Dylan Moran

Ireland’s foremost ambling, rambling, sleepily slick surrealist with the semi- muttering, care-free delivery and the kind of shabby, just-got-out-of-bed look it takes years to wear convincingly, it’s still hard to tell whether Dylan Moran is doped-up or just dopey. Whatever. . . his mind remains just as sharp as it appears out-of-control, making it tricky to work out where the material ends and the ad-libbing begins. A quietly hyperactive brain allows him to say whatever nonsense springs to mind and, though he’s branded the Fringe Festival as ‘just one long, suffering, death-throe spun out for three weeks among a bunch of rabid, grasping, sweaty, awful, money- sucking people and equally grasping, competitive, envious, sniping, biting, bitchy idiots with insecurity problems and a desperate need to justify their existence’, he remains, nevertheless, an Edinburgh favourite. This could be his year.

Hans Liberg

Hailed as the lovany lovable comical love- child of Victor Borge and Woody Allen, Hans Liberg is, like Rich Hall, a Fringe star whose profile within the UK is pitifully small in comparison to the acres of fame he’s amassed outside it. Heading for Edinburgh direct from a sellout European tour, Liberg’s pure, musical enthusiasm combined with an extravagant need for fun makes him the perfect host, while his show (a harmonious coupling of music and comedy) is ideal Fringe fodder. Last year the hype that surrounded him was thanks mainly to word-of—mouth recommendations . . . this year it can only escalate. A cheeky little man with a cosy line in grins. he’s an act to watch. He’ll be on Des O’Connor Tonight before you know it.

Hans Liberg (Fringe) Pleasanee, Edinburgh (Venue 33) 013/ 556 6550, until 3/ Aug, 6.40pm, £6.50/£7.50 (£5.50/£6.5()).

Dylan Moran (Fringe) Dylan Moran Is Indisposed, Pleasanee, Edinburgh (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 3] Aug (not 29), 9.15pm, £6.50/£7.50 (5.50/£6.50).

. . . and there’s more

Al Murray

Some of the finest character comedy since John Shuttleworth, The Pub Landlord is an acutely-drawn iconoclast. Who tells jokes. And rumour has it the show’ll have a guest appearance or two from The Comedy Zone’s Ross Noble, too.

Al Murray, The Pub Landlord ’s Late Lock In, Pleasance, until 3 I Aug (not 27), 10.35pm.

Matt Lucas and David Walliams Sir Bernard Chumley’s Gangshow

A favourite with Blur last year who made it along to a couple of performances - Matt Lucas and David Walliams are very much a double act despite Matt’s higher profile (afforded him by his role as scoremaster George Dawes on BBC 2’s Shooting Stars). Even if they don’t win but y’never know they’re well worth seeing.

Matt Lucas and David Williams Sir Bernard Chumley’s Gangs/tow, Assembly Rooms, until 3] Aug (not 27), 9. I 5pm.

18 The List l6-22 Aug I996

Sean lock

Wonderfully inventive tall- talc-teller, who, although influenced. perhaps, by Harry Hill, can nevertheless cast an original light over previously tired. well- worn subjects. And make them funny, lOO.

Sean Lock, Pleasance, tmtil 3 I Aug (not27), 9.15pm.

Taking a rise

One of the ever-more-tedious Perrier debates of the last few years has circled almost entirely around whether an award of such standing should be wasted on someone already teetering on the brink of national fame, or whether it should be used to reward new, as- yet undiscovered talent. Thanks to the introduction of the Perrier Newcomer Award - the first of which, in l992, was won by Harry Hill the problem’s been pretty much resolved, with the principal award going to principal players.

But the Best Newcomer Award. though it doesn‘t generate the same level of media interest. acts as a pretty accurate comedy barometer to show who‘s On The Up. 80 names to watch out for this year? Smaller acts like the excellent northern poet-comic Hovis Presley or the intense, intensely inventive Adam stand-ups Milton Jones and shows that

Bloom would prove surprising Matt Welcome bring the j .4.

(but deserving) winners. while kind of new-to- f,

the likes of brilliant London Edinburgh '

must surely grab the attention ofany disceming judging panel. And then there‘s the BAFTA-winning Dave Gorman, whose sharp, dry delivery should make him a bookie‘s favourite. Remember: you read it here first. Unless we're wrong. in which case it was in Time Out.

The Perrier Neir'r‘mner Award is announced on Sat 24 Aug.

Everyone’s a wmner . . .

Not content with hosting the world's biggest comedy award, Edinburgh's also going to play the proud parent at the birth of more soon-to-be-high-profile careers.

Glasgow's Mayfcst had the semi-finals and. on 27 August, Edinburgh will be more than happy to hold the finals of the 830 New Comedy Award. Compeer by Father Ted‘s Ardal O’Hanlon. and withjudges including Julian Clary, the final. featuring all eight contenders, will be screened on the BBC’s stand-up show, The Stand Up Show.

Sponsored by Channel 4, and boasting a list of previous winners that includes Phil Kay, Rhona Cameron and Bruce Morton, So You Think You’re Funny features only the newest performers . . . and the blurb says ‘the performer must have only worked as a paid stand-up comedian for a minimum of six months’. So they're quite cheap. And, though the heats take place throughout August, the final will be held on 25 August. Go and watch.

Aaaand finally . . . The Open Mic Award final on 27 August, in association with The Daily Telegraph and run by booking agency giants Avalon. grants its cheery winner £1000 in prize money and a booking on The National Comedy Circuit (a somewhat dubious opportunity to spend their evenings performing in front of hundreds of boozed-up. heekle-happy students the length and breadth of the country). They can't lose! Hot tip? Aw, g‘wan. then . . . watch Frankie Boyle.

nave Gorman