The Edinburgh Fringe Archive – Sofie Hagen (Bubblewrap, 2015)

Sofie Hagen started their stand-up career in their home country of Denmark, before quickly moving to London to further their career. 2015 brought the debut show to Edinburgh.

Bubblewrap examined issues of depression and mental health, difficult teenage years, and attacking the beauty industry, all with just a dash of Westlie and a perfectly cringe reading of their Westlife Fan Fiction.

It’s fair to say that Hagen nailed the Edinburgh experience, with the ‘Best Newcomer award from the (no longer the Perriers) Edinburgh Comedy Awards, joining previous newcomer awards from  Laughing Horse and Chortle.

The Fringe podcast caught up with Sofie early in August. The show was doing well, and audiences were coming in, but the plan for a small and intimate first time in Edinburgh was upstaged with the venue moved to the 500 seater Liquid Rooms rock band stage.

So, let’s take a trip to PBH’s Free Fringe, into the Liquid Rooms, and get ready to enjoy some Bubblewrap…

Read More

The Edinburgh Fringe Archive – Tim Fitzhigham (Flanders And Swann, At The Drop Of A Hippopotamus, 2016)

There are Fringe performers, there are Fringe stalwarts, and then there is Tim FitzHigham

This Gentleman Explorer has spent decades at the Fringe, bringing shows about his madcap activities that he has attempted in the previous twelve months…most notably he was the first person to row across the English Channel in a bathtub, held the British and European record for the longest Washing Line, and was part of an obscure show called “Alex Horne: The Taskmaster” in 2010. I wonder what happened to that?

Anyway, 2016 saw a much calmer FitzHigham in Edinburgh. Although not quite ready to present his latest daredevil moment, he once more joined with Duncan Walsh Atkins to bring their loving tribute to Flanders and Swann to the Fringe for its tenth show.

Part tribute, part let’s do some funny song, part ‘let’s not forget about these titanic comedians’, FitzHigham and Atkins continue to present their showcase of the comedic music from Michael Flanders and Donald Swann at the Fringe,

Tim joined myself, and co-host Paul Levy from FringeReview, in 2016’s Podcast Studio to talk about the show, his love of Flanders and Swann, and their importance to the cultural landscape.

So let’s go back to The Cabaret Bar, to 2016, and enjoy At The Drop Of A Hippopotamus.

Read More

The Edinburgh Fringe Archive – Adam Kay (Bum Notes, 2012)

I’ve talked before about the podcast archive giving us a window into the past when the recognisable names of today were still figuring their artistic life out. That’s very much the case with Adam Kay. With ‘The London Underground’ song becoming the breakout viral hit of 2005 (or at least as viral as you could manage in 2005) he started his appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe.

We join his story in 2012, where his mix of songs and storytelling settled into the ‘Fringe Favourite’ list, with multiple years of sell-out shows in Edinburgh and across the United Kingdom.

It was his first book, ‘This Is Going To Hurt’, that started this new period in his career. It was a Sunday times bestseller, sold over one million copies, and won numerous Book of the Year’ awards. Kay adapted the book for the recent seven-part BBC Series, with Ben Whishaw taking on the now fictional role of Dr Adam Kay. His third book, ‘The Story of a Medic Who Ran Out Of Patients’, was published this year, following on from 2019’s ‘Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas’.

Back in 2012, much of this was ahead of Kay. It’s August and his job is to get through the Fringe. In this interview we talk a bit about his life as a Doctor in the NHS and the move into performing, when going with a ‘big four’ venue was the right choice for him, and how the Fringe can benefit him for the whole year.

Read More

The Edinburgh Fringe Archive – Sarah Kendall (Get Up, Stand Up, 2012)

This week we’re back to 2012 once more, as former Perrier nominee Sarah Kendall returned to the Fringe after a five year absence.

