Foil, Arms and Hog: Loch’d.
Underbelly, Cowgate. 10pm August 15-24.
I should begin with a confession – I am not the biggest fan of sketch comedy, and so am probably not the ideal audience member for Foil, Arms and Hog. However, the Irish trio provided the audience with such a vast variety of sketches that even I, a sketch sceptic, found a large amount of their performance hugely entertaining and funny. From an Irish mother lamenting her son’s sobriety to a ‘Deer Hunting’ inspired, audience participation game, the three comedians created a huge array of characters and scenarios which kept the audience cackling from start to finish.
James Bran: Invisible Badminton & Other Dreams.
Espionage, Cowgate/Victoria Street. 12.30pm (midday) August 1-24.
James Bran’s Fringe performance combines haikus, a dream/food diary and an interval involving a game called ‘hat-sketball’ (in which the audience essentially throw tennis balls at the comedian’s head). Admittedly, that description perhaps does not do Bran’s show justice – his eccentric yet understated style of comedy draws the audience in and remains engaging and personal throughout. Despite performing at the back of a pub behind a make-shift wall, erected only for the duration of the festival, Bran’s set definitely ensured my Edinburgh Festival experience started with a good old giggle.
Dan Cook & Gareth Cooper.
Cowgatehead. 2.30pm August 15-25.
This hour long show was split into two, and Dan Cook took to the stage initially. Cook’s delivery is energetic and powerful – however, it sometimes seemed as if the punch line had been lost somewhere in the midst of his exuberant personality. Gareth Cooper, in stark contrast, uses a David O’Docherty inspired mixture of monotone and musicality to create his comedic persona. This style works incredibly well for him, however he was unable to sustain it consistently for the entirety of his time on stage.
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