WELL, Fringe 2013 is shaping up rather well already. I was checking my email recently and discovered that those cheeky boys from the Late Night Gimp Fight had gone and got themselves all naked, into bed, onto camera and into my box.
In a delightful and obviously hard, sorry, heartfelt appeal to my finer feelings, they explained how much they had missed my reviewerly presence last year, and extended an invitation to this year’s show. Of course I am not going to be influenced by young men removing their clothing – although you could try.
MARY Bourke is wearing a floral frock and a badge publicising her show that says “this is what a Muffragete looks like”. I ask if it is just a load of tired old feminist b******s and she assures me it is not. “There are jokes,” she says. Mary is a terrific stand-up. A proper stand-up. And, feistily feminist as she is, she is not one to side with the sisters if they can’t cut it on stage. I cannot possibly reveal which women in comedy we discussed, but, if you can recognise them from Mary’s comments- “I think she has disappeared up her own arse...”, “f***ing cake!”, “actresses doing stand up”, “a silly voice and a guitar... it’s just not enough”, “when you phone her up and ask her for money she cries” – you might win a small prize.
DON’T panic, Bo Burnham fans, the comedy wunderkind and Foster Panel Prizewinner of 2010 is back this year with a new show. But thanks to his big badass American “management” Burnham (below) is not in the brochure. I hear they spent so long insisting on getting him a massive venue for a handful of days that his slot in the cavernous Pleasance Grand was finalised too late for the deadline. Which possibly explains the fact that he has barely sold ten per cent of its seats. And means that he is out of the running for this year’s main Foster’s Comedy Award before he starts. Unless they sharpen up, the increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Award for the Act Most Likely To Make A Million Quid might have to be revoked.
I AM being put on trial next week by Dave Allison’s This is Your Laugh. Charged with being a failed performer reduced to bitching about comedy from the safety of these pages, I am slightly worried that my counsel Bob Slayer will be drunk and disorderly (possibly to the point of nudity) and am searching for witnesses for the defence. Must be able to lie with a straight face.
IN MY tireless search for fascinating insider gossip I was recently chatting to Red Bastard – a performer I confidently predict will win hearts and minds by the busload in Edinburgh this August. Mr Bastard (or Red as I call him) is an extraordinary creature. Any little gobbets of fun from inside the lycra bodysuit? “I had a threesome recently,” he says. “As part of the show?” I squeak. “No, just a threesome – but it was very nice.”