Double Scottish comedy award winning comedian Vladimir McTavish recommends the top comedy shows
MICHAEL REDMOND: I WROTE A JOKE IN 1987
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Suare 6.30pm
Legendary Irish stand-up Michael Redmond is probably best known as Father Stone from Channel 4’s Father Ted. For the past thirty-odd years, he has been one of the most idiosyncratic and recognisable figures on the UK comedy scene, and a stalwart on the Edinburgh Fringe. In this typically oddball hour, Redmond tells the story of how he arrived in London in 1987 to try his hand at being a comedian, having only written one joke at the time. An hour of beautifully surreal whimsy.
STEVE GRIFFIN: SHUNTED AGAIN
Stand 5, Stand Comedy Club, York Place 3.45pm
One of the finest satirical musical comedians in Britain, Gribbin is also one of the hardest-working on the circuit. Returning to the Fringe after an absence of five years, Gribbin directs his barbed humour at the rail network. Having suffered numerous delays, cancellations and replacement bus services en route to gigs, Gribbin has channelled his frustration into an hilarious hour of stand-up comedy and song.
ALEX SALMOND UNLEASHED
Assembly Rooms, George Street 1.15pm
You may not get a ticket to see this, as it is very much this year’s hot ticket, but do try nonetheless. Having lost the 2014 Independence Referendum and subsequently been voted out of his Westminster seat this June, Salmond is still selling out his chat show virtually every day at the Fringe. The show is a mixture of chat, comedy and music where all the proceeds go to charity. During his political career, Eck’s best speeches always contained a generous sprinkling of wit, so this should be a highly entertaining lunchtime show.
JAY LAFFERTY: BESOM
Gilded Balloon at The Rose Theatre, Rose Street 8.30pm
I have worked on the Scottish comedy circuit ever since Jay Lafferty emerged as one of the best new stand-ups in the country a decade ago. In the subsequent ten years, she has continued to develop and has grown into one of the finest comperes in Scotland today. This debut hour is an intoxicating mix of razor-sharp observational humour, charming audience inter-action and drop-dead-funny punchlines. Catch her now before she becomes too famous to play Edinburgh in August.
RAY BRADSHAW: DEAF COMEDY FAM
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square. 4pm
This is one of the most adventurous and unique shows in Edinburgh this year. Ray Bradshaw is one of the most affable comedians on the Scottish circuit, both on stage and off. In his 2017 Fringe show, he tells the story of growing up as the son of two deaf parents. In fact, I was at primary school in Glasgow with his mum, Jill. What makes the show ground-breaking is that it is performed by Bradshaw simultaneously both in spoken word and sign language. A totally unique comedy offering, and very funny too.
BARRY CRIMMINS: ON ATLAS’S KNEES
Stand Comedy Club, York Place, 9.40pm
Boston-based, update New York native Barry Crimmins has been a stand-up comedian for forty-five years, during which time time he has honed to craft to perfection. Amazingly, this is his first-ever visit to the Fringe. This show is a life-affirming mixture of political satire, comment on the comedy business and cathartic personal revelation. Without doubt, it is one of the most powerful hours of comedy I have ever seen. Go now before it sells out.
Vladimir McTavish’s solo show at the 2017 Fringe, “Scotland: The State Of The Nation” runs at The Stand Comedy Club at 7.30 pm daily until 27 August