August 28, 2015
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a mainstay of the UK's "Oh you just have to go once!" conversation alongside Glastonbury, Wimbledon and possibly the London Eye. Keeping an eye out for incredible comedy performers and circus troupes, the first show we took on was by 6 Music stalwart, Shaun Keaveny, who mysteriously didn't feature in the main festival programme.
Although 11.50 isn't classed as early by most people's standards, anyone who has been to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe knows that shows at this time of the day are reserved for the earliest of worm-catching birds. No stranger to early starts (he has presented the 6 music breakfast show since 2007), Shaun Keaveny bounds onto stage in a Mexican wrestling mask and unprecedented energy to the delight of a full comedy audience, the majority of which is made up of regular listeners. He starts the set with a slide show which add structure to the set before covering a range of subjects in a confident manner with an assured stage presence - the onset of middle age; prostate examinations, Prince George and the pretentiousness of Patek Philippe watches.
Adopting a radio chat show format, interviewing two guests daily - performing jingles on the electric guitar as they make their way onto the stage. Even though his foray into stand-up is a relatively recent one, he held his own when sharing a stage with comedy greats Mark Thomas and Tom Stade (link to interviews can be found here) and Thomas in particular made for a fascinating guest, full of tales of life being branded as a "political extremist" by the police.
All in all, it was a great show that appealed to his large fanbase and hopefully won him a few new listeners along the way. Shaun Keaveny has all the attributes to go on to an even bigger stage and we sincerely hope he remembers his roots and doesn't give in to the attraction of a Patek Philippe watch along the way.
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By Henry Fosdike