Fringe, Part Two

A few more reviews.

Dara O’Briain and Friends, BBC Radio 2 Recording ****

A free event, with more tickets issued than there were seats. We got to the Assembly 35 minutes before it was supposed to start and the queue stretched around the block; we were almost the last people to be let in, phew. Glad we made it, though, because it was a good mix of acts. O’Briain was just as good as the last time I saw him, with stories about learning to drive at 34; Mark Watson was just as good as the other night (it was mostly the same material; he was in the middle of his 36-hour stand-up marathon); and Tim Minchin performed a song I hadn’t heard (“let’s not not eat pigs together”) as well as a couple I had. Plus there was Will Smith doing some self-deprecating posh-boy comedy, and Andrew Maxwell finishing off in brilliant fashion with a tale of being bombed (in the psychotropic sense) at a gay disco on the Arabian peninsula. Which O’Briain said wasn’t likely to make it into the half-hour edit on Radio 2 a couple of Saturday afternoons from now. Funny, that. 14.8.06

Just a Minute, BBC Radio 4 Recording

Another free event that we had tickets to... which we didn’t go to in the end. It was at lunchtime, we didn’t want to spend ages in a queue, and we can hear it on Radio 4 next week anyway. The jadedness is setting in already. 16.8.06

Josie Long, Kindness and Exuberance ****

But any jadedness was swept away by Josie Long’s hand-made show at the Cafe Royal, which was even better than her Book Club stint suggested (and reused hardly any of that material, yay). She has a warm, friendly and, yes, exuberant presence, with jokes about the strange and the mundane—duffle-coats, teacups held against the eye, samurai and snowglobes—that creep up on you, then surprise you with a free cardboard badge and photocopied programme. I feel bad diluting the 6/10 average she so earnestly aspires to, but I’m afraid she has a long way (down) to go before she gets there. 16.8.06

17 August 2006 · Comedy

Whoops, forgot the text critic reviews: O’Briain and friends got “eclectic bunch, masterly comedy”, while Josie Long was “my kind of exuberance”.

Added by Rory on 17 August 2006.

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