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Recent episodes from shows in The Podcast Corner

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.

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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.

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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.

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My Cat’s Tale – Cuarta

From a chance encounter at one week old, Cuarta has found her forever home with Tom and his family… along with their two dogs. A cat was never planned for in the house, in fact, a cat was never considered given the two dogs already living with them. Bringing up Cuarta was and is a learning experience.

Tom talks to me about those first nights with Cuarta, where her name comes from, and why she likes the house’s internet router so much.

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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.

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My Cat’s Tale – Crits For Cats

Bash may have five cats in their home, but many more cats and kittens pass through this very connected foster home. Thanks to its online communities, the Crits For Cats project can also support cat rescues and shelter cats in the local area.

Ewan listens to Bash to learn more about living with so many foster kittens coming through a home, how the rescue adventure started, and how streaming on Twitch has built up a supportive community of cat lovers.

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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.

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My Cat’s Tale – Malcolm The Cat’s Christmas Tale

Caroline told us Malcolm’s tale of his injuries and treatment earlier this year. After he was hit by a car, his community rallied round to help fund his extensive medical treatment. There were many happy fans of Malcolm when he made it back home, and his ever-present companion Baby Dog took care of him.

I caught up with Caroline just before Christmas to find out how Malcolm is getting on, how his life has changed, and the new cat coming round to visit him.

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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.

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My Cat’s Tale – Sigrid Rides

Sigrid is a familiar sight on the streets of London, as she explores the capital city in her cat basket on the front of Travis Nelson’s bike. Emigrating with Travis from California, the adventures of this deaf cat are being told in print with her book ‘Sigrid Rides’ set for publication in 2023.

Ewan listens to Travis as he explains how he introduced Sigrid to biking, why he can’t sneak up on her, and the fun of writing a book about their cycling…

…all white a massive cat-sized hamster wheel rumbles along in the background.

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