Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialEntertainment & SportTheatre & Comedy.

Survival of the funniest

Trudie Robinson on the woes and worries of the Edinburgh Festival

Published on July 16th 2007.

Survival of the funniest

It seems that everywhere you look on the comedy scene at the moment some hapless comedian is tentatively testing out their material ready for the Edinburgh Festival. They attend clubs showcasing their wares some with already well rounded shows, some maybe with the line up written on their hand as support and others have offerings with about as much structure as a milk pudding.

“In a normal stand up set it may be acceptable to fit disparate items of material together with only the vaguest of links but in Edinburgh that’s a very big no, no.”

It’s mid July already and by now if the shows aren’t shaping up your average comic is as nervous as a circus elephant with a peanut allergy.Edinburgh fringe worry traditionally begins around February. January brings a post-Christmas breather after the work’s parties that fill out the audiences in comedy clubs in December, but by 1st of Feb the sense of calm has worn off and the worrying realisation that there are six months to write a whole hour’s worth of material settles in. An hour doesn’t sound like a lot, but be assured that it is; for every gag written several hundred will be thrown in the bin only to be retrieved at a later, more desperate, stage.

First there’s the decision as to what theme should be adopted. In a normal stand up set it may be acceptable to fit disparate items of material together with only the vaguest of links but in Edinburgh that’s a very big no, no. Chatty comics who like nothing better than to simply communicate with their audiences are frowned upon, one must always go up with the intention of thrusting a theme forward with gags shoe-horned in or else no one will consider you for an award. Oh the awards… they have the power to transform a comedian from a chilled out dude to a stressing mess. If you’re not nominated or haven’t been cited on the mythical long list you’re a nobody and that’s official. If you are, then everyone expects you to be sheer sparkling brilliance and able to communicate your comic message to everyone on Earth despite the fact that your show is a comedic reworking of an obscure Ukranian folk story performed with the aid of some penguins that just so happens to have caught the interest of more than 50% of the award judges.

Whether you’re going up to the festival or not it’s always worth catching these previews for a number of reasons: you might not have the time/money to catch them at the festival; it’s interesting to see a work in progress or you might find yourself trying to buy tickets to see them towards the end of the festival when the awards have been handed out and they’ve been carted off to the Priory.

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants


Believe me MONOPRIX more ASDA than Tesco....

 Read more

What are 'richest diary pastures'?

 Read more

Saw it a few years ago at the Opera House with Marcus Brigstocke as Arthur. Really good, silly fun.…

 Read more
David Smith

Crackerjack................whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Strong current reference there.

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2021

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord