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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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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