EdFringe 2019 Review: Late Lunch with Biggins

Late Lunch with Biggins 

Rating: ★★★★
Venue: Pleasance Dome

Much-loved British television personality Christopher Biggins brings his natural wit and warmth to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Late Lunch with Biggins – a chat show filled with showbiz tales and lightly informative interviews.

At the 9th of August show that I attend, Biggins is joined by Ian Shaw – promoting The Shark is Broken, Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical stars Dominic Anderson and Sophie Isaacs, and a member of the Edinburgh Lord Provost’s team. Biggins pulls this broad range of guests together for an amusing hour long chat show featuring a solo opening monologue from our host and some audience interaction.

Emerging onto the Pleasance Dome stage for his opening monologue, Biggins shares some anecdotes about his role in I, Claudius and starring as an oversexed vicar in Poldark and his theatrical career. He dives into stories about his time on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here before showing a clip of an eating challenge. The chat section then makes up the bulk of the show.

Biggins has a natural warmth and enthusiasm as a host. His interview style is light-hearted and fun, managing to bring his wide range of guests together through shared topics of interest. In his interview with Shaw, Biggins asks about life growing up as the son of the esteemed Robert Shaw and explores the making of Jaws. Anderson and Isaacs share titbits about their theatrical careers with discussion about The Rocky Horror Picture Show (of which Biggins starred in the original 1975 film production). Variety is the flavour of the show with final guest, an aide to the city’s Lord Provost sharing some stories about his role and dealings with the royal family – of course, which Biggins can contribute to sharing amusing anecdotes about his meeting with the Queen. 

Yet Late Lunch with Biggins is at its best when it goes off on tangents – comic stories that crop up as a natural result of the conversation showcase Biggins at his best – such as a hilarious anecdote about Sir Tom Jones and crabs. Our host is a natural orator and treats his guests with a kind, inquisitive manner and this mixed with a range of showbiz anecdotes and lightly informative interviews makes for a pleasant hour. A concluding audience interaction challenge is hard to be objective about as this reviewer was plucked from the audience to participate – embarrassing, but it did result in a lovely bottle of Hendrick’s Gin.

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