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Fringe Comedy: Reviews

Kerry Godliman - Face Time

QUICK-WITTED: Fringe veteran Frank Skinner knows how to pace a show to bring the best out of both his comedy and the audience, although he still sails close to the wind.
QUICK-WITTED: Fringe veteran Frank Skinner knows how to pace a show to bring the best out of both his comedy and the audience, although he still sails close to the wind.

Kerry Godliman - Face Time

The Stand

For many people in the bar, the first experience of Kerry Godliman was Channel 4's Derek, and her subtle and multi-layered portrayal of Hannah, the apparently eternally optimistic manager of a care home.

Timing as outstanding as this isn't created in front of a camera, however, and it's clear that she is that rarest of performers, one who manages to combine stand-up with acting and bring her best to both.

The subjects covered clearly mean something to her rather than being chosen for comedy value. She also gets the prize for the best description of the invasion of Edinburgh in August, dubbing it "a jester conference".

Even her approach to talking about her young children is fresh, and even though it isn't labelled as feminist comedy, you can bet that every woman left the room feeling much better about herself.

Runs until August 24

Frank Skinner - Man In A Suit

Assembly George Square

Many comedy performers on the Fringe are the angel on the shoulder, providing laughs at topics that are also important and worthy. Frank Skinner is the resident devil on the other.

Such a skilful performer, an absolute master of pacing his material, and undoubtedly one of the quickest thinkers ever to wander the stage with a solo microphone, he gives a little prod with his comedy trident and like many instances where it feels somehow wrong to be laughing, it makes the experience so much more enjoyable.

Unlike his former partner, David Baddiel, who cursed the trappings of fame in his show here last year, Skinner is happy to enjoy the benefits.

Perhaps the only downside is the fact he felt his reputation as a naughty boy meant that there needed to be a fair bit of larking about below the belt.

Runs until August 24

Andrew O' Neill's History of Heavy Metal

Pleasance Dome

Heavy metal is funny, so we're off to a flyer. As intense as its followers are, it's a genre that knows what the outside world thinks of it, and is happy to laugh at its own excesses. A fair proportion of the audience are denim-clad, with patches, patchouli and lots of hair. They already know where the devil horn hand signal originated but they love seeing their passion vindicated from a performer as smart, passionate, and engaging as O'Neill. With electric guitar and a fine range of distortion pedals at his disposal, the show is peppered with loud examples.

The show delivers what it promises and it could gain the same cult status as many features of the genre itself.

Runs until August 24

Joz Norris- Awkward Prophet

Underbelly Bristo

Like many handsome young chaps in comedy, Joz Norris seems to do as much as possible to detract from his looks. Just 25, he could easily be 20, but this is an assured performance that demonstrates potential. The wacky clothes aren't necessary and if anything detract from the material, which isn't quite as strong as the performance. Having said that, it's an enjoyable hour and a chance to watch a potentially massive future comedy star cut his teeth.

Runs until August 25

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