[Reviews written for The List]
Nina Conti – Evolution
Charles Darwin is enjoying a bit of posthumous publicity on the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species, from Richard Dawkins’ worthy TV celebration to Conti with her hand up a puppet monkey’s rear. She’s been bringing her postmodern ventriloquism to the Fringe for a few years, and it’s certainly a well-honed act. Although such an outdated conceit is a risky strategy, Conti reclaims it brilliantly.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 18), 8.25pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8–£9).
1000 Years of German Humour
Of all the shows you don’t want (or expect) to run late, surely 1000 Years of German Humour is that show. After a five-minute delay, likeable comic Henning Wehn assures us that it’s not going to be 1000 years in real time before beginning a ramshackle guide to the unique traits of a phenomenon us Brits presumed non-existent: German humour. Ushering us through the centuries are the laconic Wehn (a familiar figure on the UK circuit) and Otto Kuhnle, a walking, talking, yodelling Teutonic stereotype, from the lederhosen up. He provides the musical slapstick, while Wehn riffs on all things Deutsche, from the Grimm fairy tales to footballing success. And he does mention the war. A lot.
While an hour in the company of these jesters is a surreal pleasure, some of the physical skits are rather juvenile and passé. It’s Wehn’s observations that make it all worthwhile and prove that German humour does exist, and it’s very, very dry.
Underbelly, 0844 545 8252, until 24 Aug, 6.40pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).
This year the big-at-home, not-so-here Irish stand-up Delamere has based his show on a farcical, boozy holiday in Stockholm. This is no travelogue but merely an anchor to tie down his breathless, amiable wit. Delamere may be your standard, meat-and-two-veg kind of comic, but with an evident mastery of his trade and effortless front-row ribbing, he is a very safe bet.
Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 25 Aug, 8.45pm, £11–£12 (£10–£11).
The great thing about the manic O’Loughlin is her authenticity. Whether she’s confessing to failing as a mother-of-five or raging at the ‘ostentatious humility’ of Nicole Kidman, the Alice Springs resident is utterly convincing. It takes real personality to pull off this kind of self-scrutiny, and O’Loughlin is a natural.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 668 1633, until 25 Aug, 9.15pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).