Category Archives: News


Arrived safe and sound, journey without problems (apart from slightly annoying young children, and even one of them had a Scottish accent to make it all okay). Took the time to peruse the programme once again, finding acts I swear weren’t there last time I looked, and admire the Northumberland coast.

Tomorrow, I’ll head into town just to try and get my bearings; a few shows will be starting already, so perhaps I’ll try and pop to Death of a Theatre Critic, Roisin Conaty, and Nina Conti, if I can work out where they are in time. Then I think I might round off the evening with a pub quiz.

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In my head, I’m laughing lots. And out loud too.

I decided not to go and see 101 as my 101st show, but instead The Ladder and the Moon – a delightful show, aimed at kids, but given they’ve gone back to school there weren’t any in the audience. This didn’t really matter, as we all managed to suspend our adult disillusionment and witness scenes capturing children’s sense of wonder and discovery – whether it be bouncing lights introducing bouncing to their non-bouncing new friend, two kids shyly working out how to hold hands, or trying to catch the moon by climbing a ladder.

Over to Bannerman’s for a couple of shows in the PBH Free Fringe. First, Andrew and the Slides of Chaos was a very slick and humourous show, first a satire on corporate presentations (the slides must have taken ages to make) but soon descending into a science fiction plot of world domination by the presenter’s laptop. Then was Charlotte Young’s Audi, Vide, Tace, where our heroine told us about some of the intrepid and humourous secret missions she’d been on, including showing that Rupert Bear was the product of some secret polar bear/human cross-breeding genetic experimentation. I’m annoyed that I can’t make any of the showings of Charlotte’s other show, proving Richard Dawkins does not exist.

Next was Nat Luurtsema’s In My Head I’m A Hero. This entire show was one big pull back and reveal, wherein the first half’s look at how Nat is always dreaming about being a hero and would always be ready in a crisis (her and her mum helping out in the slowest bus crash ever) did not prepare you in any way for the turn the show would take (involving Masonic school drills, the wonderful By Myself book and her stay in hospital), but still very much themed to thinking she’s a hero. Both halves were excellent, she is a very engaging and natural storyteller, and the whole was extremely funny.

I don’t normally do this, but I have to mention one audience review of this I have read, which states they found this show disappointing because they feel in a show they should “revel in the shared understanding I have with the comic of the humorous, sad, wry things in our lives or that we’d like to have in our lives”. What balderdash – go back to your Michael MacIntyre!

Lastly for the day, after a lovely dinner at Ann Purna, was the Waverley Care Comedy Gala. Compered by Kevin Bridges and Shappi Khorsandi, this was a fun evening but did feel like it went on a bit too long – by the end, the venue was sweltering, and the acts were all merging together in my mind. There were some good jokes, some less good jokes, and apparently you’ll be able to watch it on BBC3 at some point and decide for yourself.

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Today I attended and spoke at the Edgelands conference organised by the lovely Andy Field and Hannah Nicklin. I spoke about archives, silos, and open data, with particular reference to GeoCities, the Edinburgh Fringe, and the Birmingham Rep archive on the AHDS – or rather, only on Theatricalia (which now also has all the Fringe productions from 2010 and 2008). There are audio recordings of the talks on AudioBoo, and I was being filmed (eek) so I guess that’ll be appearing somewhere at some point.

Rachel Coldicutt spoke before me, and she’s written up her talk and subsequent discussion. I felt my provocation wasn’t that provocative, but as people don’t seem to know or learn from what has happened, it’s always worth banging the drum for innovation that doesn’t have to be particularly innovative ๐Ÿ™‚ My subsequent discussion ranged from personal backups to curation and is all this potential process getting in the way. I guess the overarching point I’d like remembered is that it’s about informed decision making, knowing the risks and rewards for e.g. putting your video on YouTube, and thinking about the future, and how open data and collaboration can potentially help.

I was rather nervous beforehand, as it’s a very different audience to one I’d be more used to, but I think it went well overall – my favourite response was the following, which is basically all I could ask for:

This guy needs to stop making me laugh or I’m gonna be giggling all over this audioboo #edgelandsless than a minute ago via UberSocial for BlackBerry Favorite Retweet Reply

Everyone else’s talks, or provocations, were interesting and indeed thought provoking, it was certainly good to spend time thinking about things far removed from where I normally am, and to meet some new people or finally meet people in person.

