Kevin Gildea co in revealing his very portly belly at the top of the show. Gildea plays his best hand too soon. The stomach dealt with. the show chugs along through some tepid observations with the laughter never rising above a light titter. Despite Gildea‘s best theatrical efforts to bring physical comedy back into play. the routine feels dry and lacks spontaneity throughout. (Jonny Ensall) The Stand II. 558 7272, until 24 Aug (not [I & 18). 7.50pm. £8 (£7).

Laurence Clark one Whether he‘s collecting money to kill puppies or pay off his mortgage. most people give generously to Laurence Clark because he‘s in a wheelchair. Using hidden cameras. the comedian with cerebral palsy exposes stupidity and ignorance to devastating effect. And if that isn‘t enough. there are prizes to be won with a version of Name That Tune. (Tom Maxwell) Pleasance C ourtyard. 556 6550. until 24 Aug (not I] & 12), 4.45pm. £7—£8.50 (£6—£7).

Liam Mullone no In a series of subtle set pieces. Mullone relates the tale of his robbery by a Vegas stripper. which led him to spend six solitary weeks sleeping in a van in the Nevada desert with only a bag of pork chops and an imaginary psychopath for company. Moving slowly around the stage. Mullone proves an engaging raconteur with a lovely turn of phrase. (Marissa Burgess) Gilded Balloon Teviot, 668 1633. until 25 Aug (not I l & 12) 6.30pm. £8.50—£9.50 (£7—£8).

Markus Birdman 0000 This man sympathises with those who‘ve sold their soul to the devil. Thanks to natural acumen and a touch of charm. his reckoning is delightfully comic. despite some risky confessions and vivid observations of human nature. Topical. controversial and personal. he throws together a wickedly punchy gig. (Katherine Adam) Pleasance Dome. 556 6550. until 24 Aug (not 12), 8.20pm, £9—£l() (£7.50—£8. 50).

Martha McBrier 0 It‘s quite hard to get your head round what Glaswegian comic McBrier is trying to achieve on stage. With the barest of material (something or other to do with belief systems) she relies on her audience not only for suggestions but actually to inject jokes. The likes of Phil Kay or Ross Noble can get away with this. but Martha can‘t. (Brian Donaldson) Gilded Balloon Teviot. 668 1633. until 25 Aug (not 11) 8pm. £8.50—£9.50 (£7.50—£8.50).

Matt Green coo Observational notes and familial anecdotes on the theme of childishness are all bound up in a neat structure that ties the strands together and tucks the ends in. Genial and self-aware. Green‘s manner and material is wholly inoffensive. which means there is little to criticise. but conversely not much to rhapsodise over either. (Suzanne Black) Pleasanee Dome. 556 6550. until 24 Aug (not ll). 7pm. £8.50—f9.5() (£7—£8).

Michael Fabbri .0. The loose theme of Fabbri‘s performance is his own stupidity. but it's apparent that here lies intelligence in spades. Verbally prat- falling like a consummate idiot savant. his material digresses from the quizzical to the political. with an oddball take on

life as funny as it is plain strange. (Peggy Hughes) Underbelly. 0844 545 8252. until 24 Aug ( not 13). 9.05pm. £8.50—10.5() (£7.5()—£9.5()).

Mick Sergeant oooo Sergeant is a man backed into a corner. both on stage and in his life as a divorced. unemployed shipbuilder from Newcastle. Despite this he makes an excellent motivational speaker. uplifting the audience with tales of depression and brimming with bitter tears. This character comedy is so convincing that by the end of the show you will want to be him. (Emma Lennox) The Stand Ill & IV. 558 7272. until 24 Aug (not ll). 1.40pm. [7 ([6).

Miles Jupp oooo Jupp makes being the alternately inept and outraged Englishman into an art form. Revealing a vulnerability not often seen onstage in the modern male. with rolling anecdotes and zany observations. Jupp‘s endearing. sharp humour is irresistible. If you don't think you’re up to the rigours of scrotal surgery stay away. but you‘d be missing out on much hilarity. (Kate Gould) Gilded Balloon Tei'iot. 668 [633. until 25 Aug (not I I ), 8pm. £9—fl 0 ( [8—1‘9). Morgan Murphy 00 Coming across like a female Todd Barry. Murphy‘s dcadpan approach does nothing other than bring her crowd down: only a comic with killer material can afford to do that. It's a sad state of affairs when the guy playing your shrink in the elongated VT therapy sessions is funnier than you. (Brian Donaldson) GRV. 220 2987. until 24 Aug (not 12). 6. 30pm.

