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Rave Reviews for Glorious Acts

Edinburgh festival reviews are coming in thick and fast for our acts... here is a selection of the press responses so far.



“Phil Nichol is dead, long live Phil Nichol (or Bobby Spade, as he now prefers to be called for comedic reasons). Allow me to start by answering a few of the questions people have asked me most frequently about this new Nichol show.

1. No, he does not "run around shouting at people"; 2. No, he does not take his clothes off; 3. No, not even his penis.

So with that understood, let me attempt to tell you just how close to comedy genius this guy gets. For those of you who have never seen Nichol before, I weep for you, but you have a treat in store. For those who have, then prepare for a revelation on the level of finding out there is no Santa and simultaneously realising that parents are much more open to emotional blackmail where presents are concerned. This new show is breathtakingly accomplished. Nichol goes dapper in white suit and violet shirt, and has achieved a level of personal grooming as yet unseen. The comedy mix is a volatile one in the hands of Nichol's alter ego Bobby Spade, a man who, although deadpan (see title of show), is volcanic with suppressed rages and frustrations. From what we glean through a clever mix of songs, poems and brilliant one-liners, he has had more marital woes than The Pub Landlord. 

To say Nichol has gone quite dark this year is like saying Michael Jackson was "eccentric". He manages to make Jim Jeffries look like a feminist and Jerry Sadowitz look like Pollyanna. There are one-liners that George Carlin would rise from the grave for, wordplay that Tim Vine would sell his brother for, songs about haemophiliac albino cowboys, love and death and not only a selection of poems about love, cancer and doing everything you're not supposed to but an entirely new literary form, the Pong. 

Year after year Nichol brings passionate, high-octane, searingly honest comedy to Edinburgh. And those lucky enough to see him get an experience they will never forget. This year Nichol is taking a huge risk. Having created a following who adore car-crash comedy and genitals, he now gives them that same highly charged energy and comedy firepower but tightly packed into a white suit, backed by keyboards and bass, restrained by the disciplines of verse and music. Beyond brilliant.” 5***** Kate Copstick – The Scotsman


‘hilarious verse, riotous song and priceless one-liners….. consistently funny. From then on in it’s a rollercoaster ride of black comedy gold ….. Nichol’s stand-up is certainly an acquired taste but in Spade he has found the perfect vehicle for his substantial lyrical gifts. The laughs come thick and fast throughout, aided and abetted by a string of one-liners so depraved Jerry Sadowitz would think twice before using them – but so good he’d never pass them up…... Bobby Spade may not be the most cerebral character on this year’s Fringe, but he could well be the funniest.” 5*****The List


“At moments I laughed so hard that I managed to snort my drink out of my nose.” The Observer

“riotously funny” 4**** Sunday Telegraph



“Stephen Carlin has a great comedy presence and a wonderful, dry delivery. His explanation of Scottish working-class financial advice is perfectly observed, fresh as Russell Brand in a girls' school and painfully funny. His beautifully drawn-out section on Odeon Cinemas and their obsession with curtains takes clever observation of a tiny, pointless occurrence and spins it expertly into several minutes of absolute hilarity.......this was a terrific set from an accomplished performer. The Stand's Tommy Sheppard thinks he might be the new Arnold Brown. Well, why not?” The Scotsman

“Stephen Carlin has always had an intriguingly different voice….his greatest routines are things of strange beauty.”  3*** Chortle




“real theatrical fireworks…this is a rip-roaring romp. People who don't normally go the theatre should be urged to go along to see this because it's a great example of the fun and exhilaration to be experienced watching staged drama and the cast are clearly having an absolute ball doing it. With a couple of sell-out shows behind them, tickets for this show look set to fly out the box office. It's a fantastic way to spend 90 minutes of your afternoon and is quite simply not to be missed.” ***** The Mirror

“An all-star cast including Lionel Blair, Marcus Brigstocke and Stephen K Amos come up trumps in this perennial stage favourite.” News of the World

“raucous, anarchic and hugely entertaining.” **** The Times

 “This is what the Fringe is about – an ensemble cast of comedians and tap dancers (OK, one tap dancer) in a riotous 18th-century romp. Plucking comics such as Stephen K Amos, Marcus Brigstocke and Phil Nichol from their own shows, director Cal McCrystal has adapted RB Sheridan's five-act comedy of manners into a dizzying 90 minutes. ” ****The Metro

“Set to be a fringe hit thanks to inspired bit of casting... Stephen K Amos works his periwig to the max...A romping good crowd-pleaser." 5***** Sunday Telegraph

“Subtle it's not, satirical it's not. Sheridan would not have been, I suspect, that happy. What it is is early panto. But what panto! Sumptuous and luscious, and slapstick, it delighted its audience throughout, and it looks great. It looks as if Lionel Blair has decided to make a virtue out of fluffing his lines from now until the end of the run, which gets huge (albeit increasingly less indulgent) laughs but is faintly annoying, because Lord Teazle is the one character here who could impart a bit of nuancing, subtlety and pathos. But perhaps I should stop being so up myself: this is a show, a bit like Van, for people who don't usually go to the theatre, and for them Christmas came early, and it was worth it, anyway, for Paul Foot and Phil Nichol, who stole the show.” The Observer

“this show is about direct audience address, ridiculous body language and shameless ad-libbing, and duly harvests the laughs. "I don't know why people are laughing, I'm trying to do acting," chides Paul Foot, who's on great foppish form. Starring as Sir Peter Teazle, Lionel Blair gamely throws himself into the silliness in a show that defies you to take it seriously. It won't please anyone who values subtlety, depth and insight, but it captures the festival's capacity for throwaway fun, a moment of knockabout excess that dazzles as quickly as it fades” Scotland on Sunday

“deliciously infectious….you’ll laugh out loud” 4**** FEST





“The Pleasance Grand is the perfect venue for Stephen K Amos, who eschews the deep and meaningful in favour of just giving us a great night. The venue is large enough to handle a dazzling light show but small enough to still feel intimate, which is good because Amos wants to get to know us all and he wants us to have fun. Shimmering on the stage in the light of several disco balls, he indulges us in an hour of reminiscence on the joys of being a child and remembering to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

Unafraid to poke fun at Leithers and Americans alike he frequently gets in amongst the first rows to chat with the audience. They’re somewhat startled, but his informal repartee is one of the best parts of the show. With a joyfully daft opening and a warm and wonderful end, he will leave you wrapped in good feelings.” **** The Skinny



“Nichol and his fellow cast members, Bruce Morton, Will Andrews and Jim Muir, rise to the challenge, delivering a show that’s as good as anything the company has produced since its impressive 2006 Fringe debut, Talk Radio.” **** The List

“The cast are a joy to watch” 4 **** Edinburgh Guide




“This year Fabbri has constructed a decent, well-thought out set packed full of ideas and intelligent thoughts. …….and Fabbri has a natural comic timing ……, good things lie ahead.” *** FEST

The Brighton funnyman brings a strong, very smoothly delivered set, with tales about being employed in a job centre, and snippets of internet forum abuse making for smart comedy fodder. A section with melodramatically soppy background music is a highlight, as is his noble announcement that he might pick a ‘rescue wife from a refuge’ instead of a new bride. Destined for a bigger stage. **** List




“Paul F Taylor also had a well thought out set, and some genuinely funny material on a variety of subjects, and like his compatriots I can foresee no reason why he cannot go on to bigger and better things.

So for a chance to maybe see ‘the next big thing’ before they were famous, the get to the box office now”  4**** ONE4 REVIEW


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