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Tag-Archive for "Helen Arney"

Edinburgh: Day 14 Aug 17

Another nice show (I know I keep saying that but thankfully we have had a lot of nice shows). It was also the second outing for my as-yet-unmentioned new cardigan, which, it has to be said, is getting pretty much the same reaction as my old cardigan (nothing – it’s just a bit of knitwear).

One of my uni mates was in the audience so I spent the rest of the afternoon catching up with her before heading to Helen Arney, Matt Parker and Steve Mould’s comedy science show Festival of the Spoken Nerd.

I’ve been to several editions of FotSN in London, in a lovely but cramped room above a pub. The Edinburgh “Best of” show was in a much, much larger room – and still cramped, as nerds from across the city poured in, attracted by the promise of maths, physics and fact-checked jokes.

I found a spot right at the back of the room where I could see the screen (not wanting to miss a single graph) and ended up sat on the bar for the duration of what was (unsurprisingly, based on previous experience), a funny and educashunal show. And I’m now one Helen Arney CD heavier – hurrah.

(I use parentheses too much in these posts, don’t I? It probably says something deep about how my mind works. And the lack of redrafting.)

Wordy on Look and Read

Photo: Wikipedia

The day concluded with the antidote to Edinburgh, the always fun Comedy Countdown.

Dan Atkinson’s misanthropic hosting is a joy; James Sherwood makes a wonderfully scatological Susie Dent; Paul Sinha was in suitably abusive form, especially when the audience shouted down his solution to one of the numbers rounds, which was frankly much more elegant than theirs; and Danny Pensive nearly had me on the floor with laughter when he reached into a Poundland bag and pulled out a homemade Wordy outfit.

What I learnt today: How super-absorbent polymers work. And how to spell “objector”.

Recommended show: Comedy Countdown (again)

Obligatory plug: I’m in Three Man Roast, 2.35pm weekdays and Saturday 20th at Finnegan’s Wake on Victoria Street – free entry. Also at the Amused Moose Comedy Awards Showcase at the Pleasance Dome, 4pm on August 17th (book online).

Edinburgh: Day 9 Aug 12

My left side still hurts.

In his Walter Raleigh show on Wednesday night, Michael Legge talked about everyone having a “Fringe moment”, the defining incident of their three weeks up here. I might have had mine last night. But more on that story later.

Three Man Roast was a joy from start to finish. We could tell when the lovely audience laughed almost before Alex had opened his mouth (and not at his face) that it was going to be a good one. They were completely on our wavelength to the point that one man shouted out a grammar correction (brilliant) and if I’d genuinely been setting up a Pedants’ Revolt, he’d have put his name down there and then.

Our first review has given us three stars, so we are officially “good”. Good.

In the evening, I made a return to Tricity Vogue’s Ukulele Cabaret and fumbled my way through a couple of songs. Despite losing points from one judge in the Uke of Edinburgh Awards for my lack of technical prowess (expecting someone at a ukulele night to be able to play the ukulele well is surely harsh), I was very pleased how the songs went down, and especially how many people bought into the dolphins song. Delightful musical comedy geek Helen Arney was the deserving winner, albeit cheating by using “skill” and “talent”.

But day 9 was a day of highs and lows. Unfortunately this was in a literal sense, with a physical low coming all too quickly after a physical high.

I fell over.

I fall over every now and again. I’m uncoordinated (see “Ukulele (playing)”). As a result, I notice when it happens – the basic symptoms are loss of balance and the ground rushing towards me – and I instinctively react to protect my precious, precious brain.

Which is a good thing because this was quite a fall. It wasn’t a trip, although that’s how it started. There were large steps, some almost flying, a knocked over table and eight or nine feet difference in altitude between where I began and the floor where I ended up.

My main concern was to hope that no-one had noticed but this was in the busy Pleasance Dome and it turns out that when you fly past people on an uncomfortable downward trajectory, even the most nonchalant of evening drinkers will take an interest.

Performers who looked half my age kindly crowded round to check I was OK. I pulled myself to my feet as one of them sensibly encouraged me to stay on the ground for a bit. Another man picked up my glasses and returned them to me; I hadn’t even noticed they’d fallen off.

I brushed myself down, looked at the concerned faces all around me and said: “Well, this is the biggest audience I’ve played to so far.”

Always on. Always on.

One guy asked if I’d be handing flyers out. In retrospect, I should’ve done, and then entered myself for the Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award for best Edinburgh Fringe publicity stunt. I’d probably have needed a few broken bones to win though.

I thanked the gentle younglings for their help, went round checking that I didn’t need to replace anyone’s drink (no drinks knocked over – 10 points to me) and then sheepishly ran away to Brooke’s Bar to hide my shame, to rest my painful left side, and, obviously, to tell everyone who’d listen about my awesome clumsiness.

Oh, and to win a game of pool, which, yes, has to be my defining Fringe moment.

What I learnt today: The best slapstick comedy hurts.

Recommended shows: The Blue Lady Sings Back

Obligatory plug: I’m in Three Man Roast, 2.35pm weekdays and Saturday 20th at Finnegan’s Wake on Victoria Street – free entry. Also at the Amused Moose Comedy Awards Showcase at the Pleasance Dome, 4pm on August 17th (book online).