Have a bite to eat and take a seat – you're in for a treat. The bustling Pleasance Courtyard hosts this lunchtime show, presenting a selection of bite-size stand-up performances. The line up changes each day, but on the bill when I was there were Mark Simmons, Eleanor Tiernan, Matt Richardson and Jo Caulfield. The audience was treated to a packed hour consisting of four mini stand-up sets, compèred by the equally funny Ian Smith.
A simple concept, but highly effective and entertaining, it was a far better use of my time than seeking out an overcrowded café for lunch.
The show is billed as ‘great value’, with the ‘best’ comics Edinburgh has to offer. This is a big claim, but if the other days offer a similarly notable line-up then the Best of Edinburgh Showcase Show’s promotional self-confidence is not misplaced. Now in its fourteenth consecutive year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it’s a great opportunity to see some rising stars of the comedy world.
Many of the comedians involved have other solo shows on at the Fringe, so this compilation show is truly a win-win: if you find yourself without the time to see several different individual shows then you get a 5-in-1 hour of entertainment, and if you’re looking for shows to see and you enjoy the performances then there will be several you can add to your list.
The variety of the comedians’ stand-up styles - from one-liners that take unexpected twists to more anecdotal storytelling - give a diverse sense of what the Fringe has to offer. My only grievance was that Ian Smith as the compère was so funny I almost didn't want him to bring any of the acts on, and during the acts’ sets I found that I didn't want those to come to an end either, and when Smith returned to the stage the whole process would begin again. Infuriating.
Best of Edinburgh Showcase Show basically does what it says on the poster/flyer/ticket. A simple concept, but highly effective and entertaining, it was a far better use of my time than seeking out an overcrowded café for lunch.