Despite my Edinburgh programme STILL not coming through (grr) I'm already looking Fringe-wards, and, of course, particularly anticipating the shows produced by Invisible Dot. As well as the return of Tim Key with a short midnight run of his Comedy Award winning show The Slutcracker, and Best Newcomer Jonny Sweet, there are some other rather intriguing prospects happening under the illustrious Invisible Dot banner, details of which are yet to be released: "The Invisible Dot by the Sea" (meet at Assembly and see how it goes), the 3-sided football competition (obviously), Tim Key's album launch (!) and Invisible Dot Communications Ltd (no venue, no time, bring it on).
In addition, Alex Horne presents the Horne Section, and John-Luke Roberts Distracts (us) From A Murder - two shows which previewed in Camden this week. Tuesday saw We Need Answers's Alex Horne, a drummer, keyboardist, bassist, trumpet player, saxophone player and even a few audience members fit into the office for a night which mixed comedy and music - boldly claimed by Horne to be the first time such a feat had been attempted. Unsurprisingly, it's a real joy of a show; Horne is lightening quick so the improvisation and audience participation, of which there's plenty, works brilliantly - especially the live-action game of Battleships complete with an ear-worm of a theme tune.
Then on Thursday, John-Luke got distracting us from that murder, but - quite rightly - kept the 'big reveal' a surprise for Edinburgh. I've never seen Roberts perform before, but he has the charm, the 'watchability' that ties together all the acts that the Invisible Dot produces. His show comprises one-liners that rely on imaginative punnery, mildy and creatively insulting every member of audience and quick anecdotes, accompanied by anecdote music and told in an anedote chair. For what was not only a preview, but a completely free one at that, the show was 80% there (just missing some videos in which I might briefly appear in the background, it having been shot after The Horne Section....), and silly, charming and funny enough to make me look forward to seeing the whole 100% very much indeed.