious business of finishing this 32 county challenge!

The Irish In Edinburgh part 5

For more from the Irish in Edinburgh, here’s part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4!

The festival has been rocking and rolling for a couple of weeks now, but we’re only scratching the surface of the Irish talent currently performing; a talent which has been lauded with great reviews from day one. Without further ado, No Punchline dives back into the shows you MUST see while in Edinburgh, handing you back over to Vinny McHale for a few words on another great show he caught in the run-up to the Fringe!

“Misspelled”

“ Is Masturbaration a side effect of Dyslexia “. That is just one of the myths about dyslexia that Comedian Aidan Bishop tackles. His show Misspelled is about Aidan’s battles with Dyslexia. Having being diagnosed in 2008 Aidan is yet another one of those who spent the majority of his life to date, not understand what was the root of the problem..

Dyslexia is a recognized condition but unfortunately very misunderstood. Aidan Bishop perfectly points this out fully. He informs us of the difficulties one might have if they suffer from dyslexia. One of the symptoms is how it can affect your speech and communication. In Aidan’s case he may want use a particular word but instead of using it he substitutes it with word that sounds and is spelled similary. His light hearted depiction of his younger self being ridiculed for making the mistakes dyslexia causes is astounding. You can understand the frustration many people with dyselexia have. Imagine having a treatable condition being undiagnosed and being mistaken for retardation. Not very nice. Then there is the misunderstanding of what dyslexia is and the myths that grow out of it. Aidans routine on “ Dyslexics get free computers “ is wonderful but the icing on the cake is when he informs us of the I.T. tools available to those with dyslexia. This introduces us to a new comedian called Tech Speech guy. Well worth the watch.

Many comics refer to their dyslexia but most rarely go into it with such detail, openness and conviction. Misspelled is truly an informative piece that is well worth the investment of an hour. A solid piece that will leave audience members recognizing certain aspects of themselves in what Aidan is saying. Some of whom may be only finding out for the first time on both sides of the line.

Misspelled plays in the Gilded Balloon at 9pm until the 28th of August, and thanks once more to Vinny for taking the time to submit his reviews. Now let’s dive into some more must-see Irish Shows!

Jarlath Regan

You might want to make the Gilded balloon your Mecca for Irish comedy, because earlier in the day at 7pm you get the oppurtunity to catch Jarlath Regans wonderful Shock and Ahhh!!! show, running until the 28th as well. For more info on Jarlath, head here.

Eric Lalor

At the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time, Eric Lalor is rocking it up in Opium (venue 96) at 19.45 until the 28th, adding more feathers to his already feathery cap. Follow Eric on Twitter to see him take over the comedy world one dubstep at a time!

Colm O’Regan

And at 4pm until the 29th in- you guessed it- the Gilded Balloon, is Colm O’Regan with his acclaimed show Dislike; a Facebook Guide to the Recession. Having already played as a solo show in the Kilkenny Cat Laughs Festival, Dislike has been garnering great reviews, and is not to be missed. Catch up with Colm here.

No Punchline returns in a few days with the last of our Edinburgh guides, see you then!

The Irish in Edinburgh part 4

For more from the Irish in Edinburgh, here’s part 1, part 2 and part 3!

With so many acts heading over to Edinburgh from our shores, you could probably spend the whole festival checking out the Irish talent. And would that be so bad? Here’s another batch of the best acts from Ireland currently rocking the Fringe. Vinny McHale will be back with another review soon, but for now here’s my two cents worth…

Foil, Arms and Hog;  Comedy Doesn’t Pay is the lads third excursion to the Fringe festival, featuring their most honed and hilarious work thus far. The trio bring an energy and originality to the stage that who all who witness it; to have a troupe featuring the talent of one of these performers would be enviable having three is just downright majestic. With sketches ranging from the finest of situation comedy to the surrealest flights of fancy, none of which ever slide into dreaded “wacky” territory, it won’t be long before the lads have to alter the name of their show. Because having comedy like this IS going to pay, big time.

Foil, Arms and Hog; Comedy Doesn’t Pay runs in the Gilded Balloon, Teviot until the 29th August. For more details, check out their website.

And here’s more of the best Irish Acts playing the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

Shinoxcy

The wonderful women of Shinoxcy bring “There’s No I in Shinoxcy” toFingers Piano Bar, frederick St at 2pm until the 27th, except Mondays.

Abie Philbin Bowman

From the creator of Jesus; The Guantanamo Years, Eco-Friendly Jihad and  Sex, Lies & the KKK comes Pope Benedict, Bond Villain; the latest show from Abie Philbin Bowman. Running at The Pleasance until the 29th, you can follow Abie on twitter for more info here. And as Abie is clearly not a man who believes in spare time, he’s also taking charge of Oklahomaphobia! in a venue called Ciao Roma, which features his own stand-up and guest appearances at 17:50 until the 29th.

Fred Cooke

Fred Cooke plays the Gilded Balloon at 13:15 until the 29th August with his high energy comedy juggernaut “Comfort in Chaos, early reports point towards deservedly packed houses. For more info, head here.

