Fringe comedy PR

Fringe comedy PR

In 2014, I moved from reviewing comedy to PRing comedy. Below is a quick rundown for the comedy PR projects I’ve handled in the last four years. I’ve not yet hyperlinked reviews, but you can look up shows via British Comedy Guide


Richard Gadd’s runs at the Soho Theatre in April and December 2014. Richard’s show ‘Cheese and Crack Whores’ sold so well that the run was extended.  He was reviewed in The Guardian and featured on Chortle’s Correspondents section, where his piece was voted the best that month (April 2014).  Richard then returned to Soho Theatre with his latest full-length show, ‘Breaking Gadd’. The show was featured across numerous websites including Chortle, the British Comedy Guide, The Velvet Onion, Laugh Out London. Meanwhile, The Guardian, Moustache Comedy and West End Wilma reviewed and the Observer subsequently named Richard as one to watch in 2015.

Sajeela Kershi’s ‘Immigrant Diaries’ at Brighton Fringe and London’s Southbank.  For her May 2014 shows, Sajeela appeared on BBC Sussex, Juice FM and was featured in Asian Culture Vulture and in Broadway Baby.  She was also reviewed in the Brighton Argus and Broadway Baby. Her ITV London News slot, with co-star Shobu Kapoor, in advance of her Southbank show, topped off a great run during which Sajeela attracted a lot of interest from audiences, promoters and press.

Dave Griffiths’s Brighton Fringe run, May 2014. Dave’s short Brighton Fringe run was featured on Juice FM and in the Brighton Argus, both as a feature and a review.  His show, ‘C U In Court’, attracted a lot of interest on social media and the run sold very well. He subsequently appeared in the Evening Standard.

At the Edinburgh Fringe, many of my clients enjoyed their first national newspaper exposure and a high degree of attention from reviewers across the board.  Rebecca Humphries (Dizney Rascal) and Anna Emerson (An Evening With Patti DuPont) received a particularly high level of exposure and both transferred from Edinburgh to London.  Among other breakthroughs was a successful Picturehouse Cinemas event for ‘Who Ya Gonna Call?’, the Ghostbusters musical – the idea for which came out of a PR seminar. Lizzie Bates‘ one-night only run of Reprobates (Etcetera Theatre, Camden, November 2014) saw her featured in the Evening Standard and on Bruce Dessau’s Beyond the Joke website.


Among my acts was a return for the hugely successful Spencer Jones whose show ‘Spencer Jones is The Herbert in “Proper Job”’ received numerous rave reviews, most notably 5 stars in The Times, appeared on BBC’s The Next Big Thing and enjoyed a residency at Soho Theatre.

Geoff Norcott also enjoyed a great Fringe, with a 4-star review in The Telegraph among a number of great notices. Geoff also had good coverage in The Daily Express and The New Statesman and signed to the Troika talent agency not long after the festival.

Steve Hall cemented his renown with a clutch of excellent reviews, ditto Sajeela Kershi‘s acclaimed show Immigrant Diaries, which has just been featured in The Independent on Sunday and will also be featured on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4. Other Fringe 2015 highlights included Kelly Kingham and Aatif Nawaz dominating the ‘Best Jokes of the Fringe’ sections of various national newspapers and other journals, and Colin Leggo‘s big feature spread in The Daily Mail.


A bumper year with a few more acts and the profiles of returning acts growing quickly.  Laura Lexx enjoyed a flurry of 4-star reviews and her achievements were underlines with a finalist spot in the Amused Moose Awards.

Olaf Falafel’s debut was very warmly received too and he featured prominently across the national newspaper feature son ‘Jokes of the Fringe’.

Abi Roberts’s show ‘Anglichanka’ garnered a good crop of reviews, including two 5-stars, and was featured in The Guardian, The Herald and The Skinny.  A tour of ‘Anglichanka’ followed soon after.

US comedian Liz Miele received some nice 4-star reviews and was signed by a major promoter at the end of the festival.

