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Venue:Espionage, 4 India Buildings (Entrances on Victoria Street and Cowgate) Edinburgh EH1 2EX
Phone: 0131 4777 007
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: Free  
Room: Pravda
AUG 3-14, 16-27 at 20:45 (60 min)
Show Image

Some people are life's heroes, its leading men and women. They're full of swash, buckle and daring-do. Others are happy to stand at the side and hold their jackets.

For every Fred Flinstone, there is a Barney Rubble. Every Yogi needs a Booboo and all Sherlocks need a patient Watson.

This is a show about the men and women who pick up the pieces whilst the main man is busy humping the heroine after the credits have rolled.

“A sharp and crafty gagsmith, with wittily obtuse takes on…an impressively wide range of topics…bringing flair and confidence to them all.” Steve Bennett, Chortle

“Highly promising…an accomplished comic.” Time Out

“Wonderfully improvised riffs showcasing his impressive spontaneity and sharp tongue.” Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

“He must have one of the highest jokes-per-hour counts in Edinburgh this month.” ***** Reviews Hub

“Turns lazy stereotypes and political messes into biting, personal, satire.” **** Ed Fringe Review

“On flights of fancy, he pushes ideas to extremes and displays a crackling, spontaneous energy in which we’re swept up.” Fest

“Exquisite comic timing…wonderfully clownish physical comedy.” British Theatre Guide

“brilliantly funny and well-formed set…a likeably bold comedian.” Gigglebeats

Click Here for Show Website

News and Reviews for this Show

August 15, 2017  Chortle
Ben Van der Velde has a strong, dynamic presence on stage. He is, as he says himself, very persuasive: he talks and you listen.

Sidekick was a good showcase for his skills – personable and interactive with the audience in the way you’d expect of a compere, and personal and autobiographical in the way you’d expect of an Edinburgh confessional-style show. He certainly has enough meaty material on being Jewish and living Jewish, with some cultural input to contribute.

Over the hour, topics ranged from the mundane - stuff about his name, foreskin (is any Jewish set complete without a circumcision reference?) – to braver and more personal stuff about his privileged start to life and his marriage. Then there are the obligatory Trump and Brexit references.

There were occasional, unnecessary vulgarities here and there, all the more unexpected because he’s clearly sharp as a tack. He has the skill to win over an audience and this evening’s lot were thoroughly convinced by the performance. Accessible to everyone, this was reliably entertaining, if not a Fringe stand-out. Click Here

August 13, 2017  The Skinny
There’s hecklers in. Not nasty ones; just ones that can’t hold their booze or their tongue. Van der Velde is rightly irked, as is the rest of the crowd. As the set begins, the hecklers’ cries for involvement reaches crescendo. Van der Velde satisfyingly shuts them up (for now) with a fun jibe about them ‘jizzing crayons’.

But it doesn't derail the hour. There’s some well-trodden Jewish stereotypes smartly worked into a piece of social commentary and dark fun-poking at why some relatives can’t accept a wedding invitation. There’s also, however, some a few dodgy accents and material about Isis that doesn’t seem to gel with the rest of the set, while the religious material seems overlong.

Van der Velde’s clearly an experienced comic whose audience interaction works a treat. Upon discovering a 7ft Stonemason is the hecklers’ minder, the comedian works him into the show, drawing comparisons of ‘David and Goliath’ which flows into the rest of his set and more than once he puts the relentless, childish hecklers in their place. Click Here

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