Issue #12 - Tuesday 16th August - FREE
REMEMBERING FREE FRINGE at THE VOODOO BAR, 2009:
James Acaster, Josh Widdicombe & Nick HeLM reminisce About Free Fringe Failure
Terry Alderton vs Craig Hill
»» 5 Reasons why »» »»
Pope Benedict is a Bond Villain Top tweets Full daily listings
James Acaster vs Henry Paker
#flyerface is back
cul-de-sac: UP TO SCRATCH
Creative experimentation reaps its rewards. Itch: A Scratch Event creates and trials new scripts, sketches and characters at Pleasance London and Edinbrugh, all with the help of live audiences. Now, Cul-De-Sac has emerged from the Itch trials to bring its twisted take on Stepford Wives to Pleasance throughout August. Itch has long provided an enthralling breeding ground for comics to air their dramatic writing. Previous participants have included Hardeep Singh Kohli, Russell Kane, Jack Whitehall, Jenny Eclair and many more. Today, the event returns to Edinburgh with new writing by Fred Macauley, Phil Nichol, Hattie Hayridge and others. This year The Comedians Theatre Company aren’t just trialling new work at Itch, but also unveiling the results of previous trials. Mathew Osborn’s newly written play, Cul-De-Sac began life at Itch and has now blossomed into a full-bodied, freshly-cut ‘suburban lawn’ of a play.
[Continued on Page 3...]
Top Left, Mike Hayley as Clovis in Itch / Bottom right, Mike Hayley in Cul-De-Sac
RE-LIVING THE VOODOO BAR James Acaster, Josh Widdicombe, Nick Helm...
...and a bucket of sick spent an Edinburgh Festival Fringe together. Two years on, three of the four have solo shows at Pleasance. They organised a reminiscing session in memory of 2009 spent at Edinburgh’s least-known venue, The Voodoo Bar. “How long would you say that bucket of sick stayed at the back of the room?” opens Nick. “The smell really was horrible”, replies Josh, “but it was at least two weeks before we picked up the newspaper that was covering it and discovered the source.” Nick sets the scene; “It was 2009. We three decided to do a show, and to call it Acaster, Helm and Widdicombe, Live at The Voodoo Bar. Just simple, our names, alphabetically, and the location. But it had an unfortunately ‘Live at the Apollo’ ring to it.” “Except the Apollo doesn’t have decaying balloons on the walls,” chips in Josh, “and the lights aren’t smashed. They even managed to display the wrong Free Fringe logo; that’s like using an IRA symbol on Ian Paisley’s birthday card.” “Live at the Apollo also got an audience,” joins in James, “you’ve got to hand it to them, they got that right at least. We didn’t. We did get that guy coming to see us… my Mum’s friend, who was supposed to be supporting us. Josh, compering,
Josh Widdicombe, Nick Helm and James Acaster (Photo: Idil Sukan), BELOW: The Voodoo Bar
asked if anyone had seen comedy before, to which he replied ‘no, and I still haven’t’. ” “That joke’s matured with age,” admits Josh, “I find it quite funny now. Hey, do you remember that plane-spotter guy who was friends with sheep?” [The three share a chuckle, then a sigh.] Nick further explains the trio’s predicament. “The Voodoo Bar was on a triangle of roads which locals told us were the quietest roads in Edinburgh and, specifically, that ours was the quietest of the three.” A lone audience member confirmed to James one night that “nobody’s heard of this place.”
“Thankfully, it was because of that show that we all became friends,” offers Nick positively. James adds a sourer note that it closely resembled “the solidarity felt between car crash victims.” “I tried to visit The Voodoo Bar recently,” says James, wistfully, “but I never made it because gales buffeting against me along Princes Street seemed an omen against my quest.” Nick tried the same trip along memory lane, “I phoned up once, but never got through… perhaps we imagined the whole thing.” Nick, James and Josh have staggered their Pleasance shows this year so you can re-live The Voodoo Bar 2009 in one sublime evening without having to go to The Voodoo Bar itself (or 2009.) Josh adds that for the full experience “audiences should be sick in a bucket and carry that into each venue.” James Acaster: Amongst Other Things, Pleasance Courtyard, 3-29 Aug (Not 16) 21:45 / Nick Helm: Dare To Dream, Pleasance Courtyard, 3-29 Aug (Not 17) 16:00 / Josh Widdicombe: If This Show
Listen TO THIS in Full on THE Pleasance podcast today...
[Continued from cover...] The cul-de-sac may seem idylic – there are harmonious families, beautiful children and lawnmowers humming softly – but when Tim meets neighbour Nigel, he begins to suspect that something is up. Mystery abounds; mystery that curtain-twitching alone won’t solve. “There’s something rotten in the culde-sac. And you know it!” Cul-De-Sac starrs Alan Francis, Toby Longworth and Mike Hayley.
