The Edinburgh Fringe Show 2023 – jD Shapiro (Stories From The Hood To Hollywood)

Our first full preview of the Edinburgh Fringe 2023, and Ewan meets jD Shapiro to talk about his second Edinburgh show “Stories From The Hood To Hollywood”. How does stand-up fit into his career as a writer and director, what did he learn at the Fringe last year, and why has he come back to Edinburgh?

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The Edinburgh Fringe Show 2023: Prologue

As we prepare to explore another year of the Edinburgh Fringe, Ewan Spence opens up the season with our traditional musical prologue from Daniel Cainer.

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The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – Rob Lloyd (Who Me, 2017)

‘Who, Me’ launched in Australia in 2011, and has been a popular hour on the touring circuit since then. It’s always nice to have a show that always sells at the Fringe. to go along with your regular set. This is the show that made bank for Rob… and still does.

He joins myself and co-host Jon Jacob in the Rose Street Theatre; we broadcast the podcast live in 2017, so everything was one take, get it right, fun and games.

So now, ‘vworp vworp’ back in time to the Fringe, back to the time as a new companion was announced by the BBC, and a little bit of a doctor who trivia train with Rob Lloyd

Always remember: The show is finished, don’t try and get tickets- Actually, this time, the show is still out there, so maybe?

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The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – Des Bishop (Grey Matters, 2016)

Getting his big break on Irish television in 2004, and then working up the rungs to his first Edinburgh show in 2010. The momentum kept building, including a sting of becoming fluent in Chinese to do a stand up show in the country, multiple years selling out venues at the Fringe, and bringing back something bigger each year.

It’s easy to be an observations comic. It’s hard to be a really good observational comic. Des makes it look easy.

In my minds eye, let’s head to our luxury studio beside a touring theatre company… in real life lets head to a shed next to a double decker bus with a performing space on the top deck…. Back to 2016, back to the Grey Matters of Des Bishop.

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The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – MJ Hibbert (Hey Hey 16K, 2015)

Following on from the viral success of his retro throwback to the days of the ZX Spectrum and other 8-bit home computers, MJ Hibbett brought his musical mix of comedy and meme-ability to the Edinburgh Fringe… although the hit song was released in 2000, and he didn’t make the Fringe till 2015, this might feel tenuous but when you have a one-hit wonder online, you live the dream.

MJ, along with Steven Hewitt, expanded that little ditty into a time-travelling rock and roll opera, mixing in Back to the Future, Ukuleles, and obscure Doctor Who references. They join myself and Jen Blacker in he Leith Radio Studios to talk about the show, viral success, and of course, they brought a guitar for a bit of a turn.

So not only are we back in time to 2015 but back in time to 1982 as well. It’s the Free Fringe at Sneaky Pete\s, it’s Hey Hey 16K.

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The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – Old Trunk (The Bastard Children Of Remington Steele)

Put on by Old Trunk in 2014 – Sadie Hasler (Playwright/Actor) and Sarah Mayhew (Director/Actor) brought The Bastard) Children of Remington Steele to The Fringe. The play is less about about the television series and more about life and finding a place in it

Curiously, this show was a double-header at the Fringe – while this and ‘The Secret Wives Of Andy Williams’ were both standalone plays, they were also designed to be seen in partnership with each other and create a larger story.

The podcast brought them into the local radio station – the show that year pulled double duty with online downloads, streaming, and FM transmission – to talk about the shows, although our resident chaos bunny Dan rapidly derails the conversation towards the titular Remington Steele.

We’re heading back to 2014, back to the Underbelly on the Cowgate, and back to Remington Steele.

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The Edinburgh Fringe Archives – Jeremy Nicholas (After Dinner Stories From My Disastrous Broadcasting Career, 2018)

Jeremy Nicholas’ career includes working as a news and sports reporter from his early days at studio radio, an award-winning breakfast radio show on BBC Greater London, recognition for his live commentary at the horrific Hillsborough Disaster, the Professional Speaking Award of Excellence, and 11 years as the voice of the FIFA computer games.

2018 saw Jeremy bring a show packed full of anecdotes, hilarity, and humility to the Edinburgh Fringe with the keyword packed ‘After Dinner Stories From My Disastrous Broadcasting Career’. It’s a mix of a new discipline with a long and varied career.

What brought Jeremey to the Fringe? How did he decide on this hour of material? And who will you find in his audience?

Let’s head back to the Gilded Balloon, back to a dining room converted into a stage fro someone to talk about speaking in dining rooms. Let’s go back to 2018 and Jeremy Nicholas.

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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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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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