Gráinne Maguire has been coming to the Edinburgh Fringe for a number of years now but despite wanting to have seen
one of her shows it has for one reason or another never happened. This year as well as her main show (I Forgive You,
Please Like Me at the Teviot) she is again doing “What Has The News Ever Done for Me?” for the Free Fringe at City
Cafe. Usually if I’m going to see a show at the Free Fringe at 11.15 in the morning it will involve being screamed at by a
(usually) Australian comedian and listening to (usually) feral children scream at the top of their lungs whilst avoiding
being drenched by a (hopefully) water filled super soaker pistol or worse.
This morning however it’s a room full of mostly hungover Fringe goers wondering if it’s too early for this kind of thing.
Despite the time the room is packed and on the day I’m there people are being turned away as the show is beginning,
although this being a free show there isn’t anyone in a pink or yellow t-shirt doing the turning away, Gráinne instead
politely telling them there’s no room (after quickly scanning around) and continuing with her introduction!
Our host is as good as her reputation suggests (she’s written for and appeared on our TVs and Radios now for almost a decade) and outlines what will be happening through the show, the clue is in the title, and that we’ll be getting three comedians (“the finest comedians from this year’s Fringe…..willing to come down here at 11 in the morning!”) Today they are all (almost) called Alex which causes a little confusion as we go, but also a bit of extra comedy, and we’ll judge which one is most important at the end of the show. In a World of Trump and big Business manipulating your data the most important story is of course the man with the World’s biggest cucumber, I expected nothing less
The show is - like most free shows at this time of the day - a bit up and down, with some sections better than others (and done similarly elsewhere) and a lot will rest on the visiting comedians (different every day) but on the whole it is done well, Maguire is likeable, funny and controls the three contestants well. Everyone in the room (both on and off stage) seem to be enjoying themselves and it’s easily the kind of free show you could go to more than once if you’re looking for a show to start your day.
All in all it turns out that it wasn’t too early for this kind of thing, it’s a million times better than being super soaked!
Gráinne Maguire: What Has the News Ever Done for Me? is at City Cafe until August 26th
Laughing Horse @CityCafe (Venue 85)