Guilded Balloon 30th Anniversary Gala | Edinburgh Fringe Festival


This show was epic and not in the ‘it was funny as f**k’ kinda way but in the ‘it was long as hell’ kinda way. This unruly sort decided to go off script, or off the scribbled biro notes on their forearm, to bump it up to a four hour extravaganza. Please see a list of things I could have done in that four hours:

  • Binge-watch four episodes of Orange is The New Black with half an hour spare to google for pizza discounts and then use new found discounts at dominoes.
  • Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring… yeah right!
  • Make a single trip down to London taking into account train delays. I wouldn’t get back, have anywhere to stay or anything to eat but my point still stands – I think.

The Bill

Nevertheless it was a jam-packed bill with some of the best, and not so best comedians past and present doing it all for charity, in the Gilded Balloon Gala that has 30 years of entertainment history. Here is (nearly) everyone with my favourites in bold:

Adam Hills, Fred MacAulay, Johnny Vegas, Aisling Bea, Stephen K Amos, Sean Hughes, David O’Doherty, Luisa Omielan, Sean Cullen and Phil Nichol, Garry Tank Commander, Ed Byrne, The Boy with Tape on His Face, Tommy Tiernan, Barry Cryer, Alan Davies, Daniel Kitson, Jason Byrne and virtually Rich Hall, Tim Minchin, Ross Noble, Bill Bailey.

Adam Hills is like the Psy of 2015. I’m not saying he’s irritating with bad dance moves (although I’ve never seen his ‘robot’) but he is absolutely everywhere at the moment.  Sean Hughes danced around like an idiot to represent aging through choreography. David O’Doherty sang a pretty depressing song with passion and gusto that was weirdly… uplifting. Sean Cullen sang his apparently famous ‘I’m the only gay Eskimo’ song that was possibly the funniest moment of the Gala. Alan Davies spoke about sex – always a winner and Daniel Kitson basically trashed the stage and flogged a GoPro.

Comedy Coma

However, disappointingly this gala only had two women on the bill, ran for too long and finished with a pretty naff attempt at comedy. For the most part it was funny with some of the bigger names lifting me out of my comedy coma but ultimately my stamina was not up to the test. Instead of wanting more – I wanted out.

Check out other shows taking place in what is a deceivingly large venue with a terribly out of date website. Edinburgh Playhouse


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