STAND-UP JACK BARRY Monkey Barrel, Edinburgh, Sun 19 Apr

For the past six months, Jack Barry has been plugging away at stand-up, writing a new show, and working on his acting career. Securing a ‘named part’ is still proving elusive, but having just landed a starring role as ‘random guy’ in a new sitcom, Hollywood surely beckons. For now, he’s back on tour with his Edinburgh Fringe show from last year, named after his still ‘legal alien’ girlfriend Martina from Argentina.

Topics shift from their efforts to stave off a post-Brexit deportation, to his early, ‘might-have-been’ role as a British spy. It seems the gods had greater things in store and if MI5 had failed to spot his talents, that was their loss, for Barry was to become the voice of KFC on Twitter. Describing Colonel Sanders as ‘the wind beneath my sails’, he mines the great man’s comic legacy for all it’s worth.

While bouncing around the stage in the same bright yellow onesie that he wore in August, a few new bits have been added to Alien. Sources of fresh material include ‘a cute, grumpy housemate who poos all the time’: not a human, but a recently acquired cat. Barry is a natural at sending himself up and quickly won over Fringe audiences. You can expect more of the same, including the reason why he still hankers after the big screen. Hard though it is to believe until you see the video clip, but he once really was a child star in a Chinese romcom many moons ago. (Tom Bruce-Gardyne)

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MY COMEDY HERO JESSICA FOSTEKEW The Stand Glasgow, Mon 18 May; The Stand, Edinburgh, Tue 19 May

I’m going rogue and listing a sort of Desert Island Discs of comedy heroes because it’s given me a wonky heart trying to just pick one. The first comedian I laughed out loud to was Tommy Cooper, on the TV. It had to have been re-runs because he died when I was one and I wasn’t laughing at his ghost. I used to do impressions of him to make my family laugh like the precocious, annoying, creepy only child that I was. Next was Richard Curtis and Ben Elton’s Blackadder II, The Third and Goes Forth. Oh GOD. That’s

the first time I would have lines running around my head for hours and days and weeks afterwards. Baldrick learning maths from Edmund: ‘if you have two beans and two beans, what does that make?’ ‘A very small casserole’. Or or or or or the one where Percy makes ‘PURE GREEN’.

I went on to laugh at everything Rik Mayall did, obsessive about Drop Dead Fred and Bottom especially. His physicality, his penchant for the grotesque. But I couldn’t put him as my only hero because at the same time I’d fallen so head over heels for Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Oh god, I’m running out of words.

Oh god, there’s so many more. I’ve found this very stressful. Dolly’s coat of many colours? That’s me

but with all my heroes. (As told to Brian Donaldson)




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