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Friday, January 27, 2012

In bed with Alan Davies

HERE'S  a rare picture of comedian Alan Davies (that's him on the left, hiding under the covers). It's from a student production  of Enchanted Night by Slawomir Mrozek in March 1986 at what was then known as the University of Kent at Canterbury. I know this because I was the director. Taught him everything he knows, I did.

Anyway, this morning's news is Davies is returning to stand-up for the first time in the UK for more than ten years with a run on the Edinburgh Fringe at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. He's already been touring the show, Life is Pain, in Australia according to this report in the Scotsman.

In his pre-Jonathan Creek and pre-QI days, Davies was one of the brightest stand-ups on the circuit, with a free-ranging conversational style that endeared him to audiences. He was very funny in a way that many of the most spontaneous comedians are. It'll be interesting to see if he's captured the old stand-up spirit when he returns in the summer.

The early announcement of such a big TV name – alongside Jimmy Carr, Jason Byrne and Rhod Gilbert at the same venue – reminds you that the Fringe operates on all scales, whether it's Davies playing to 1200 a night or a first-time student company pleased to get an audience of double figures. As The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide shows, it's a significant part of the calendar for artists at all stages of their careers and once you've got a taste for it, you can't stop yourself coming back.

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About Me

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Follow me on Twitter at MarkFFisher, WriteAboutTheat and LimelightXTC I am a freelance journalist and critic specialising in theatre and the arts. Publications I write for include the Guardian and the Scotsman. I am the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: how to make your show a success and How to Write About Theatre: A Manual for Critics, Students and Bloggers. I am also editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls: A Limelight Anthology. From 2000-2003, I was the editor of The List magazine, Glasgow and Edinburgh's arts and events guide.