ANY comic worth their mettle knows the Edinburgh Fringe is stand-up’s Mount Olympus and they’d be treading blind into the tiger’s pit if they didn’t test out their efforts first.
On Friday three stand-ups are doing exactly that with an Edinburgh Fest preview at Taunton’s Brewhouse Theatre.
They are Omar Hamdi, who launched his career last year at the Taunton Comedy Festival, and West Country comics Tom Glover and Cerys Nelmes with their odes to life in the region.
Audiences can be assured it won’t be ‘notebook in hand’. Entertainment reporter DAISY BLACKLOCK gets the low-down.
STAND-UP Cerys Nelmes, Mother of ‘The Teenager’, aka @hatemymum, and a hardened MC, is teaming up with her mate Tom Glover for Edinburgh 2014.
“Ever since I started my comedy has been about stuff I’ve done and stuff that’s happened to me,” she said.
“I’ve got a 16 year-old son, Callam, so I do a big chunk on him because he’s comedy gold at the moment.
“I got him up this morning, made him a bacon sandwich, he downs a Red Bull and goes off to his exams – that’s the kind of GCSE exam preparation we do.
“I MC’d for Sarah Millican’s preview last year. She was sat out the back saying to him ‘I can’t believe what she’s saying about you!’ “When I took him out to the audience at the end of the night the crowd all cheered.
“He’s got quite a name for himself on the comedy circuit.”
WELSH-EGYPTIAN Omar Hamdi supported Russell Kane on his 2013-14 tour, has just finished his solo show at Brighton Fringe and is taking his 45-minute solo show to Edinburgh.
He said: "The theme of my show is history and how it affects us.
"I've just run it at Brighton Fringe, so it's actually becoming really polished.
"I've tried to avoid the label 'political comedian'. The tradition of political, current affairs, topical comedy, is usually a middle-aged guy talking about Nick Clegg, being quite self-congratulatory.
"I think we now have a comedy coming through that hasn't yet been picked up on.
"There's a new wave of comedians, quite young and hip like me ... within that construct of observational comedy, where there's that bit of awareness.
"It's always related to my personal life.
"There's obviously such a demand for stand-up in Taunton. When I did the first Taunton Comedy Festival in the big marquee in front of 800 people, it was the gig of my career."
FORMER newshound Tom Glover grew up in Bridport, Dorset, and he says local papers are rife with comedy material . . . including the County Gazette.
“Cerys and I are doing half a show each – we’re not actually a double act.
“My comedy is very observational – stories about my life, the sorts of conflicts between counties in the South-West.
“I once read a Taunton story about a bus driver who was attacked by a gang who threw cabbages. It has been in my set ever since.
"I've been doing comedy for three years now. I always wanted to, but it's nerve-wracking, so I avoided it for a while."
TICKETS FOR COMEDY AT THE BREW! WHICH STARTS AT 8PM ON FRIDAY MAY 30 COST £11 on www.brewhousetheatre.ticketsource.co.uk