Note: This review is from the 2016 Fringe

Stand Up & Slam! is the show that pits stand up comedians against spoken word poets in a merciless verbal slug-out. And when comedy meets poetry, it’s a high stakes battle. Much like 8 Mile. But, you know, less aggressive. Usually.

When the show debuted last year, the comedians came out with a lot of bravado, a lot of confidence, thinking it was all in the bag. Who wants to see a bunch of poets after all? Bloody boring isn’t it? They don’t half yap on about love and death, right? But Team Poetry brought it hard, winning the series and leaving shock and devastation in their wake.

Now the show’s returning to Edinburgh with a run at Just The Tonic @ The Mash House. With revenge on their agenda, will Team Comedy be hell bent on victory this year? As we draw near to the final pre-fringe countdown, we checked in with the team captains…

Representing Team Poetry today is Dan Simpson, who’ll be going up against Team Comedy’s host Rob Carter. Guys… how’re you feeling?

DAN: After last year’s totally expected victory for Team Poetry, I’m confident that we’ll come out strong – the comedians talk a good game, but there’s little substance behind their words. Unlike poetry, obviously.

ROB: You were just lucky last year. And to be honest, I feel like you guys cheated: you had loads of jokes disguised as poems. Pretty much cheating. My complaint wasn’t taken seriously by the Fringe Society.

DAN: Bad losers, comics. Anyway, you guys did similes and wordplay stuff all the time! It cuts both ways, Rob. Anyway, the poets didn’t just bring the jokes, we dropped in the emotional, the serious, the political, and the heartfelt too. Range, Rob – we had range. Not just dick jokes.

ROB: Look. We did alright. We went in hard, got a good rhythm going, but lost it towards the end.

DAN: Sort of making my point for me, Rob.

ROB: Don’t pretend your lot were above the crass, Dan. Just because it rhymes, doesn’t mean it’s better.

DAN: Well, the audience disagreed – we were the clear winners across the series!

ROB: Only by five shows, but anyway… Anyway, we’ve learned our lesson and upped Team Comedy’s game now. The poets are gonna struggle. There’s much more on-the-spot sparring between the acts, and I know how bad poets are when they don’t have their books to read from. You might actually have to make something up off the top of your head.

DAN: Not a problem! Definitely not! We’ll be fine! Absolutely fine! I’m definitely not worried in the least! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some insults to write in advance… I mean… erm… Bye!

ROB: Classic poet, running away when it gets tough.

Stand Up & Slam! is in The Bottle Room @ Just the Tonic @ The Mash House from Tue 4 – Sun 28 Aug 2016 @ 21:20 (not Mon 15 Aug)

You can also join in with #teampoetry and #teamcomedy on Instagram and Twitter @standupandslam