Hayley, who made a name for himself as the irresistibly absurd Clovis Van Darkhelm at Itch events in 2010, is thrilled to be part of the progression from Itch to this fulllength production. Look out for Cul-De-Sac at the Courtyard, and help spot next year’s success at Itch, today only. Itch: A Scratch Event, Pleasance Courtyard, 16 Aug 14:45 / Cul-De-Sac, Pleasance Courtyard, 3-29 Aug 15:15
EXPOSED: 5 Reasons why POPE BENEDICT IS A BOND VILLAIN 1. He has a creepy German accent. 2. He lives in a huge mansion, filled with priceless artworks.
by Abie Philbin Bowman
3. He never goes anywhere without a gang of uniformed henchmen. 4. His public name sounds perfectly innocent (Pope Benedict) but his real name sounds diabolical (Cardinal Ratzinger). 5. He’s the head of a sinister organisation which is hell-bent on taking over the world. Pope Benedict: Bond Villain, Pleasance Courtyard, 3-29 Aug (not 16), 20:45
Presented by one of our comedy acts and featuring their special guests, including:
Joe Lycett, Matthew Crosby from Pappy’s, Jeff Leach, Katherine Ryan, Tom Price, Dan Clark, Kate Copstick and a regular daily message from Angelos Epithemiou. EPISODE 6 (Yesterday) EPISODE 7 (Today) Nick Helm, Benny Boot & Josh Widdicombe Hannibal Buress & James Acaster
@ThePleasance #pleztimes RT @LRWORKS Actress Pauline Knowles is Scotland’s National Treasure. Watch her in Fleeto & Wee Andy. Superb. @thepleasance @thestage @thelist #edfringe RT @HenryRabyPoetry For a stand-up show beyond mundane easy gags packed with pathos at @edfringe chck out @ mattrudge 7.15 @ThePleasance RT @NoiseNextDoor You can now purchase TNND DVDs at @ThePleasance Merchandise and Information desk. There’s extras on it and everything. #edfringe RT @Jack_Roberts_ Just chilling @ThePleasance with my bro bungo!
TUESDAY 16th CHORTLE PRESENTS: FAST FRINGE Pleasance Dome 18:40 JIMMY MCGHIE MC, MATT TILLER, JIM SMALLMAN, LAURENCE CLARK, PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON, MCNEILL & PAMPHILON, DANNY PENSIVE, SCOTT AGNEW, LE GATEAU CHOCOLAT, SCOTT AGNEW, SAM SIMMONS, TERRY ALDERTON, LATE NIGHT GIMP FIGHT, MARK WATSON itch: A Scratch event Pleasance Courtyard, 14:45 Fred Macaulay, Phil Nichol, Hattie Hayridge, Rich Fulcher, Pippa Evans & Ruth Bratt (Showstopper!), The Segue Sisters & Many more
Just For Laughs Showcase Pleasance Courtyard, 23:00 Compere: Tim Rabnett, Eric Lampaert, Joel Dommett, Chris Martin, Gareth Richards, Jimmy McGhie, Charlie Baker MERVYN STUTTER’S PICK OF THE FRINGE Pleasance Courtyard 13:00 Passion Flower, Tom Stade, Joanna Neahy, Fleeto, Riot, Sunday in the Park with George, Joe Stilgoe NICHOLAS PARSONS’ HAPPY HOUR Pleasance Courtyard 14:30 Ed Byrne, Ali Cooke, The Magnets
THE SHOWCASE SHOW Pleasance Courtyard 13:10 Mc – DANNY WARD, MATT GREEN, SHAZIA MIRZA, LUKE BENSON, THE BOY WITH TAPE ON HIS FACE VIVE LE CABARET Pleasance Courtyard 22:30 Des O’Connor Will Hodgson Johnny Electrolux Mat Ricardo Frank Sanazi Edd Muir - Frayed Knot Circus Hustle Gypsy & Viva - The Vive Showgirls Plus one guest TBC
Please note that all line-ups are subject to change. Check the Box Office for the latest information.
FUNDRAISING FOR THE PLEASANCE You can support us in a number of ways:
1. Adopt a Pleasance cobblestone
2. Become part of “Pleasance History”
3. Simply donate your own amount
Famous for its cobbled courtyards, the Pleasance is the bedrock of great theatre and comedy. You can look after these very foundations by adopting your own pet cobblestone! We promise to provide you with regular updates on how it’s getting along.
We would be delighted if you joined our celebrity alumni on this extraordinary 231-ft long ‘Bayeux-esque Tapestry’, charting the history of the world according to the Pleasance. You will also receive a very beautiful portrait. All we need is a passport photo! And if you don’t have one immediately, it doesn’t matter, because you can always send it to us later!
TEXT: plez33 to 70070 (for any amount up to £10) BY TELEPHONE: Please call us on 0207 619 6868 ONLINE: Please visit www.pleasance. co.uk/islington/support-us IN PERSON: Complete the Gift Aid form on the back of the Fundraising leaflet and drop it into Reception at any of our box offices in Edinburgh and London, or pop it in the post.
Cul-De-Sac emerges from Scratch nights, Josh Widdicombe, James Acaster and Nick Helm, 5 reasons why the pope is a bond villain, top tweets,...