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Blog: Free Fringe Benefit

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This week of GIDDY ACTION continued last night as myself, The Gags In My Routine, and The Hewitts went to the Bloomsbury Theatre for the PBH Free Fringe Benefit.

We had fun SPOTTING people, chatting to Ms B Luff, Ms N Guest and Mr D Pickering, as well as SPOTTING people - The Seats In My Theatre had a chat to OTWAY, and I got very excited at seeing Dan from Dan & Dan (although, to be fair, it might have been Dan) who I always have to remind myself I don't actually know AT ALL. Steve reckoned that most of the audience were Free Fringe performers who felt GUILTY about not being able to find advertisers for the brochure (which we're all meant to try and do, and which we pretty much all fail at) so were buying TICKETS to make up for it. I think he may well have been right, and this was a GOOD thing as it meant everyone was KEEN for it to be go well.

And indeed it DID - my favourite acts, I think, were Sara Pascoe (who I've seen do BITS before but never an Actual Proper Stand-Up Set, which was ACE), and Howard Reade (who did some VERY CLEVER THINGS INDEED!), but there was a whole CROWD of Comedy Legends on stage, including Simon Munnery, Kevin Eldon, Mark Thomas, Robin Ince and - LEGEND AMONG LEGENDS - the aforementioned Otway. It was WEIRD seeing him do a gig to people who HADN'T been watching him for 20 years, and deeply STRANGE to hear people GASP with UNEXPECTED DELIGHT during the heckling sections of "The House Of The Rising Sun". Surely they can never have been to ANY GIGS AT ALL EVER, if they've never seen Otway?!?

I was VERY impressed also that it ended pretty much on time! I'd expected everything to be a bit chaotic, but no, each half had four acts and a compere and took just over an hour, and we left at a VERY reasonable hour. I guess the DISCIPLINE of getting a show on, done, and out within yr SLOT during the Fringe had carried over!

It was a GRATE evening, although all the Edinburgh-NESS of it meant I did feel a bit cheated out of a POSH WHISKY and CHIPS on the way home, although quite happy NOT to have to clamber up any hills!

posted 10/1/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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