Edinburgh Fringe comedy reviews round-up

Tig Notaro. Pic: Comp
Tig Notaro. Pic: Comp
Have your say

Your pick of the Fringe funnies.

Don’t forget, make a Notaro of the name

THROUGHOUT this past fortnight, the idea that some acts invent ‘truths’ for the sake of their show has continually reared its head, and while it’s a fairly accepted (if largely unacknowledged) element of the genre, it seems this year almost everyone’s keen to reference it in some shape or form.

About 12 months ago, after being diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer, Tig Notaro (Gilded Balloon Theatre, 6.45pm, until August 25, * * * * *) stepped on stage in LA and delivered one of the most spellbinding comedy performances in recent memory.

It went viral, drawing plaudits from critics and fellow comedians, and is the reason most of tonight’s audience are here witnessing her Fringe debut. But although the cancer is acknowledged, it’s only briefly addressed. Notaro is not here for that: she’s here to play with us. Elusive and slippery, she’s continually reminding us that the things she says might be exaggerated, stretched or even made-up altogether. This is a set full of deviations, diversions and detours - or at least appears to be. But whether it’s an open-to-the-floor challenge to spell diarrhoea or her apparent inability to end the show, this is carefully-planned confusion, controlled with a masterfully deft touch.

Love is all Dan needs

There’s no doubting Daniel Sloss (EICC, 8.30pm, until August 25, * * *) is a gifted stand-up, his natural ease behind the microphone complementing the amusing material, whether that be a supposed female conspiracy surrounding childbirth or ideas about parenting. Midway through, however, a routine about his single life breaks the spell somewhat after he reveals he has actually started a relationship since the show’s conception, choosing to keep it in the set simply because he ‘really likes it.’ And once he’s allowed us a peak behind the curtain, it’s hard to just sit back and run with what follows.

Kane is downsizing

Russell Kane (Pleasance Courtyard, 9.30pm, until August 22, * * *) is the only comedian at the Fringe who isn’t lying to us. But then, we’ve only got his word for it. One thing’s for certain – it’s refreshing to see such a big name perform in a small cabin. Built loosely around various concepts of smallness (hence the tiny venue), the show is really a vehicle for him to regale us with anecdotes about his experiences with ‘D-list fame’. While he’s his usual entertainingly strutting self, it lacks the emotional resonance of his previous shows, which involved audiences on a deeper level and ultimately would have been perfectly suited to these intimate surroundings.