“Get Up, Stand Up” (or is it “Get Up, Stand-Up”, how delightfully interpretive) takes on a more storytelling approach than a bang-bang-jokes routine, and Kendall’s acting chops wer brought to the fore in an hour of pitch perfect raccentouring, reflecting on motherhood, the world that her daughter was growing up in, all wrapped up by the tale of the Ugly Duckling.

Her recent work includes the TV show Frayed, which has just finished its second season, and an appearance on the UK version of Taskmaster – so as you’d expect there’s countless clips of her discovering a bag of salt.

As for 2012, we’re off to The Pleasance and the ridiculously early time of 8.30pm, to talk to Sarah Kendall.

Read More

The Edinburgh Fringe Archive – Tiff Stevenson (Uncomfortably Numb, 2012)

Tiff Stevenson has been a Fringe fixture since 2006, debuting as a solo act in 2009. Stevenson was already established on the circuit in 2012 when, following her appearance in ITV’s ‘Show Me The Funny’, she brought ‘Uncomfortably Numb’ to Edinburgh,

She continues to bring new material to the Fringe, with this year’s ‘Sexy Brain’ picking up five star reviews; And year round she runs and MCs the monthly new material night ‘Old Rope’ each month at London’s Comedy Store.

So let’s go back in time, back to The Underbelly, and back to Tiff Stevenson’s ‘Uncomfortably Numb’

Read More

The Edinburgh Fringe Archive – Arthur Smith (…Sings Leonard Cohen, volume 2, 2013)

Into the archives once more with another Fringe legend. Over the years, Arthur Smith has performed countless stand-up sets at the Fringe, been arrested for some outdoor shows, wrote his own review and snuck it into The Scotsman, kidnapped a puppet, and many more adventures lost to time.

In 2013 he performed the second of three shows around his love of Leonard Cohen and how his music is wrapped around Arthur’s life. We invited him into our podcast studio to tell us more about “Arthur Smith Sings Leonard Cohen, volume 2”, his memories of the Fringe, and which of the then up-and-coming comics he was watching out for.

Read More

The Edinburgh Fringe Archive – Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, 2013)

In our first trip into the archive, we start with Fleabag. Directed by Vicky Wood, written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, this small show from 2013 took place in the depths of the Underbelly. It remains the gold standard of Fringe legends… from a theatrical dare, to a short stand-up like ten minutes, to a ‘that’s so Fringe’ run in Edinburgh, and then onwards into the zeitgeist Phoebe and Vicky joined Ewan Spence in the podcast studio to talk about the origins of Fleabag, highlight the importance of the subject matter, and try to remember how much of the script was cut before it reached the stage.

Read More

The Edinburgh Fringe Show 2022 – Looking Back Over This Year’s Fringe

As the sun sets on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for 2022, Fin Ross and Ewan look back on this year’s Fringe. How has it felt welcoming the Festival back to the city. Can we offer four more recommended shows for the last night or two in August? And what dangers lie ahead for the Fringe in 2023? All that, and a sneak peek to some Fringe podcasts coming up in September.

Read More

The Edinburgh Fringe Show 2022 – Lynn Ferguson (Storyland)

The world is full of stories. Lynn Ferguson works with stories every day, and her show at this year’s Fringe mixes a love of stories, how the tales we all tell reveal who we are, and the stories of invited guests, to create ‘Lynn Ferguson’s Storyland’. Ewan and Lynn sit down to talk about the power of stories as the Fringe begins its final weekend of 2022.

Read More

The Edinburgh Fringe Show 2022 – Ronnie Golden (Fringe Legend)

It might just be a ten-minute appearance at this year’s Fringe thanks to an invite from John Cooper Clark, but Ronnie Golden is once more in Edinburgh during August. Ronnie is a Fringe legend, having taken part in the Festival since 1984, sometimes alone, sometimes with his band, and sometimes with the great Barry Cryer. Ewan sits down to talk about the history of the Fringe and what comes next both for the Fringe and for Ronnie.

Read More