Ed Fringe 2019: Heidi Regan, Harry and Chris, Baby Wants Candy, Anxiety Club
Edinburgh is all about imagination, and today’s lineup proves that this can blossom from the most minimalistic setups. These four acts are perfect proof that you don’t need big production values to provide world-class entertainment; you just need great performers – and occasionally a good old key change.
Heidi Regan: Heidi Kills Time
Most of us have, at some point, imagined what we would say to our younger selves if we could travel back in time. At the very least, we’ve thought about the baby Hitler conundrum. It’s fairly certain, however, that none of us has mulled it over in as much hair-splitting and side-splitting detail as Heidi Regan. The comic’s new show is a door into the time continuum, a wildly inventive ride into a searingly intelligent mind. You won’t see anything like this at the Fringe; Regan’s material is sharp and original, tight and uncategorisable. It’s impossible to guess the direction as her stream of consciousness meanders, twisting, turning and evolving.
They say time flies when you’re having fun, and sure enough, once the show picks up the pace, it feels like the set is over far too quickly. One can only imagine what Regan is capable of in a longer slot, where her imagination might truly un riot. If you have time, Heidi Kills Time is a must. If you don’t, perhaps if you ask nicely she might lend you her magical time-travelling amulet.
Heidi Regan: Heidi Kills Time is at Pleasance Courtyard until 25th August 2019. For further information or to book visit the Edinburgh Fringe’s website here.
Harry and Chris: This One’s for the Aliens
Though on paper the idea of comedy-rap-jazz may seem niche – like something that gets discussed in Shoreditch over a soy turmeric latte – Harry & Chris’s unique musical style is anything but inaccessible. Their show is a bromantic comedy of the highest calibre, one which braves the apocalyptic wasteland of the current divisive climate in the search for what unites us all – and succeeds against the odds. Harry Baker displays his lexical prowess through the medium of rap, his verbal dexterity clear from the offset, while Chris Read offsets his rhythmic lyrics with musical accompaniment and smooth vocals.
It’s impossible not to like this pair: their chemistry is palpable from the stifled giggles but the atmosphere is always inclusive. Indeed, by the end of this singalong, the duo have somehow united a room of strangers through numbers involving death, Eurovision and purple sprouting broccoli.
Harry and Chris: This One’s for the Aliens is at Underbelly until 24th August 2019. For further information or to book visit the Edinburgh Fringe’s website here.
Baby Wants Candy
At the Edinburgh Fringe, it’s always wise to look out for international acts, shows that are hard to catch in the UK but well worth the yearly pilgrimage. Baby Wants Candy is one of those productions. This fully improvised band musical is a marvel to behold: unfolding from a title suggested and voted on by the audience – in this case, Alice in Tinderland – the show will leave you with a new respect for improv and most likely an aching jaw. The cast are truly sublime. From the first scene to the last, they transition slickly through the story, crafting an immersive world with the help of minimal props and an incredible accompaniment – particular credit is due to both the musical director and his locally sourced band.
It’s hard to believe today’s show hasn’t been mapped out. The ensemble manage to combine Lewis Carroll’s beloved and incredibly trippy children’s book with the seedy web, littering the show with hilarious references to online dating and social media and even throwing in a few political jibes, as if it’s not hard enough keeping up with affairs in the US. Convincing characters are crafted in an instant, tight harmonies appear out of thin air and even dances are impressively in sync. This is high-end stage comedy, and it’s no wonder the show has been a total sellout for the past three years. Grab a ticket if you can, and if not, be sure to catch them next year.
Baby Wants Candy is at Assembly George Square Studios until 25th August 2019. For further information or to book visit the Edinburgh Fringe’s website here.
Anxiety Club might not seem the most inviting group to join, but that’s only until you’ve seen them perform. In this show, three very talented actresses – Briony Redman, Charlotte Gittins and Lauren Shearing – create a safe space in which the room can share their daily worries, from which they draw inspiration for a series of spontaneous sketches. The trio first win the audience over with an intimate chat, but it’s when they start performing that their fast wit really takes centre stage. Such common anxieties as spending too much on a present for a friend and the perils of sharing a pizza are explored and expanded upon through a variety of wacky scenarios, the performers donning new faces and accents without hesitation and seemingly uninhibited by their small number.
This trio are on for a very limited time only, but if you miss this year’s run you may want to check out two equally fabulous shows: the charming Briony Redman Is Indecisive or the critically acclaimed Austentatious, in which both Gittins and Shearing star.
Anxiety Club is at Underbelly Cowgate until 20th August 2019. For further information or to book visit the Edinburgh Fringe’s website here.
Read more reviews from our Ed Fringe 2019 coverage here.
For further information about Edinburgh Fringe 2019 visit the festival website here.