Arrived at the world’s largest arts festival yesterday evening at 9.30 via train (cheap deal with megatrain) with arch-Moseley face and blogger Dr Andy Pryke, who invented the internet.

Had a cup of tea with our gracious hosts and then headed off for a midnight pint and to hook up with Paul Provenza, always one of my chief plans at the Fest, partly because Paul is a close friend whom I only get to see up here but not least cos as a comedian with many years in the business, director of classic stand up documentary film “The Aristocrats” and just a great enthusiast and student of comedy, Paul is always at the hub of all thats best about comedy at the Fringe.

Sadly Paul’s has pulled his great “Talk of the Fest” show in which he invites audiences into the comedy green room to hear and see comics chatting informally, discussing issues, riffing off each other and getting to do and say things they can’t elsewhere, due to reasons which he darkly referred to using phrases as “bloody venue”, “don’t know where to start” and generally holding his head in his hands.

So instead we went to Spank (“we love it”) a cabaret style comedy show which is an enjoyably anarchic late night mixed bag of relative newbies, great pro’s and the rest.

A top show as it turned out, with newcomer Rob Hunter (from Adelaide) doing some nicely dry and twisted short bits and encouraged by some lively young ladies from his home town (Adelaide girls!). He was followed by the ever lovable and effervescent Paddy Monahan ramping things up a bit despite losing most of his voice and a superb young New Yorker hotly and rightly tipped by Paul Provenza called Jamie Kilstein.

Finally Tom Stade, provided a superb finish – laid back (somewhat wasted in fact – it was three in the morning), but totally in control of a lively room, some superbly crafted and incisive material presented easily and laconically, but with awesome shouted delivery of certain lines as required. Just a master at work really.


Stand Up Comedy

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