As hour-long, mountain-top, star-studded, musical comedy extravaganzas go, this was a rather low-key affair. Much was made of the breathtaking location but quite apart from that, it was a very friendly, entertaining gig.
In a one-off extended edition of the daily version of the show, hosted by Barry Ferns (who claims questionably that he has changed his name to Lionel Richie off the back of this series of shows), the intrepid audience, having entered through the specially constructed ‘door’ to the venue, was treated first to comedian Joel Dommett with a string of Seat-inspired observations and witticisms. It was bound to be a site-specific show.
He was followed by A Moveable Feast and the band didn’t buck the trend, opening with a song entitled Going Up Arthur’s Seat. The crowd never quite caught on to the chorus like the band wanted, but it was enjoyable enough and they returned later with more catchy, folky, audience participatory tunes.
If these two didn’t quite hit the right tone, the jokes made about Arthur’s Seat in fact belonging to the next performer seemed almost plausible; the legendary Arthur Smith looked like he was born to perform on a mountain. So assured is he that he included a period of silence in his short set, ‘usually the worst enemy of a comedian, but somehow appropriate up here,’ he affirmed.
American Tony Law completed the line-up with more excellent topical (or topological) humour. The show was perhaps stolen, however, by Law’s two young children who excitedly grabbed at the microphone only to hold it more or less in silence staring blankly at the audience who were nonetheless charmed, and entertained by Law’s witty interjections. Ferns pointed out that we were witnessing the youngest performers on the Fringe at the oldest venue on the Fringe. This is not the first time in its 350 million year history that Arthur’s Seat has seen a comedy gig and, judging by this one’s popularity, is sure not to be the last.