Sunday, August 25, 2013


Edinburgh Fringiness Winning
Greg Scott Shapiro 25 August, 2013

The Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2013 are a grand triumph for anyone who’s been worried that the Fringe is too commercial. In my mind, this proves the real Fringe is back.

Consider: Bridget Christie’s show ‘A Bic for Her’ is on at 11.05am. It’s a rant on feminism (that doesn’t sacrifice angry for funny).

Consider: John Kearns ‘Sight Gags for Perverts’ is on at 17.05. It’s on at the PBH Free Fringe. Last year’s Best Newcomer Daniel Simonsen also came from the Free Fringe, didn’t he? Commercial productions be damned.

Consider: Adrienne Truscott’s show ‘Asking for It – a One-Lady Comedy about Rape Starring her Pussy and Little Else’ is as much performance art as it is comedy. The Truscott character is Adrienne Wau of the Wau Wau Sisters cabaret act. I spoke to her (having missed her show, F**k me) about her 5-star reviews, and she said she was totally surprised. Apparently, she’d heard one too many rape jokes and decided to do a show about it. Her message: ‘Dudes, if you’re going to make rape jokes, then at least make smart jokes.’
Shapiro L-R with Adrienne Wau, David Quirk, Zoe Lyons 

We spoke about performance art inspirations like Karen Finley & Annie Sprinkle. Perhaps that’s how she got the idea to perform the show naked from the waist down and to use her body as a canvas for projections. Appropriately, she also won the Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality. When I spoke to her, she said she’s busy enough with the Sisters (they’re actual sisters). An she has no plans to continue Adrienne Truscott. But now that may change.

Also consider the venue where Truscott performed: ‘Heroes at Bob’s Bookshop.’ This is so free fringy it’s not even part of the official Free Fringe. It's a project started up by Bob Slayer, who's so alternative even alternative comedy doesn't know what to do with him. It’s in a bookshop. A small bookshop. You can tell how uncomfortable it was for male reviewers:

Apparently, this year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award panel had a hard time choosing. This is the first time in awhile there were 7 acts on the Shortlist for Best Show. (Personally, I had a hard time believing a couple of these names were on here.) Here’s who Bridget beat out:

Thanks to David Quirk for introducing me to Adrienne. Thanks to Facebook & Stewart Lee for introducing me to Bridget Christie.

Coming soon: Where should I put on my show at Fringe 2014? There are at least 3 Turf Wars going on – which  side to choose?