Fringe Comedy Reviews: Four Bearpit Stand-Ups

All six members of the popular Bearpit podcast crew have brought individual shows to this year’s Fringe. The Skinny tracks down four of them

Feature by John Stansfield | 10 Aug 2015

The idea that Matt Winning is the son of Robert Mugabe is never really explained in Mugabe and Me in 3D [★★★★☆]. It is simply taken as writ and to question it means you’re probably a racist. From this jumping-off point, Winning’s natural charisma and the universally accessible feeling of not wanting to turn into your father take hold. He does this by leaving home and going from job to job, weaving in jokes and skits about FIFA, bins, Dutch TV and a great satirical gag about banking. His scattershot thinking is reigned in by the structure of the show, loose though it may be.

This loose structure is something fellow bear-pitter Adam Hess could benefit from with his show Salmon  [★★★☆☆]. Leaping from point to point like a hyperactive child is great but there are times where he forgets where he’s supposed to be running to next. His stand-up has improved by slowing that manic speech pattern which marked Hess out initially, but with the addition of a simple through-line, the jumps from subject to subject may help to engage the audience more without losing any of his distinctive momentum.

Losing no forward rhythm is Bearpit’s Lolly Adefope [★★★★☆]. Her show is a one-woman open mic night with a host of characters she manages to embody just by changing a jacket and accent. This is almost anti-comedy and the little touches for each character makes each unique. Stand outs include John Legend’s estranged father ‘Horold’ and the various pre-recorded adverts for local businesses that mean you look forward to the breaks and costume changes as well as the various acts Lolly introduces.

Finally, late at Banshee Labyrinth is Richard Gadd’s odyssey of a show, Waiting for Gaddot  [★★★★☆]. Gadd is joined by Ben Target, Ed Aczel and Ian Smith, as well as cameos from some other recognized faces in the filmed sketches – including Lesley Joseph from Birds of a Feather. There’s not so much we can say about this show without ruining it for you. A mix of filmed sketches, live performance and no short amount of heroin overdoses, it is a whirlwind of an hour that’s more multimedia theatre experience than stand-up – though please don’t let that put you off.

Lolly Adefope: Lolly, Pleasance Courtyard, until 31 Aug (various dates), 4.30pm, £6-9.50
Richard Gadd: Waiting for Gaddot, Banshee Labyrinth, until 30 Aug (various dates), 11.30pm, free
Adam Hess: Salmon, Heroes at the Hive, until 31 Aug, 5.20pm, free/£5 PWYW
Matt Winning: Mugabe and Me in 3D, Opium, until 29 Aug (various dates), 3.45pm, free