Fringe Friday 2024: Week Four

Week four done!

Fringe Friday 2024: Week Four

Week four, can you believe it? We're on the home stretch now, gang: fit in as many shows as you can because come Sunday, Fringe is gone for another year.

Dave Fensome: ADHDAD (Work in Progress)

Dave Fensome remains top of the game, gracing the stage at the Caroline of Brunswick with one of the funniest WIPs I've seen in a while. A follow up to ADHDave, ADHDad looks at his life a few years on from being diagnosed with ADHD, going from thinking he wouldn't have kids to now being a dad. He tells us about his wonderful corgi, Waffles (a big republican and very good), his not so wonderful corgi, Banjo (very naughty!), and how kids really don't know about the cost of living crisis. Though heavily focused on parenthood, there's a lot of relatable and entertaining material for those of us sans-kids, and as always, Fensome remains a highlight of my Fringe calendar.

CM Kavanagh

Nathan Cassidy: International Man Of Mestory

Great art comes out of great pain, or so says Cassidy in International Man Of Mestory: a comedic retelling of crying in bed after losing the love of your life (and staying with your mum for a week). And this show really does prove it; it's in his eyes—I oft wonder whilst watching Cassidy just how close to the truth his comedy is. Does he wonder if anyone stays together anymore? Two-time winner of Seagull's Fringe Friday best standup, Cassidy delivers once again with the play-by-play of making small talk with his mum, his displeasure of Joel Dommett's tasteless quips, and his love of Phil Collins.

You can catch Cassidy for one more night—it's not too late—June 1st at the Caroline of Brunswick - with The Spine That Shagged Me. Go and see him! It's the least you can do.

Amber Cronin

Ted Hill: 110% Ted Hill

Ted Hill won our Best Show award in 2022, and now he's back with a show that leans even harder into all the stuff we liked about him the first time around. Moving beyond Powerpoint to present a multimedia extravaganza, we get a show stuffed full of novelty and weirdness (lip-syncing to pre-recorded video, a joke-telling keyboard, doing confession with himself) all the while insisting on its normality. It still has some rough edges, but these ultimately only add to the charm, as Hill drifts away from standup to some other weird, endearing category of his own. If anything I've said sounds at all interesting, you'll love it.

Adam Englebright

Jake Halimi: My BF Wouldn't Buy A Stupid Window (Why I Did and Don't Regret It)

Jake Halimi's show, billed as a play but certainly much more of a stand-up show than anything, messily but endearingly takes us on a journey from the English National Opera's sale of old props and costumes to Halimi storing a giant window in his flat, much to his boyfriend's dismay. It's basically all there in the title, but unfortunately I found myself wanting to know much more about the story than we were told. That said, Halimi's sidetracked stories were still entertaining, I would just like to see this show slightly more focused and polished.

CM Kavanagh

Selena Mersey: Bisexuelle (Work In Progress)

Selena Mersey never fails to deliver, and Bisexuelle is no exception. It feels like a major step up for Mersey in terms of props, music, and overall storytelling: not that Madonna/Whore was simple, but this is on a whole other level for a one woman show. It was goofy and charming and full of song, as we've come to expect from Mersey, while fully leaning into the overall message of: who can we become when we're allowed to develop an identity outside of what people have told us we are?

CM Kavanagh

The Seagull and the Cat

I loved this play. I thought it was charming, it had just the right amount of seagull squawks and resemblance to Cats (2019), the music was fantastic, and the overall story is absolutely delightful. It tells the story of Zorba the harbour cat, entrusted with a dying seagull's egg having promised that he will hatch the egg and teach the chick to fly.

I was hooked from the start, and loved the creativity on show: the way the actors showed the seagull caught in an oil spill at sea, the song about herring being king of the sea, the way Mr Encyclopedius the cat bore a striking resemblance to Corki from League of Legends (you'll just have to trust me on this one).

With an overarching message of 'don't try to be what you're not and embrace who you are', soundtracked to some wonderful flute and accordion music, it's a show anyone really can get something out of. Even if it's that the actors making the seagull noises should take part in next year's EC Gull Screeching Competition.

CM Kavanagh

Pop Collaborate and Listen 90's Music Quiz

As with all good panel shows, it's a podcast where Dave Fensome and Krister Greer go back and to every UK number one album from the 90s to see if they're actually any good. Bringing along with them a host of local comedians as guest panellists, the evening was so much fun that I could barely write anything down: partly from laughing, partly from insisting that yes, 'I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)' was by Meat Loaf, thank you very much.

CM Kavanagh