Dave's Fringe Experience

This was my first Fringe and I can say with certainty that I will be returning next year. I only went for two days and my god I had fun – I loved the mingling with the comics after a performance, which makes it a much more personable show. Edinburgh Fringe 2012 rocked my world…

The first day we went was still part of the preview week, and we got free tickets for a drama called Proof (Official Link). It was about the daughter of a recently deceased mathematician who had been suffering from dementia. She and her sister are concerned about her own mental health and how she is dealing in the days following his death. It was an insightful drama, brilliantly acted, particularly by the main woman and her father. It had moments of comedy and we all left having been thoroughly entertained for an hour and 20 minutes. Great show and I recommend it, especially if you have any interest in Maths.  8.5/10

Next we went to The Pin (Official Link), which was written and performed by three young comedians. This was my favourite show of the day. It was sublimely funny and brilliantly acted considering we saw the first performance of the festival. It was a sketch show with a twist – the scenes connecting the storyline were told in reverse meaning it was backwards, like a comedic version of Christopher Nolan’s Memento. Please go and watch this if you are at the Fringe this year. 10/10

The final show of the day was a stand up comic called Rhys Darby (Official Link), best known for playing Murray in Flight of the Conchords. He was funny with some clever observations about hand dryers and his performance was full of energy and sound effects! I did think he had the least polished show of the day and the comedy fell away at times. Still it was very entertaining and will only get better after a bit of improvement in his routine. 7.5/10

The next day was the first official day of the Fringe and therefore prices skyrocketed and performances improved. First up was a free show called The Nutters (Official Link), which was about spotting various type of weirdos in the UK. It was a good idea, which was poorly executed and a little too obvious. But for a free show, I guess you can’t complain too much. 5.5/10

We didn’t think we’d be seeing another show as the three we had tried to buy tickets for were all sold out. However we managed to scrape some more free tickets to a stand up comic called Chris Stokes (Official Link). His stories centred on his nerdy personality and the run of bad luck that occurred to him on a daily basis. He had some really clever observations and managed to tell a story about him being mistaken for an alleged peado, with a 12-year-old directly in front of him in the audience – tough work for even the most experienced of comics. 8.5/10

We managed to get tickets 20 minutes before this sell-out show started by begging someone in the ticket office. It was David O’Doherty’s (Official Link) new performance and it was brilliant. It was hilariously funny and at times too fast to hear all the jokes. His songs were top class as well, especially the first one. 9/10

The final show I caught was a stand-up performance, admittedly billed as a work in progress, by the great Reginald D Hunter (Official Link). I’ve always loved him on panel shows and have never seen any of his stand-up performances so was dead excited. He rocked my world with some hilarious stories coupled with some emotional stories about how fame has ruined some of his relationships and caused a lot of tension in his life. He even ended up asking a woman whether she enjoyed spanking and spoke to her in some detail, before he realised that her son was in the audience… comic awkwardness hilarity. The show was a fantastic end to the Fringe and I cannot wait to return next year. 9.5/10