There’s a real joy in finding an excuse to be sedentary during the bustle of the Fringe; a reason not to have to carve your way through the crowds like a sweaty explorer through a rainforest. The comedy line-up at the Monkey Barrel gives you just such an opportunity. With an incredible depth and talent split between the venue’s two rooms there are likely to be more than a few weary veteran Fringe punters happy to while away an entire day firmly ensconced in its friendly atmosphere.
Such is the strength of the line-up, it’s difficult to select potential highlights. However, two performers nominated for best newcomer award in 2017 are looking to follow up startling debuts. Lucy Pearman‘s Fruit Loop is an absurdist show about ‘a worm who has misunderstood her existence’. The best thing to expect about the woman who brought us Maid of Cabbage last year is the unexpected. Similarly singular was Rob Kemp‘s word-of-mouth smash The Elvis Dead. Unable to choose one suitable follow-up, he’s brought along loads, one of which will be selected each day on his Wheel of Shows.
Other acts who had a rather good Fringe last year are Desiree Burch, who threatened to take the roof of Bob’s Blundabus with Unf*ckable, gaining a full five stars from us in the process; and The Delightful Sausage, whose Cold Hard Cache was considered “consistently funny” by our reviewer. Burch remains as direct as ever with Desiree Mother F*cking Burch, while The Regeneration Game sees The Sausage, as no one is calling them, on a mission to get their Yorkshire hometown crowned City of Culture.
Of the firmly established names, Glenn Wool offers something of a greatest hits of his 25 years in comedy with Wool’s Gold II (The Iron Pirate), absurdist master Tony Law gives us A Lost Show, Phil Nichol expands on the themes of last year’s show Your Wrong, in the logically-titled Your Wronger. Another Fringe veteran is Brendon Burns, who along with wrestler Colt Cabana brings hugely popular Fringe staple Brendon Burns and Colt Cabana Do Comedy and Commentary to Bad Wrestling Matches to the Monkey Barrel for the second year.
Also appearing are regular Monkey Barrel compere Liam Withnail, tearing up his home turf with Homeboy, star of Viceland’s Hate Thy Neighbour Jamali Maddix with Vape Lord, Beth Vyse as Olive Hands in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and Jen Brister with Meaningless, plus many more.
The full line-up can be found on the Edinburgh Fringe website.