If this show is any indication of the quality of acts likely to be at Edinburgh this year, it should be a fantastic year; “Your Name Here…” gave the surprisingly busy Wednesday-night audience just a taster of six shows bound for the Edinburgh Fringe, and when the time came for the audience to vote on their favourite act, it took me a few minutes to decide. The talent on display here was impressive and consistent throughout the acts – whoever’s job it is to choose acts to display at these things certainly knows quality when they see it.

Compère Larry Dean served as the ideal warm-up after a little live music, with his friendly, cheeky and approachable demeanour adding slickness and professionalism to a roster filled with up-and-coming acts. His material became steadily more adult as the night went on; and after a drop in attention after the break, he somehow managed to steal back focus by standing on tables and yelling about his first sexual encounter instead of using the microphone.

The first act on the bill were Legion of Doom, showcasing an extended sketch based around a cheesy, low-budget CBBC show with a creepy possessed puppet, prone to inappropriate and violent behaviour. The show itself was a lot of fun, with a real sense that they were enjoying themselves, which was surprisingly infectious – even when things took a darker and more surreal turn.

Awkward Cough’s silent comedy style was novel and rather odd, though still very enjoyable. The audience seemed to react well to the show, even though I’d imagine that many of them had never experienced silent comedy before. One or two odd moments when characters seemed to be aware of the tinkly “silent movie” music raised a giggle, but for the most part the show is more quietly funny (see what I did there?), than laugh-out-loud.

Slap & Giggle offered a strange character comedy scene based around one of the characters being on trial – but managed to be almost sketch-like in its ability to incorporate songs, silly voices and different comedic styles all within the same continuous scene. Very original and very funny, if a little cheesy.

Following the break, my personal favourite act of the night, and indeed the eventual winners of the evening were student sketch troupe The Leeds Tealights, whose combination of original sketch situations and surreal twists on old ones made the audience howl with laughter. Despite the acting being a little am-dram, this did nothing to dampen the hilarity of the jokes or the clever and original ideas behind them.

Kevin Dewsbury, the only solo stand-up on the bill, was very professional and experienced; dealing with inconsiderate crowd chatter without breaking stride. The overall theme of his show is, in his words, “going mental”, due to his own breakdown a few years previously, and is surprisingly hilarious for such a serious personal experience. His friendly and personable delivery makes his veering into more adult matters even more funny when they’re unexpected.

Finally, the female duo Brides of Comedy, whose act consisted largely of two drunks trying to remember the previous nights’ activities, and included song parodies and a healthy dose of crude, gross-out gags. While entertaining, this style of comedy isn’t exactly my taste, though the rest of the audience found the dildo-waving toilet humour entertaining, so I guess I’m out-voted! Plainly a must for fans of films like “The Hangover”.


Originally posted on CrispyComedyCuts.com