Monkey Barrel Comedy has announced their 2019 Fringe Festival programme, with over 50 acts performing across five spaces in their newly-expanded venue. Having won Scottish Comedy Awards Best Comedy Club the last three years in a row, they promise internationally renowned acts, prestigious comedy award nominees and winners plus some local favourites, all of which run the gamut of comedy genres from powerhouse standup to absurdist gems to beloved characters and more.
Aiming to make Fringe more accessible for acts and punters alike, Monkey Barrel Comedy highlights their Fair Fringe approach, one that Director David Bleese indicates is built on "affordable ticket prices, a good deal for acts and all staff paid for the work they do.”"
Highlights of this year's Fringe lineup include powerhouse Fern Brady with Power and Chaos, dealing in power, sexuality and nationality. Under this theme or power and identity also lies Tony Law with Identifies, asking “Does identity always end in tribalism?”
Never shying away from the scene's wonderfully weird, Monkey Barrel Comedy does not disappoint with their alternative comedy performers. Back following a 2018 sellout Fringe run with Fruit Loop and her 2017 nominated show Maid of Cabbage, Lucy Pearman brings her newest creation, Baggage. From the mind of 2018 Fringe sellout Planet Earth III comes Luke Rollason: Infinite Content; imagine slapstick Black Mirror performed by the lovechild of Mr Bean and Inspector Gadget… but with advert breaks.
Diving into the deeper side of comedy, there will be plenty of acts tackling difficult subjects. Amy Matthews, Scottish Comedy Awards Best Newcomer nominee, reveals The Life Aquatic with Amy Matthews, on the importance and danger of escapism in a world that demands it. Exploring similar themes of grief and survival, brilliant and bitingly honest Bobby Mair: Cockroach asks, following the death of his mothers, a BPD diagnosis and overcoming addiction, can anything kill him?
The maddening modern day leaves no shortage of discourse, with acts dissecting the world at large. Following his debut World Tour, Jamali Maddix (Live at the Apollo, Hate Thy Neighbour), returns with a WIP to bring together his latest material. Following a sellout 2018 run, star of Taskmaster Lou Sanders debuts Say Hello To Your New Stepmummy, exploring our thirst for online attention, mental health (not hers, she’s fine) and perverts...(well, that is Lou, actually).
With plenty of oddities to delight all, one act to note is Shivanu Thussu with Prefer Not To Say, a focus group that goes too far; no two shows are the same. Candy Gigi invites audiences to a darkly comic Shabbat dinner with her fifth Fringe show, horror-comedy musical Friday Night Sinner!
Late night highlights include Spencer Jones 50 Minute Disco Experiment, immersive and different each night, and Project X, an Alternative Comedy Collective showcase of the weird and wacky every Friday and Saturday.