Edinburgh Fringe 2017 Review
It’s hard to believe that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been and gone for another year. Every August, the city is transformed into a weird and wonderful utopia that attracts visitors from the world over. From comedians to musicians, actors to artists, there’s something for everyone to experience and enjoy. This year, I saw a variety of shows that all had one thing in common – they made me laugh. While there are plenty of genres at the Fringe, comedy is its beating heart. Rather than write a thorough review of each show, I wanted to share a round-up of what I saw and what I’d like to see again next year!
Nasty Women on the Fringe
The first show I saw this year was a compilation of female performers. Sajeela Kershi, who participated in the Women’s March in London earlier this year, invited her favourite fellow comedians to give a sample of their Fringe shows each night. The night I went, I was introduced to Sarah Bennetto, Jane Hill, Juliet Meyers, and a girl playing disturbing songs on her ukulele that I didn’t catch the name of. The show was a great taster of what each had to offer and was made even better by the fact Juliet’s show was about her rescue dog that she wasn’t allowed to bring into the pub – cue a near riot!
Improv Cage Match
A show so good, I saw it twice. As the name suggests, the show pit two improv groups up against each other to battle it out… for no prize whatsoever! It was the perfect show to see again, as no two nights were the same. The first night introduced me to Degrees of Error who stole the show and enticed me along to their very own show at the Fringe – but, more on that later.
Improv, She Wrote
I was bitten by the improv bug this year. This show was performed by a lovely bunch from Trinity College Dublin and it was sidesplittingly funny. They kept the show interesting by constantly changing topic and seeking inspiration from the audience. What other show would have Dumbledore steal a rake, then hide on the moon? Silly, spontaneous and downright superb.
Ryan Cullen: Guantanamo Bae
This show was an impromptu one I was coaxed to by my friend who recognised Ryan from YouTube (he’s one of the Irish people who try different things each week on the Facts channel). We didn’t quite know what to expect, but he absolutely blew us away. His show was comprised entirely of hysterical one-liners that had us in tears. He even brought his very own flip chart to showcase how a Twitter poll about Piers Morgan got more attention than he bargained for…
Sarah Bennetto: All My Life’s Mistakes Catalogued
I made a point of going to see Sarah after getting a preview of her show at Nasty Women. The Australian-born comedian put on a brilliant show, complete with donkey piñatas to destroy at the end of each night. While her show began as pure comedy, it took a more poignant turn at the end when she discussed one of her biggest mistakes – trying to take her own life. It was something I certainly wasn’t expecting and had the biggest lump in my throat as she told her story. I have a world of respect for this woman and hope to see her make it big.
Nina Conti: In Therapy
The most well-known on my list of shows, I went to see Nina have an improvised (told you I’d been bitten) therapy session. The show consisted of an unnamed ‘therapist’ providing counselling to Nina and Monkey, her puppet. If you’re not familiar with her sketch, Monkey likes to play Devil’s Advocate and say what Nina is thinking – thus formed the premise of the show. While it was definitely enjoyable, it wasn’t as funny as I hoped it would be and a lot of the jokes were badly timed and missed the mark. I would recommend In Your Face over this, which was hilarious.
Murder, She Didn’t Write
My final show of the Fringe was by far the best. Performed by Degrees of Error, this was an improvised murder mystery with a twist – it was done completely in drag (you know how much I love drag)! The audience were asked to participate from the start with one member even being selected to help solve the case. What made this show so good was not only the wittiness of it, but how much the performers were enjoying themselves. A fantastic show I hope to see again next year!
The Fringe went by in a flash this year and I admittedly didn’t see as much as I wanted to. But, I did catch some pretty great ones and have an ever-growing checklist of people to see each year. Before I know it, it’ll be back for its 71st year!
Did you visit the Fringe this year? If so, I’d love to know what you enjoyed!
Until next time,