When Joan Rivers responded enthusiastically that she was happy to head up the Tambar’s band of Crazy Ladies at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, everyone threw themselves into trying to find a theatre that wasn’t already booked.
In the end, the Festival Theatre pushed and pulled its schedule of opera and ballet to make space for Joan, and “Broke and Alone” was the first time in the history of the Edinburgh Festival that a fringe show played at an official Festival theatre. Joan appeared at midnight, after the audience for Wagner’s Valkyrie had departed, and gave the highlight performance of the Festival. “She has a commitment to entertaining that is breathtaking… Rivers’s hour barely pauses for breath, let alone dips. I will remember the hour all of my life. And every time I remember, I bet I’ll still laugh.” (Scotsman)
The following year, Tambar brought Joan to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the West End of London and again the response was ecstatic:
“Triumphant… she is so far ahead of the game that comparisons are pointless” (The Guardian) “Spellbinding… if you care about comedy you have to go and see her” (The Times) “The rafters shook… A force of Nature, a human tornado” (Evening Standard) “Hilarious…. Makes most comics half her age look moribund” (The Telegraph) “Amazing… More bounce than a pogo stick” (The Mail) “Excellent… New York City’s greatest contributions to humour” (The Independent) “Wow… Fabulously funny” (The Observer)
Tambar later organised Joan’s first ever UK/Eire tour where she performed to similar acclaim in Manchester, York, Cambridge, Torquay, Cardiff, Brighton, Birmingham and Dublin.