Edinburgh Comedy Preview All-Dayer – 17 July 2016, New Barrack Tavern, Sheffield

With 26 days to go until my first trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in nearly two years, an email from a mailing list I hadn’t realised I had joined presuaded me that I needed to warm up for the big event with an all day (well 2pm to late) Edinburgh Comedy Preview All-Dayer at the Sheffield Funhouse Comedy Club at the New Barrack Tavern on Sunday 17 July.

Kicking off the afternoon to evening, in the beautiful walled suntrap of a pub garden, was the Scottish Falsetoo Sock Puppet Theatre, who will be performing their show “Scottish Falsetoo Sock Puppets Do Shakespeare” at the Fringe every day from 3 to 29 August, with no show on 23 August, at 10.30pm Gilded Balloon Teviot for £5. The best way of describing the show is a one-man adult Scottish Punch and Judy show with socks, full of bad but very funny Bard related puns and hilarious original and re-worded songs, including my favourites “Fuck Up Some Shakespeare” and a unique version of Blur’s “Boys and Girls”, plus plays and a sonnet performed as never before. Highly recommended for those who are still children at heart and agree Shakespeare comedies are not funny enough.

Up next was John Robertson, who is performing two shows in Edinburgh, “Arena Spectacular” from 4 to 28 August, apart from 15 August, at 3.40pm at The Stand Comedy Club 2 for £9-£7 and “The Dark Room” from 4 to 27 August at 8.30pm at Underbelly, Cowgate for £9.50-£6. A suited and booted agressively charming but incredibly hilariously funny Australian wizard who skipped the 11 pages of content for his “Arena Spectacular” show, John instead proved himself a genius at side-splitting audience-loving interaction. I will definitely be going out of my way to see John perform again. 

Star of BBC 1’s “Hospital People” (I admit I’d never heard of it), the next act was Hillsborough’s very own Tom Binns, who is following the two show trend with “How to Touch Dead People” from 3 to 28 August at 8pm at Assembly George Square Studios for £12-£7 and “Summertime Special 2016” from 4 to 29 August at 1pm also at Assembly George Square Studios for £11-£6. I will admit that the rest of the audience loved Tom’s act, that was split into his character role as psychic Ian D Montfort, who gives audience members messages from people they’ve never met, and a bad ventriloquist who brought various puppet relatives and monsters out of suitcases, but as someone who is not a fan of psychics or puppets (especially the current trend of turning audience members into puppets) his show wasn’t for me. However I will admit that some of his lines were very funny and his idea of using audience members to help him perform a Les Miserables song through the puppets worked surprisingly well.

Next up was former police offer turned comedian Alfie Moore (as a fan of crime dramas and comedy this may be my perfect mix for a comedian), whose has confirmed with me via Twitter that he’s not got a show at this year’s Fringe. Sadly due to other commitments we had to leave the All-Dayer just before his set began so missed him and the final two comedians of the day, but looking at reviews of his previous shows his comedy has been described as wonderful, warm, funny, thought-provoking, off-beat, sharp and brilliantly funny, all of which makes me think he’s worth checking out, and I am definitely planning on trying to do so.

The next guy on stage Lloyd does have a show at this years’ Fringe “Lloyd Griffiths: Is a Keeper” from 3 to 28 August at 8.30pm at Pleasance Courtyard for £10.50-£6. Lloyd, according to his show description, is a comedian, choir boy and aspiring goalkeeper, whi has spent the last year travelling the world in the name of football, falling for a 6ft blonde (not me with dyed hair) and turned vegetarian. From his show, the audience should expect jokes, singing and less flirting than from his previous shows. 

Last but not least in the Edinburgh Comedy Preview All-Dayer was a TBC confirmed act. Who as we weren’t able to stay around for was probably funny and is probably at Edinburgh but I can’t give you more details than that.

At a bargain £6 a ticket to see as many of the comedians as you like (I recommend booked in advance at www.wegottickets.com/searchresults/location to avoid disappointment if tickets sell out in advance), if you missed the 17 July show you can attend another Edinburgh Comedy Preview All-Day at the same venue on Sunday 24 June (doors open at 1.30pm). Comedians will include:

  • 2pm – John Scott (Performing his free non-ticketed show “John Scott Smashes it to F*ck” from 4 to 28 August at 6.15pm at Laughing Horse @ Espionage)
  • 3.25pm – Brennan Reece (Performing his £10-£6 show “Everglow” from 3 to 28 August at 6pm at Pleasance Courtyard)
  • 4.50pm – Adam Rowe (Peforming his £5 show “Bittersweet Little Lies” from 4 to 28 August, but not on 15 August, at 5.20pm at Just The Tonic at the Caves)
  • 6.15pm – Diane Spencer (Performing her £9.50-£5 show “Seamless” from 3 to 29 August, but not on 15 August, at 5.45pm at Gilded Balloon Teviot)
  • 7.40pm – Gareth Richards (Performing his free show at “The Halo Effect” from 6 to 28 August, but not on 18 August, at 2.45pm at Whistlebinkies)
  • 9.05pm – Sully O’Sullivan and Rick Molland (Performing their free show “Freedom of Speech” at 8pm from 4 to 8, 10 to 15, 17 to 22 and 24 to 28 August at Laughing Horse @ Espionage)

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