Edinburgh Tonight with Joe Simmons and Lorraine Chase

Imagine Richard and Judy. Now replace Richard with a smoother Graham Norton and Judy with that cockney ex-model from Emmerdale. These are our presenters, Joe and Lorraine, and it's Edinburgh Tonight!Whether threatening guests with oral sex, finding ways to corrupt the front row or getting involved in even the most acrobatic of the guest acts, Joe and Lorraine are abuzz with infectious energy and camp. They could find the fun in any situation, but find easy game in the shivering smörgåsbord of Fringe that is Edinburgh Tonight.The Four Poofs to Joe and Lorraine's Jonathan Ross are the glorious Michael Topping, his outstanding eyebrows, and his apt piano interludes. Despite his position behind the piano, he's a great addition to the show and earns some of the loudest laughs from the audience.Joining Lorraine, Joe and Topping each afternoon are a well-balanced selection of acts from around the Fringe. The burlesque artists, comedians, drag queens, singers and, um, more comedians that are interviewed or perform a section from their shows are all great entertainment. Whether straight off the train or simply stuck for ideas as to what to see, watching Edinburgh Tonight is a great way to discover acts or to simply get an overview from the comfort of a single seat.Sadly, the show is let down by some misleading advertising - Kate Copstick isn't in it. Copstick is one of the Fringe's most controversial critics, famed for her ability to be incredibly nasty. She's the Simon Cowell of the Fringe, only instead of high trousers she has white streaks in her hair. She's billed as presenting her latest 'opinions' (read 'bile' if you love a good bitch as much as I do) each afternoon at Edinburgh Tonight, but sadly she wasn't in attendance at the performance I saw. In fact, I saw her walking purposefully in the opposite direction just before the show started. I gather from talking to one of the crew that she's a regular skiver but secretly a very nice person. This is annoying on two counts - not only was I expecting to see her, I was rather hoping to hate her too.When the Copstick's away, the mice will play, and Edinburgh Tonight becomes fairly indistinguishable from other talk shows. What's good about the idea of this show is that it's not just a parade of PR slots, there's also supposed to be some proper criticism from Copstick - or at least, some hilariously nasty criticism from Copstick. Like the X-factor, or Strictly Come Dancing, it's the nasty judges that stop everything descending into an incestuous pit of thespian anecdotes and joyous back-slapping. Without Copstick, it just isn't Edinburgh Tonight.

Reviews by James T. Harding

Pleasance Courtyard


Bedlam Theatre

The Duck Pond


The Blurb

Joe and cockney gal, Lorraine, present the Festival's freshest TV-format chat and preview show with top comedians, celebrities and Fringe performers while Kate Copstick reviews what's hot and what's not! www.edinburghtonight.net