Nicholas Parsons' Happy Hour

To say Nicholas Parsons is a legend, and this being his sixteenth season at the Fringe I imagine he must see this like his own version of an annual end of the pier summer show where a TV star hosts a variety bill for holidaymakers. That format may be long gone but in Happy Hour at the Pleasance it lives on in a condensed form.

Nicholas Parsons CBE has the Fringe in the palm of his hand and all without hesitation, repetition or deviation.

The host is warmly welcomed and some audience participation results in humble prizes (tubes of Smarties) which leads on to gags, guests, a musical star and a big finish. Parsons’ has a lifetime of stage and television experience to relay and, of course, many know him from his BBC Radio Four series Just A Minute, a slick comedic but clever long running series which has been Parsons’ own since the pilot.

A sell-out crowd fills the cabaret bar to see our hero and his ever changing line up of guests. This means that every show will differ but the format remains the same with Parsons working the audience with chat and some jokes and anecdotes reminiscing on his apprenticeship on Clydeside. These tales are worthy of being a show on their own as he tells us of how, as an English public schoolboy he was sent to the dockyards to gain ‘life experience’.

This show included mind reader Colin Cloud and a couple of songs from the cast of the long running News Revue. Timed to perfection, each of the guests chat about their show as Parsons impressively credits them individually and without a script. The mostly mature audience lap it up before queuing for autographs and selfies which continues until the tech crew usher everyone out for the next rapid venue change over.

Even at the age of 93 and selling out his complete run Nicholas Parsons CBE has the Fringe in the palm of his hand and all without hesitation, repetition or deviation.

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

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The Blurb

Join Nicholas Parsons, the legendary host of BBC Radio 4's Just a Minute, for an unmissable hour of fun and laughter in the company of some very special celebrity guests. Celebrating a magnificent 17 years on the Fringe, this sell-out comedy and chat show has previously featured Jason Byrne, John Bishop, Sue Perkins, Shappi Khorsandi, Gyles Brandreth, Micky Flanagan, Michael McIntyre and many more top acts. Total sell-out 2016. Don't miss your chance to join Nicholas and friends in this strictly limited run!

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