Tag Archives: Fringe

Fringe comedy reviews: Nina Conti | 1000 Years of German Humour | Neil Delamere | Fiona O’Loughlin

[Reviews written for The List]

Nina Conti – EvolutionNina Conti and monkey

4/5

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 Although such an outdated conceit is a risky strategy, Conti reclaims it brilliantly.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 HumourOtto Kuhnle and Henning Wehn

3/5

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).

Neil DelamereNeil Delamere

3/5

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).

Fiona O’LoughlinFiona O'Loughlin

3/5

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).

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Fringe comedy review: Ginger & Black

Ginger & Black

Rating: 3/5

Ginger & Black aren’t just deadpan. They’re the pan that’s been buried, left to rot, dug up and smacked about just to make sure. They would grimace at this metaphor, and thereby prove my point. In fact, they would grimace if you composed the most eloquent literary distillation of their comedic style possible. They grimace a lot, because they’re deadpan.

And if you’re thinking this doesn’t sound very funny, you’re wrong, and they’d be the first to let you know. The duo of Eri Jackson (the ginger one) and Daniel Taylor (the black one) summon shrieks of laughter with their withering put-downs, riotously un-PC songs and subtle facial spasms of disgust. OK, so the studied sarcasm can stray into uneasy theatricality, but on the whole this is finely tuned comedy, from Taylor’s job application letter to a TV producer that segues into a stalkerish version of Eminem’s ‘Stan’, sending up the eager desperation of media wannabes, to Jackson’s lightning transitions from heartfelt folkie balladeer to money-grabbing bitch-from-hell. A veritable pan graveyard.

Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not 13), 7.30pm, £8.50-£9.50 (£7-£8).

Comedy review for The List

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