Can anyone remember when the stereotypical Italian twin obsessions were food and music? Anyone who knows Italians of a younger vintage though will confirm it’s religion and sex. Well… maybe that’s more an Italians on The Fringe thing. And Daniele Fabbri is no exception.
Daniele is a welcome addition to the impressive roster of Italian talent which has graced the Free Fringe in recent years. As for the title – I wouldn’t say particularly shy – he’s a confident performer who was unfazed by the smallish audience (an occupational hazard due to a noon start in a venue off the usual beaten Old Town track). And if the epithet of antichrist conjures up the image of a head-spinning, vomiting demon – you’re going to be disappointed on that count too.
What we do get are tales of a disconnect with his parents, an early obsession with Michael Jackson and the forced purchase of a Papal fanzine. The separate strands being brought together in a neat conclusion.
There are only two more shows left in this very short run so you’ll have to be quick if you want to sample an early lunch of skewered and barbecued Catholic faith with no guilt offered!
(review for 4 August)
Posted in 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Reviews, Uncategorized
Tagged Catholic faith, comedians, comedy, Daniele Fabbri, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh Free Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe, Italian comedians, Italy, Moriarty's
You have to hand it to The Donald – he has succeeded in uniting the world. The show of solidarity across nations is impressive. Particularly with women. Particularly with people who won’t be taken in by grubby, rabble-rousing politics delivered by a rebooted Mussolini brought back to life as a Simpsons character. Particularly in Scotland – but then we’ve always been united in our disgust for the big bully who Trump-trampled his way over large areas of our bonnie land.
Everybody knows the story regarding the Scottish connection now. The young Scots lass leaving the Western Isles to seek her fortune in the U.S. Which got me thinking – surely a new version of Back to the Future is on the cards? In this one the main character would travel back to make sure sweet and gentle Lachlan from the local croft ends up with the young Mary and not the big American blow-hard visiting businessman*. Get it wrong – history is changed and the world is doomed.
There are lots of other Twilight Zone style twists in the real tale. The grandfather settling in America only because he got kicked out of Germany. For the full – and chilling – story check out Matt Frei‘s excellent documentary on Channel 4.
Back to the real world though so I guess we just have to get on with it. That doesn’t mean sticking your head under the duvet and self-medicating with your drug of choice – however tempting that may be. Get up, stand up and don’t let the big bully win!
*Biff was based on Trump – spooky!
Posted in Politics - the girl who kicked the ballot box, Uncategorized
Tagged American president, anti Trump feeling, Back to the Future, Biff, Channel 4, Donald Trump, Germany, immigrants, immigration, Mary Anne McLeod, Matt Frei, Mussolini, Scotland, Scottish, Stornoway, The Simpsons, The Twilight Zone, the Western Isles, Tong, Trump, US politics
Well – did you manage to survive the ridiculous Christmas bubble where people – through an accident of birth and not through any choice of their own – are forced together to make merry and perhaps even make conversation with other? Most people manage one day of festive torture when the pressure is put – witch-trial-like – on some poor individual to stage-manage the perfect day by providing food, presents and refereeing/counselling services and then getting tut-tutted at when she lobs the empty bottle of Bailey’s at dirty Uncle Billy’s head? I believe there are some people who attempt more than one day of this Big Brother-type set-up but then I suppose that is why we have pubs, shops and A&E!
Families have always been something that can drive you off the edge. They are endlessly fascinating though because – even if you’re lucky enough to be an orphan or choose to cut loose from your own – you can never escape. You will be subsumed into someone else’s at some point. And pick up a book or watch a film – your surrogate clan will be there. From Game of Thrones to Eastenders; from The Godfather to I Claudius; from Star Wars to Emile Zola’s Rougon-Macquart dynasty – we can’t get enough.
Personally speaking I like to keep with the fictional and give the real people a miss. As they say – ‘you can choose your friends… ‘
Posted in Uncategorized, Words of Encouragement - exist and be happy
Tagged Christmas, depression, depression at Christmas, Eastenders, Emile Zola, families at war, Game of Thrones, glad it's all over, happy families, I Claudius, keeping sane at Christmas, Rougon-Macquart series, Star Wars, The Godfather, the perfect Christmas, You can choose youe friends...
Here’s a tip for appearing younger. Join the queue for a show that’s all about tax. Of course this theory may not stand up to statistical or empirical scrutiny but it was anecdotally and personally true when I went along to see Dominic Frisby’s Let’s Talk About Tax yesterday. Dominic asks for a show of hands when he asks if most people think they are in for a masterclass on being creative with their tax returns. And the majority of the mainly unfair-to-say-but-I-would guess-they’re-retired audience raise their hands. Also – sorry to make assumptions again – but most of them also look pretty well-to-do.
Dominic ponders on how he can make tax sexy. More to the point – can he make tax funny? The stage is set with colourful home-made pie-charts, graphs and tax quotes. His visual image is somewhere between Hector the Tax Inspector and Laurence Olivier’s The Entertainer. But like the latter is there something behind the flashy suit and the ready grin? To give us some idea Dominic – after asking us to guess his political persuasion – reveals he spoiled his ballot paper at the last general election. So disillusioned lefty or complete anarchist then? Well neither actually. He also reveals he’s the voice of Werther’s Originals – which creates a little frisson of excitement – and has been involved in the making of two successful films. At this point we’d have every right in expecting expert advice on canny investing.
Instead Dominic wrong-foots us again. After presenting the stats he presents the big theory: that we have to re-think tax completely. No tax on work or endeavour or goods but instead there should be a tax on land. Of course as The Queen and the landed gentry own most of Britain land-wise and therefore would be getting clobbered the most tax-wise – this is a pretty radical notion. And one where you could almost hear the heads of some audience members being turned inside-out.
Dominic’s strength is that he’s the polar opposite to your shouty lefty comedian or plastic anarchist (as in Russell Brand who gets short shrift) and can deliver a radical message with polite charm. The jokes are delivered in a knowingly awkward signposted way which is fine for a show about an awkward subject. With his other interests he possibly doesn’t have to fret too much about his stand-up career but a big question would be what does he do next and will the subject matter capture the imagination of an audience as (err) tax does? Dominic did make a casual comment about how he’d voted for Brexit and that did make me prick up my ears. With so many of this year’s Fringe shows rife with lazy assumptions about the Brexit vote this was a truly radical statement and made me want to know more. Maybe next time?
(Review for 24 Aug)
Posted in 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Reviews, Uncategorized
Tagged afternoon shows, comedy, Dominic Frisby, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, Let's Talk About Tax, political comedy, review, reviews, tax, tax system, Teviot Row, The Gilded Balloon, UK politics