If you need a good laugh to raise the spirits after a March that had clearly never come across the concept of Spring, then you could do much worse than the Monkey Barrel. As well as the usual mix of big names, up-and-comers, and new face, there’s a new attraction to be explored.
Shazia Mirza brings her tour show With Love From St. Tropez back to Edinburgh on Sunday 15th. Examining our relationship to the truth in the age of Brexit and Trump, with particular emphasis on what it means to have Muslim heritage, expect Mirza’s well-established brand of sharp, incisive humour.
Rick Molland is the regular host of the weekend Big Shows. The 6th and 7th are headlined by Sully O’Sullivan, supported by Chris Forbes, Carly Baker and Stuart McPherson. Mark Nelson heads up the 13th and 14th, with Elliot Steel, Eddie Cassidy and Gareth Mutch. The 20th and 21st sees Bethany Black lead the charge, backed by Harry Garrison, Robin Grainger, and Richard Brown. The month is rounded off by Gary Little on the 27th and 28th, supported by Vladimir McTavish and Bruce Fumey.
The format of Sundays has changed, with both the TBC Improv Theatre and regular showcase of rising stars Progress now taking place in the upstairs room. See the best in improv from 5:30 and up-and-coming stand-up from 8:30. Danny Deegan, Sully O’Sullivan, Ashley Storrie, Harry Garrison and Will Naameh are among the acts appearing through the month. Liam Withnail hosts.
The Monkey Barrel also opens seven days from this month, finally acknowledging the existence of those gloomy Mondays. Iain Campbell hosts the open-mic evening Free For All on the 2nd. It’s also free to get in! See the most unusual, creative comedy around with Peter Pancakes’ Comedy Extravaganza on the 9th. On the 16th and 23rd is Monkey Barrel Presents, a bumper evening of work-in-progress material from four Monkey Barrel favourites. This Is Your Trial sees top comedians playing lawyers on the 30th.
Other regular strands are Project X on a Tuesday – showcasing new material from the venue’s Alternative Comedy Collective – Top Banana on Wednesdays and Thursday’s sees Spontaneous Sherlock and Spontaneous Potter.
Brand new at the Monkey Barrel is The Department of Mysteries, a new Harry Potter-themed escape room experience. It’s proving hugely popular already. Info and tickets at www.departmentofmysteries.com.
Tickets for all shows available from www.monkeybarrelcomedy.com