Tim FitzHigham

Tim FitzHigham

A member of the Infinite Number of Monkeys sketch team - nominated for the Perrier best newcomer award in 1999 – Tim FitzHigham has since embarked on an increasingly eccentric series of adventures, making Edinburgh shows out of his exploits.

In 2003, he broke 383 year-old World Record by paddling an 85 per cent paper boat 160 miles down the River Thames to raise money for Comic Relief, which earned him the freedom of the City of London.

The following year he tried to cross the Channel in a bathtub - but the attempt was called off after 20 miles due to a force 6 storm. Undeterred, he tried again in 2005, successfully arriving at Tower Bridge after a 130-mile row. Thomas Crapper and Co. released a lavatory named The Honorable FitzHigham to celebrate the journey - the company's second ever commemorative lavatory in history; the other commemorating Queen Victoria's jubilee.

In Trafalgar Square in 2006 he tried to to erect the world's longest clothes line for World Environment Day, but the attempt failed. However, his attempts to emulate Cervantes's hero Don Quixote were more successful, and he was appointed Most Puissant Knight de Santa Maria in the West Indies and the 650-year-old title Pittancer of Selby Town in the West Riding, North Yorkshire.

Aways from his adventures, FitzHigham has toured extensively with the Flanders & Swann tribute show At the Drop of a Hippopotamu from 2001 to the present, and played the Dauphin in a touring production on Henry V.

One of his first tastes of comedy was as part of London's topical Newsrevue team in 1999.

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This Is Your Trial

Review by Steve Bennett

As an improvised courtroom showdown, the tone of This Is Your Trial can be set by the audience. Or in the case of this Saturday night performance just a small handful of them, a barely coherent coterie of drunk, lairy lads intent on sharing their – shudder – ‘banter’ with the room.

It’s to the credit of the cast that the situation was contained as well as it was, but the group’s presence was a contributory factor to what became a bawdy, rough-around-the-edges late-night gig – where any intellectual cut and thrust of legal debate was lost to crowd control and Knockabout exchanges.

‘Clerk of the court’ Trevor Lock tackled the troublesome group head-on, by calling one of their number to be the first defendant, accused of ‘smuggling bellends into a nice place with nice people’. Under the watchful eye of judge Tim FitzHigham, the guest QCs must argue the case for the prosecution and defence before the jury – or audience – reach their verdict.

John Hastings and Jess Fostekew donned the barristers’ wigs tonight, and while neither stand-up demonstrated the slickest improv skills, both got a fair share of laughs. Hastings straight out of the gate by unplugging his client’s microphone, to save him from implicating himself with his unfunny drunken babblings; while Fostekew managed to make ‘flirting’ a valid grounds for objection, deployed several times.Fitzhigham’s breeding gives him an inherent air of authority to keep proceedings very roughly on track – but there were indulgences on all sides, creating a very loose show.

The other cases heard in this session involved a man grassed up by his mates and subsequently charged with driving on Edinburgh’s tramlines, and a well-spoken girl in the front row accused of assault by wine ‘under the influence of a privileged background’ after accidentally spilling some over her friend in the next seat.

Ultimately, though, despite the smart structure there’s not much of substance here; it’s essentially a mix of crowd-work and comics interrupting each other with funny but throwaway insults. That’s surely the result of it being an 11.20pm show – it would surely be a different beast entirely mid-afternoon.

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Published: 25 Aug 2014

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