Best known to some as “that purple cow thing”, Underbelly is the most visually identifiable of the Big Four, and for the past few years their Bristo Square hub has become as iconic a Fringe hangout as the Pleasance Courtyard. However, Bristo Square is now being redeveloped, bringing a different vibe to the place. No matter, Underbelly’s upturned cow still has its homes – in George Square, the Med Quad and, mainly, down at Cowgate, with the regular mix of comedy and theatre on offer. There’s also a new circus hub down on the Meadows, which seems to have tickled many of our reviewers’ fancies.
Fringe favourites are back at Underbelly in abundance. Comedy’s best haircut, Paul Foot, is back in town with his perverse yet strangely insightful flights of fancy. Comedy rap improv troupe Abandoman bring back their Hot Desk for three nights. Shit-Faced Shakespeare makes its annual appearance.
Of those acts less familiar to Edinburgh audiences, good things have been heard about Zoe Coombs Marr’s Dave, in which she mans up as an offensive Australian everybloke. America’s Kyle Kinane makes his Fringe debut off the back of similar good notices and a Melbourne Comedy Festival award. Gruff of voice and disappointed of demeanour, it remains to be seen why his show is called Ghost Pizza Party.
The Wee Review has been on the case interviewing several Underbelly acts. Jack Rooke talked to us about his take on bereavement, Good Grief, co-written with his nan, and mighty interesting it sounds too. Likewise, we spoke to Med Quad visitors Garrett Millerick, with his show A Selection of Things I’ve Said To Taxi Drivers, and Patrick Morris who is compiling his Fairly Premature Bucket List.
The Eulogy of Toby Peach, a solo show about one young man’s journey with cancer, looks to be an engaging hour, despite the bleak subject matter. On a similar note, My Beautiful Black Dog might disappoint those who come to celebrate canines, but nevertheless, the gig-meets-theatre piece about depression promises to be “poetically joyous.” Theatre also meets gig in Middle Child Theatre’s Weekend Rockstars, in which a trio of unapologetic hedonists head out on the town.
Sing For Your Life won our “pitch to be first review” competition, taxidermy puppetry piqueing our interest. Watch out for our review, coming asap, or check the trailer if you want to be slightly disturbed.
There’s the usual student comedy troupes – Cambridge Footlights, Durham Revue. There’s Dickens (What The Dickens?), Austen (Austentatious, the improvised Austen novel) and if that’s not enough classic literature, a One Man Hamlet anyone?