Fringe Review Diary – Day 2 – Asli and Ashley: Audacious and Angry (Free Fringe)

Day 2 – 6th August 2011

Asli and Ashley: Audacious and Angry – 21:00 – The Banshee Labyrinth (Venue 156) – Music Room


After the success of ‘Don’t Mess’, me and the Girl thought why not stick around here and see what’s on next. The bottled drinks being served in the music room bar were good, we had front row seats and if ‘Don’t Mess’ were an example of what the Free Fringe had to offer, then we were on to a winner.

Note: For more about this venue see my last post on ‘Don’t Mess’


Again like the previous act, this one comprised of two half hour slots of stand-up from Asli Akbay and Ashley Strand.


First up was Asli, and I have to say I wasn’t blown away. It seemed like she was trying most of her material out for the first time as she kept referring to a piece of paper at the side of the stage each time she moved on to a new subject. In fairness some of the material made me laugh, but a lot of it fell flat, and not just to me, but to the rest of the audience too. Her style was promoted as ‘rebellious stand-up’ and maybe I missed the point, but it felt at times when a joke was told and it didn’t quite work, her staged rebellious stand-up just seemed like a bad attitude, saying she didn’t care what we thought.

On the flip side when she did have the audience laughing on a subject, it wasn’t sustained, she moved on to the next thing rather than picking up on the funny topic and milking it a bit, as if she resented the laughter, again maybe this was the rebellious thing that didn’t work for me. Plus this was quite a generous audience, who I believed were on her side and willing her to do well. Perhaps that didn’t fit the mould of rebellion her act required?

However this was the first official day at the fringe and it seemed like this was one of her first times on a bigger stage, certainly with this material. I’m sure as the festival moves on it will have become a more refined act and her confidence to commit to funnier stuff in her act and ad lib more about it will grow.

RATING: 3 out of 10


Ashley appeared on the stage with a leap and a bound and just seemed to ooze confidence. And this confidence was needed, as with his North American accent he announced he was going to tell us a story of how he gave his first blowjob. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go down with the audience as the first laughter came in form of gasps and shock. I can tell you now it turned out to be hilarious! He told his shaggy dog story with such energy that captivated the audience and had us all doubled over with laughter.

The story was not told in a crude way, no, it was more how he, a heterosexual man had somehow got himself into this situation. He painted the pictures of the journey to this event through his action on stage, managing to take us through his thoughts on all the social awkwardness that led him to the blowjob. At one point he told us how when he’d been with a theatre company in which a lot of the players had been gay and he found to act that way had been a terrific way to get things he wanted, but as he put it, he’d “written too many cheques with his eyes that he couldn’t cash with his ass.”

A very polished performance and a deftly told story that won me over completely. He said at the end to come back as he would be telling a different story each night. I imagine that if this were so, and if even just three of those stories were up to the standard of the one I witnessed, he would have a full two hour comedy show ready for tour. Highly recommended.

RATING: 10 out 10

Overall Rating for Asli and Ashley: 7 out of 10

Next Post: 3’s Company (Free Fringe)


About residentweebler
Short Story Writer and Opinionated observer. Visit my blog for all this and more.

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