The Edinburgh Fringe Show

Explore the world-renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Ewan Spence through a mix of reviews, news, and interviews.

Hosted ByEwan Spence, Fin Ross Russell

Welcome to the Edinburgh Fringe Show.

This BAFTA-nominated podcast is a mix of news from the biggest arts festival in the world, with interviews and reviews from the world of comedy, theatre, and music; featuring over 1000 guests since we started coverage in 2005.

Just as the Edinburgh Fringe went on hiatus in 2020, so did the Fringe podcast. When the Fringe returned to a full roster for 2022. Ewan Spence was joined by Fin Ross Russell to guide listeners through the festival with a daily mix of interviews, thoughts, news, and more.

Following the 2022 Fringe, we are exploring our extensive library of guests with a weekly showcase interview from the archives.

Listen to all our shows online at edinburghfringe.thepodcastcorner.com. Follow the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or in your favourite podcast app, to never miss an episode.

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The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – Matt Parker (Humble Pi, 2019)

Maths and stand-up is a strange formula – but one that clearly has an abundance of puns if you put your mind to it.

One performer who has put their mind to it is Matt Parker. Like many performers at the Fringe, he’s Australian but lives in the United Kingdom. His early days at the Fringe saw him appear in ‘multi bill’ shows, with two other scientists, taking 20 minutes each… before he stepped up to a full solo show.

One of those hours was in 2019, with Humble Pi. Based on the book of the same name, it brought ‘mathematical mistakes and errors’ from history to the stage, with hilarious results… all backed up with proof.
And so lets regress (ahem) back to 2019, back to the Pleasance Dome, and back to, roughly Humble 22 over 7.

The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – Dominic Holland (Eclipsed, 2017)

Dominic Holland made his name at the Fringe. His first time in Edinburgh, in 1993 he won the Perrier Best Newcomer award, and was later nominated for the full Perrier. He’s made TV appearances, is a regular on the circuit… and was anointed by Bob Monkhouse as “Britain’s funniest not yet famous comedian”.

He’s a stand-up with many highs (and lows). He’s also a father, and in 2017 he brought his show ‘Eclipsed’ to the Free Fringe.

The eclipse in question is by his son Tom Holland. How was Dominic’s journey to where he is today, how did the whole family deal with each other, and how much of a protective father he is to a really talented son.

It’s a different viewpoint on the classic story of rising from humble roots to a hero – literally. With Jokes.

So let’s go back to the Fringe, back to the Voodoo Rooms, and the Free Fringe, to find out the delight of being Eclipsed.

The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – Rich Batsford (Classically Chilled Piano, 2015)

Popping up for a single week at the Edinburgh Fringe – something that was becoming a more popular option in recent years due to the cost and complexity of the Fringe – Rich Batsford brought his piano to the Festival.

Was this a rock n roll hour of gags and wordplay? No. But it was a master at work. The Fringe is more than stand-up comedy, and our Fringe interviews always try to get the same balance. And this certainly was it – Batsford could capture the room in the same way as any Perrier nominee, could twist his tales with a look, and bring out emotions with a few flickers of fingers over the piano keys, along with

Myself and Nick Awde caught up with Batsford in the podcast studio to talk about Batsford’s show, his approach to music, and the power of a silent moment.

The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – Lady Carol (Lost and Found, 2014)

Lady Carol, a Fringe stalwart then and now, back on the touring circuit of cabaret and festivals and the like, returned to the Fringe in 2014 with a mandolin and ukulele in tow,

Billed as a show with songs of spirited spite and tales of melancholic mischief, Lost and Found, has 30 songs, and 30 stories, and of course, you can’t get all of that into a single hour. The random nature guaranteed something different for every audience, kept the show fresh for the whole month, but perhaps made it difficult to review as presented…

…but this is a show where the performer, rightly, comes first and comes highly recommended.

In the days before he got a bus, Bob Slayer had a bookshop. That bookshop was a Fringe venue. And in that venue was Lady Carol, so let’s head back to 2014 to be lost and found.

