Edinburgh Fringe: Free comedy

Last night I went to the first of 9 bookings I have made for this years Edinburgh Fringe Festival: The Laughing Horse Free Comedy Selection. Admittedly, I would not have gone to this one was it not for my friends boyfriend being one of the comedians performing. Nevertheless, this was a great way to kick of my 2009 Fringe experience!

The one hour show consisted of four comedians doing 10 minutes each with a slightly scary compare in between. Having been told we wouldn’t get picked on if we sat at the front, the compare decided to completely pick on my friends friend and made me wish he would hurry up and introduce the acts whilst I tried to avoid any kind of attention.

The first two I didn’t really find that funny. Ian Fox, was a bit dull. He didn’t seem to have any energy or any jokes really. The second, Donald Mack, was better, but spent a while talking about his solo comedy act at the Fringe. I understand it’s a free gig and plugging for other gigs is expected, but it was more of an advert than 10 minutes of funny stuff. Having said that, he was quite amusing when he actually did some comedy. His solo show (also free) Donald Mack is a Stereotype may be worth going to; he talks about black stereotypes (he is black and  is apparently perfectly stereotypical) and his bit about how white people freak out when it snows was quite good.

Next up was Snorri Kristjansson, the act we had all come to see! And he did not disappoint. Snorri told funny stories about his accent and differences between Iceland (where he is from) and the UK. What was nice too was no plugging of other acts and no “that was a new joke that I won’t be trying again..” when their was no laughter. In fact, that never happened as he continuously made us laugh for the full 10 minutes. I recommend going to one of his other free comedy nights:

The final act, Michael Fabbri, was hilarious. He was very natural and told us stories of his time working in a job centre, getting ferrets thrown at him and meeting paedophiles. He has a one hour show every day for £7, but like Snorri also does plenty of free shows like the ones above.

The difference between the acts was amazing; the last two were totally at home and everything they said had a humorous edge to it. No relying on cheap gags or punch lines!

I really like going to free gigs, especially when you have lots of short acts where there is bound to be at least one thing that you like. They can be very hit and miss, and sometimes they do a bit more experimentation with the free gigs to test out new material so often its a lot more miss that hit! With such an enormous choice of gigs to go to, this is a great way of building up a collection of names that you would be willing to pay for next years Fringe.

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