figures in his life so far, including his school janitor, the intimidating hairdresser and Bonsie his bonsai tree. (Marissa Burgess) The Stand II, 558 7272, until 28 Aug, 4.45pm, £6 (£5).

Tim Minchin no The bug-eyed. long-coated, bare-soled Aussie has a mainstream audience licking out of his talented paws in this show which amply proves he is one of the finest musical talents in comedy. But when the music stops, so do the laughs as his stand-up material grinds everything to a halt. (Brian Donaldson) Gilded Balloon Teviot. 668 1633, until 28 Aug (not 25), 10.15pm. £9—[10(£8—£9).

Shazia Mina eee Mirza‘s stand-up veers between hilarity and hectoring, her material dealing with the dichotomies involved in being second generation British-Asian and offers a frank, frequently funny insight into the attitudes of her strict Muslim parents and potential suitors. (Allan Radcliffe) Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 29 Aug, 10.15pm, £8—£9 (£6.50—£7.50).

Patrick Monahan 0” After a few choice one-liners and some charming banter, two audience members are onstage, pretending to fight for his benefit. Monahan‘s serious, peace-touting ending is touching rather than thought-provoking, but this is still extremely cheering stuff. (James Smart) Underbelly, 0870 745 3083. until 27 Aug, 9.25pm, £8-£9 (£7—£8). MoonJourney oee In quite possibly the finest comedy show this year for costume design, Alice Lowe and her two futuristic cohorts have pulled out the stops on making a feast for our eyes (check out her space slug moment), but it's a baffling, largely laugh-free experience. (Brian Donaldson) Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug. 6.40pm, £8.50—£9.50 (£7—£8).

Eddie Naessens eeo Likeable and confident, this Irish newcomer trundles through typical material (Ireland, the media) well enough but it’s his own battle against cancer which makes up the show‘s best portion. Without self-pity he ekes laughs from his own misfortune. (Doug Johnstone) Gilded Balloon Teviot, 668 1633, until 28 Aug, 9pm, £8.50—£9.50 (£7.50—£8.50).

Joanna Near-y eoo Using only simple costumes and her versatile face, Neary inhabits the bodies of a multitude of surreal souls as she skitters about the stage. Lee, the naive fawn, is a perplexed gem while a mime of Harry Nilsson‘s suicidal ‘Without You’ is debilitatingly comical. (Katy McAulay) Underbelly, 0870 745 3083, until 28 Aug, 6.40pm, £9—£10.50(£7—£8).

Stefano Paolini eee The comic potential to be mined from being a second generation Italian growing up in Brixton is limited but Paolini does compensate with his top drawer beatboxing and sharp impersonations of everyone from De Niro to Blair. (Emma Newlands) Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug (not 21&22), 7pm, £7.50—£8.50 (£6—£7).

Al Pitcher eeo This show is avowedly about tracking down werewolves, but any structure seems to have been scribbled down and lost behind a sofa. Instead, the New Zealander gets the audience to play basketball and looks back to 50 Cent‘s shit-stirring Reading performance. (James Smart) Cafe’ Royal, 556 2549, until 29 Aug, 6.40pm, £7 (£6).

Priorite a Gauche 000 It’s a crushing indictment of our culture that there are few things us Brits like more than an opportunity to laugh at the French. Here, Priorité a Gauche run through a ‘greatest hits' package and despite their slickness, it‘s amusing rather than outright funny. (Gordon Eldrett) Baby Belly, 0870 745 3083, until 27 Aug. 9.15pm, £10—£12(£8—£10).

VegaSm 000 Las Vegas is surely a satire on American culture, but what does a satire on the gambling metropolis consist of? Warped puppets, freakish costumes, cut-and-shut characters and a wedding every night, that‘s what. Nothing else twinkles and jangles quite like it. (Robin Lee) Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug, 10.40pm, £9.50—£10.50(£8—£9).

Will Smith .00 To paraphrase the staple 80s office gag: ‘You don‘t have to have be in your early 30s and know who Marillion are to enjoy this show, but it helps.‘ If you do fall into this category you‘re in for some very funny musings and rants of teenage angst. (Gordon Eldrett) Assembly Rooms. 226 2428, until 29 Aug, 7.30pm, £11.50—£12.50 (£9.50—£10.50).

Topping 8i Butch eee The constant innuendos and light-hearted audience interaction are, like their rubber outfits, only thinly veiling what‘s underneath: sharp none-more-topical political comedy and effortless musical talent. It all culminates with a costume change, chav-inspired finale. (Emma Newlands) Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550. until 29 Aug, 9.20pm. £10.50—£11.50(£9—£10).

Ava Vidal O. In a nonchalant performance speckled with self-effacing one-liners, the sit-down stand-up examines the misconceptions facing a non-‘street‘ black mother. However, she fails to put enough heart into her deadpan heartless bitch persona. (Katy McAulay) Underbelly. 0870 745 3083, until 28 Aug. 8.10pm, £8—£9 (£7—£8).