Neil Dougan

And one more for today; Neil Dougan- Rough Rared, a new show from one of Northern Irelands best comedians. Performing at Just the Tonic at the Store until the 28th at 5:20, I caught some excerpts of this show in the past few months, and a treat awaits all who attend. For more info, head here.

Part 5 coming soon! With so many Irish comedians rocking Edinburgh, it could take the whole month to get around them all!

The Irish in Edinburgh part 3

The Irish in Edinburgh part 1, part 2.

With the fringe festival now in full swing, we’re going to rock on here at No Punchline with more of what you can expect from the talented bunch that set sail from these shores to perform. I stress “from these shores” because our next featured performer is an Aussie through and through, but hey; we adopted him. Here’s Vinny McHale with a quick review of what to expect from Damian Clark: Stand Up.

For those of you who don’t know who Damian Clarke is He is an antipodean tour de force who is a natural mirthster. Damian Clark Stand up is Damo’s return to the Edinburgh Fringe festival since his hugely successful two hander “ I Dare ya “ with Andrew Stanley.

Clarke is a western Australian boy who arrived on our shores six years ago. Everybody who hears the accent will ask the question “ What the fuck are you doing here. In Damo’s own words “ Give me 50 mins and I will tell you “.

Over 50 minutes Damo takes us through his introduction to Irish society with his love of Irish slang words like gee, to his motorway geography knowledge of his native oz and Ireland. He recants his pet hate which happens to be his girlfriend’s pet cat. Mainly because the cats is considered to be a real person. It’s a fun hour which isn’t a crammed with criticisms but a love of the bewilderment that his current environment provides.

If your looking for a pure stand up show than this is for you. I am fastidious when it comes to comedy. However my face was sore with the follow through of listening to Damian Clarks jokes and stories. A must for any one interested in comedy.

Damian Clark; Stand Up runs until the 28th of August at 10pm in the Gilded Balloon.

And while you’re in Edinburgh, check these out too;

Eric Gudmunsen

RyanAir lost my Baby by Eric “Scottie Dundee” Gudmunsen runs in The Jekyl and Hyde from the 4th to the 28th of August, see website for further details!

Ian Perth

Or you could head to Finnegans Wake between now and the 27th to catch “schoolbooks in Wallpaper” by Ian Perth. You can check out specific times and dates here.

Pick ‘n Micks

And if Schoolbooks in Wallpaper isn’t enough Ian Perth for ya, you can also catch him as part of Pick ‘n Micks, which runs across two venues (The Meadow Bar at 7.45 or the Counting  House at 00.15 for nite-owls), where he’ll be joined by the prestigious talents of Greg Marks, John Brennan and Patser Murray!

Shows are roaring in thick and fast so I’ll be back tomorrow with a new batch! Most of my google hits coming in this past week are Irish comedy and Edinburgh related, so hopefully it’ll mean a few extra faces at Irish gigs in Edinburgh!

The Irish in Edinburgh part 2

Part 1 of The Irish in Edinburgh can be found here.

Welcome back to No Punchlines rundown of the best Irish acts performing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August. Early reports from the festival speak of good attendences and a great atmosphere, so hopefully our home-grown talents will get a chance to rock as many people as they deserve to.

In the last post, we had a guest review from Vinny McHale, who will return with another review soon; today, I’m going to give my personal account of what I feel will be one of the true gems of the fringe;

“Greaterness” by Trevor Browne sees the internationally renowned singer-songwriter graciously take time out of his hectic schedule to play an intimate venue for some of his closest fans, playing for them a mix of beloved greatest hits mixed with tales of his life and travels…

With “Greaterness” comedian Trevor Browne has pulled off the impossible; he has created an onstage persona that is simultaenoesly utterly preposterous and utterly believable. In the preview that I watched, Browne faced a crowd that were mostly in on the joke, mixed with those who were unaware that it was an act; such is his conviction of character. From the moment he steps onstage, he lives it. He breathes it. The act is never dropped for a second. The audience is whisked away on a tour de force of hits ranging from songs about break-ups to surreal meetings with long-dead mentors. Everything is delivered with a confidence that would envied by even the most established acts.

“Greaterness” is a show not to be missed on the Edinburgh Fringe, and runs from August 6th to 29th (excluding 15th)at 19.45 in the Rabbi Burns, 103 High Street.

Other great Irish shows on the Fringe, you say?

Brave New Irish

Brave New Irish is a one-stop shop for those looking for the cream of Irish talent under one roof. From the 4th to the 27th August in Finnegans Wake (venue 101). Week one (4th-11th) sees George Fox and Damon Blake with their 21st Century Boys, and early word suggests that you go early to this one as dozens of punters have been turned away from packed houses already.

Week two (12th-19th) hands the reins over to “Sorry We’re Not more Famous”, the comedy pairing of Kieran Lawless and Barry Mack. Having caught extracts of this show during previews, I can assure punters that this is one not to miss.

Last  but definately not least is week 3 (20th-27th) has Edwin Sammon team up with Kevin McGahern. It’s not for me to pick which Brave New Irish show would be the most unmissable, but… well, I guess it is up to me. And it would be this one; Tedfest Award Winning Edwin pairing with who I believe is one of the most creative comedians on the scene? This is a true treasure waiting for the punters of the Edinburgh Fringe.

No Punchline will be back with more  from the Fringe soon!