£8. 5()—£ 9. 50 (£7. 50—18. 50).

Mould and Arrowsmith 000

Who knew that PowerPoint could be anything other than the cornerstone of a drab lT lesson? This duo reveals it as surprisingly slick and surprisingly funny with sketches mocking presentation workshops. personalised marriage vows and cover letters. The interim stand-up is clunky in comparison with the audience pining for more electronic frivolities. (Natalie Woolman) Pleasant‘e Courtyard. 556 6550. until 24 Aug (not ll). 4.30pm. £8.50—£9.50 (£7—£8).

Nick Mohammed eeo lmpressively. Mohammed‘s airtight character comedy had his spellbound assembly gleefully chanting ‘witch. witch. witch‘ at a poor audience member. Neatly utilising his hairdresser. his cockney and his pashmina-wearing ‘yah‘ characters. Mohammed linked together two longer sketches. a job interview scenario and magic lecture about ‘lixtra Sensory Perception'. (Rosalie Doubal) Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550. until 25 Aug, 7.10pm. [IQ—£10 (£7.50—f8. 50). Paul Tonkinson 00 With a nagging wife. annoying kids. massive mortgage payments and need for a new kitchen. Tonkinson had his reasons for feeling an impending mid-life crisis. After kicking his coke habit and turning to the church. he tries to enjoy the messiness of everyday life. But his warmly-delivered gags are too focussed on domestic dreariness to get big laughs. (Claire Sawers) Pleasant'e ('ourtyanl. 556 6550, until 25 Aug (not [2). 8.15pm. t‘lO—[I I (£8.5()—£9.5()).

Pete Firman oooo For a bit of straightforward. old-fashioned entertainment you can‘t go wrong with comedy magician Firman. With the giddy fakir style trickery skills of Tommy


Cooper and the flirtatious warmth of [Eric Morecambe. he's a northern crowd- pleasing wonder. This audience participation-led show has great tricks and silly jokes. (l’atil Dale) Underbelly. 0844 545 8252. until 24 Aug (not I2).

7. 25pm. [9.50—11 l.50 ( £8. 50-—[/(). 50). Pleated and Brown 000 Thrill- seeking Stacey dumps her rule-obeying. admin-loving. hard-hat and hair-net wearing boyfriend and runs off to the Isle of Sambuca. A surprise jungle adventure is a chance for him to win her back and maybe finally lose his virginity. Hyperactive fun. aided by a bottomless prop cupboard and a palm tree that turns into an airplane. staircase and bar. ((‘laire Sawers) l’li'asant't’ [)(mlt’. 556 6550. until 24 Aug (not ll). 4.20pm.

[9. 50—170. 50 ( £8- [9).

Reception ooo lightly-wound aspiring actress (‘lare Warde and her ‘aggressive doom-moiiger' colleague. Jen Brister. daydream about stardom while clock-watching at work. Together their double act weaves well-observed Snuu‘k the Pony-style moments of Britishness and the bit where they compare bad sex to building a matchstick version of the liiffel Tower is great. ((‘laire Sawers) l’leasam'e ('ourtyard. 556 6550. until 25 Aug (not 20). lpm. [8.501950 (£7--£8). Reginald D Hunter oooo Reg 1) manages to pull off the neat trick of delivering an hour of intelligent. edgy material to his largest audience to date with the laid-back nonclialance of a very charismatic pal waxing lyrical after a late-night toke. llis narrative. about the pitiful state of masculinity in the West. riffs on feminism and racism. even evoking Austrian cellar monster Josef Fritzl to flag tip the notion that not every child needs a father. (‘ue evident audience discomfort. (Allan Radcliffe) l’lt'asam'e ('ourtyard. 556 6550. until [4 Aug (not [2). /l.l5/)m. [12—[14

(fll- £12.50).

