Day five. Noticed that apart from most shows obviously mentioning the pandemic, the most popular subjects are ADHD, Prince Andrew and strangely murder mysteries. The shows I’ve seen have been well attended, even though the cost of living crisis has made it a struggle to stay in the city.
Will Duggan: ‘Iceberg’
The hottest day of the Fringe so far meant that Will opened his show by letting us know the air con was on max, though it will be loud. We were happy to choose air over volume and Will managed well to deliver a show featuring failed auditions for adverts, holiday mishaps and university interviews. A master at self depreciation, Will is always a pleasure to watch.
Bilal Zafar: ‘Care’
Unlike many other comedians at the Fringe, Bilal doesn’t mention the last two years. He goes way back to when he was working minimum wage at a care home. A touching and at sometimes shocking story, with plenty of laughs. Bilal’s narrative style is reminiscent of peak Carl Donnelly: cool, measured and a pleasure to watch.
Kiri Pritchard-McLean: “Home Truths’
Kiri moves back to her homeland of Wales during the pandemic and found herself learning Welsh and a discovering a deeper connection to her native country. She shares some rather horrific stories of English imperialism and reminds us that we can do better dealing with racism. Though as this was a Kiri show, this didn’t feel like a finger-wagging lecture, she filled the show with her wicked humour and quick-fire wit, with just a side serving of filth. She didn’t want the show to end and neither did we.
Joz Norris: ‘Blink’
Joz is known for his creative Fringe shows. Blink is a magic show where he can make the entire audience blink in unison. The show is filled with ‘magic’, audience participation and unexpected puppetry. Aided by his technican Ben Target, Joz is a dynamic performer who will go places many Fringe comedians wouldn’t dare. Just don’t bring your kids.
Ciarán Dowd: ‘King Rodolfo’
Former Beast (sketch group), Ciarán Dowd had plenty of success with his character the swashbuckling lothario Don Rodolfo: a Best Newcomer award, sell-out runs and a BBC pilot. Rodolfo returns to the Fringe to tell the tale of how he became king, with an ambitious performance with dance, swordfighting and puppetry. Ciarán dances around the stage with a glint in his eye and the occasional winks to the audience and you can see how much he enjoys this character and the enjoyment is shared by his audience.