Started out with Dan Nightingale showing a lot of class on his Fringe debut. He gives the impression of being a very natural comic, expressing himself well with his body and facial expressions, using a bunch of real stories and some gags based on the contrast between the tough “street” side to Manchester thats its well known for and the actual comfortable middle class reality of his lifestyle.
I was planning to dash over to see Wil Hodgson at this point but the timing was tight and I bumped into Mark Olver and caught his show instead. Sporting an impressive beard, Olver spun a tale of walking all the way to Edinburgh – from his native Bristol. Before the show some slides offered insightful comments on walking from writers through the images, tho Mark’s stories were of the more pragmatic reality of such a trip. There were some lows in his travels as you’d expect, which with a couple of other colourful takes provided enough meat to the show tho pacing wise he did perhaps spend a little too much time engaged with friendly chat with the audience (particularly on the subject of pies), meaning the show meandered a little before being rushed a bit at the end. Very friendly and chatty.
Becky Donohue whom I met the day before is playing a double header with a fellow brassy New Yorker Nicole Korkolis called “Fuck this show (you know you want to)”. Becky is high energy and both were playful with the crowd who in combination of being British and late in a hot room, were quieter than the more exuberant American crowds, tho clearly enjoying themselves none the less. There were quite a few fairly young people in the crowd who shyly interacted with the wordly duo. Becky having the more energy might have been more natural as the second act for the sake of building the energy in the room, tho Nicole has some strong lines and held her own. Both acts are looking to play the UK circuit and itd be great to see such strong female comics over here.
The previous night I had bumped into Paddy – a friend of mine of many fringes past you used to run a night called the Free Beer Show which capitalised on the Paddy’s great warmth and strong comedy connections and the sheer number of quality acts at the Fest to produce some great shows, cheap on the door and with a free beer! Ive been to one or two free spliff shows too!
Paddy is currently booking the comedy acts for Carnival – a cabaret show offering a great blend of stand up, musical comedy, improv and sketches.