Rhod Gilbert .00 Welshman Gilbert can’t be trusted. You can‘t believe a high octane word that comes out of his mouth. but his random ramblings do have a way of seducing you. It's one heck of a fast-talking hour of gentle opinionated observations that twist and turn in places you didn't even think were funny. A wonderful tissue of lies. (Jill Peacock) l’lt’asam't' ('ourtyard. until 25 Aug (not 15’). 8pm. £12.50 [13.50 ([11 [12). Richard Herring oooo This year Herring has (almost) ditched his preoccupation with having reached middle age in favour of focusing on his teen self growing tip and carving pecpholes in his bedroom wall in Somerset. Herring unfurls a sharp and witty discourse pondering whether he can stick the blame on his inability to grow up on his dad being the headmaster at his school. (Marissa Burgess) Underbelly. 0844 545 8252. until 24 Aug (not 20). 7.30pm. [9.50—[1050

( [8. 5 0— [9. 50).

Simon Brodkin oo Brodkin‘s incarnation Lee ‘Nelsy‘ Nelson. is a chav who bounces upon its amid a billow of dry ice and a pumping soundtrack. His gags are laddish. relayed with puppyish enthusiasm. His charm can evidently win an audience around. btit freewheeling with such enforced reciprocation. and material that is frequently predictable. can be as enjoyable as an hour with

Jeremy Kyle. (Peggy Hughes) Pll’llStllN't’ ( 'ourtyard. 556 6550. until 25 Aug ( not 20). 8.30pm. 1.“).50—[1050 ([8—1'9). Stephen Grant 0000 Grant revels in his slick geekiness and this show is an absolute pleasure. an intelligent fast- paced whirlwind of thoughts and theories. all wrapped tip beautifully with a bit of wonderfully nerdish IT. Stephen (Brant might always seem to be in second place. a silver medalist. always the bridesmaid. but surely he‘s destined to be a winner. (Jill Peacock) l’leasann' Courtyard. 556 6550. until 25 Aug (not 13), 6pm. [ll-£12 (£9.5()—.£I().5()). Tim Minchin 0000 Like an Enlightenment Man in eyeliner channelling Michael Hutchencc. .Vlinchin wriggles I’uckishly about the stage. genre-hopping between brilliant riffs on the mathematics of attraction. Shakespeare. beat poetry and one-man stadium rock. Some of his targets are fairly obvious: a song poking fun at right-wing Bible belters is just preaching to the atheist choir here. What elevates the show is the jaw-dropping pace of his slick. brainy wordplay. (Kirstin lnnes) l’leasant‘t' ( 'ourtyard. 556 6550. until I 7 Aug (not 12). 9.45pm. £12.50—[l3.5() tfll.5()--[12.5()).

Tom Allen 00 There’s a place in the theatre for Allen. because stand-up comedy is not his forte. The pleasure in his tale of finding some meaning in his family history is all in the telling; at the climax. Allen pretty much admits himself that the content is sadly lacking. (Brian Donaldson) (ii/(led Balloon li’i'iot. 668 I653. until 24 Aug (not 1/). 6.45pm.

[8. 50- [9. 50 ([7. 5018. 50).

Tommy and the Weeks ooo

lid Weeks and Tom Bell are an almost insanely energetic double act. whose ‘power show' features emotional monologues. bad music and high drama. lid is a large-faced. smooth-skinned dictator. whilst Tom looks like ‘a drowned lilizabethan‘. lixpect an amusing take on the Mrs Robinson scenario. attempted murder and a short nap. (Hannah Adcock) Plt‘tl.\‘(lllt‘(' ('ourtyard. 556 6550. until 25 Aug (not 12). 5.45pm. £8.50~£9.50l[7—- [8). Tom Stade coo With such an expletive-ridden laconic drawl. it's no surprise to hear Slade riff on stoner gags. What is surprising is just how many other topics he manages to cover in a scattershot hour. licw jokes hit the bullseye btit there are plenty of laughs arotmd. particularly on this night when a flamboyant lieckler inadvertently provides some of Stade‘s better material. (Murray Robertson) The Stand 1/. 558 7272. until 24 Aug (not ll). 9.05pm. [8 ([7).

Zoe Lyons O... Self-confessed middle class binge drinker and veal intincher with a clown shoe carbon footprint. Lyons makes the simple seem hilarious. l-‘rom eco-parents and the bitterness they spawn. to (‘lianel knock- offs and the megabus. her timing is sharp. her delivery is mirthful then belligerent. and her jokes are intelligent and gleeful. (Kate (iould) l’ll’tl.\'(lll(‘(' (‘ourtyanl 556 6550. until 25 Aug (not I3). 7pm. [ll—£12tf‘).50»—[l0.50).

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