Scholar co-stars in comedy sketch show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

  • July 26, 2023
Scholar co-stars in comedy sketch show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Alex Mentzel co-stars in and is co-director and co-writer of a comedy sketch show based on Ed Sheeran's life at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe

With incredible music, brilliant choreography and fast-paced comedy, it's basically Ed at Glastonbury.

Alex Mentzel

A late-night comedy parodying Ed Sheeran’s rise to stardom, co-starring, co-written and co-directed by Gates Cambridge Scholar Alex Mentzel, is premiering at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 

Accompanied by a glittering live band and fresh from a sold-out London run, Ed: the new, totally unofficial, ginger-inclusive parody sketch show plays 4-19 August at ZOO Playground.

Compared to the works of US comedian Bo Burnham, the gender-switched 50-minute sketch show charts the story of “a ginger pop sensation who just wants to play music”.

Can he survive fame, fortune and being bullied? Will he avoid the rat-pack Music Mafia trying to co-opt his talent in a satire of Frank Sinatra’s iconic “That’s Life” (“Mob Life”)? And what’s going on with his feather-jacketed ‘rocketman’ mentor (“Tiny Dancer”)? 

Featuring mystery musical guests, the sketch show is packed with original parody remixes of Ed Sheeran’s own pop hits and character sketches and is described as “a cheeky and raucous night out, slammin’ the music industry’s peccadilloes and championing auburn culture”. Audience members also have the chance to participate onstage in a live game show. 

Ed, whose cast, writers and producers are all current or recent University of Cambridge students, will enjoy a two-week run – from 4th to 19th August – at ZOO Playground, right in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, from 21:50 to 22:40. 

Varsity describes it as “vibrant, star-studded, serious talent… [a reminder] of the comedy songs of Bo Burnham. ‘Don’t’ miss out on this ‘Perfect’ production.” 

The show is written and directed by James Carroll and Mentzel [2022] and stars current Cambridge students Rosie Parrish, Stella Williamson and Alex Mentzel. It is produced by Bella Cavicchi and Katie Kasperson and musical direction is by Annabel King, who is also a current Cambridge student. 

Mentzel [left] commented: “With incredible music, brilliant choreography and fast-paced comedy, it’s basically Ed at Glastonbury.”  

Ed: the new, totally unofficial, ginger-inclusive parody sketch show is produced by Not Yet Home Productions. Not Yet Home develops creative projects, from books, campaigns and television to theatre and podcasts.  

*Key Information: Venue: ZOO Playground, High School Yards, Edinburgh EH1 1LZ. Dates: 4-19 August 2023 | 21:50 Tickets: From £10 Box office: | +44 (0)131 356 0349 | Running time: 50 minutes Age guidance: 16+. Meet the cast here:

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