Celebrated financial writer and comedian, Dominic Frisby was reviewed comprehensively and enjoyed some great feedback and was also featured in The Guardian, The Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Pierre Novellie started to cement his growing popularity with a 4-star review in The Times as well 5-stars in Three Weeks and other 4-star reviews in The Skinny and Shortcom.  Pierre was also featured in The Guardian, The Herald and The Skinny.

Geoff Norcott built on the previous year with 4-star reviews, in The List, Fest, Spiked and Broadway Baby and he featured on The Today Programme, BBC Edinburgh Nights with Kirsty Wark and in Indy Voices, the iPaper and The Times.

Spencer Jones brought ‘Proper Job’ back to Edinburgh for a full run at The Underbelly while his new show, ‘Eggy Bagel’ reinforced his standing with a wealth of 4-star reviews including in the Evening Standard, The Scotsman and the iPaper, and there was a 4.5 review from Chortle.

Finally, Erich McElroy’s Electile Dysfunction clocked up some great notices in 5-stars in Broadway Baby and paved the way for a huge amount of coverage later in the year ahead of the US Election itself. Erich appeared numerous times on Sky and on various BBC current affairs programmes.


Before Edinburgh preparations started, Geoff Norcott’s show ‘Conswervative’ went on tour and, in the course of the campaign, he appeared on BBC One’s Question Time, BBC Two’s Daily Politics, Sky’s All Out Politics and BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show. Geoff subsequently appeared on BBC Two’s The Mash Report before his Edinburgh run of new show, ‘Right Leaning But Well Meaning’ (touring as ‘Traditionalism’ from February 2018). Geoff’s Edinburgh run was well received including 4-stars from the Mail on Sunday and a spread of other good reviews in the Evening Standard, The Sunday Times and the Daily Mail.

Pierre Novellie also enjoyed exposure on The Mash Report at the time of the Fringe, helping his buoyant year that included a 5-star review from Metro and 4’s from, among others, The Scotsman, The List and The Sunday Post. It was very exciting to have a lot of returning clients for Edinburgh year and some great, new faces.

The winner of the Funny Women Award 2016, Harriet Braine, was among the new faces. Harriet, making her Fringe debut, spent a lot of time in the BBC’s Edinburgh tent including appearances on The Radio 2 Arts Show with Jonathan Ross and The Janice Forsyth Show on BBC Radio Scotland. Harriet was also picked out by The Guardian as a must-see show.

US comedian and Fringe debutant Carmen Lynch enjoyed a number of Fringe ‘picks’ too, most notably in The Times and in Marie Claire. Carmen enjoyed full houses throughout her run and was picked up by a major promoter at the end of the festival. Fellow American, Sid Singh received some glowing notices for his show, ‘A Singh in the North’, most notably in The Scotsman.

Co-writer on Jonathan Pie, Andrew Doyle enjoyed a string of great reviews including a 5-stars in Broadway Baby and 4-stars in Chortle. Feature-wise, Andrew appeared in The Guardian, The Scotsman and the iPaper among others.

Kat Bond enjoyed seven 4-star reviews for her goofy show ‘Loo Roll’, and received coverage elsewhere including in Marie Claire.

Last but by no means least, Spencer Jones return with The Audition won him a nomination for the main Edinburgh Comedy Award and 15 reviews starred four or above, including The Times, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Scotsman, The Guardian and Chortle.


A fantastic year for Laura Lexx whose show, ‘Trying’, was rapturously received by the critics – notably in The Telegraph (★★★★) where Dominic Cavendish described it as ‘the birth of a bouncy, bubbly stand-up star’. More reviews and coverage (including features in The Express and iNews) can be seen here.

Alex Kealy went up another gear, impressing critics including Stephen Armstrong in The Sunday Times (★★★½) who called his show ‘storming’.

Olaf Falafel and Barry Ferns also enjoyed a number of great reviews including ★★★★ for Olaf from the Evening Standard and ★★★★ for Barry Ferns from The Scotsman, Fest and ★★★★½ from ShortCom.


