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!


“ 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!


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!

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

“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!

HeadsUp Interview

Protect ya neck! And more importantly, protect yer mental health. Here’s a wee interview I did for while waiting around to go onstage at a festival in Maynooth (a gig  which was so awful it set my mental wellbeing back by about five years, ironically). Have a wee look and remember if something is bothering you, stop being so fucking Irish about it!