Yianni Thinks BIG!

It’s finally here!  If you were at The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support this year, you’d have seen the gorgeous Yianni deliver his set about thinking big.  If you weren’t there (shame on you), here’s the dish.

Yianni is an incredible comedian.

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Don’t believe us?  Here’s what those in the know say:

‘Stunningly Good’ **** (Scotsman) ‘Sharp social commentary to compare favorably with Woody Allen’ **** (Chortle). ‘The next big thing’ **** (Three Weeks). ‘Wonderfully funny’ **** (Time Out). ‘Exceptionally original … excellent storytelling’ **** (Fringeguru). ‘Everything that a good show should be’ **** (Skinny). ‘Yianni feels like something new and refreshing in a world where so much can be the same’ **** (Gigglebeats).

This year he’s been playing the Free Fringe every day leading up to a very special show.  It’s in a slightly bigger space.  A 1200 seat auditorium to be precise at the EICC.  The same space played by Russel Brand, Jimmy Carr, Sarah Millican, Ed Byrne and Jason Manford in the past few years.

Today is the day where he sees if his positive reinforcement and blind ambition pays off.  Why not be part of it? 6pm at the EICC on Morrison Street, Edinburgh. Tickets are £10 and there are still some left.

We can guarantee you that what you will witness is an incredible set.  So why not support the little man, and be part of making his day a very special one indeed.

Buy tickets here.

Last Night’s Line Up and their Edfringe Shows

Thanks to everyone that came out last night to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.  We’re sure you’ll agree it was an outstanding show.

As is common, we’re now fielding loads of questions about who the acts were and where they are playing.  So here’s a handy breakdown of everyone that performed.

The Boy with Tape on his Face

Joe Lycett

Doug Segal

Dan Nightingale

Sean Hughes

Mat Ricardo

Vikki Stone

Lost Voice Guy

Caroline Rhea

EastEnd Cabaret

Patrick Monahan

Chris Stokes

Yianni

Greg Proops

Lee Nelson

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Win tickets for the Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

We’re giving away a pair of tickets every day this week for the Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support to the people who can get us the BEST celebrity endorsements for the show.

Whether a RT of a message about the show on Twitter, a clip of someone drunk in a bar saying the show sounds amazing or Her Majesty The Queen declaring a public holiday to celebrate the event, we’d like you to help us create a buzz.

Here’s a suggested text or phrase you should get them to say on film or Tweet:

Tickets are now on sale for the Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The Boy with Tape on his Face and his 'volunteer'.

The Boy with Tape on his Face and his ‘volunteer’.

The rules are simple. 

1: Your chosen celebrity must reference the Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

2: We need to be able to track the origin of the message (this is easy on Twitter, less so on Facebook).  Just Tweet us, post a screen grab or upload your clip on the Facebook wall.

3: We decide what constitutes the BEST celebrity endorsement (bear in mind, we have a soft spot for 1980s pop stars, comics off the telly and people of the sexy variety).

4: Only one pair of tickets can be won per entrant.  Winner’s tickets can be collected on the door on the night.

5: The competition closes at 5pm on Sunday 11 August with winners being informed on a daily basis.

About the show

The Boy with Tape on his Face – ‘Amazing’ (Scotsman), hosts sold-out 2011 and 2012 show. Line-up includes: Sean Hughes, Greg Proops, Caroline Rhea, East End Cabaret, Vikki Stone, Patrick Monahan, Joe Lycett and Lee Nelson. Pick of the week (Scotland on Sunday), Pick of the day (Scotsman), Top ten shows to see with your boyfriend (Daily Record). The Big C has raised over £36,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. This year, we hope to hit £50,000. Follow @bigcomedygala on Twitter for more line-up announcements. #bigc2013 #charityissexy

Monday 12 August 21:30 (2hrs), Venue150@EICC, Morrison Street, Edinburgh

Buy tickets now

Qwaliteeeeee News! Look who has agreed to close the show!

Look who has just joined our line up!

