Karen Koren: Grant and Andy get Balloon off to a flyer

Grant Stott and Andy Gray. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Grant Stott and Andy Gray. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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We are now into the second week of the Fringe and the city is very busy. At the Gilded Balloon we have had a very good first week. Lots of sold-out shows and already some awards.

Kiss Me Honey, Honey with Grant Stott and Andy Gray received a Fringe First. I have to say I was absolutely gob-smacked.

Not that I didn’t think they had it in them, because, of course, I know they had, but because I had sat down with them after reading the first draft we received and told them that they would not win a Fringe First.

So happy I was proved wrong.

Another play I want to mention is Bathtime, by local boy Ruraidh Murray (see interview here).

Now, I have to admit I had difficulty getting to grips with this play at first. It is a solo piece with many quite dark characters, all of them beautifully performed but quite shocking in some places.

It shows how being brought up in Edinburgh is not always all sweetness and light.

Lots of Ruriadh’s old school mates came to see him at the weekend and I think they were impressed by his accomplished acting talents.

One of the most fun shows comes from a definite forerunner in the current new wave of comic talent, Louisa Omielan.

What Would Beyonce Do? is a brilliant true story about Louisa’s last four years.

The show was at the Free Fringe last year and she thought that enough people has seen it. However, it has been completely selling-out and we are putting on extra shows. The other night Caroline Rhea (Aunt Hilda in Sabrina The Teenage Witch) called her friend Whoopi Goldberg and Louisa spoke to her on the phone, which sent her into absolute shrieks of delight.

It is those kind of moments that make it all worthwhile, for me at least.