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Bob Slayer is an Edinburgh Comedy Award winning comedian and promoter. He has been part of a new economic model for venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe which has made the event fairer and more affordable for comedians and audiences. Acts that have performed at his venues have won and been nominated for a number of prestigious awards.

Contents

Stand-up careerEdit

Slayer is a former music manager[1], and at one time was a jockey.[2] He has performed stand-up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 2008.[3] As well as Brighton Fringe, Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Leicester Comedy Festival, Galway Comedy Carnival, Humorfest Bergen, Crap åppå Park Oslo, World Fringe Festival Perth, Adelaid Fringe. He has also toured with Steve O, Phil Kay, Simon Donald, Jason Rouse.

Edinburgh FringeEdit

Slayer has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe every year since 2008. Solo Shows [1]

  • 2010 - Bob Slayer: Punk Rock Chatshow (aka How to Bully A Welshman)
  • 2011 - Bob Slayer: Marmite Gameshow
  • 2012 - Bob Slayer: Is A Very Naughty Boy
  • 2013 - Bob Slayer: Worldwide Bawbag
  • 2014 - Bob Slayer: Fool Members Club (late night)
  • 2015 - Bob Slayer: Fat Jockey
  • 2016 - Bob Slayer: NeverMind The BusStops (late night)
  • 2017 - Bob Slayer: Whatever Next
  • 2018 - Bob Slayer Is Bob Slayer

Other Fringe shows include: ComedyOpoly (Comedians and Boardgames), How 2 Drive A Bus (Kids Show)

Iraq Out & LoudEdit

In 2016 Slayer produced Iraq Out & Loud at the Edinburgh Fringe. [4] 1500 comedians and members of the public read the entirety of the 2.6 million word Chilcot Report for 24 hours a day, over 12 days. The project was one of the most talked about events at the Fringe that year and won the Edinburgh Comedy Awards Panel Prize for Spirit of the Fringe [5] as well as the TV Bomb Zeitgeist Award. [6]

BlundaBusEdit

Slayer is driver and promoter of a bar and venue on his own converted London double decker bus. [7] The BlundaBus first appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015, parked outside Potterrow Underpass and has been back each year since. It has also appeared at festivals around the UK such as Kelburn, Nozstock, Musicport, Freerange, [8] Leicester Comedy Festival, Glasgow Comedy Festival. [9] As well as further afield in Norway at Humorfest, Bergen [10] and Galway International Comedy Carnival. [11]

Heroes of FringeEdit

Under the name Heroes of Fringe, Slayer and associates promote and operate a number of venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world's largest arts festival and the Leicester Comedy Festival, and tours around the UK and Europe.

HistoryEdit

In 2011 Bob Slayer programmed some acts in to the Hive as part of the Laughing Horse Free Festival: Phil Kay, Kunt and The Gang, John Robertson, Lucy Hopkins, Frank Sanazi and Slayer himself. Kunt and The Gang promoted his show with some stickers in the shape of a crudely drawn cock which he suggested punters might want to 'decorate' posters for other shows around the Festival. Established large venue Underbelly and one of the major comedy agents Avalon threatened to sue and 'Cockgate' became one of the most talked about 'events' of the festival. [12] Much discussion followed about how the stunt highlighted the over commercialisation of the Fringe. [13] [14][15] [16] [17]

The following year 2012 Slayer took over the Hive and launched The Alternative Fringe[18], which was set up as set up as a statement against venues which charge performers extortionate fees and leave the majority of artists in debt.[19]

In 2013 this was renamed Heroes of Fringe after a series of tours Slayer had promoted around the UK. New venue Heroes @ Bob's Bookshop was added. This was renamed Bob & Miss Behave's Bookshop in 2014 to acknowledge performer Miss Behave's co-production of the venue. In 2015, the Bookshop was replaced with a pop-up bar and venue on a double decker bus, called Bob's BlundaBus. 2016 the dragonfly was added. In 2017 Heroes also programmed the line-up at the Monkey Barrel, a year-round comedy club in Edinburgh. 2018 Boteco, Black Medicine and The SpiegelYurt were all added to the Heroes family.

