So i went to Edinburgh and managed not to show my arse in the back of shot for the recording of the (still dire) Edinburgh Show at the Pleasance…

I did go and see quite a lot of really good shows though, amazingly not a single stinker in 15 or so things over five days, but three shows really stood out.

Adam HillsAdam Hills (Assembly Rooms) was outrageously good. I’d seen odd snippets of him on telly, but the live show was excellent, he had a good theme that he worked throughout the show about not becoming bland, but he was more than happy to go off-script, especially when he saw a four-month old baby in the front row (with her parents), although he did, eventually, manage to work her in to his material. Considering he’s never been a big telly whore, the 500 capacity room was rammed, I didn’t realise people still got this big by word-of-mouth, but in his case one can easily understand why.

Josie LongJosie Long (Cafe Royal) is the INDIEST act, in ANY artform, i have seen in a very very long time. Basically, instead of forming a grumpy riot grrl band, she’s become a stand-up, and her first hour-long show is a blizzard of free home-made badges, badly drawn fanzines and talking about stuff you find in second-hand shops. Despite this sounding like the most cringeworthy thing ever (i see you at the back, cynical person), she is so engaging and so HAPPY AND EXCITED ABOUT STUFF that she totally carries it off.

richard dedomeniciRichard Dedomenici‘s show “Did Priya Pathak Ever Get Her Wallet Back?” (Pleasance Dome) despite being cunningly placed in the Comedy Listings so that people go to see it, is actually REAL PROPER PERFORMANCE ART just like mother[0] used to make. An hour-long illustrated lecture showing documentation of his previous work, as well as his somewhat singular contribution to the discussion on the future of the British Police Force, it was really a treat to see someone like this (ie artist in residence for last year’s National Review of Live Art) working at the fringe, rather than poopooing it and staying in the Art (capital A) ghetto.

I think the theme that ran through all three of these shows was “YAY, stuff is GREAT and i want to tell YOU all about it”, which is a quality i always admire in a performer.

If we did starred reviews here at FT and, because the fringe LIVES for stapling badly-photocopied good or even half-decent reviews to beautifully-designed, expensive flyers it seems churlish not to, these three would all be *****

[0] Mother Etchells, obv.