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We’re delighted to announce today, that Lee Nelson has agreed to make a rare additional appearance to close the The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support on August 12 at the EICC.  Nelson, one of the most successful comedy characters to come out of the UK in recent years promises “A brand new show of qwaliteeee jokes, games and banter” on his UK tour which stops in Edinburgh for a limited run during the Fringe.

lee_nelsonHe’ll be stopping by after his George Square Theatre show to offer a closing set for the annual charity gala.

‘The hottest creation since Ali G and Vicky Pollard’ (Daily Mirror). ‘As comic inventions go, Simon Brodkin’s south London council estate geezer Lee Nelson is up with the best’ (Daily Telegraph).

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Joining Lee on stage this year will be host The Boy with Tape on his Face, another silent act, Lost Voice Guy, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Curb Your Enthusiasm alumni Caroline Rhea; Whose Line Is It Anyway star Greg Proops; Perrier Award winner Sean Hughes; Soho Theatre Stand Up Award winner Vikki Stone; Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Joe Lycett; Show Me the Funny winner Patrick Monahan and Time Out London’s Queens of Smut, East End Cabaret.

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Like past years, there will also be surprise guest performances from a host of other acts.

The Big C was set up in 2011 by Barry Church-Woods and Mhari Hetherington, in order to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. The inaugural show, which was hosted by Ed Byrne, and the 2012 show, hosted by Roy Walker, both sold out – raising over £36,000 for Macmillan to date – with line-ups that included Josie Long, Frisky and Mannish, Fred Macaualy, Chris Ramsey, Danny Bhoy and Sarah Millican.

In the gala’s third year, the organisers hope to hit the £50,000 mark.

The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support is run entirely by volunteers with acts donating their time for free to raise funds for the charity.  This would not be possible without the generous support of Suisse Design & Art Direction and Dupliquick.

Tickets are on sale at www.edfringe.com & www.venue150.com

LISTINGS
The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support
Monday 12 August at 21:30 (2hrs)
Venue150@EICC, 150 Morrison Street, Edinburgh,
Tickets: £20 (charges may apply)

Box office: 0844 847 1639 (Ticketweb) or 0131 226 0000 (EdFringe)
Buy online: www.edfringe.com

More information: www.bigcomedygala.com
Follow line-up announcements on Twitter: @bigcomedygala

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Talking dirty with EastEnd Cabaret

EastEnd Cabaret is a saucy mix of excellent live music, x-rated lyrics, strong vocals, and hilarious comedy – all  wrapped up into a glossy package of 1930’s Berlin-style cabaret. Sex, songs, sass and LOLs…what’s not to love?!”

EastEnd Cabaret

Bernie and Victy, opening The Underbelly launch at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe

I was first introduced to EastEnd Cabaret at an Edinburgh Fringe Reception event in Adelaide, Australia, in 2010.

As a civilan hanger-on among the festival professionals, I was standing in the Garden of Unearthly Delights – the epicenter of the Adelaide Fringe – sipping white wine out of a plastic cup and feeling mildly out of place, when Jen (‘Bernadette Byrne’), Victoria (‘Victor Victoria’) and Tom (producer, writer and marketer) arrived.

At the time, I had no idea what EastEnd Cabaret was – I just remember being relieved to have found a trio of friendly and funny fellow Adelaide Fringe novices to chat to. Of course, Jen and Victoria weren’t in character at the time, or I might have creamed my pants.

Nowadays, the ‘Queens of Smut’ (as Time Out London called them) make me totally moist, but at our first encounter I was still finding my feet in the world of cabaret, and I’m not sure how well my constitution would have coped with the brash, multi-sexual filth factory that is Bernie and Victy.

Fastforward two years and a few months to last August, and I finally got the chance to cream my pants in a good way, when I went to see EastEnd Cabaret do their thing at the Edinburgh Fringe. Their thing, by the way, is very dirty, very funny, and very good.

For those of you who don’t know, EastEnd Cabaret is a saucy mix of excellent live music, x-rated lyrics, strong vocals, and hilarious comedy – all  wrapped up into a glossy package of 1930’s Berlin-style cabaret. Sex, songs, sass and LOLs…what’s not to love?!

