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Katherine Ryan: Little Miss Conception
Keeping The Captain Warm
Keith Farnan: Money, Money, Money
Kelly Kingham and Guy Manners: Infectious
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Kev Orkian The Guilty Pianist: The Closed Venues Tour
Kevin Shepherd: Caronicle
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The Kingsley And I 
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Kev Orkian The Guilty Pianist: The Closed Venues Tour
After a successful run at the Fringe last year, two international tours, numerous national tours and personal invitations to entertain royalty, Kev Orkian brings the second instalment to his piano playing foreign character. Compared to likes of Bill Bailey, Victor Borge and Jools Holland, Kev will have you rolling in the aisles whilst mesmerizing you with his piano skills.
Kev Orkian, The Guilty Pianist
Anyone who watched last year's Britain's Got Talent will already be familiar with comedy pianist Orkian who reached the semi-finals. For those who didn't, you've probably still seen much of this before, since he's not the most original act at the Fringe.
His overall characterisation has more than a few nods to Omid Djalili's act and towards the end even has a dance routine that is remarkably close to Djalili's signature piece.
Orkian begins with the Les Dawson classic of playing the piano badly then moving on to Victor Borge's reading the music upside down. Both tricks are skilled stuff and if nothing else display his fine skills as a pianist. As was often noted about Dawson, it's not easy to play the piano with the occasional wrong note and make it sound just right.
Also in his favour is that he clearly has an audience, this is the kind of stuff that goes down brilliantly on cruise ships and the like. There are plenty of his crowd here in Edinburgh too. Some of the women in the room were near hysterical with laughter, you can't accuse him of not tickling his crowd.
But from a critical perspective in the main the material's borrowed and when it isn't he usually takes the easy option. His character is a hapless Armenian immigrant continually thrown out of the country and making it back in again atop the Eurostar (which it's a nice cartoonish image at least). His characterisation and humour rely on lazy stereotyping - the women in his country are hairy and ugly, pronouncing words incorrectly in an ‘amusing’ manner à la ’Allo ’Allo, and giving a gift to someone in the front row only to request money for it after they've accepted it.
Though lacking in creativity it's generally good naturedly cheeky so he gets away with a few exceptions. At one point during the musical of his life there's an emphasis on Orkian signing on that ventures uncomfortably into the realms of the Daily Mail and their love of portraying all immigrants as being dole spongers.
When compared to the many innovative talents elsewhere at the Fringe, Orkian's almost complete lack of originality stands out, but in mainstream arenas, with the following he already has and audiences that either don't care or simply like to hear the old gags, he's not going to go far wrong.
|Date of live review: Tuesday 23rd Aug, '11|
Review by Marissa Burgess
This was a family show with no swearing, no vulgarity and just pure inocent laughs. YET..this seems to be a review from a critic who would rather have seen a show the opposite as some of the most vulgar shows at this years Fringe have been given 4 & 5 stars by Chortle! What about us as paying customers having our review and listeing to our reactions which were clearly ones of great pleasure! At no time was this comic 'copying' he was making great comedians who have sadly now passed on still alive in the theatre. There are rarely shows we can take our children to and all enjoy so give this guy a break.
Who is this ‘critic’ paying attention to? While reading such a harsh review it certainly seems that this critic has spent long enough at the Fringe and is spending more time looking around and not at the performers. Perhaps someone who is going to review a well rounded show should be a well rounded writer. As an audience member of this evenings show, it’s obvious that the writer is finding fault in the audience. Seemingly trying to paint show goers with an unsophisticated brush. I assure you that I did not know who Kev Orkian was, I come from a country where ‘Kevorkian’ is a much different person. I have been on cruise ships and never once met him AND I am from a country where ‘the Dole’ does not exist and I still laughed. From a viewer/readers perspective, I am personally offended with Marissa Burgess. The condescending, self-important tone that this (eh hem) ‘review’ is written in is nothing but a writer ‘wanna be’ and speaking of been there, read that… Don’t worry love; your time has almost come to head back to Manchester!
A fantastic show!! So good I saw it more than once. Kev is a very talented pianist and a great comedian. He deserves to go far.
This is only one critic/person's opinion, and I feel rather harsh. A rarity in that Kev has no need to swear and curse to get a laugh. A great evening's entertainment that had us laughing from start to finish.
The best show I have seen at the fringe. Fantastic piano and a laugh from start to finish. This guy will go far....