Today’s show count is pretty tricky, but as part of the day I definitely saw two excellent performances, by Deborah Pearson and Hitch by Kieran Hurley, and I’m going to count the conference itself as one event.

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Third time’s the charm

No cheap train tickets this year, but I’m splashing out regardless. That means I might as well take the quick train too, it’s the same price.

This year, I am mostly seeing: Bridget Christie, Morgan & West, Fitzrovia Radio Hour, Piff the Magic Dragon, Tubular Bells For Two, Helen Keen, Stewart Lee, Claudia O’Doherty, The Boy With Tape On His Face, Frisky & Mannish, Up & Over It, and Frisky & Mannish again (because why wouldn’t you).

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Twitter summaries of 2012

Day 1, show 1: Bridget Christie had an awesome T-shirt, mentioned owls, and dressed up as a war donkey. Oh, and was very very funny.
Day 1, show 2: @mmaarrow had a lovely range of impressions, including Laika, Cheryl using real science in hair ads, and many more
Day 1, show 3: Morgan and West, using me in their first trick (which apparently included telling everyone how it was done); excellent magic
Day 1, show 4: The @Fitzroviaradio hour, cut glass as ever, but stepping up a gear to new heights with the shenanigans towards the end.
Day 1, show 5: Mr Piffles the chihuahua can’t help but steal the show, but Amy, oh and Piff, do very well for themselves too with the magic
Day 1 show 6: @tubularbells42 does exactly what it says – and boy, do they look tired by the end. Excellent, with loop pedals galore.

Day 2, show 7: Starting off with @YvonneArnaudYT’s Wind in the Willows. Excellently acted and sang, though I felt on the weasels’ side!
Day 2, show 8: The Temps, with @SarahBennetto and friends, and a @BecHillComedian cameo. Funny japes; one scene clearly longer each day ๐Ÿ˜‰
Day 2, show 9: @helen_keen (and @miriamunderhill shadow puppetry) with very humorous robot-based Futurist Or Felon, photocopiers and fanfic.
Day 2, show 10: Mr Woodnote instead of Stewart Lee. “experimental dub fx flower fairy funk jazz kev the poet lil rhys loopstation madness”
Day 2, show 11: @ClaudiaODoherty – you’ll all be after tickets now, Johnny-come-latelys, but this is my third year, because she is great.
Day 2, show 12: @TapeFaceBoy is back with all new fun, ranging from Lean On Me to bull fighting, and a quite lovely 99 Luftballons ending.
Day 2, show 13: @friskynmannish do the 27 Club. I especially liked Ke$ha’s We R Who We R, and Mannish’s rendition of The Rose. Not too dark!

Day 3, show 14: Petya and the Wolf at Zoo^WAssembly Roxy. Nice enactment of the tale with the original soundtrack and narration.
Day 3, show 15: Very interesting panel chaired by @MarkFFisher (Fringe Survival Guide, mentions my 2010 trip!) on Fringe success and failure
Day 3, show 16: Leo, performing acrobatics and dance as if gravity was sideways, and changeable. Even right in front of you, you believed.
Day 3, show 17: Daniel Kitson (thanks @lawnjam). I enjoyed it, even if at one point we were told we weren’t (and was that part of the show?)
Day 3, show 18: The amazingly talented @_UpAndOverIt marvel us with their twist on Irish dancing. (Do you have a music setlist? ๐Ÿ™‚ )
Day 3, show 19: Great second @friskynmannish show – including Gotye meets Dannii, Kelly Clarkson clichรฉs, and my friend shook a good maraca!

Day 4, show 20: Shakespeare for Breakfast. Romeo & Juliet: The Only Way Is Little Venice. Croissants on seats!
Day 4, show 21: Ending with @bechillcomedian, like 2010. My back up plan isโ€ฆ backups ๐Ÿ˜‰ Very funny, clearly drunk (on power) (not really).

Sat on the train waiting to leave Edinburgh, as my visit draws to a close. I’ve seen a lot of excellent things; quite amazing what people do

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