Edinburgh Festival: Pick of the Day

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The Independent Culture
Jason Byrne

The Pleasance, Venue 33 8.35pm, pounds 7.50/pounds 8.50 A magician of improvisation who pulls all the surprises from the audience themselves. So often in comedy we wait to be expected to laugh, but with Byrne you just laugh.Chatty, inspired and with a gift for mimicry, anything will provide him with the means to entertain and his version of the eclipse, complete with bananas and oranges, was far superior to the real thing.

Shakespeare for Breakfast

C, Venue 19, 10pm, pounds 6 "Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast," said Oscar Wilde, so the script for Shakespeare for Breakfast must have been written the night before. The dialogue is fast and humorous, the cast are energetic, the coffee hot - this is certainly worth getting out of bed for. Only beware if you are not a fan of the pun, for you will be punished within an inch of your life.

Al Murray the Pub Landlord

The Pleasance, Venue 33 9.25pm, pounds 8-pounds 9 The politics of the Perrier are small beer for the towering comic creation that is the Pub Landlord. This is bar-room philosophising made art, a dizzying and relentless send-up of Little Englander prejudices and fears. The man can even explain the workings of the City of London with nothing more than a pint of bitter.

Dave Gorman's Better World

The Pleasance, Venue 33 8.35pm, pounds 8-pounds 9 This hugely innovative show is based on the idea of an anonymous letter- writing campaign asking for suggestions to make a better world. Better still, this intriguing device unfolds into an absorbing, scary, touching, but most of all bizarre story. It's not stand-up, it's not theatre, but it is most definitely funny.

The Gogmagogs Gobbledygook

Traverse Theatre, Venue 15 8.35pm, pounds 7.50 The Gogmagogs are back - and this time they're talking. This team of crack, classically-trained musicians have teamed up with the likes of Caryl Churchill and Patrick Barlow, who have provided words for a frankly zany series of intercut songs, scenes and surreal musical sketches, all given in expert performances.