Edinburgh Previews at the Bear Club, Luton.

Hello lovely readers! Now, if you’re at all interested in comedy or watch as many comedy shows on TV like myself, you’ll know that we’re approaching Edinburgh Fringe time. It’s extremely likely that I will not be heading up to the Edinburgh Fringe this year, however my urge for a spontaneous trip up to Scotland’s capital may get the better of me and I may just go up there. My trips up to the Fringe in my first and second year of uni have been the highlights of my past 2 summers. Even though I probably won’t be going to the city, I have to get my live comedy fix somehow!

A few weeks ago, I sent my Dad a link on Facebook saying that one of my favourite comedians was performing in my hometown* and I wanted to go. As I send him links to things I want to go to most days, he originally dismissed it. Then, I tell him about it again and he tells me he’s already going with work? I got pied by my Dad. However, on the day of the show, I’m looking at tickets and there’s a few left, so I ask Dad if I can come with his work friends and 4 minutes later, I’ve ordered my ticket online.

*a major shock, very few people actually come to perform in Luton.

The show was held at the Bear Club in Luton, which was a brand new venue for me. Off of the beaten track for Luton, it was cool to go into a venue that had Edinburgh Fringe vibes, yet is a few minutes from my doorstep. As soon as I got there, I immediately knew that this wouldn’t be the only time I’d come here. The venue isn’t that big, yet it felt perfect for Edinburgh Fringe previews. Even the weather was Edinburgh-esque! I was taken back to wandering down the Royal Mile in second year.

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Me, in Edinburgh just under a year ago. Crazy how things change so much.

I thoroughly enjoyed my comedy evening out, and I’ll definitely be heading there again! The Bear Club has a few events lined up in the near future, so I may check out some more live comedy. For an Edinburgh preview night, it was also very reasonably priced. As a student, I paid £9 which is what I would pay to see a comedian perform at the Fringe, so being able to see 2 for the price of 1 was great!

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The Bear Club is an intimate venue, yet feels very cosy!

Edinburgh previews see comedians travelling up and down the country, testing their new material and seeing what does and doesn’t work in preparation for the biggest Fringe festival in the world! I went to see Ellie Taylor and Andrew Lawrence. I must admit, prior to going to the performance, I already knew what I thought of both of them. I bloody love Ellie Taylor, she’s a kind, cool comedian who resonates with a young female audience such as myself. I saw her in Edinburgh last year, and I’m certain that I’ll go and see her again.

From following many comedians on Twitter and having been to many shows, I knew that Andrew Lawrence wasn’t the most liked comedian on the circuit, to put it lightly. During his performance, he made it clear that he wasn’t liked by others and that there’s a documentary about him and why he’s an outcast which I have downloaded from Sky Arts and shall be watching to see what others say about him. I knew that his comedy was risky and bordering on the insensitive and offensive. I’m all for comedians pushing boundaries and seeing how far they can go, but when it comes to making comments such as feminists killing themselves… hm, I’ll leave that one there.

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Inside the Bear Club.

On to the previews themselves. It’s no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed Ellie Taylor’s set. Her show This Guy is a follow on from last year’s show. We’re thrown into Ellie’s life, in which she talks about her husband, the importance of a Zara bag, radiators and what her favourite scent is. What I love about Ellie’s delivery is that I feel SO at ease. There’s never a point where I feel uncomfortable or wince at what she’s saying. Even down to points where she feels she cannot make rational adult decisions (I feel the pain of growing out a fringe too…), I don’t feel awkward for her in any way. I’d recommend getting a ticket for Ellie’s show if you’re at the Fringe this year, she’s at the Pleasance, which is one of my favourite places in the world so go and check her out!

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What is her favourite scent?

I couldn’t help but feel in Andrew Lawrence’s set that it felt very impromptu. Granted, there’s some comedians such as Ross Noble that rely on improvisation and do it very well. Yet, I got vibes from Andrew Lawrence that I had never felt when I watched every comedian. Unlike Ellie, I don’t think that I’m necessarily the target audience for Andrew. There were some jokes that I found funny, to the expense of his self-roasting (discussing why Jack Whitehall is successful and not Andrew). However, he made it clear that he wanted to offend with his comedy. Personally, I don’t think that’s the route that comedy should go down. However, I’m just an audience member, and that’s how I saw it. It felt weird that his preview wasn’t even 50 minutes long, considering that his show is an hour long on the official Edinburgh Fringe website. Alas, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, yet it doesn’t mean to say that I’d knowingly go and see him again? If you’re interested in the Outcast Comic this year, check him out at Edinburgh.

On the whole, my evening out at Bear Club was lots of fun and I even pretended to grab the mic and joke that I was doing a set. MAYBE ONE DAY IN THE FUTURE, but not yet. I’m surprised I didn’t run up and sing this like I have been every bloody moment recently. I’m just obsessed with Sasha Velour.


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Sophie x


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