Kate Copstick: I reckon I can be more unpleasant than any heckler
Standing waiting to see a show in the lovely Dairy Room at Underbelly, I overheard a charming young lady talking about a comic she had heard uttering the immortal line “The Free Fringe is killing the Comedy Festival.
Having all these free shows around just stops us making any money.” The comic in question was not identified. The young lady in question, though, was one half of a Peter Buckley Hill Free Fringe show, Hyde and Lyons at Mood Nightclub. She appeared totally unrepentant about her role in bringing down the Bank of Comedy. Keep up the good work Free Fringers.
The fringes of the Fringe spread ever wider. While dispensing bacon rolls (£3 a pop, welcome to August), a chirpy girl encouraged me to go and see a student production of Macbeth. I squirted brown sauce unenthusiastically until she revealed that this particular production so impressed the great Richard Demarco that he has adopted it and it is now setting it on Inchcolm island for a festival run. Bacon roll girl played the porter in the original production but was cut due to financial strictures. The show is not in the Fringe brochure but tickets are available from Summerhall. Now that sounds like a real Fringe experience to me. (For more, see page 10).
Last year, comic David Whitney was arrested for leaving one member of his audience literally “in stitches” after headbutting a heckler. I met up with him for some Copstickian Therapy. I reckon I can probably be more unpleasant than any heckler and so I spent a few minutes taunting him with insults to see if I could get him to lose his cool. “You bring new depth of meaning to the words ‘give me back my money,’ ” I hissed. Not a flicker. “I’ve had funnier pap smears,” I sneered. All was calm. As a final test I simply started talking loudly and irritatingly over his carefully crafted material about how I was in a bar and I saw that Susan Calman off the telly and she is, like, really small and looks a wee bit like Jimmy Krankie... Whitney’s head butted no butts. So, should you be planning to see his show, you can do so in the knowledge it carries the SOS Seal of Safety. Probably.
Talking of Susan Calman, this year’s Fringe seems to be Sapphic Central. Have a flick (if you will pardon the expression) through the brochure and every other female comic is one who (as Zoe Lyons puts it so well) “favours the flatter shoe”. Hannah Gadsby is back with the wonderful Mary. Contrary, but has another show called Hannah Wants A Wife. Good year for that, I would think. For reasons I won’t go into, I was talking to George Wendt about lesbians. He was dressed as a German nurse at the time so the whole experience was... interesting. He only knows, he told me, one lesbian joke. “How many lesbians does it take to change a lightbulb? That’s NOT FUNNY.” I laughed. Here’s to a funny festival, ladies.
Iwas asked to be part of Mat Ricardo’s Voodoo Varieties at the Voodoo Rooms last week, and before I went on to be interviewed, there was an act which had myself and Malcolm Hardee Awards supremo John Fleming slack jawed with admiration. Up and Over It are now firmly on the Hardee Awards Radar for Comic Originality. They play a table in a percussive duet, throw in a bit of Riverdance and generally beat each other up. For fans of the bodhran their show is an absolute must-see.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: East