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Festival Comedy Cafe at the Fringe 20 Aug

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Rich Preston | 14:53 UK time, Friday, 20 August 2010

Today's programme was the last Festival Cafe from Venue 150, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

As the production team breathe a huge sigh of relief (whilst remembering they all still have programmes to prepare for next week), I'll hand over to our team of four dedicated runners who've been keeping us in check for the past few weeks. A massive thanks to them all...

Festival Cafe - Rob and Rich plus the 4 runnersleft: Rob Pearson, Cafe producer and warm-up man being thanked by Rich Preston, right: The four runners whose blogs we've been enjoying for the last couple of weeks.

Emma Langman...

The last Festival Café blog *sob*

Today's show was very sadly our last Festival Café. But we couldn't be upset for too long because there was such a great line up of guests! Richard Herring, Rainer Hersch and Felicity Ward all made us laugh with their own brand of humour. Richard Herring has played at the Edinburgh Festival for nearly 20 years, and this year his show "Christ On A Bike" is certainly in keeping with his controversial style. Rainer Hersch takes on the character of Victor Borge - a stand-up comedian who played amusing songs on the piano in the 1950s. Rainer himself loves music and playing the piano, as well as being funny - all of which he exhibited for us on the show. Felicity Ward's "Book of Moron" sees her reading to the audience from her diary and she recounted tales of how normal everyday occurrences seem to go wrong for her, leading to a very haphazard and funny life. Lastly but definitely not least, Denise Black (of Coronation St and Queer as Folk fame) provided music with her band The Loose Screws (i.e. Graeme Taylor and Max Moonlight). As well as playing at the Festival, Denise is starring in Calendar Girls in Glasgow at the moment and her energy was amazing! She even managed to get our audience to sing-a-long to their final song - a great ending to your last show.

I can't quite believe our Festival Café run has come to an end but we have had an amazing experience, meeting fantastic guests, listening to brilliant music and enjoying a taste of the Edinburgh Festival every day. Luckily, the Book Café still has two live broadcasts to go, so join us at Charlotte Square Gardens on Monday for another flavour of Edinburgh in August or tune in to the Culture Café on Tuesdays, the Music Café on Wednesdays, the Movie Café on Thursdays and the Comedy Café on Fridays, all at 1.15pm.

Richard Herring and Denise BlackRichard Herring and Denise Black

Fiona Carlyle:

It's been a jam-packed and fairly hectic fortnight but today the Festival Café live broadcasts from the EICC sadly came to and end. Not that the mood was too sombre of course, with today's comedy edition having the audience chuckling away! Musical entertainment came in the form of Coronation Street star and singer Denise Black belting out three rousing numbers for us. In fact, she even managed to get the audience involved in a good old fashioned sing-along to close the show. As if that wasn't enough, we had more music with Rainer Hersch managing to expertly fuse the comedic with the classical. Treating us to an extract from his fringe show "Rainer Hersch's Victor Borge" he certainly proved that not only is he extremely witty, but also that he isn't half bad at piano too!

Also dropping by for a chat was the lovely, if slightly eccentric, Australian comedienne Felicity Ward who regaled us with toe curlingly embarrassing stories from her own life, including one involving a rather amusing encounter with a tramp. Incredibly friendly (and funny!), she told me back stage that she was trying very hard to be on her best behaviour and not accidentally say anything too rude on air! Thankfully though she managed to contain herself whilst still making us laugh. And finally, Edinburgh Festival veteran Richard Herring (disappointingly no longer sporting his Hitler moustache from his last festival show), chatted about his potentially controversial and undoubtedly hilarious fringe show "Christ on a Bike: The Second Coming"! A great way to end our Festival Café run, it has been truly amazing to get the chance to be involved in the last few weeks of programmes, and please do keep listening to the Book, Culture, Music, Movie and Comedy Cafes when normal service resumes next week!

Rainer Hersch and Janice ForsythRainer Hersch and Janice Forsyth

Melanie Morides:

Today's show was sexy, funny and just plain cool. We had some amazing talent on the show. Including a parrot. The audience participated with lots of clapping and lots of smiles (well, as far as I could see from behind the curtain).

Comedian Richard Herring talked about his show "Christ on a Bike: The Second Coming." He revealed that he is an atheist but obsessed with Jesus. As you can probably imagine (judging by the title of his show) he is not one to shy away from depicting sensitive/controversial issues in a comedic light. So if you fancy combining laugher with a reflection on some "serious" issues I believe this show will do just that. If you missed it live, then listen again to what he had to say.

Also on the couch was comedian and musician Rainer Hersch who has performed at the Edinburgh Festival thirteen times! Talk about dedication! The audience loved him as he not only played the role of the brilliant pianist and comedian, Victor Borge, but he also "played" the role of himself on stage and allowed us to get a glimpse of his own world.

Actress and singer Denise Black came on to the programme and was brilliant at engaging the audience. She didn't even hesitate to leave the comfort of the stage and get some very lucky people to join in the fun. I loved the way she encouraged everyone to sing along, relax and just go with the flow. What great entertainment!

I just have to mention the Australian comic Felicity Ward. She chatted to Janice about her show: "Felicity Ward Reads from the Book of Moron." Her show is all about her silly moments in life. Who would openly admit to all their faults? I am positive her show will have everyone feeling lucky not to be her!

Overall we had a fantastic show with some top acts on the past two weeks of Festival Cafe programmes. I still can't believe this is the last day and I will really miss all the great people I have met whilst working here. I will especially miss the morning ritual of coffee and muffins with Emma , Fiona and Catriona...

Richard Herring and Felicity WardRichard Herring and Felicity Ward

Catriona MacLeod:

I realise that most of my blog posts reference food that I've eaten, people I've met, items of clothing I've clocked and things that I've done, so I thought that seeing as though this was our last show I would go down a more emotional route. First things first: I will miss Rob's warm up act. Today he wowed (Ed: is this *really* the best choice of words, Catriona??) audiences with eye-patch and parrot in a pirate-themed routine. The nautical references are inexplicable and his performance won him a punnet of razzies. After a brilliant show that saw Felicity Ward talk about being a moron (I can sympathise), Richard Herring talk of his struggle with the Messiah (I can only imagine), Rainer Hersch talk like Victor Borge (I must research who that is) and Denise Black strut amongst the audience for the grand finale song, we left the green room for the last time with fond memories of guests and stresses past, which brings me to my final emotional thought for the day - Fiona and Melanie part from the Festival Café team this afternoon. I promised I wouldn't mention food again, but we celebrated their successful four weeks with sparkly cupcakes courtesy of Rich and made of fairydust (edible glitter actually), appropriate munchies for a nostalgic moment on the office sofas. Emma and I will be kicking off our final week here in Edinburgh with a live show from the Book Festival in Charlotte Square...an exciting prospect. We will be downsizing dramatically in venue size, but I can't wait for the buzz of an entirely different festival experience and hopefully some sunshine. And muffins. Maybe.

As mentioned above, it's service as normal next week with The Book Cafe covering everything literary in a live show from the Edinburgh International Book Festival. On Tuesday you'll get your cultural fix in The Culture Cafe. Music being made and played in Scotland on Wednesday in The Music Cafe whilst Thursday keeps you up to speed with news from the big screen on The Movie Cafe. Finishing off the week, The Comedy Cafe gets you chuckling in to the weekend.

Looking forward to having you with us then...


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