Edinburgh Fringe comedy reviews round-up

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Your dose of Fringe funnies.

Feminism’s funny face and serious message

EVERY year, the Fringe throws up plenty of newcomers, each eager to get their breakthrough. Many sink without trace almost immediately; others spend years honing their craft; some are instantly recognisable talents.

One of those is Nadia Kamil (The Stand, 3.30pm, until August 25, * * *). Impressive, witty and with a nose for sharp satire, like Bridget Christie, she’s proud to be a feminist, rejecting the hackneyed ‘aren’t men rubbish?’ path for analytical, literate comedy instead.

That’s all juxtaposed with a ‘Whimsy Alert’ which sounds intermittently, forcing her to inject some nonsensical brevity if she’s getting too serious. Whether using the trick ironically or not, these frequent interjections aren’t quite coherent enough and begin to detract from her ‘straighter’ material as they start to dominate the set. The strength of her ideas, though, whether it’s performing an alternative burlesque or a smear-test inspired rap, and some tightly-written one-liners ultimately win out.

Ivo’s comic material grows

Ivo Graham (Pleasance Courtyard, 6pm, until August 25, * * * *) is another newbie making waves. Although he scooped the So You Think You’re Funny? New act award in 2009, this is his first hour-long set and it’s one full of promise. Ostensibly based around his, shall we say, patchy record with the opposite sex, the Eton-educated joker recaps his failures with females through his teenage years to the present day, which sees him, aged 22, living with his gran.

It’s light, easy-going stuff, but with a gleeful dose of cleverly-constructed comic timing and recall. Stories about his wild schooldays wielding his power as House Catering Rep play to a sense of self-deprecating geek chic, as do his tales of being bettered by his younger brother. It’s an assured performance and, now that he’s lost his full-length Fringe virginity, we can expect even greater things.

Veteran Lloyd makes debut solo appearance

Also making his debut solo appearance is John Lloyd (Underbelly Bristo Square, 4.40pm, until August 24, * * *) although he’s hardly starting out in comedy. The man behind QI, Not the Nine O’Clock News, Spitting Image and Blackadder delivers an hour of anecdotes reflecting on his career, all peppered with salient entries from the Meaning of Liff (the book he co-authored with Douglas Adams) and punctuated with amusingly irate letters of complaint received along the way.

Though the style might be more akin to an after-dinner speech, it certainly makes for a humorously engrossing experience.