Julian Hall

Julian has been the comedy critic for The Independent since 2003. He is also the author of The Rough Guide to British Cult Comedy, www.textualhealing.co.uk

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Brett Goldstein

Edinburgh 2013: Brett Goldstein: Contains Scenes of an Adult Nature

Based on his last two solo shows, you might say that the comedy actor Brett Goldstein (known for his part in Ricky Gervais' sitcom 'Derek') is preoccupied with sex. But when he has spent his formative years running his father's strip club in Marbella (the subject of his debut show) and then escaped that by going to a drama school where the company is particularly lascivious, you can hardly blame him.

Liam Williams

Edinburgh 2013: Liam Williams - A comedian of existential introspection

If the hero of John Osborne's Look Back In Anger, Jimmy Porter, had ever performed stand-up, he'd look and sound a bit like Liam Williams. Similarly deracinated and disillusioned, Williams sets out to extricate himself from the restrictions of a lower middle class upbringing and thereby express his dissatisfaction with the world as a whole.

Red Bastard, the provocative creation of the American clown Eric Davis.

Edinburgh 2013: Red Bastard - The so-called Marmite of comedy actually tastes quite mild

For a buzz show deemed to be Marmite, I'm surprised to feel almost ambivalent about Red Bastard, the provocative creation of the American clown Eric Davis.

Al Lubel

Edinburgh 2013: Al Lubel is Mentally Al - His performance is like an elongated beat poem

If you see Al Lubel you'll never forget his name. That's because the middle-aged New Yorker spends much of his mostly captivating hour playing with the sound of it - though not quite as much time as he spends describing how his over-protective Jewish mother smothered him.

James Acaster

Edinburgh 2013: James Acaster: Lawnmower

Last year James Acaster beguiled his way on to the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards shortlist with an artfully crafted study in mild lunacy. This year offers something similar, equally well-shaped, and equally kooky, but it sails so close to the wind of being inconsequential that a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the room for portions of the show.

Ardal O'Hanlon at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh

Edinburgh 2013: Ardal O'Hanlon - A 47-year-old little boy lost

Ardal O'Hanlon closes his show on a sweet and poignant note as he confesses: "I don't have a big finish. I've never been one for 'fireworks' like some comedians." Having described stand-up as the best way to make sense of the world, it's understandable if the 47-year old little boy lost feels a little deflated in not making the most of it and flatlining. 

Michael Che

Edinburgh 2013: Michael Che: Cartoon Violence

Tonight is one of those nights where the comedy comes dangerously close to being defined by the audience rather than the comic. The tension occasioned by audience banter gone on too long, and gone wrong, at the start of this American comedian's show casts a shadow over much of the rest of the night.

Taking the mic: Edinburgh Fringe favourite Bo Burnham

Edinburgh 2013: Bo Burnham - The wunderkind of comedy keeps his edge

"The problem with Bo Burnham is that he's 22 and better at what he does than anyone else in the world." So tweets one of the American wunderkind's fans after tonight's masterclass in stand-up and musical and physical comedy.

Chastity Butterworth and the Spanish Hamster

Edinburgh Festival 2013: Chastity Butterworth & The Spanish Hamster - Game of Thrones' Gemma Whelan as you've never seen her before

Chastity Butterworth might look like a Victorian in service with a butter-wouldn't-melt expression, but, in reality, she's in debt to her drug dealer and is "garrotted on poppers" after an all-night squat party. She's old school new school - a renegade governess.

Stewart Lee performs as Baconface

Edinburgh 2013: Baconface- an in-joke for Stewart Lee devotees

B-b-b-b-baconface. It's hard not to think of Lady Gaga when you're watching someone perform with raw meat draped over their head, albeit with a Mexican wrestling helmet as a protective layer in between.

Day In a Page

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A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
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The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
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From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
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Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
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When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
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The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
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Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
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