The act has had a busy few years since we first met, picking up a host of prestigious accolades and awards along the way. These include the coveted ‘Best Cabaret award’ at the 2012 Adelaide Fringe Festival, for their show ‘Notoriously Kinky’; a nomination for the Edinburgh Fringe TOAST ‘Best Cabaret’ award, later the same year; and a nomination for the Perth Festival’s ‘Best Cabaret Award’.

EastEnd Cabaret is currently staging their brand new show, Dirty Talk, at the Edinburgh Fringe – and we’re lucky enough to have them performing at this year’s Big Comedy Gala as well. I got myself a delicious sneak peak (or should that be dick tease?) at the Underbelly launch a couple of days ago, and personally, I can’t wait for my full hour fix next week!

I highly recommend you cabaret fans out there get yourselves tickets to their show (link at the bottom of this page), as the five minute glimpse you’ll be treated to at the Big C is guaranteed to leave you wanting more.

In the meantime, below is Bernie and Victy’s answers to our regular Big Comedy Gala blog Q&A – enjoy!

What is your involvement in The Big C?

VV: We’re going to be playing a few songs from our new show, ‘Dirty Talk’.

Who is your favourite comedy hero, act or actor?

BB: My favourite comedy act is a drunk man that is always in a park in East London. He shouts ridiculous things at passers by, dances with pigeons and even got naked in front of some nuns once. I could watch him for hours.

Favourite comedy moment (your own or someone else’s)?

VV: We once watched a guy shoot a confetti cannon directly into his crotch. Onstage. By accident. It shouldn’t have been so funny, but it really, really was.

What in your everyday life always makes you laugh?

BB: Watching Victy styling her moustache in the mirror every morning always makes me laugh. She does a hilarious tongue poking out face of concentration.

Who is your secret celebrity crush?

VV: I’m a big fan of Tom Selleck – but it may just be moustache envy…

In five words, why should people come to (or support) The Big Comedy Gala?

BB: Good comedy and good karma!

Joining EastEnd Cabaret on the night are The Boy with Tape on his Face, Sean Hughes, Greg Proops, Caroline Rhea, Vikki Stone, Joe Lycett & Patrick Monahan, among others.

Follow @bigcomedygala on Twitter – #BigC2013

Book tickets for the Big Comedy Gala

Book tickets for EastEnd Cabaret’s Dirty Talk

Text and photo by Josef Church-Woods – web: www.josefchurchwoods.com, Twitter: @josefcw

Big (C)hampions Wanted: Edfringe

Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. That’s why the Big C exists and why we’re staging the Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support for the third time this year.

We’ll be at the EICC on Monday 12th August 2013 during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  Our incredible host is Edinburgh Comedy Award Panel Winner The Boy with Tape on his Face and I promise you, it will be the first time a gala has ever been hosted by someone quite like this.

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Did we mention that he is award winning and one of the biggest acts to hit the Fringe in years?  He’ll also be joined by Caroline Rhea, Sean Hughes, Greg Proops, Joe Lycett, Vikki Stone, East End Cabaret, Patrick Monahan and Lee Nelson.

To date, we’ve had an incredible experience raising funds for Macmillan with over £38,000 profits donated to the charity from just two shows.  That’s enough to run one of their information centers for four months.  But we can’t do it without volunteers.  All acts offer their support for free, we get the venue at cost and all production staff give their expertise in the middle of a festival where they could all be paid for their time. We have a print sponsor and an incredible art director and designer…all donating their time to maximize the potential income.

Cancer is shit.  There’s no denying it.  We’ve all been affected by it and it’s absolutely devastating.  Services provided by Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care and others like them mean the world to those affected.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is one of the most difficult places to sell tickets, regardless of the quality of your show.  Last year we were pick of the week in the Scotland on Sunday, pick of the day in the Scotsman, hit-listed in the Evening News, top ten in the Daily Record, featured almost weekly in TFN and given diary coverage in the Herald.  There were still a few tickets left on the night.  We were lucky.  Long standing events similar to ours for different charities played to very small houses and at least one that I know of isn’t happening again this year.

That’s why I’m writing this and hoping that you are reading it. I need a favour.  Will you take responsibility for selling some tickets for us?  10 perhaps? More if you’re up for the challenge. You could organise a night out with your friends, family or work colleagues. You could buy them as gifts.  I promise, it won’t be a shit gift.  I know the line up.

