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.

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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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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

On a day when more shows went on sale for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we’ve pulled together a handy guide for companies making their way here in August.  You see, 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 – Hangry people are arseholes

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.

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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.

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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 AllenYianni
This year the Big C is staging the Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and the Big Cabaret Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support with some very sexy acts.

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We Definitely Would – Vikki Stone

“Imagine being in a room with Lily Allen without the fear of being glassed.  Except she’s funny and actually really talented”. 

Vikki Stone - DefinitelyThis is how Vikki Stone’s show was first described to me by a colleague.

I first became aware of her when I tweeted that she looked a bit like a young Josie Lawrence.  She didn’t tell me to get fucked.  In fact, she said something nice back about the Big Comedy Gala.

Last year, I finally met her at a fundraiser where she absolutely charmed the room, and I fell in love.  (But in a gay man to pop diva way.  Not the creepy ‘I’m in your garden’ sort of way).

For those of you living under a rock, Vikki Stone is a multi-talented comedian, actress, singer and musician and winner of The Soho Theatre One Night Stand Up Award.

Her unique mix of stand up and musical comedy has made her one of the fastest rising stars of British comedy. She performs regularly across the country at major clubs, festivals and theatres, as well as appearing regularly on television.

Her debut Edinburgh show, Big Neon Letters, played to sell-out audiences and received critical acclaim, including The Observer’s Comedy Top 5 Edinburgh Shows 2011.

Her follow up show, Hot Mess, sold out its entire run at the Edinburgh Fringe 2012, and four extra shows were added due to phenomenal public demand.

This year she’s back with ‘Definitely’.

Her Phillip Schofield Song became an internet hit and was listed in The Huffington Post as The Top Ten Viral Videos in 2012.

You may also recognise her from fronting major ad campaigns for Yakult, Fiat and…..Tena Lady!

Hot off the stage at Latitude, she took a minute to answer a few quick questions for the Big C.

What is your involvement in The Big C?

I’m going to be doing ‘my thing’, and if you’d like to know what that ‘thing’ is, then you best get booking!

Who is your favourite comedy hero, act or actor?

Bette Midler. Don’t think I need to explain why.

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

This is a tough one, but I think it has to be the time my friend, who is a grown man, accidentally shat himself on Clapham Common. I couldn’t stop laughing for days.

What in your everyday life always makes you laugh?

See above.

Who is your secret celebrity crush?

Phillip Schofield – but I don’t make a secret of this.  I wrote a song about him, which I ended up performing right to his face on ITV’s This Morning last year!

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

Good laughs and good cause!

cropped-big-c-cover.jpgJoining Vikki on the night are The Boy with Tape on his Face, Sean Hughes, Greg Proops, Caroline Rhea, Joe Lycett, East End Cabaret & Patrick Monahan.  Other acts will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Follow @bigcomedygala #BigC2013

Book The Big C

Book Vikki Stone

An Open Letter and Invitation to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II to attend the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Madam,

It recently came to my attention that when you awarded Nica Burns an OBE for services to entertainment, your brief conversation resulted in you registering your surprise that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (the Fringe) had existed for more than 20 years.

I feel quite certain that you went home immediately to research the largest arts festival in the world and discovered that it actually came into existence in 1947, as a response to the Edinburgh International Festival, and has flourished ever since.  Indeed, just last year, the Fringe was said to generate some £141million for the local economy.

I’ve seen your wonderful crown and palace and shan’t assume that you will necessarily be able to appreciate the enormity of this, so for purposes of clarity, let me state that for your typical Edinburgh resident in Dumbiedykes, £141million is A LOT of money.

It struck me that though in recent years I’ve seen images of David Hasselhoff, Ricky Gervais and Miriam Margolyes enjoying all that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has to offer, I have never seen a photograph of your Majesty in a festival beer garden. Nor have I ever read a ‘fun’ Herald diary piece about you inadvertently falling asleep during a production of Hedda Gabler in a hotel loft.

Then it struck me.

As your humble servant, it is my duty to ensure that you experience the first and best Fringe Festival the world has to offer.  Particularly as it happens annually in your land.  So I put this to you:

I am currently producing The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.  It’s exactly as it sounds and aims to raise money for the wonderful charity by showcasing a veritable smorgasbord of light entertainment.

It’s on a school night – Monday 12th August to be precise – but as you’ll no doubt be aware, in Edinburgh in August, there’s no such thing as a weekend.

Madam, I would like to invite you and the Duke of Edinburgh to the show to experience fourteen of the best comedic acts that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has to offer.

As luck would have it, the Gala is being staged in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, a venue synonymous with high quality events and very much used to welcoming global dignitaries and their security cartel.

I do not want to assume that you will be available to attend, and as such I have not included any tickets with this correspondence.  Instead, inspired by the classic film Never Been Kissed, I have reserved two seats for you in the middle of the auditorium and will wait by them until 21:25 on August 12th, hoping that you can find it in your heart of hearts to show up.

Please, your Majesty, be a very wealthy Michael Varnan to my oddly shaped Drew Barrymore.

Of course, the Fringe is not all about comedy; there’s a massive programme of dance, theatre, music and visual arts to choose from too. If you do come to Edinburgh, the day after the gala I’m sure I can hook you up with some tickets for one of the many student productions.  Just let me know in advance.

Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty of it all.

I know you have a wonderful home in Edinburgh; indeed, two years ago you invited me to your garden party.  Alas I was somewhat in the huff with you and didn’t attend due to your rewarding famous homophobe Brian Souter with an OBE – but I’m ready to move on, if you are.

If you would like the full Fringe experience, I would be more than happy to welcome you into my home to stay for a couple of nights.  As it’s you, you and the Duke can have the room with the en-suite, though you will need to share a kitchen with the cast of Briefs and Corey Feldman.

I can guarantee that if you make the trip to Edinburgh, you will not regret it.  Indeed, many of the people on the bill have also performed at the Royal Variety Performance, including our wonderful host The Boy with Tape on his Face, and don’t even pretend you won’t absolutely lose your shit when Caroline Rhea from Sabrina the Teenage Witch comes on stage.  She is truly one of the greatest comediennes out there.

Tickets are normally £20, though I’m happy to cover the cost if you throw a ring or bracelet into the Macmillan bucket at the end.

So there we are.

If you would like to attend the Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, it’s on Monday 12 August 2013 from 21:30 at Venue150@EICC.

I very much hope to see you there.

I have the honour to be, Madam, Your Majesty’s humble and obedient servant.

Barry Hetherington

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