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Edinburgh: Day 20 Aug 23

With the Fringe cold taking hold, I needed a pick-me-up and fortunately found two.

John Kearns’ Dinner Party is an odd show, in the best way. Not really stand-up; not really sketch. There’s lots of audience interaction (or at least the appearance of audience interaction) as the slightly deranged John Kearns attempts to host a dinner party (you may have guessed that part). The show also features newly-crowned Amused Moose Laugh Off winner Pat Cahill as John’s friend Pat. It’s a strange, funny concoction that reminded me of Simon Munnery – and that’s definitely a good thing.

My other pick-me-up was the always utterly brilliant Karaoke Circus which crashed onto stage at the Pleasance Dome for the first of three nights. Josie Long and Tom Bell singing Pulp; Phill Jupitus as Neil Hannon; Tiernan Douieb pwning the theme from The Wire; and Ed Aczel gloriously destroying …Baby One More Time, amongst others. Song sign-up administration was delegated by host Martin White to Thom Tuck, who refused to let me sign up for every song and insisted on a two song maximum. This makes young Mr Tuck a rapscallion and a blackguard, and those aren’t words I use lightly or without recourse to a dictionary.

The major job for the day was updating my master spreadsheet of shows to see. With only a few more days in Edinburgh, it’s time to recognise that I don’t have the time or money to see everything I’d like. I’ve pared it down to the absolute musts, so you can take it from my remaining blog posts this week that the shows I mention are suitably musty.

What I learnt today: Thomas Tuck is a bad man and should be refused dessert even when he really wants it.

Recommended show: John Kearns’ Dinner Party

Obligatory plug: I’m in Three Man Roast (★★★★ –, 2.35pm weekdays at Finnegan’s Wake on Victoria Street – free entry.

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