I had the opportunity to sit down with Stuart after his show, Like I Mean It, and have a chat about his body of work and memories of his 24 years at the Edinburgh Fringe. It was really interesting to hear how varied those years have been, and he even told us about his favourite place to go when he wants to take a breather from the craziness of the festival.
Rhys James lets us know he is a millennium baby before he even gets on stage. His audio visual opening plants him firmly in the world of social media and use of his parents in voiceover indicates he’s not quite far enough along the path to manhood to have fully cut the umbilical cord.
Back with another frenetic hour of back to back jokes, Adam Hess explodes onto the stage immediately establishing the awkward, nerdy character we have come to know. This year’s show, Cactus, establishes itself with Hess’ ‘getting to know you’ opener, a handful of facts only he could think of, and the manic explanation that the hour ahead would be ‘very very funny’.
“Harry” examines the impact of pop culture and fandom on friendships. Two teenagers, Caitlin and Sophie, meet at university and become best friends who spend all their time together cultivating their mutual love of One Direction, and conceiving a plan to meet their favourite, Harry Styles.
Returning to the Liquid Rooms, Stuart Goldsmith invites us into the joys of married life and new parenthood. The teething problems of fatherhood, and adapting to married life have given Goldsmith a show so routed in inner truth that from the outside, it’s his most structured to date.
John Robins has had a pretty bad year. His long term girlfriend has dumped him and he’s now living alone (at the self named Grief Mansions), contemplating his increasingly bleak future. It’s the perfect setting for his trademark sarcasm, and this year’s show delves into a kind of self loathing that is both cringeworthy and evocative of sympathy.
23 year old comedian Edd Hedges (Winner of 'So You Think You're Funny') has created a show which divides into definite sections; conventional circuit stand-up and storytelling.
On entering a space that is already small and dark, to find it is full of TV screens reflecting the audience back at themselves, makes the room smaller still, and claustrophobic with it. What Goes On In Front of Closed Doors is a one woman show examining the life of Molly who, due to a number of events, ends up homeless living on the street.
On the face of it Suzi Ruffell’s hour might seem simple. The journey of a working class lesbian from Portsmouth moving to London and elevating herself into the middle class liberal elite. Pretty safe material, right? Wrong! The show is delivered with such energy and brutal honesty that one can’t help but be drawn into her anxieties, self-awareness and open demonstration of what makes her ‘her’.
Finding myself the only woman in a wall of men flanking the stage right side of Ed Gamble’s audience last night, I was feeling awkward before the show even began.