This is Edinburgh at its best: a proper neighbourhood pub, packed to the gunnels with locals keenly watching the first day of the English Premiership (Wolves v Everton, i.e. not even a good one).
Then, in a pokey back room, soundproofed (not) by a flimsy curtain, in a free one-hour show, up-and-coming talent gamely Having A Go. Actually, scratch that faint praise. Here are two young comedians rocking the roof off.
Wip It! are three young women – Isobel Rogers, Jen Wakefield and character comic Kirsty Mann – who are members of the Soho Theatre Young Company in London. Each night in this stoutly ungentrified boozer, two of the three share the hour.
Rogers (also on, solo, at the Pleasance Dome 16th-19th August) is a guitar-strumming poet/polemicist/rapper/singer. Her ultra-witty, pin-sharp-pithy songs about dating, dieting and Instagram tyranny are brilliant right down to their every syllable and chord. Her Pleasance show, Elsa, is more character-based. Get in quick, get in now, before she has lift-off.
Ditto Wakefield. Having survived the bear-pit of primary school teaching – which provides her with some excellent, non-clichéd aren’t-kids-funny material – she already has a presence on telly (Channel 4’s Riot Girls) and radio (Radio 1’s comedy podcast The Comeback). She alchemises her mixed-race heritage to highlight the tippy-toe confusion of others (is she, er, part-Greek? Spanish? Portuguese?) and herself: as she’s 40 percent Indian, 60 percent European, Wakefield is actually “colonising myself”.
Spot-on, right-now musical numbers addressing the rules of grime (every song must namecheck “your cousin”), the cultural dominance of Drake and the nightmare that is the overactive WhatsApp group are delivered with the multi-angled skill of a keen observer, gifted mimic and frankly move-busting dancer.
Say it again, with bells on: this is Edinburgh Fringe at its best.
WIP It: Find Your Tribe, Southsider, until 25 Aug, 7pm, FREE