It's that time of year when every British comedian seemingly flees Ol Blighty and decends upon the East End of Adelaide.
With so many acts to choose from, we decided to kick off Fringe with a combination of some of the best comedians in town in the form of The Comedy Pub Crawl.
Presented by Ha Ha Comedy Pub Crawl with Scottish English & Irish Comedy Awards, the Comedy Pub Crawl starts at either The Austral or The Belgian Beer Cafe and winds you on a 4 pub tour of the East End with a comedian performing in each. Our host was Scottish comedian Alan Anderson, who was hilarious and at the same time skilled at herding 100 people from pub to pub. Don't sit in the front row if you don't want to be in the spotlight though. Anderson is not afraid to throw punches at the crowd in the hunt for a laugh.
We started at The Austral with comedian Gordon Southern. Southern is married to (and currently in the process of divorcing) an Adelaidian which gave fodder to some fairly solid Adelaide-based jokes.
After a short walk down Rundle Street, we arrived at Sugar and ascended the many flights of stairs. The staff could have been a bit better prepared for an influx of 100 patrons keen to get a drink before the next performer started.
The next performer was Nick Page, who has just been crowned England's best comedian and in a previous life was known for hosting BBC's Escape to the Country. Page's set was 15 minutes of jaw-dropping confessions of gambling, drinking and generally deviant behaviour that ultimately led to him being fired from the BBC. He left you wanting to know more as he swiftly exited the stage.
You get the impression throughout the night that a dozen or so comedians are crisscrossing Rundle St from venue to venue, ensuring audiences are entertained at a series of pub crawls, best of's and their own shows. Highly organised and timed to perfection.
From Sugar, we were on to ETC, a great Fringe venue but in this case, an odd choice for a pub crawl and definitely a little too small with half the audience having to stand. Fortunately, Steve Bennett took to the stage with his ukulele and held the crowd in the palm of his hand.
Following Benett's set, we were back out on Rundle Street heading to The Belgian Beer Cafe for our 4th and final destination. Taking to the stage was our headline act, Amos Gill. I wasn't overly excited to see Gill perform, thinking it might be a bit "breakfast radio" but his onstage comedy was definitely different than his radio schtick and his performance was an excellent way to finish the night.
All in all, for around $30, the Comedy Pub Crawl is great value and an excellent way to see a selection of this year's comedy acts, set foot in a number of East End venues, and soak up the best of Fringe 2018.