John Lucas is entertained by Keith Hutson’s collection of poems about music hall – and by the performers who appear in it
In the confusing explosion of activity that is the Edinburgh Fringe, NewsRevue has the huge advantage of being a known brand whose appeal is all the greater when a torrent of unsettling news leaves us craving comic relief and the decades-old formula of satire set to music is still the best of tonics.
In our post-fact world where we drown in other people’s opinions, life as a hard-up, stand-up comedian trying to make a name has got harder. And on the Free Fringe periphery of the Edinburgh Fringe – where artists effectively busk in a tatty room with a few uncomfortable seats and a bucket for contributions as there is no formal entrance free – it has become an even more extreme act of faith.
Wildfire gives us a contemporary run-down of a police force, the Met, where the pressures of having to respond to an increasingly violent society corrode even the most idealistic of recruits.
The Frida Kahlo of Penge West is a two-woman show about an egocentric actor’s determination to put on a one-woman show about the famous surrealist Mexican artist.
Kathy Clugston is one of Radio 4’s most familiar voices. Any morning of the week, you’ll hear her in her light Caledonian accent introducing the news, the shipping forecast and much else besides.
This is a hugely funny spoof on creating a play for the Edinburgh Festival. It is a mixture of boulevard comedy, clowning and absurdism.
This is a fabulously intelligent rap event which doubles as a comic lecture on religion. Brinkman is an atheist who takes on the Abrahamic religions to deconstruct and re-examine the rise in world faith.
I usually skip Edinburgh ‘comedy shows’. Happily I conquered my own prejudice. Lucie Pohl’s one woman memoir of being born in postwar Germany as the daughter of a Romanian Jew and a displaced German father, as well as being Helene Weigel’s niece and therefore part of the famed Brecht family, made me curious.