‘You are the true heroes of the Fringe!’ announced Tommy Holgate, the bikram-yoga-obsessed host-cum-compere of Tommy Talks. ‘Thank you so much for getting up early and coming to see the show.’ It was 12 o’clock. A time classed by the rest of the world as ‘midday’, but by Edinburgh as so early it takes a Goliath strength of will to leave bed, get past the hangover and into a venue.
This feeling of unprecedented achievement was one shared by the entirety of the bleary-eyed audience, but the struggle was worth it. Tommy Talks may be seen as just another show where fringe performers desperately squeeze their best material into a five minute slot in an attempt to make some much needed sales. But what sets Tommy Talks apart from the rest of the bunch, however, is Holgate himself. As The Sun’s comedy columnist he takes the time between the acts to have a quick, informal interview with the stars.
These punctuations between performances are the prize moments in the show as the interviewees appear to let their guard down, not worry about impressing potential attendees and, for want of a better phrase, talk to Tommy. Two hilarious moments that came from these chats were Brendon Burns convincing a young girl in the audience to tell her parents she’s a lesbian and Jim Jefferies, who openly admitted he was hungover and had forgotten about his scheduled appearance.
The other notable acts that showcased were the charming comedian Joel Dommett and the astoundingly impressive beat-boxer Tom Thum who Holgate - with his wild, fluxion hair and agreeable nature - bounced around and praised with the kind of enthusiasm that denied the fact that it was the crack of dawn in Edinburgh.