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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 August, 2003, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Fringe reviews: Car's the star
Alfie Joey chooses an unusual venue for his fringe show - his red Ford Escort.

By Jenny Green, BBC News Online in Edinburgh

Alfie Joey's Mini-Cabaret
Alfie Joey charms his tiny audience
One of the more successful gimmicks at this year's fringe is Alfie Joey's Mini-Cabaret.

Comedian Alfie Joey has decided to use his car - a red Ford Escort - as his venue.

And only needing four bums on seats to play to a full house means his quirky scheme makes financial sense too.

Before the stand-up sat down in his motor he explained to his audience that fierce competition at the festival makes it hard not to lose money, so he has pared down his overheads.

Apparently he was encouraged to make his car the star when he gave Perrier Award-winning comic Daniel Kitson a lift home and shared some of his stories with him.

Tight squeeze

And the affable Alfie has more than a few amusing anecdotes after spending much of his life as a priest.

He said he preferred to tell his tales in an intimate atmosphere and certainly guaranteed the audience's attention by sitting within inches of them.

In case sharing so little space was not enough to encourage audience participation, Alfie had taken the precaution of devising a chat show format to fill the hour in his car.

He was the guest and his passengers chose pre-prepared questions about his life and times.

Spurred on by the possibility of winning a keyring, the audience tried to anticipate Alfie's answers as he unfolded his stories.

Alfie turned out to be far funnier than the average taxi driver and at 4 for the hour he is also considerably cheaper - and he is such a nice man, he even shared his flasks of coffee and tea too.

Alfie Joey's Mini-Caberet takes place in Alfie's Red Ford Escort in Roxburgh Place until 25 August.


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