Bob Slayer is adding Edinburgh’s newest comedy club, the Monkey Barrel, to his venue roster for this year’s Fringe.
The iconoclastic comedian and promoter, whose venues operate under the “Heroes @” branding, has become famous for his guerilla approach to the world’s biggest arts festival, including parking his double decker pop-up venue, the Blundabus, on the Big Four’s doorstep, and staging a round-the-clock reading of the entire Chilcot Report, for which he won our Fringe Zeitgeist Award last year.
The Monkey Barrel on Blair Street has quickly established itself as one of the hottest rooms on the Scottish comedy circuit, and its location just off the Royal Mile makes it a prime spot for August. It is also, by the standards of other Heroes venues, palatial.
It’s no surprise then to see some big guns on the bill. Past Edinburgh Comedy Award winners John Kearns, Brendon Burns and Phil Nichol are all in the line-up. There’ll also be a new hour, The Audition, from Spencer Jones, whose absurd creation The Herbert was a comedy highlight of both 2015 and 2016. Cult show The Alternative Comedy Memorial Society (ACMS) will be sharing the upstairs late nights with Nichol’s comedy cabaret The Asylum, while in the midnight slot downstairs, Rob Kemp will be retelling Evil Dead 2 through the songs of Elvis in his debut hour, The Elvis Dead.
Elsewhere around the Heroes venues, there’s another Edinburgh Comedy Award winner, Adrienne Truscott, who returns to the Heroes fold with One Trick Pony, which she originally performed at Gilded Balloon in 2015. Slayer will also be unveiling his own new show Whatever Next? at the Blundabus, where you’ll also find the dark Spanish clowning of Madame Señorita. Malcolm Hardee Award winner Michael Brunström will be at the Dragonfly with new show Parsley.
Slayer has also doubled the number of sheds he’s using this year. The original Chilcot Shed in which said report was “performed” will host a documentary on the stunt, Iraq Out & Loud: We Read the Chilcot Report. Meanwhile, something called the Happy Shed will host possibly the most worryingly unspecific show of the entire Fringe – “a mystery pot-luck intimate performance art show”. A 20 minute run-time. Might be the longest or best 20 minutes of your life. Who can tell?
Tickets go on sale tomorrow, 11 May. For more info see the Heroes Of Fringe site.