In 2014, Heroes also promoted at the Leicester Comedy Festival for the first time. The venue, Heroes @ Hansom Hall, was nominated for the best venue award at the festival.[citation needed] Slayer was nominated for best promoter and won the Liberty Award for Spirit of the Festival.[citation needed] Heroes now also promote at the Criterion with Bob's BlundaBus sometimes parked outside.

Business modelEdit

Slayer has been a vocal opponent of the increasing commercialism of Fringe venues.[20] in The Guardian[21] Typically, venues charge acts for the hire of a performance space at the Fringe, including a fee for rent, equipment hire, and a compulsory marketing charge. The sums involved mean that performers are often charged more than they can make back in ticket sales.[22][23]

Heroes do not charge performers for the space. Audiences can either buy tickets in advance to guarantee a seat, or turn up on spec and pay what they want afterwards. Fringe commentators have commented on how the Fringe is changing because of smaller independent promoters such as Heroes.[24][25]

AwardsEdit

In 2013 Adrienne Truscott won the Edinburgh Comedy Awards panel prize for spirit of the Fringe[26] thus making Heroes the smallest venue at the Fringe to win one of the highest awards. Comedy critic Bruce Dessau called the award "a victory of the 'Independent' Fringe – for the first time the 'Big Four' venues, went home from the Foster's Awards empty-handed... showing that this year that non 'pay-to-play' has finally arrived as a force to be reckoned with, not just when to comes to good value for audiences, but also when it comes to high quality comedy.”[27]

In 2016 Heroes again won the Edinburgh Comedy Award Panel Prize for innovative performance art piece, Iraq Out & Loud, in which the Chilcot Report was read live in full by a rotating cast of performers and members of the public. [28] [29] Heroes retained the panel prize in 2017.

Edinburgh Fringe

  • Four Heroes shows were nominated for Edinburgh Comedy Awards in 2017 and Heroes retained the Panel Prize. [30]
  • Edinburgh Comedy Award Panel Prize (2016) - Iraq Out & Loud
  • TV Bomb Zeitgeist Award (2016) - Iraq Out & Loud
  • Barry Award for 'Best' Person at the Fringe (2016) - Bob Slayer (& Nomination Sorcha Shanahan)
  • Malcolm Hardee Award For Comic Originality (2015) - Michael Brunstrom
  • Barry Award for Best Show at the Fringe (2015) - Spencer Jones
  • Malcolm Hardee Award For Comic Originality (2014) - Candy GiGi[31]
  • Barry Award for 'Best' Person at the Fringe (2014) - Bob Slayer[32]
  • Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award Panel Prize (2013) - Adrienne Truscott
  • Malcolm Hardee Award For Comic Originality (2013) - Adrienne Truscott[33]
  • Malcolm Hardee Pound of Flesh Award (2013) - Ellis & Rose
  • Total Theatre Award Nomination (2013) - Adrienne Truscott[34]
  • Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award (2011) - Kunt & The Gang and Bob Slayer[35]

