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Edinburgh comes to Birmingham this July as six of the best acts destined for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2009 will be previewing their brand new stand-up comedy shows at the Glee Club. Promoter Duncan Burns takes us through the line up.

The Edinburgh Preview series of double-bills kicks off on Thu 16 July with feisty Irish comic Andrew Maxwell and comedy tornado Phil Nichol.

An intrepid social commentator, Andrew Maxwell is renowned for his unique blend of comedy and socio-political observations. His recent comedy projects have seen him take his stand-up to new levels, especially his superb late night alt-variety Full Mooners shows.

He has made numerous TV appearances, including ITV2’s Celebrity Juice, Dave’s Argumental and RTE’s current affairs show The Panel, with Dara O Briain. Along with Marcus Brigstocke, he also co-founded Altitude, an annual comedy and music festival that takes places in Meribel in the French Alps. In 2007 Andrew was nominated for the main Fringe award, the If.comedy award, for his show Waxin’.

Winner of the prestigious If.comedy award for his 2006 Edinburgh show, The Naked Racist, Canadian comedian, musician and actor Phil Nichol arrives at the Glee fresh from his appearance in the acclaimed London revival of Sam Shepards’ darkly comic psychological thriller Simpatico. A rising star, other stage credits include One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, with Christian Slater, Boy George’s musical Taboo, Talk Radio, The Odd Couple, 12 Angry Men and The Zoo Story, for which Nicol won The Stage Award for Best Actor. Phil’s live shows are feats of high-octane, live-wire comedy storytelling that leaves audiences thrilled, shocked and wondering why all stand-up can’t be that good.

They’re followed by John Gordillo and Jon Richardson (Thu 23 July).

After directing hit shows for comedians Eddie Izzard and Reginald D. Hunter, John Gordillo has moved centre stage with material that explores his family, politics and psychology. His 2008 Edinburgh show, Divide And Conga, garnered acclaimed four and five-star reviews across the board. Early digital TV adopters will recognise him from his own satirical news show The RDA. John’s live comedy is intelligent, provocative and well-crafted. But like all good comedy with a point being funny is never sacrificed for being clever .

He’s joined by grumpy young man Jon Richardson. Winner of the Chortle Breakthrough Act Award 2008 and an If.comedy Best Newcomer Nominee (2008) Jon now hosts his own weekly radio show on BBC 6Music (Sun, 10am-1pm). A rising star of the circuit, with a gift for making slightly surreal observational comedy look like child's play, Jon stormed The Glee Studio as part of his debut UK tour in March. Now is the time to catch one of our future UK comedy stars.

The preview run concludes with appearances from John Bishop and Kevin Bridges (Thu 30 July).

A natural born storyteller, Bishop is in the throes of a mid-life crisis having realized he’s now the same age as Elvis Presley when he died! There are few comics as comfortable on stage as Bishop. Don't be surprised if he's got a cup of tea in one hand and the audience in the other. John is a huge hero in his native Liverpool and is quickly making the same impact since taking the step up from deadshot circuit headliner to solo comedy supremo. Catch John on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow on Sat 13 June (9.30pm, BBC1).

Fresh, young Scottish comedian Kevin Bridges makes his Edinburgh Fringe debut this year. And it’s Kevin’s assured, sharp, natural observational style, shot through with great gags that have led to him being one of the hottest tips of the year. Already something of a circuit veteran at the tender age of just 22 (he played his first gig in just 2004) Kevin recently performed a superb set on Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow (BBC1). If you like upfront, captivating stand-up comedy spend some time in John and Kevin's company.

  • Thursday 16 July 2009
    Andrew Maxwell and Phil Nichol
  • Thursday 23 July 2009
    John Gordillo and Jon Richardson
  • Thursday 30 July 2009
    John Bishop and Kevin Bridges

See video tasters at

All shows 7.30pm doors. £10 / £9 / £6.50 nus



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