100 Greatest Beekeepers In Switzerland Ever – Free

Friday, 3 September, 2010

Intelligent, witty masterly stand-up and great poetry

Edinburgh 2010 – Laughing Horse@Three Sisters –  20-29 Aug 16.00 (1.00)

Edinburgh Fringe Free Comedy is becoming a very strong part of the Festival. I heard many good reports of the high standard of performances being given by the Laughing Horse contributors at all their venues.

“ The 100 Greatest Swiss Beekeepers, Ever “ claimed to “ poke fun at all those insufferable list TV shows that clutter up the airwaves and give employment to Kate Thornton etc when nothing else will.”  It stood up to its description, as the performers used the list to great comic effect from the outset in a pastiche of the shows we love to hate. The charmingly cheeky young men made the audience laugh out loud very early on in the proceedings. However, the show was far more than its description, far reaching and engagingly entertaining in a remarkably intelligent, linguistically skillful way.

It was performed by “three penniless, scruffy, talented (if broke) comedians “ who are also poets.  John Osborne, Patrick Lappin and Yanny Mac belong to a new wave of poetic and comedic talents who have a strong resonance with performance poets found regularly in Edinburgh throughout the year. These particular performance poets are a splendid combination of energies and talents. Their script was beautifully crafted.

John Osborne is an excellent poet and writer. His performance character is very warm-hearted, slightly shy and yet deeply confident. The poems he chose to read were delicately precise in syntax and gloriously full of sharply perceptive compassionate humanity.  A member of poetry collective Aisle16 his first book Radio Head was Radio 4 Book of the Week, his second ‘The Newsagents Window’ has just been published (both Simon and Schuster).The Daily Telegraph reviewed it as  ‘Funny perceptive and charming’  If what he read to us was a true measure of his writing I am not at all surprised his published work is so well received. He is boyishly humorous when improvising and genuinely engaging.  He also managed to create a fine holding space to support both Patrick Lappin and Yanny Mac to be very funny, complimenting their work with his mobile facial responses and his gentle laughter.

Patrick Lappin is a stand-up comedian and poet and regular on the London circuit. ‘Always hilarious’ says Maddog Magazine. He is based in Norwich where he and Yanny Mac also developed a double act. His mates call him Paddy. He is a very funny man. His delivery of his stunningly clever stand-up pieces is rapid and very physically entertaining. His acting skills are very strong. He was the central player, extremely well supported by his colleagues who played straight-man and buffoon to his very powerfully  “ bi-polar “ maniac with strong opinions and a dangerous edge. When the audience arrived he shook everyone’s hand. He created a unwelcoming gentle atmosphere and early laughter. Gradually, through the show he allowed his dangerous comic to appear, until finally he produced one of the most challenging pieces of work I saw all Festival. He walked a very delicate line between hilarious and deeply sick which he pulled off brilliantly. It seemed to me he appreciated both the strong audience attention and the supportive power of his fellow performers who created the extra layer of safety needed to allow him to walk the tightrope he created.

Yanny Mac is a poet and raconteur. Yanny describes himself as is a pikey poet. He is about to launch his anthology “Suburban Myths & Misses”, with a tour set for Spring 2011. A former member of Aisle16, he claims he retired as age and arthritis took their toll. His last performance at The Fringe in 2005 with ‘Searchin For Me Chav Princess’ was described as ‘Poetry for the masses’ by The Guardian and featured on BBC TV. He controlled the music while contributing merry quips and performing his role impeccably. He plays The Daft One, desperate to share his poetry, being patronised or ignored by Paddy and John who occasionally allow him to do what he thinks is right. He brings the running gag of the 100 Bee Keepers in Switzerland to life with impish merriment, encouraging the other two to keep going when the idea wears as thin as it does on TV in the mid- 30 -80 range…where much merriment is had by all finding silly names and silly gags. He is beautifully self-deprecating and splendid at direct audience address.

As a team these three very talented writer, poet performers are wonderful to watch working. They shared the tiny space with great grace. They send up ego-mania by playing its extremes and they balance one another with comfortable ease. The clearly have a wonderful working relationship which resulted in a very fine show. It was a fine sunny afternoon in Edinburgh. They managed to fill the dark house and keep the audience who could all have buzzed off at any time. This was a show full of honeyed moments and open-hearted laughter.

Cast: Patrick Lappin – comedian/poet; Yanny Mac – poet-raconteur;  John Osborne-poet

Company – Producers – Patrick Lappin, Yanny Mac, John Osborne, Writers – Patrick Lappin, Yanny Mac, John Osborne, Technical Department –  Patrick Lappin, Yanny Mac, John Osborne




© Lilian Kennedy Brzoska 2010

reviewed Thursday 26th August 10


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