The best three weeks of my life. Don’t get me wrong, that time I got drunk at uni’ for a solid month was good, and the birth of my children is up there too, but, Christ, Edinburgh was fun! If you’ve never been before, for roughly twenty one days in August the city becomes the destination for comedy lovers, as comedians from around the world whore themselves to the gods of laughter bringing hour long shows, appearing on showcases and some even do improv.
I decided at the Liverpool Comedy Festival in 2015 to take my show, ‘Elvis Was Racist?’, up to the Edinburgh Festival and, last month, I performed it to (among others) Germans, Dutch, Danish, Sri Lankans, Italians, Americans and, of course, the Welsh. They may not have got the references to Cheryl Cole – but everybody seemed to laugh in the right places and I ended up having cool chats about the content after most shows. Even though my ego should probably say my show was the most important thing up there (to me, I’m not suggesting overall… I’m not that big of a dick), it was more the atmosphere generated by some of the comedians there that hit me. It’s like a big school outing where comics who may only see each other a couple of times a year can get together socially and have a laugh themselves – or even at themselves. There was a lot of love in Edinburgh this year… especially from my friend Rob Mullholland.
In terms of favourite performances, I was lucky enough to see ‘Richard Gadd: Monkey See Monkey Do’ – which was a worthy winner of the main comedy prize – and there was also Carey Marx, who is always great, as is Brendon Burns and his mate, Craig Quartermaine. I also got to attack Kevin Dewsbury in ‘Kev’s Komedy Kitchen’, but my absolute favourite was ‘Phil Ellis Is Alone Together’ – possibly because I ended up in it, but mainly because it was hilarious. I’ve also got to give special mentions (this is like my Oscar speech) to Rachel Fairburn (and the dirty ‘Osbourne’ story in her show), Sam Gore, Nikki and Clareford of The Kagools, Bronston Jones, Tom Short, Hannah Platt, Mike & Danny, Dave Longley, Eddy Brimstone and especially Debs Marsden and Shell Byron for keeping me sane. If you can catch any of these acts in Liverpool, then do so… they’re all great.
In a nutshell, I ate roughly an apple and a bag of crisps a day, drank enough beer daily that my friend who I was staying with was shocked I wasn’t dead, never got in till 6am, did a load of comedy, met a lots of old and new friends and started making plans to go back as soon as I left. If you haven’t been to the Edinburgh Festival, then go.
If you can’t wait, however, then the Liverpool Comedy Festival is here and I’m lucky (stupid) enough to be doing my second show on the new ‘Funny Looking Fringe’ portion of the festival at 81 Renshaw Street. My show is a work in progress (which means I’m still writing it as we speak), called ‘The Big C’, about the hilarious time I had cancer in 2010… wait! Come back! It’s funny, I promise! It’s not just all about me, though…
Che’s Fringe Picks
Liam Pickford: ‘Your Love Is A Knackered Bus Stop I Can No Longer Be Arsed To Vandalise’ – Friday September 16th, 9pm.
Stephanie Laing: ‘Mad About The Boy’ – Monday September 19th, 7pm.
Freddy Quinne: ‘Entfremdung (Work in Progress)’ – Sunday October 2nd, 5pm.
‘The Big C’ – Saturday September 17th, 7pm
Funny Looking Fringe at the Liverpool Comedy Festival
September 16th – October 2nd, 81 Renshaw Street, Liverpool
Pic courtesy Pros and Coms