Day 2 in fabulous Edinburgh led us on a tour of all things Irish when we attempted to cram in as many Irish performers as we could! ( A lot harder than you'd imagine when you are hungover as hell having spent until the wee hours of the morning chatting with the many Irish faces we bumped into at Gilded Baloon's many bars!!) First stop, the 3 musketeers that are Foil Arms and Hog, made up of Conor McKenna, Sean Flannagan and Sean Finnegan, for their show "Comedy Doesn't Pay" at the Gilded Balloon! Have broken our backsides to get to the gig on time (not easy to get a cab when it's bucketing down outside) we grabbed our seats just as the lovely 3 arrived on stage! I had never had the pleasure of seeing these 3 live before but was hoping that they lived up to the high standard I had come to expect having heard great reviews! (Shell has previously written about them so I was keen to check them out for myself!)
They have a truly unique style of sketch comedy, particularly in their slow motion sketches which I had never before seen on the comedy stage. Facial expressions, exaggerated movement, accompanied by theatrical sounds and music made for some thrilling laughs from the crowds! These guys have the use of props down to a tee, particularly in their police investigation sketch which cleverly uses a fake moustache to differentiate between characters which I particularly loved. Their sketches on the Microsoft Windows' system noises and iphone apps only highlight our obsession with modern technology and left the audience in uproars of laughter, particularly when they used an audience member to show the usefulness of their "period detected" app!!
The small room seemed ten times bigger when the crowd giggled and cheered as the boys performed a sketch about a sand castle competition. This trio has more imagination that all the toddlers in the world combined which leads to some unimaginable sketches but all perfectly executed. Their professionalism and vast use of the stage makes it no wonder these boys were invited back to the Fringe for what is now their third year in a row.
Overall, these sketch geniuses delivered a fast paced, warm and friendly alternative to your more traditional comedy gig which I thoroughly enjoyed. If ever you are looking for something a little different I would highly recommend tracking these guys down! As the show came to an end, we wiped away or tears of laughter, grabbed our "period detected" badges at the door and ran, brolly in hand, out the door to try and make it to our next gig on time!
With the rain still pelting down (Jesus, now that I think about it, it was probably raining every time we were racing from gig to gig over the 5 days!) With no sign of a taxi we grabbed a ricochet and darted off to see the fabulousEric Lalor who was making his Edinburgh Fringe Debut at Opium, Cowgate, the other side of town. What I didn't realise as we climbed aboard the ricochet is that in order to get there we were going to have to go down what felt like the biggest hill in Edinburgh!! Well not one for carnival rides (I scream like a little girl!!) we bumped over all the cobblestones at what felt like rocket speed and arrived looking like a lunatic who had just fallen off a 100 story sky scrapper!!
Eric Lalor greeted us as we got out of the lovely (NOT!) ricochet laughing at us whilst handing out flyers for his gig which was due to start in less than 20 minutes. Eric explained that as it was his first year at the Fringe he was performing as part of the "Free Fringe" which meant that he wasn't been paid for any of his shows, instead audience members were asked to make a donation after the show. Along with this Eric was also responsible for promoting his shows which involved a hell of a lot of time handing out flyers on the streets of Edinburgh, not an easy task when there are hundreds of other shows doing the exact same.
As we were a little early and there was still a show in progress inside we rested our weary asses down on some steps in the alleyway beside the front door (or backdoor) of the venue! Well not for long as we were quickly moved on when a gentleman(and I use that term loosely!) came out of the "sauna rooms" beside the steps and poured a huge bucket of water down the steps on top of us..... clearly we were getting in the way!!!
Having dried ourselves off and calmed ourselves down we made it inside to the surprisingly large venue. After a small crowd gathered, Eric made his way to the stage and once again, the audience fell in love with him! Eric always gives a little insight into the crazy world of the Lalor family which audiences go nuts for! His description of his child's home birth had the whole room captivated and in tears of laughter never mind when he told of his family trip to McDonald's!!! His energy, mad eyes and cheeky charm translate into perfect stage presence which invites the audience into his little world. As we had already seen Eric in action twice in the previous month, we were pleasantly surprised to hear some new material we hadn't previously heard, one of the many things we love about Eric! This guy is going to be HUGE..... you heard it here first!! We were lucky enough to grab 5 minutes with him the following night and ask him a few questions on camera.......
With only 20 minutes before our next gig, Aidan Bishop, we had asked our ever so helpful ricochet driver to meet us back at the door to whisk us back up to the Gilded Balloon...... this was the start of another adventure!! To be continued............
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