Ed Fringe 2019: Lou Sanders, Men with Coconuts, Adam Hess, Whose Mind Is It Anyway?
Whether you prefer a polished standup routine or on-the-spot improv, slow burners or sprints, the Ed Fringe is guaranteed to showcase the best of boundary-pushing comedy. From talking vegetables to audience hypnosis, today’s choices truly span the experimental spectrum.
Lou Sanders: Say Hello to Your New Step-Mummy
Lou Sanders has been hot-tipped as one to watch at this year’s Ed Fringe, and as she springs up on stage and dives straight into the deep end, it’s easy to see why. The comic has a playful likability, winning over the crowd before she launches into the first – of many – lurid sexual anecdotes. As the performer points out, not everyone is a fan of her big personality and risqué material, but this is the 21st century, and this open style is exactly what draws her to so many. Sanders’s honesty is a refreshing blast of reality that cuts through the formulaic, more guarded stand-up routine; her crude ramblings and generous admissions – which ping about messily like a pinball machine – find the humour in raw humanity at its best and worst.
This might not be a set for all tastes, but it’s a welcome reminder that the female body is ripe for comedy not when it is derided or objectified by men, but when it’s celebrated and wielded by witty women.
Lou Sanders: Say Hello to Your New Step-Mummy is at Monkey Barrel until 25th August 2019. For further information or to book visit the Edinburgh Fringe’s website here.
Men with Coconuts
Have you ever wondered how a piece of lettuce might interact with a tomato if their biggest dream was to be united as the filling in a burger? No? Well, neither has anyone, but that’s the kind of wonderfully wacky scenario that you might encounter if you go to see Men with Coconuts. Their fully improvised musical show reveals the workings of an overactive five-man imagination functioning like a well-oiled machine. The ensemble – made up of Charles Hindley, Will Naameh, Steve Worsely, Sam Irving and Colin Bramwell – move in unexpected directions yet miraculously stay in sync with easy, joyful confidence.
But strangely, it’s actually the moments in which the group spar off each other and break the fourth wall that are the most infectious. These are clearly five friends with a strong rapport, and when they question each other’s accents or limited knowledge and revert to asking the audience (or Google), we become part of the madness too. Special credit is due also to pianist Bramwell, who both accompanies the show and plays the voice of an all-seeing, all-knowing God. A sure-fire guarantee to get you giggling this Fringe.
Men With Coconuts are at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose until 26th August 2019. For further information or to book visit the Edinburgh Fringe’s website here.
Adam Hess: My Grandad Has a Fringe
Adam Hess is a brilliant ball of nerves, a passing train that whistles past and leaves you in dazed awe. Vibrating with a frenetic energy that bounces off the walls, the standup barely leaves room for breath, but his material is so side-splitting that we’re glad he crams in as much as is humanly possible in the space of an hour. Complete with an annotated powerpoint presentation with text message conversations and edited videos, his set is fast and loose, fired at us full-pelt with lightning delivery.
This is not to say he doesn’t spare some time for the audience; he cleverly weaves in quickfire, impatient interactions that endear us to him further. While some comics look for structure, Hess has somehow succeeded in creating his own themeless format – chaotic yet consistent, mad yet meticulous. None of us cares that he switches from angry rants to facial expressions to anecdotes about his parents: his jokes are marvellous and that’s all that matters.
Adam Hess: My Grandad Has a Fringe is at Pleasance Courtyard until 25th August 2019. For further information or to book visit the Edinburgh Fringe’s website here.
Whose Mind Is It Anyway?
You may have seen several improvised musicals wafting about the Fringe, but have you ever had the chance to be part of one? Whose Mind Is It Anyway? gives you the chance to star in a movie musical, the title of which is plucked from the pickled brains of the audience every night (it’s a 10:30 show, try not to judge). Picture this: half the cast haven’t showed up and hypnotic director Simon Warner is auditioning for the most imaginative (and pliant) stand-ins to finish the filming. But don’t worry, if that sounds like your idea of a nightmare, you can take a sadistic backseat and watch as five willing volunteers take to the spotlight.
Tonight we are treated to a story of two rival butcher shops and their search for the legendary cows of Kilkakamukri (who cares how you spell it; it was made up on the spot). The real success of this concept is down to the regular cast, who do a stellar job of working around their new recruits, riffing off their suggestions and launching seamlessly into on-the-spot musical numbers. This is a high-class rotating ensemble sourced from the best of the improv circuit and at times, they do have you wishing you’d booked tickets for Showstoppers! where you might see them uninhibited in all their spontaneous glory.
Whose Mind Is It Anyway? is at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose until 26th 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.
Photo: Megan Gisborne