Frank Skinner ‘Stand-Up’ at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe proved to be one of my personal festival 2007 highlights. Back in the day I was an avid fan of Fantasy Football, quite liked his chat show and never really saw how he and David Baddiel got so much airtime with their ‘unplanned’ show. They certainly weren’t joking with that title.
During this ’stand-up’ show to a small and intimately arranged audience in the Pleasance Courtyard’s Cabaret Bar Frank didn’t unnecessarily mention his TV career and fame, but instead went through a terrifically constructed stand up routine; packed with genuinely funny audience interaction. Basically what it said on the tin. And I loved every minute of it.
Frank Skinner’s microphone was broken when he entered the stage and his hunt for a replacement brought about the evenings first of many laughs. Frank’s set contained a huge amount of well researched local humour and one standout gag about Scots in London, that cut right through the audiences demographic. Midway through Frank isolated some senses of humour, while invigorating others with his paedophile material. Although his recollections of how and why one of the jokes went down so badly in Canada soon united the audience once more. The last 10-15 minutes or so were largely based on ‘granny porn’, which Skinner now thinks he should be viewing at the age of 50. Typical Frank Skinner observations and stage actions, delivered in a ‘with friends at the pub’ manner.
It certainly wasn’t a case of an old dog (Frank launched his career by winning the Fringe Perrier award in 1991) coming back with new tricks. This was a return to classic stand-up delivered by one of comedy’s best craftsmen. Apart from the gray hair and a fair mentions of his 50 years on earth, I doubt Frank’s stand up will have changed too dramatically in the past 16 years. With comedy this good, it has no need to change.
The evening ended when a bald headed gentleman on the front row, who had been involved in banter with Frank the whole evening yelled out a punchline of his own which had everyone, including Frank, in stitches. Sensing his ending could only disappoint, Frank invited the guy up on stage to take a joint bow.
Excellent show and I feel privileged to have seen Frank Skinner in such an intimate venue, where he really had to perform to keep the audience. 5 stars. No doubt.
Frank Skinner is performing at The Cabaret Bar at Edinburgh’s Pleasance Courtyard. Tickets for the evening performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe show are a complete sell out. However some tickets are still available for 26th August at 1.30 in the afternoon. After the Fringe run Skinner embarks on a UK wide tour, which you might be able to find tickets for.
Want more Frank Skinner? How about reading his autobiography or watching a DVD.
The Edinburgh Blog will shortly be reviewing Bad Film Club, Brendon Burns and Daniel Kitson. Plus have the lowdown on The Kaiser Chiefs at T On The Fringe, including photos.