Writeup – Edinburgh Skeptics – Our Friends on the Fringe

How could Edinburgh Skeptics possibly follow-up the award-winning success of "Skeptics on the Fringe 2013"? Somewhat predictably, they’ve gone with "Skeptics on the Fringe 2014". The whole thing kicked the whole thing off on August 2nd with "Our friends on the Fringe", where a number of the other acts on the PBH free fringe to give a taster of their own shows.

First up Gareth Morinan, who was rushing off to do another show but still had time to tell us a little of how much fun it was to work for Michael Gove at the Department for Education. The preceding sentence may contain traces of sarcasm.

Robin Ince was also (inevitably) dashing off to perform elsewhere, although you wouldn’t think it, the time it took him to get off stage. Even the pyrotechnics (a spotlight and a smoke machine) didn’t phase him. Robin came on stage and was Robin Ince for just over ten minutes. I did wonder whether this scatter-brained polymath, this curious idiot, was a mere stage persona. I think the truth is probably that he’s like that all the time, but sometimes he a stage, a microphone and audience to harangue. Happy to harangued we were.

Baba Brinkman brought his own evolutionary experiment along to the show, but she mostly just sat quietly at the back with her mum. Baba is well known for expressing a wide range of ideas through hip-hop, ranging from the Canterbury Tales to Evolutionary Theory to Psychology. This year he gave us a taste of his latest show on the history of religion, including a more personal history. For such a vocal advocate of science and rationality, it came as something of a surprise to learn that he’s the Great Greatn grand-Son of a preacher man.

Rosie Wilby is a 90s woman, but also has an interest in evolutionary theory – with some interesting opinions on how sexual selection might affect the relative heights of gay men and women over the centuries. Wouldn’t “Attack of the 50ft lesbians” make a great title for a Fringe show?

The boys from Jollyboat rounded off the evening with a couple of jolly songs, and some visual aids. And a particularly geeky joke about UNIX text editors, which it seemed that only one person in the audience got. But for that one guy, it made his night. And then it was all over. All the acts were fantastic, and we would have loved to hear more from them. Luckily, they’re all performing shows at the Free Fringe (and elsewhere) so there are plenty of chances to do so over the next couple of weeks.

Edinburgh Skeptics present a different talk ever night at the Banshee Labryinth, 1950 until 23rd

Gareth Morinan’s Play:Time is at the Banshee at 20:30. He has another show 15:40 at the Canons Gait which mostly consists of slagging off Michael Gove. Even he thinks the latter will prove more popular.

Robin Ince will being Robin Ince on a stage for about an hour at 16:45, Stand III/IV until the 13th, and you can also find him being angry with Michael Legge at the Wee Red Bar at 22:00.

Baba Brinkman is at the Canon’s Gait at 12:05 most days with Off the Top, and you can catch his Rap guide to Religion 14:30 at Gilden Balloon

Rosie Wilby is also getting up at the ridiculous hour of "before lunchtime" with her show "90s Woman" at the Voodoo Rooms at 12:15.

Jollyboat sing jolly songs at 17:00 at Beat. Not in a boat. But they’re still pretty jolly. Also keep an eye out for Spain’s premier Jollyboat tribute act “MerryFerry” performing a special one-off show at 22:45 on the 18th at the Southsider.