Laura Lexx had another amazing year, with fantastic reviews including in The Sunday Times ★★★★ and the Telegraph ★★★★, among many others  which can be viewed here. Laura has since appeared on Live at the Apollo, Roast Battle and Argumental.

Meanwhile, free speech comedian Konstantin Kisin‘s debut year made a splash, including ★★★★ in The Telegraph and attracting a lot of features, including in The Guardian, The Spectator, the i newspaper, The Telegraph and The Sunday Post – links to these can be found here.

Olaf Falafel won Dave’s Best Joke of the Fringe, which set him on a media whirl that left no stone unturned, across local and national radio and TV news and across tabloid and broadsheet newspapers. His tour of duty was quite a ride!

Finally, I PR’d a non-comedy project, and it was a big one – Iain Dale‘s All Talk. Iain, an LBC presenter and co-presenter of the ‘For The Many’ podcast, among many other hats, brought together an eye-watering line-up of politicians and journalists, including Nicola Sturgeon, Alan Johnson, Sadiq Khan, Anne Diamond, Kirsty Wark and Christiane Amanpour. Never off the front pages of the Scottish newspapers, the series of talks made a splash down south too, including coverage in The Guardian, The Express, The Sunday Times and The New Statesman.


We were all really looking forward to the return of the Fringe in 2022. It was worth the wait. It was a hugely enjoyable festival, with Textual Healing PR’s acts really smashing it!

Chelsea Birkby enjoyed a clutch of 4-star reviews for her debut show – including from The Telegraph, The Scotsman and Fest – and won the Amused Moose Newcomer Award and a nomination for the Comedian’s Comedian award for Best Show. During the course of the Fringe, Chelsea appeared on BBC 5 live, BBC Radio Scotland and Times Radio and featured in the ‘Best Jokes of the Fringe’ lists for The Times and The Telegraph.

As well as selling out her run of Character Building Experience, Sasha Ellen’s Creeps and Geeks featured in the Best Jokes of the Fringe collections of The Times and The Telegraph and Sasha was interviewed on Times Radio and BBC Radio Scotland. Sasha also penned a number of published articles including on a work-life balance at the Fringe and the crossover between Dungeons and Dragons and comedy. “This is a comedian you need to keep an eye out for and make sure that you can fit Creeps and Geeks into your roster at the fringe.” **** Phoenix Remix.

Hannah Fairweather’s debut year attracted a lot of interest from the media. Before the Fringe, Hannah appeared on Hawksbee and Jacobs’ TalkSport, Times Radio with Henry Bonsu and had various authored pieces appear including in Metro. Her Fringe run garnered a salvo of 4-star reviews, including from The List and The Skinny, plus a ‘Recommended’ from British Comedy Guide. One of her jokes was awarded 4th in Dave’s Best Joke of the Fringe list. Hannah also appeared in The Scotsman (the much sough-after Edinburgh Q&A slot), The Guardian and on BBC Scotland’s Edinburgh Unlocked, fronted by fellow Scottish comedian Mark Nelson.

It was breakout year for Alex Kealy whose clutch of 4-star reviews included The List and The Telegraph, hist first broadsheet review. Before the Fringe, Alex made his debut on Adrian Chiles’ 5 live show and was marked out as a potential Radio 4 star by Dominic Cavendish in his review of Alex in The Telegraph. Alex also appeared in features in The Scotsman, The Sunday Post and in Chortle.

Joke machine Will Mars’s clever weaving of one-liners and a back-story won high profile plaudits in Metro (**** from Sharon Lougher) and in Beyond the Joke (**** from Bruce Dessau). In a definite breakout year for Will too, he was in the top 5 of Dave Jokes of the Fringe and was nominated for the Amused Moose Comedy Award.

Fringe veteran and legend Simon Munnery’s tale of past Fringe antics was well received, with five 4-star reviews and a ‘Recommended’ from The British Comedy Guide. Simon appeared in a big Guardian Saturday magazine splash with an eye-brow raising story about Steve Coogan that subsequently went viral on Twitter. He also appeared on Times Radio with Henry Bonsu before the Fringe and was picked out by various publications including The Skinny.