Other Awards

  • Chortle Award for Event of the Year (2017): Bob Slayer was co-producer (with Adam LArter and Alex Hardy) and performer (as the Robotic Cheese Grater) in Tony Law on Ice at Alexandra Palace Ice Rink.
  • Leicester Comedy Festival: Liberty Award (2014), Best Promoter (2014), Best Small Venue (2015), Best New Venue (2015)
  • Most Talented Young Novice Jockey. West Midlands Point to Point Area (1993)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Solutions, Powder Blue Internet Business. "Bob Slayer, comedian tour dates : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". www.chortle.co.uk.
  2. ^ Gibson, John (10 August 2017). "Review: Bob Slayer - Whatever Next". The Wee Review. Edinburgh. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  3. ^ Bolger, Phil (10 July 2015). "Interview: Bob Slayer". The Wee Review. Edinburgh. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  4. ^ Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (9 August 2016). "'If I get laughs, I will have failed': Chilcot report recital begins in Edinburgh". the Guardian.
  5. ^ Premier. "Panel Prize - Edinburgh Comedy Awards". Edinburgh Comedy Awards.
  6. ^ "The Wee Review Award winners announced - The Wee Review - Scotland's arts and culture magazine". 27 August 2016.
  7. ^ Waller, Dave (24 August 2017). "Comedy bus is just the ticket at the Fringe" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  8. ^ "Comedy guests climb aboard the Blundabus for festival visit".
  9. ^ "Bob Slayer's BlundaBus: Fringe Comedy Spotlight - The Skinny".
  10. ^ https://bergen.p5.no/--skyt-meg-i-reven/artikkel/698144/
  11. ^ "Bob's BlundaBus - a pop up double-decker of creativity".
  12. ^ "Cockgate". kuntandthegang.co.uk.
  13. ^ "Cock-gate seemingly divides Fringe comedy communty - ThreeWeeks Edinburgh". www.threeweeks.co.uk.
  14. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Kunt and the Gang apologises for defacing posters - 2011 Edinburgh Fringe - British Comedy Guide". British Comedy Guide.
  15. ^ Solutions, Powder Blue Internet Business. "Wangergate : News 2011 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". www.chortle.co.uk.
  16. ^ "Cockgate - The Skinny".
  17. ^ "'Cockgate' orchestrator replaces Rupert Murdoch pie-man at Edinburgh Fringe". 19 August 2011.
  18. ^ "Revealed: Plans For An Alternative Edinburgh Fringe In 2012". 16 December 2011.
  19. ^ http://entertainment.stv.tv/307345-alternative-fringe-gets-set-to-shake-up-edinburgh-this-august/
  20. ^ "Stewart Lee & Bob Slayer: How The Fringe Escaped Its Certain Fate". Theskinny.co.uk. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  21. ^ Stewart Lee (30 July 2012). "Stewart Lee: the slow death of the Edinburgh Fringe | Culture". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  22. ^ "How the Edinburgh Fringe is financed: the article which you cannot read in this morning's edition of The Scotsman | SO IT GOES – John Fleming's blog". Thejohnfleming.wordpress.com. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  23. ^ Claire Smith (25 August 2012). "Don't ask about dosh: The true cost of staging a Fringe show - Scotland". Scotsman.com. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  24. ^ "Edinburgh Fringe round-up II – will 2012 be a turning point? | Edinburgh Comedy Festival | Edinburgh is Funny". Londonisfunny.com. 30 August 2012. Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  25. ^ "The future of the Fringe? Think smaller : Correspondents 2012 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". Chortle. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  26. ^ Brocklehurst, Steven (24 August 2013). "Feminist comedian wins comedy award" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  27. ^ "Opinion: Edinburgh Comedy Awards Results – Right or Wrong?". 24 August 2013.
  28. ^ Gayle, Damien (2016-08-20). "Edinburgh fringe Chilcot recital ends after 284 hours and 45 minutes". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  29. ^ Logan, Brian (2016-08-27). "Richard Gadd's show about his sexual assault wins Edinburgh comedy award". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  30. ^ Logan, Bryan (2017-08-23). "Edinburgh comedy awards: the nominees in full". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  31. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Malcolm Hardee Award Winners 2014 - 2014 Edinburgh Fringe - British Comedy Guide". British Comedy Guide.
  32. ^ "News: Franken, Hill, Buckley Hill & Slayer Win Barry Awards". Beyond The Joke. 25 August 2014.
  33. ^ "More gongs: Malcolm Hardee, Herald and Stage awards presented - ThreeWeeks Edinburgh". www.threeweeks.co.uk.
  34. ^ Maxwell, Dominic. "Adrienne Truscott's Asking For It at Heroes @ Bob's Bookshop".
  35. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Malcolm Hardee Awards 2011 - Results - 2011 Edinburgh Fringe - British Comedy Guide". British Comedy Guide.