THE TELEGRAPH

The children's choice By Sarah Crompton 26 Aug 2009

Taking children to the Edinburgh Festival is rather like taking them shopping for clothes.
When they are young, the choice is huge. As they get a bit bigger and more demanding in their tastes, most shows they want to see are too adult and too knowing; the fare supposedly suitable for them is too cute and childish. They want the theatrical equivalent of Top Shop — and get Petit Bateau.

Or at least that is what I have discovered taking nine-year-old Teodoro and Augusto, 12, around with me. In this context, Comedy Club 4 Kids (*****), held at The Bongo Club is a perfect choice. It is designed for over-sixes, allowing them to relax in a setting that mimics a grown-up comedy venue, without the risk of offensive material spurting from the stand-up’s mouth.

Well-established comics perform each night. When we were there, Matt Green and Andrew O’Neill produced rather underwhelming, punchline-free sets. But the host was Tiernan Douieb, and he had delighted giggles running round the room as he read aloud the list of banned words (a lot of bum and poo) and drew the children into collusion.

It was fun for the adults too, but most of all it felt safe for the kids. Teodoro was perfectly happy to shout out loudly that, if he ruled the world, he would behead all adults, which invited a swift rejoinder. “But what would happen when you were 18?” asked Douieb. “You haven’t thought this through.”