Babble 0. Part comedy, pan

performance poetry and part theatre, this solo show by Paul Marshall seems rather

Bill Bruce ee

sloppin knocked together. despite being confidently delivered. The poetry aims for profound but falls well short and the linking passages only serve to highlight that Marshall is no natural comedian. (Doug Johnstone) Roman Eagle Lodge. 226 7207, until 21 Aug, Ipm, £6.50 ([5). Matt Blaiae O. Blaize sets out his stall, claiming that he's going to talk about politics, religion and sex and award himself a grape each time he gets a laugh. Most of his material doesn‘t really say anything other than serving as the set-up to the punchline. (Marissa Burgess) Underbelly, 0870 745 3083. until 28 Aug. 10.40pm, £8—£9 (£7-£8).

Bruce has a sense of fun and obvious delight at storytelling but he marries his quirky tales of taxi drivers and secret pom shops with an overtly political bent which at times seems a little forced and lacking in topical bite. (Rachael Street) Lindsay 's. 556 8974, until 2] Aug. 5.30pm. free.

Colin & Fergus ee Great things have been expected of these boys but the acclaim from 2004 may have forced them to take their eyes off the ball. They may

be perfectly in synch but the flatness of

their material doesn‘t cut through the

sweltering heat. (Brian Donaldson) Pleasant'e Courtyard, 556 6550. ttntil 29 Aug. 6pm, £8.5()—£9.5() (£7—£8).

Steve Day .0 Day imparts a few diverting anecdotes about Caravaggio and Rembrandt and charts the connection between his enjoyment of art and his deafness. But there‘s a serious shortage of strong jokes and you‘re more likely to leave with your mind expanded than with your ribs tickled. (Allan Radcliffe) Cafe’ Royal, 556 2549. until 28 Aug (not 23 ), 8pm, £6 (£4).

Frank Hovis ee Called Filth. this late night show is 45 minutes of pure poo,

5 wee and willy. Hovis (the creation of Absolutely‘s John Sparkes) spends his i time cracking amusingly daft gags and

introducing us to Winky his giant appendage. (Marissa Burgess) Gilded

Balloon Tet'iot, 668 I 633, until 28 Aug.

Ilptn. £8—f9 (£7—£8). Using 24 as the

for see non-Festival magazine

very loosest of conceits on which to hang a set is a bad move as he is tied into so much material that doesn't work and secondly. the clock ticking makes you realise quite how long this hour of your life seems to be taking. (Gordon Eldrett) Underbelly. 0870 745 3083, until 28 Aug. 9.25pm. £8—[ 9 (17-18).

Josie Long 8. Dan Nightingale

0. An esteemed comic who should surely know better has described Ms Long as the funniest 22-year-old in Britain. She may actually be the least amusing comic on the planet. The sound of tumbleweed replaces the echoes of laughter which followed Master Nightingale off the stage after his slow-burning half hour. (Brian Donaldson) Cafe Royal, 556 2549. until 28 Aug (not 23), 6pm, £5 (£3).

Ray Peacock & Son ee

Warning: this northem Chris-Moyles-but- ginger lookalike was born to verbally

attack hecklers. Unfortunately, although

infused with as much vitriol, the rest of the show doesn‘t pack the same punch. An overbearing, Brentian father. stereotypical backward son who blinks rarely and an enthusiastic luvvy are too empty to tickle the funny bone. (Katy McAulay) Pleasant‘e C ourtyard, 556 6550. until 29 Aug, 7.15pm, £8.50-£9.50 (£7—f8).

Dave Skinner s Friends ee

Dave can't be with us today. He had a few drinks last night. and now he‘s covered in somebody else‘s blood. So his mate Ewan‘s holding the show together. but

; lampooning someone so larger-than-life as

Brian Blessed is a mistake. (Robin Lee) Underbelly. 0870 745 3083. until 28 Aug.

i 2.20pm, £7—£8 (£6-£7).

Nick Sun and Justin Lodge ee Justin Lodge is a sweet, charming guy but simply not cut out for stand-up. The loud. monotonous delivery grates. and the dog- eared material can‘t redeem him. Nick Sun won an award in 2004, and he‘s nonplussed. but gets funnier the more he

realises he doesn't give a shit. (Robin

Lee) Gilded Balloon Tet'iot. 668 1633, until 28 Aug. 11.30pm, £8.50—£9.50

= (£7.5()—£8.5()).

Gwynn Williams eo Being Welsh. old. hump-backed and demented is not a crime, and not hugely funny either. Williams fails to bake a cake. can‘t make a flower arrangement and crashes through a painting. At least the free Battenberg was nice. (Robin Lee) Baby Belly, 0870 745 3083, until 28 Aug (not 2/ ), 3.30pm. [ll—£10 (£7—£9).

James Goldsbury 0 There‘s no Fringe experience quite like watching an amiable comic die before a small audience. Amongst his largely staid material for Do Bitchy Code. there are moments of genuine comedy but a rushed and nervous delivery put paid to any hilarity. (Mark Edmundson) Baby Bel/y.

. 0870 745 3083, until 28 Aug. 10.40pm. 17.50—18.50(16.50—17.50).

Mamiliworid 0 You can file Charlie Tweed‘s alter-ego, Sims Manzill. under paranoid. bizarre, even disturbing. but one category in which he doesn't fit is comedy. A firm believer that Big Brother is permeating society via the medium of mechanised wildlife, Tweed can act but fails to generate laughs. (Katy McAulay) Underbelly. ()8 70 745 3083, until 28 Aug.

i 1. 15pm, £7—£8 (us—£7).