The Comedy Arcade | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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The Comedy Arcade

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

Hosted by Vix Leyton, The Comedy Arcade is a competition of scandalous stories, with new comics each night vying for the win.

The premise is simple as Leyton spins a bingo ball machine to determine which questions she’ll ask, and the funniest stories win the most points.

Tonight’s group – Isabelle Farah, Leslie Gold, Al Stevenson, Alexander Bennett and Leila Navabi – had an evident camaraderie casually promoted each other's shows, and teased each other - claiming, for example, that Bennett has ‘Eeyore energy’ - which made for a relaxed and light-hearted atmosphere.

The space felt more like a living room than a comedy venue, as if we were watching a group of friends catching up and sharing funny anecdotes - and it was this, alongside the bubbly enthusiasm of Leyton, the host - that made the show engaging, even if its chat-show-like set up made for only light, but not downright hilarious, comedy. 

This show was clearly set up to be an entertaining game show with audience participation opportunities which could sadly not quite work when there were only five of us.

Nonetheless, Leyton and her comics dealt with it graciously, brushing it off with jokes that they wanted a smaller audience to make sure we all had enough room. Commendably, this didn’t deter them, even when two audience members left, as they continued to make light of it and bring funny stories to the table. 

They shared some great life experiences, regaling the room with stories of hitting alpacas on the head, and shouting at Ann Widdecombe in an ice-cream parlour, when asked for ‘worst job stories.’

‘Worst date’ stories were exponentially funnier, especially Gold’s shocking near escape from watersports misadventures in a nightclub. At times, answers and jokes were met with silence, which perhaps is to be expected with an audience of only three.

The panel’s ‘inappropriate crushes’ were not truly that inappropriate, and some stories didn’t quite hit the laugh-out-loud mark. It is clear why this set-up works well for Leyton’s podcast, and perhaps with a different blend of questions and a larger audience, The Comedy Arcade would go from entertaining to hilarious. 

Review date: 25 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Kashmini Shah
Reviewed at: Stand 3 and 4

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