Karen Koren: Forward with Fringe comedy . .

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THE end of our first week of the Festival – or should I say the beginning of week one, as the official opening of the Fringe was on Friday, although we’ve been going since last Wednesday.

We got off to a fantastic start with more than 40 sell-out shows including Ed Byrne, Willie & Sebastian, Aunty Donna, George Egg, Stephen K Amos Talk Show, Bec Hill, One Man Breaking Bad and Justin Moorhouse.

Good to see so many people going to shows. So it has kicked off to a great start and we now just have to keep up the momentum - not easy when there is such competition with good shows at lots of different venues.

One thing I have had lots of compliments about is that we have a nice new big pink sign up on Teviot Row House which is pretty noticeable and there is no Udderbelly in front of us. It certainly makes a big difference.

We also have a bigger garden area, which makes it feel that there is more room. It is slightly inconvenient that there is a building site in front of us, but when the work is all done the improvement to the area will be amazing.

It is not deterring people coming and there are lots of groups flyering around and about. The atmosphere is really happy and positive.

I have been to quite a few shows and my big pick this week is Mark Forward, pictured, a Canadian comedian with a very funny, laugh-out-loud show.

He is a master of imagery and tells stories that are bizarre and completely believable, because of his passion. I loved it - an absolute joy.

We have also completed a few heats of So You Think You’re Funny? and the standard this year is very high.

Good to see some very interesting women entering the competition again.

I believe we are about to launch some exciting careers this year.

Looking forward to the next few heats and the final, which is on Thursday August 27.