The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – Jess Robinson (Impressive, 2016)

Performing regularly since 2004’s appearance on Dead Ringers, various roles in the audio adventures of Doctor Who from Big Finish, and one of the “we need a voice” actors called on by the Horrible Histories troupe, Jess Robinson has been in the business for well over a decade before making it to the Fringe.

2016 saw impressionist Jess Robinson’s third show at the Edinburgh Fringe. I,pressive opens with a promise of 99 voices in the first 5 minutes before a gentler pace kicked in and a storytelling hour took over… with a bit of help from both a live band and many of those aforementioned 99 voices.

Since then there are more accomplishments, and Robinson has picked up a Gold Medal for ‘Best Entertainment Podcast’ in 2021 with Stars in Your Ears.

But now, back to 2016, back to Impressive, and always remember: The show is finished, don’t try and get tickets.

The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – Carey Marx (Intensive Carey, 2013)

Carey Marx’ Fringe in 2013 is the sort of one-line elevator pitch that Hollywood loves – ‘I had to cancel my show in 2012 because I had a heart attack… let’s talk about that in 2013’.

Marx was already an accomplished storyteller who had that delightful ability to keep the story on the straight and narrow but twist everything else just a little, under the surface, and capture the audience. Intensive Carey – which is still a fabulous pun nearly ten years later – did just that.

The Fringe is also family, and knowing that Carey was absent in 2012 meant that so many people – including myself – were delighted just to have him back. This show, just as many others, started in an incredibly relatable place. So let’s go back to 2013, go back to welcome Carey back to the Gilded Balloon, and experience some Intensive Carey.

The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – Mike Bubbins (Retrosexual Male, 2017)

It’s Mike Bubbins’ turn to escape the archive. He’s a Welsh comic who has carved out a great little space in the scene as “the comic who does the seventies”. His fringe show forom 2017 is quintessential Bubbins, as he looks back at the seventies, what made it great, and what we can learn from it intoday’s world.

He’s continued that mix of cultural time travel in his 2021 TV series Mamoth, where he plays “Tony Mammoth, a Welsh PE teacher, missing presumed dead in an avalanche in the Alps in 1979 whose body is found and miraculously bought back to life in the modern day.”

But now, we always say we return to the Fringe, and here it’s a return to the Fringe of 2017, to return to the 70s, via The Assembly Rooms, and Mike Bubbins’ Retrosexual Male.

The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – Ismo Leikola (Observing The Obvious, 2015)

This week I want to head back to 2015. That year the show was broadcast live on Leith FM community radio, as well as being a podcast, with a number of guest hosts joining me – so you’ll hear the voice of WUSB New York’s Emma Backfish – as well as our comedy just… Finland’s Ismo Leikola.

For countless decades, the ‘observational comedy’ routine has been a staple of stand ups… yes we have all seen just how many Cafe Nero’s there are, and how many stamps you need to get a free coffee, but Ismo brought a new angle on this to the Fringe… doing it in his second language.

A laid back Finnish style put me in mind of the razer sharp gentleness of Arnold Brown. Ismo’s skills wasn’t the choice of well-worn topics, is was putting a twist on the resulting points that lifted this show up.

So we return to the Gilded Balloon, we return to the time honoured comedian watching our everyday life, we return to a rather chaotic studio, to Observing the Obvious.

The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – James Seager and Les Enfants Terribles (Vaudevillans, 2016)

Everyone at the Fringe is inventive, but one group is very much associated with that in my mind, Les Enfant Terribles. Formed in 2002 by James Seager and Oliver Lansley, they have brought many shows to the Fringe over the years, from psychological World War One horror, through Piratosaurs, to 2016’s vaudevillans;a classic murder caper mixed with a variety show.

James Seager popped into our studio that year to explain it… although that year the studio was a shed next to a double decker bus that had been renovated to be a theatre on wheels. Oh and Lucy Evans joined me from Edinburgh Student Radio Fresh Air FM as well.