3. A ten-pun salute! | Edinburgh shows with the best title wordplay

3. A ten-pun salute!

Edinburgh shows with the best title wordplay

1. Sharma Sharma Sharma Sharma Sharma Comedian

Mickey Sharma is an Indian born in Pakistan, who now lives in Birmingham via Beijing and Hong Kong. None of this is relevant, though, when you can impose your name five times onto pop lyrics for one of the best puns of the Fringe. Laughing Horse @ Espionage, 22:00. As is his wont, Tim Vine goes one better (or worse) with six mentions of his own name in Tim Vine: TimtimineeTimtiminee Tim Tim To You (Pleasance Courtyard, 19:30)), but Sharma still wins!…

2. Operation You Three

Bravo, too, to this trio, Sketchup, who’ve managed to get a zeitgeisty pun that isn’t too offensive… Laughing Horse @ The Blind Poet, 14:45.

3. Death Of A Sails-man

It’s clever because Aussie absurdist Sam Simmons’ show is about the wacky subject of a windsurfer being swept out to certain death at sea. How many sails were there in Arthur Miller’s play? None, that’s how many…. Underbelly Bristo Square 20:50:

4. Kunt And The Gang Go To Mecca

What blasphemy is this! Is Britain’s most cheerfully offensive musical comedian taking on Islam? No, silly, it’s all about going to the bingo hall. And there’s nothing at all culturally insensitive about naming a chain of gambling venues after a religion that forbids it… Two fatwa ladies! Laughing Horse @ New Empire Bingo, 21:30, August 22 and 23 only.

5. A Bridge Over Toddled Warder


What’s that groaning we hear? Is it the creaking of the English language as its forced into unnatural formations like this, or just the reaction of anyone reading this title; shunting together the names of both halves of this two-hander, Richard Todd and Thomas Ward, in the most awkward, but somehow admirable, way. Cowgatehead, 15:30

6. Lead Pencil in Full HB

So this sketch group has a terrible name? At least it lends itself to other puns, like this. In fact there’s potentially more wordplay to be had on the word ‘sketch’, since this arty trio – Maddie Rice, Louise Beresford and Dave Bibby – literally draw out illustrations for their scenes, too. Underbelly, 18:20 Meanwhile, what sort of half-arsed festival would the Fringe be if there was only the one pencil-punned show title? Markus Birdman has called his blasphemous sketching show 2B Or Not To Be. The Stand V, 21:15

7. Freddie Farrell: Lock, Stock and One Joking Farrell

Back to the name puns, and Freddie Farrell is probably the best of the rest for his show at Laughing Horse@The Counting House (22:30). Decent work too for Romesh Ranganathan: Rom Wasn’t Built In A Day (Pleasance Courtyard, 20:15) Ellie Taylor: Elliementary ( Laughing Horse@The Counting House, 12:00) and Jenny Collier: Love in the Time of Collier (Laughing Horse@The Free Sisters, 15:00). Fewer plaudits for the less impressive efforts of Burke Shire, starring Jo Burke (St John’s, 18:15) and Dane Baptiste’s Citizen Dane (Pleasance Courtyard, 17:30)

8. Henning Wehn: Eins, Zwei, DIY

OK, so it doesn’t *quite* work, but we can forgive the clumsiness, since a cross-linguistic pun is pretty hard to pull off. Just The Tonic @ The Caves, 21:20

9. Lee Griffiths: Post Traumatic Sketch Disorder

Every year there are lots of quite painful puns on ‘sketch’ in the programme; but at least Lee Griffith’s actually works – and has meaning, since its his first solo show away from his work with the Late Night Gimp Fight troupe. Pleasance Courtyard, 19:15

10. Testiculating

Fair play to Eric Lampaert for trying to introduce a pun-based neologism to a wider audience. As Urban Dictionary reveals, testiculating means ‘waving your arms around and talking total bollocks. Ideal for use when managers/advertising types/TV producers start spiralling out of control’. Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, 19:45

Booby Prizes

Neel Kolhatkar in GENeration comedY, whose wordplay a) has to work so hard it requires capitals for support, and b) hasn’t realised that ‘Gen Y’ isn’t really a phrase in such common parlance here as it is in his native Australia. Assembly, 20:15

And #Happy / A Rather Pleasant, Misanthropic which as far as we can tell isn’t a pun, but a fuck-up filling in the Fringe paperwork, since it’s a double bill of shows, one of which is Rick Murtagh: A Rather Pleasant, Misanthropic Nihilist. Yet somehow the last word has been missed off on the Fringe programme, all the electronic listings, and the Laughing Horse Free Festival website, making it seem just wrong. Finnegan’s Wake, 14:30.

Published: 16 Jul 2014

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