Double Scottish Comedy award winner Vladimir McTavish offers his tips for comedy shows to see in Edinburgh this weekend
Scottish Comedy Festival @ The Beehive Inn, Grassmarket 6pm
Raymond Mearns is one of the most inventive and consistently funny comedians on the Scottish comedy circuit, and a Fringe stalwart since the turn of the Millennium. His shows regularly fill the upstairs room at The Beehive to well above the official capacity. As with all free shows, there is a bucket collection for the audience to pay what they want. With Mearns’ in-your-face Glaswegian approach to rattling his bucket, anyone paying small change does so at their peril.
Laughing Horse @ The counting House, West Nicholson Street 4.15pm
I make no apologies for continually recommending this hilarious hour of comedy. Back for a third successive year, these puppeteers-cum-improvisers from New Zealand are presenting one of the most unique events at the Fringe, telling the story of the classic movie Pulp Fiction through the medium of puppetry. Their pupating skills alone can often draw uproarious laughter and their spontaneous wit and love of the absurd make this a must-see show.
JOHN SCOTT: DELUSIONS
Laughing Horse @ Espionage, Victoria Street 6.30pm
John Scott was one of the best of the new wave of Scottish stand-ups to emerge in the late 1990’s when The Stand Comedy Club first opened its doors on York Place. In the subsequent 18 years, Scott has carved out a reputation as one of the most effective comedians in the country. Having written some overtly political material over the past few years, Scott takes a departure from this path in 2017. “Delusions” is an intensely personal piece about his struggle with bi-polar condition, but no less hilarious than his previous offerings.
PETER MICHAEL MARINO: SHOW ON
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, West Nicholson Street, 3.30pm
I shared a venue at the Adelaide Fringe in 2013 with Peter Michael Marino, a sumptuously talented performer from New York. That year, his show was all about how he lost all of his life’s savings producing a West End musical about Madonna that closed after seven days. In “Show On”, he improvises an entire hour of comedy based on the insecurities and hang-ups of his audience. A brilliant hour of improvised comedy.
LJ DA FUNK: LAST BREXIT TO ‘OOKLYN
Laughing Horse @ Moriarty’s, Lothian Road 8.45pm
The creation of London-based comedian Zak Splijt, LJ Da Funk is a gloriously larger-than-life character. Dressed in gangster rap chic, compete with bling jewellery, beanie hat and shades, he tells he has come from his home town of Greenbow Alabama, inspired by seeing Nigel Farage on American television. Splijt’s over-the-top character surprisingly is the vessel for some razor-sharp satire from a pro-European perspective.
LIFE BEGINS AT FORTY
PBH Free Fringe @ The Southsider, West Richmond Street 1.05pm
If you cannot decide what show to see, there are a myriad compilations shows on offer, where acts will do a 10-minute showcase of their comedy, a live “trailer” for their solo hour. Life Begins At Forty comprises a line-up of comedians, all of whom are middle-aged and older. A surprisingly uplifting start to a day on the Fringe.
Vladimir McTavish’s solo show at the 2017 Fringe, “Scotland: The State Of The Nation” runs at The Stand Comedy Club at 7.30pm daily until 27th August (except Monday 14th)