CRACK COMEDY’S Edinburgh Fringe Previews

Bringing the festival to your front door by Jack de Aguilar

the Edinburgh Fringe Festival brings together some of our best-loved actors, comedians and performers for a month of frivolity. Combining fledgling talents with seasoned professionals, August in the Scottish Capital is a feverish cauldron of exhibitionism.

British stars such as Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson all owe a debt of gratitude to the festival, which started in 1947 and has grown ever since.

But, as some of us can’t take a week, let alone an entire month off work to travel 406 miles north, sadly this month-long epicentre of entertainment is not for everyone.

Lucy Porter Crack Comedy
This is where Crack Comedy comes in. With venues all over London holding festival warm-up gigs throughout June and July, it offers a tantalising taste of the Fringe – so you can soak up the laughs with some of the UK’s top comedians without forking out for travel and accommodation.

“It’s a chance for audiences to see acts, explore different subjects and to take their time with the material,” explains Erich McElroy, Crack Comedy’s manager. Previews “are crucial to artists getting their shows ready for the hot burning light of industry critics,” adds Erich. “We try to make sure our rooms and audiences support the comics as much as possible.”

Established in the leafy suburb of Kingston, Crack Comedy has now been providing a comic platform for a decade – and it wasn’t long before high demand saw venues cropping up in central London. Crack Comedy now covers Soho, Islington, Streatham, Wimbledon and Farncombe, as well as Southbank with a stage in The Slug And Lettuce on Chicheley Street.

“The previews are when I write the bulk of the show

One artist, revelling in the Fringe once again this year, is Lucy Porter, the English actress, writer and comedian. “For me the summer has always been about the Edinburgh Festival,” she explains. “I’ve been going since I was 18, and I am completely addicted to it. It’s a chance to stay in one place for a month, which is a treat for us jobbing comics who usually have to travel a lot.”

Porter will be at Crack Comedy’s Southbank venue on Saturday, 13th July, previewing material for the upcoming festival. “The previews are when I write the bulk of the show!” announces the Croydon-born comedian. “They’re a chance to put all those ideas together, work out which ones are funny and which ones must never see the light of day again. So the previews are like admin for me – it’s a bit like getting an audience to watch me put my tax return together, only hopefully a lot funnier,” she continues.

“I think that audiences like previews because they really get to see how a comedian’s mind works – I love watching other comics preview because it’s interesting to watch how they arrive at the finished jokes.”

Carey Marx Crack Comedy
Carey Marx, who recently won Best International Show at the New Zealand Comedy Festival, will also be giving London a flavour of his Fringe material. “For me, previews are vital, and can be joyful if the audience get into work-shopping new material with a comedian.”

“The Edinburgh Festival is a highlight of my year,” adds Marx, who will be hitting Crack’s Southbank stage on Saturday, July 6th. “I enjoy the process of getting a new show together, and I really enjoy performing it every night. My hour-long show, as opposed to appearances on general club nights, is a chance to artistically express myself.”

With comedians writing brand-new sets to be performed in the Scottish capital, it would be criminal not to catch them while they’re still in London, and with Crack Comedy’s seven southern venues you can do just that.

To see Lucy Porter and Carey Marx:

The Slug and Lettuce
County Hall North Block (1-63)
5 Chicheley Street

Crack Comedy
t: 020 8549 9790

William Shakespeare’s The Tempest
is directed by Jeremy Herrin
and runs at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre
from 2nd May until 18th August 2013
56 Park Street
t: 0207 261 9565

Also from this Edition:

Other Stories
No articles available