Drop us a comment here or message on Facebook/Twitter and we’ll let you know the various routes to tickets.

Alternatively, just click through and buy them now: TICKETS FOR THE BIG C

If like many of us, you are skint and unable to come to the event, you can still help us promote the show by ‘pimping’ your social media profiles with our artwork.

Or if you’re feeling generous and are in Edinburgh; why not donate an hour of your time to help flyer on the High Street next week?

 

How To Get Through The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Without Dying

We’ve been around the Fringe block once or twice in the past and feel that it’s time to share some of our opinions on how to get through the festival without dying. This information should be particularly useful if you’re a novice company at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and should help you on your way.  And if you don’t trust us, we also asked a bunch of the beautiful people to tell us what they think.

Eat well

Most of our major bitch fits happen when we’re hungry.  It’s human nature.  When you’re in Edinburgh it’s easy to forget to plan a nutritious diet.  Vegetables don’t count if they are on pizza.  Fruit in a cocktail is cheating also.  It’s really important if you’re in town for the long haul not to be bum fucked by your own immune system.  Drink water.  Eat a balanced diet. We know you’ll probably binge drink on occasion, just don’t do it all the time.  Being sick in public is VERY embarrassing.

Alan CummingWash

Your body and your clothes.  You may like the smell of 3 day old sweat, but no one else does. There’s nothing worse than going to a show and getting hepatitis because you accidentally scratched yourself on someone’s costume on the way out.  It’s also more likely that you’ll get laid if your prospective beau doesn’t think they’ll have to chip their way in.

Sarah MillicanTake the hint

Not everyone will want to see a contemporary take on Lysistrata featuring themes of football hooliganism on a canal barge near Bathgate.  If someone says no to your flyer, keep it and give it to someone who wants it.  Don’t feel the need to form a chain gang and lie in the middle of the royal mile.  That won’t make you seem like any less of a dick.  In fact, the opposite may be true.  If you are really sexy and have a good body, by all means take your top off on the mile.  If you have the body of Gollum however, it’s probably best for you and your show to keep it under wraps.

DanniiKnow your limits

You can be fat and jolly, or skinny and an arsehole.  You can’t be fat and an arsehole.  No-one will want to fuck you.  They may not even want to come to your show. Though attractive people do tend to get more leniency, it’s best not to be an idiot regardless of your shape.  One of the most forgotten things in Edinburgh is that word travels.  Everyone knows everyone.  If you’re being shitty to your venue team, the media or the public, people will find out and there’s nothing sexy about a moody two shoes.

John BishopSleep well

That ‘other’ drink may seem like it will wake you up.  It won’t.  It will just turn you into more of a gibbering monkey, tactlessly slagging off your director in front of the programmer of the Sydney Opera House.  A rested mind and body can do the job it came to Edinburgh to do.  It’s amazing how many people come to town on their life savings and fuck it up by not being very good because they are exhausted.

Ross NobleBe prepared

Bring condoms, lube and spermicidal jams and jellies – even if you are not planning on sleeping around.  Edinburgh becomes a hot mess of sexual activity in August; we once caught crabs just looking at {NAME REMOVED FOR LEGAL REASONS} in a bar.

Seriously though, practice safe sex. In Edinburgh, new cases of HIV are on the rise in both the gay and straight population.

Tom ThumShagging aside, know where you are and tell at least one person you trust where you’re heading for the night.

Prefix your emergency contact’s name in your phone with ICE (In Case of Emergency).  It’s how the Scottish emergency services will know who to call if they find you in a ditch.

Anthony RappCarl Donnellyeastend cabaretHal SparksJoel DommettRobin Incetape FaceAli McGregorElisJason CookRich FulcherSusan CalmanTom AllenYiannicropped-big-c-cover.jpgThis year’s Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support will feature performances from Sean Hughes, Greg Proops, Caroline Rhea, Vikki Stone, Joe Lycett, East End Cabaret and Patrick Monahan.  More names will be confirmed next week.

Buy tickets.