Picked out by The Guardian, The Evening Standard and The Week before the Fringe, Sam Nicoresti’s absorbing show was featured numerous times in The Guardian subsequently, including a piece by Rachael Healy on cancel culture and comedy. As well as a number of four-star reviews, Sam received a ‘Recommended’ rating from British Comedy Guide. Broadcast appearnaces including Sky News and STV News.

Pierre Novellie notched up a fantastic nine reviews of four stars or above, and a ‘Recommended’ rating from British Comedy Guide. Pierre’s other press included a feature on The Monkey Barrel in The Scotsman.

Olaf Falafel’s return to the Fringe after his Dave’s Joke of the Fringe win in 2019 was a happy one. He received a number of four-star reviews, including from The Scotsman and Beyond The Joke. Olaf was also placed in Dave’s Joke of the Fringe top 10 – twice! Olaf’s jokes were also featured in Best Jokes lists in The Telegraph, The Times and The Guardian. He was also featured in I Talk Telly’s top 10 free shows.

It was a smasher of a year for Bilal Zafar. He received seven four-star reviews, including from The List and Metro. He was also featured in The Guardian’s Saturday magazine splash that collected anecdotes from various top comedians and a Guardian ’10 Shows Not To Miss’ feature, and he was a Fringe pick in Rolling Stone magazine and in Fest. Bilal featured on Times Radio, BBC Radio Scotland and on Sky News.


Hard to belive that 2022 could surpass 2023, but it was another great year!

Ian Smith was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award, and received a ton of four and five star reviews including 4 stars from The Guardian, The Scotsman and Beyond the Joke and 4.5 stars from Chortle. Among feature splashes was a piece in the Scotsman’s Saturday magazine.

Newcomer Philipp Kostelecky went home with a clutch of 4-star reviews including from Jay Richardson in The Scotsman and Ashley Davies in Fest. Philipp was also nominated for the Amused Moose Award and was featured in Metro’s Funny New Faces of 2023.

Niamh Denyer enjoyed a feted debut with Get Blessed with a number of great reviews including 5 stars from Theatre & Tonic and 4 stars from Funny Women and UK Theatre Network among others. Niamh was also nominated for an Offie, an Off West End Award.

Liz Guterbock came second in Dave’s Joke of the Fringe Award and featured on BBC Two’s Edinburgh Unlocked. She received a number of very warm notices for her show ‘Geriatric Millennial’ including a clutch of 4 star reviews and had an opinion piece published in the iPaper.

Sasha Ellen had a superb year with her solo show When Life Give You Ellens, Make Ellenade, garnering a a number of 4 star reviews and her Dungeons and Dragons-style game show Character Building Experience receiving 4 and 5 star reviews from publications including Starburst. Sasha also did Fast Fringe this year for Chortle in London before the Fringe.

Bilal Zafar‘s IMPOSTER enjoyed great feedback including 4 stars from The Skinny and Entertainment Now. Bilal appeared on Clive Anderson’s Seven Wonders podcast and also featured in Rachael Healy’s The Fringe: Was It Worth It? piece for The Guardian.

Alexander Bennett enjoyed a breakout year with multiple 4 and 5 star reviews, an Amused Moose Award shortlisting and had numerous members of the Comedy Awards panel at his show. Alexander had pieces published in Metro and two in iNews.

Ollie Horn was featured in the Daily Star and received numerous 4-star reviews. Punsters Darren Walsh and Olaf Falafel both had their jokes picked out by a number of publications including The Scotsman/The Edinburgh Evening News, The Telegraph and The Guardian. Darren’s show included the use of AI and was featured on BBC Radio Scotland and in The Scotsman. Meanwhile Olaf’s show was one of the best reviewed Edinburgh shows this year.

Ed Patrick packed out his large room at The New Town Theatre and was featured with Ian Smith in a series of articles in The List, appeared in Brian Ferguson’s Scotsman diary and in a Telegraph feature about Fringe mishaps. He also wrote a piece for the iPaper.