We’re now approaching the end of Week Two of the Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival and Scotland’s biggest traffic jam.
My car is staying off the road for the whole of August. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, my alcohol consumption during the Fringe is such that it is best to not risk getting behind the wheel at at any time of day. Secondly, driving makes no sense with the city’s streets in constant gridlock. So I’m using the buses.
One of the advantages of being stuck in a traffic jam on the top deck of the number 27 is being able to see what’s on at the Fringe, as you get a bird’s eye view of the massive posters on The Mound, and you can also read the full venue details about the show advertised on the back of the bus stuck in front of you.
Many of those acts began with a much smaller publicity budget. Every year, at least makes the big leap from an A3 poster in a pub toilet. Here are my tips to be the Next Big Thing. Expect to see their faces on a bus near you next year.
JAY LAFFERTY: JAMMY
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square, 6.30pm
One could argue that Jay Lafferty has already “broken through”, but I believe she is destined for bigger things yet. Following on from the stand-out success of her first two years, Lafferty’s profile has already increased considerably since she made her solo debut in 2017. A regular panellist on Radio Scotland’s Breaking The News, which has now transferred to TV on the BBC Scotland channel, Lafferty’s 2019 offering is all about luck and chance. An expert at winning over even the most difficult audiences, she this year had planned to give away £50 to one punter in the crowd each night.
Pleasance Courtyard, 6pm
It is only a matter of time before London-based Irish comedian Bohart becomes a major star.. Undeniably one of the fastest-improving stand-ups on the circuit, she has a serene inner confidence on stage which makes audiences feel immediately at ease. Her natural charm and razor-sharp writing make this one of the most enjoyable hours of comedy on the fringe this year. Do book well in advance, as this show is selling so fast, the Pleasance have added extra shows.
MARC JENNINGS: GETTING GOING
The Stand Comedy Club, York Place, 6.40pm
Jennings’ earthy Glaswegian delivery and highly intelligent writing put me in mind of the young Frankie Boyle when he first took to the stage in the mid-nineties. A master wordsmith and a natural raconteur, he is fast developing a reputation as one of the most consistently funny stand-ups on the Scottish scene. The intimate setting of Stand 4 is the ideal space for his thoughtful comedy.
AMY MATTHEWS: THE LIFE AQUATIC
Monkey Barrel Comedy, Blair Street, 1.10pm
All good stand-ups make their craft appear effortless, and Amy Matthews is no exception. Only two years on from taking her first tentative steps on stage, Matthews is a sure-fire certainty for stardom. Little more than a year ago, she was working behind the bar at Monkey Barrel. Now she is presenting her debut solo show at the same venue. A finalist in the 2018 BBC New Comedy Awards, her witty intellect and Home Counties diction married to her abundant comic talent make the perfect recipe for TV and radio.
GARETH MUTCH: THE OLD MAN IN THE CARVERY
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre, Rose Street 8.30pm
Mutch has been around for a few years now, so it is surprising to find out how young he still is. His stage presence and the quality of his writing display a maturity far beyond his years. Since his debut hour at last year’s Fringe, Mutch has gone on to appear on BBC’s Comedy Underground. Definitely destined for bigger things, he is already one of the finest storytelling comics in Scotland.
KRYSTAL EVANS: FISHNETS
Monkey Barrel Comedy, Blair Street
Krystal Evans’ comedy is an appealing cocktail of sarcasm and self-deprecation that is rare amongst Americans. Now based in the UK, she was a finalist in the New Comedian competition at this year’s Leicester Comedy Festival. Edinburgh 2019 may well be her breakthrough festival. Definitely one to watch out for now and in the future.
Vladimir McTavish’s solo show at the 2019 Fringe, “60 Minutes To Save The World” is at The Stand’s New Town Theatre, George Street at 6.50pm until Sunday 25th August