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| September 22, 2018

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This Is Your Trial Heads to the Fringe

This Is Your Trial Heads to the Fringe
Howard Gorman

This Is Your Laugh comedy nights will be venturing up to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time this year, going under the moniker of This Is Your Trial. The event organiser, David Allison, has so far planned five shows between the 5th and the 9th of August which will be staged at comedian Bob Slayer’s new Fringe venue, Bob’s Bookshop. The event is currently being financed by means of a Kickstarter crowdfunding page. and there are still a few days for you to help fund this great, unique comedy event so all help is more than worthwhile.

Over the last 12 months, This Is Your Laugh have been developing their unique comedy trial format, with numerous shows for various audiences and in different venues. Said format involves one or three people from the group who have booked an event being put on trial, facing certain charges in front of their friends and colleagues. Their “so-called” friends are then brought up to the stand to provide both evidence and witness accounts. The comedians themselves take on the roles of the Judge, Prosecutor and even the Defense counsel.

The Edinburgh Fringe Kickstarter pitch consists of twelve levels of pledges providing all manner of goodies in return for your help. The pitches start at £5, in return for which you receive a postcard all the way from the Fringe, running up to £600 which gets you your very own tailor-made Christmas trial either at one of the This Is Your Laugh London venues or elsewhere, if need be.

Allison has said that all tickets will be sold as individual tickets per show, at the sum of £500. Despite probably being the most expensive tickets at the Fringe two have already been purchased, one of these by Inksters, a solicitor company in Glasgow who jumped at the chance of booking a show following a visit by Brian Inkster to one of the London shows which featured Norman Lovett, one of the comedians already set to appear in Edinburgh. Other companies involved with the event are the venue sponsors consisting of two local companies – Scottish Borders Brewery and Bawbags Underwear. Other comedians already signed to the event, to play various roles in the shows, are Tim FitzHigham, Mark Dolan, Janey Godley, Tony Law, Norman Lovett and Glenn Wool.

The show certainly promises a great night’s entertainment, so much so that some TV producers have already started to show an interest in Allison’s format, with plans in the pipeline to talk with agents to represent the project following Edinburgh. Allison says that he has a great company, CC-Lab, involved and there are also plans to figure out how the shows can be streamed via MixLr as live podcasts.

Speaking to comedian Bob Slayer with the event being held at his new Fringe venue, he told me:

“I want Heroes to get behind and help develop more concepts and ideas and it is really encouraging to see something we have been involved in from early on starting to pick up real momentum. What I could see with This is Your Trial is that you have a format that can entertain large groups of people, maybe corporate gigs, but still be extremely fun and creative for the comedians involved. Most corporate gigs are a necessary evil for comedians. They do them because they pay well but they can be a challenge that puts limits on what material comedians can do. This is Your Trial is completely different. The comedians are using all their skills to engage and entertain but they are playing a role of judge, prosecution or defence. This fits really well with certain comedy personas. The prosecution is like a roast, the defence suits a happy optomist. And the Judge can be played in so many different ways.  There is also room for ‘expert’ witnesses which in the past have included magicians, sword swallowers, comic songs etc.”

I also asked comedian Mark Dolan what he expected of the Fringe version of the show based on his past experience with The Is Your Trial and he told me he was absolutely thrilled to be part of This Is Your Laugh.

“It’s the Comedy Roast meets Judge Judy and it promises to be a blast. I should warn you, I’m going to be one of those hardline judges, and will be sending a good number of the defendants to the chair. An encounter with me promises a lengthy stint on the comedy equivalent of death row!”

“I think this is the most original idea for a comedy show I’ve seen in years and I’m certain it will be a huge hit in Edinburgh this summer. When David Allison described the concept to me, I couldn’t wait to get involved. By way of preparation I’ve been reading through a pile of old legal textbooks and more importantly, watching DVD box sets of Kavanagh QC and Ally McBeal.”

“As a result of this, I’ll be using the expression “objection sustained” an awful lot and I’m planning to bash my hammer down in rage at least once during every trial. All the best judges seem to do that, particularly Fred Gwynne as Judge Chamberlain Haller in My Cousin Vinny.”

Funding ends on Monday, May 13th and we’ll leave you with the Kickstarter crowdfunding video.

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