August 6 2016
Our correspondent has done her own spot of stand-up and survived – and now casts a critical and informed eye over the Asian acts that might provide you with a tickle or two in Edinburgh this year…
By Dimple Pau
IF I HAD MY WAY, I WOULD happily edit every calendar in the world and simply call this month ‘Edfringe’.
It is the time of year where comedians migrate to Edinburgh to, at best, make people laugh and get that 5* review or at its worst, have a break down (sometimes on stage) and be desperately need of validation more than ever before. It truly is a wonderful time.
For audiences, different people ‘fringe’ in different ways when it comes to that huge section of the fringe guide: comedy.
My way is to watch: a) 70 per cent of unknown acts ranging from the odd, eccentric, brand new and recent new act award winners. B) 20 per cent of midway established acts about to break including anyone Foster Award nominated. C) Five per cent compilation or improv nights and D) Five per cent (or not at all), established comics on TV. To get the ‘true’ fringe experience, you have to start with the unknown.
If you haven’t at least once been the only audience member of a show – you’re not doing it right!
With that in mind, before you go see your Nish Kumars, Shazia Mirzas and Romesh Ranganathans – here are a few shows to get you started with point A:
Amir Khoshsokhan – ‘Shhhhhh’
There has been a huge amount of buzz around Amir Khoshokhan over the few years or so with his name popping up as either the winner or finalist of major new act awards, most notably the BBC New Comedy Awards. Following his short pre-debut last year called Milk and Hedgehogs, he was tipped as the ‘one to watch’ by The Independent and The Guardian. Amir Khoshsokhan – Shhhhhh comes as his proper debut show, and potentially the start of something special. Word of advice, make sure your ears are clean, he’s a bit of a quiet one!
Amir Khoshsokhan – Shhhhhh – Laughing Horse @ Dropkick Murphys – 7 Merchant St (off Candlemaker Row), EH1 2QD (Main Room). Free (non ticketed). August 4-28 9pm (55 mins)
Mark Silcox – ‘Helping Aamer’
If you really want a bonkers Fringe experience, then catch anything of research chemist and supply teacher, Mark Silcox. Last year I had the privilege of enjoying a cup of tea and biscuit mid show as he made us all a cuppa. His act has a slight whiff of ‘the Indian uncle’ and the majority of the time the audience watches while thinking ‘is this real?’ He does, be it intentional or otherwise, make people laugh. He is simultaneously able to deliver strong performances with sound jokes suggesting he has the potential to be something beyond a novelty act. This year he is focusing on Aamer Rahman who he describes as ‘angry Australian comedian’. He will use his show to ‘. . .pinpoint the reason for his anger and send positive quantum vibes to cure it.’
‘Mark Silcox Helping Aamer’ – Caio Rama, 64 South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1LS. Free (non ticketed), August 6-29 2.10pm
Sameer Khan – ‘At the Zoo’
Now for someone completely out of the water – Sameer Khan seems to be very much at the beginning of his comedy career which doesn’t necessarily matter but it does mean you should expect the unexpected. As an American currently living in Cambridge, Sameer will deliver his observations and hold up a mirror to us Brits, occasionally dipping into a bit of race. He promises a hilarious show or your money back.
‘Sameer Khan – At the zoo’. The staff room @ The Three Sisters, Edinburgh
139 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1JS. FREE (NON TICKETED) Aug 5th to 28th. 12.15am (1 hour)
Ahir Shah – ‘Machines’
A philosopher not frightened of tackling the big subjects: internationalism, terrorism and modernity, among them. Polemical and on point, he’s not much on the mass media, but has toured internationally and has a growing reputation.
‘Ahir Shah – Machines’, Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire – 36 Blair Street, Edinburgh, UK, EH1 1QR. Free (non ticketed). August 6-28 1.30pm
Mawaan Rizwan – Gender Neutral Concubine Pirate
Mischievous, slightly out of control and takes off where Johnny Depp’s effete pirate comes out and ‘knocks’ everyone into wild submission and delicious abandon (we hope and believe). BBC 3 fave Rizwan, last seen at Alchemy and on the telly in the rather more sober and sobering “Murdered by my Father” (as the unfortunate boyfriend), shows off his comedy talons.
‘Mawaan Rizwan – Laughing Horse’ @ Dropkick – 7 Merchant St (off Candlemaker Row), EH1 2QD (Main Room). Free (non ticketed).5-14, 16-28
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival runs until August 29 and is one of the largest festivals displaying talent across comedy, cabaret & variety, childrens shows, dance, physical theatre and circus, music, musicals & opera, spoken word and theatre.
For more information and to view the Fringe Guide, visit: www.edfringe.com<
*Apologies about the alignment of pictures and words in this story – there a technical issue and we will try and resolve it.