Spiegeltent Columbino

Best Of The Fest Show 2015

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Sun 30 Aug 2015

Being a busy Mummy, I haven’t had much time for the Fringe Festival this year, but yesterday I had a lovely day out in Edinburgh with two of my very good friends. We booked tickets for ‘Best Of The Fest Daytime’. This is a compilation show, where five different Fringe acts perform a ten minute taster of their festival shows. The line up is different every day, so you don’t know who you’re going to see. This was great for me as I haven’t seen much in this years festival, so it was nice to see a few different acts in one go.

First off it’s worth mentioning the fantastic venue. We were in the Spiegeltent Columbino in George Square Gardens. Spiegeltents are large travelling tents, built during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Only a few are still in use today. The tent was huge and lavishly decorated with red fabric, mirrors and colourful stained glass. It even had its own bar inside!

The show was hosted by London comedian Carl Donnelly, who warmed up the audience before each act. He told some funny stories and interacted with the crowd, which was good because it was more spontaneous – however slightly awkward at some points. Thankfully we were further back in the crowd, so he didn’t pick on us.

The opening act was Lady Carol and I wasn’t really sure what to make of her! She was a sort of comedy singer with a ukulele. She sang her own unique version of ‘Ce Sera Sera’ and a couple of others. Perhaps I would need to see her whole show to really understand what it was all about.

Next up was Scottish comedian Fred MacAulay. The most famous of the line up, I have seen him on TV before. I thought he was very funny and quick-witted. You could tell he had been doing this for a long time and seemed very confident and comfortable on stage.

Then we had the comedy duo Pajama Men. I loved this act because it was so different to anything I had seen before. The pair acted out various characters, slipping quickly from one personality to the next. It was surreal, bizarre and very funny.

More stand up next with Irish comedian Andrew Ryan. His name rang a bell, but I’m not sure if I’ve seen him before. He mostly talked about his family and I thought he was very engaging and funny.

The last act was called Fills Monkey, a couple of drummers who were the only ones not to speak at all throughout their performance. They played the drums in an entertaining way and made music hitting plastic tubes off tables and members of the audience. They finished with a bit of air drumming. I thought it was a great way to end the show!

I would highly recommend this type of show to someone like me, who wants to see a few different acts but doesn’t have the time to go to lots of shows. Its also a great way to discover new acts that you might want to see in their own shows at a later date. Sadly, tomorrow is the last day of this year’s Fringe Festival, but ‘Best Of The Fest’ will be back next year.

George Square Gardens, Edinburgh, EH8 9JU