HERE were three new shows in various stages of being broken in, now that the Great Yorkshire Fringe is well established as a litmus test en route to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Tom Taylor, a former University of York music student more at home in comedy, was the first winner of the GYF's New Comedian of the Year competition in 2015 and runs the thriving Sitting Room comedy clubs in York and his home town of Harrogate.

Sitting, however, is not something you would associate with Taylor. Firstly, he is a stand-up comedian; secondly, his performance style is restless both physically and mentally as he reacts to the moment.

He first added a new string to his bow last summer with the Edinburgh Fringe debut of his first Charlie Montague murder mystery, The Game's A Foot, Try The Fish, wherein he evokes the spirit of PG Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster, Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot and even Johnny Depp's Charlie Mortdecai.

York Press:

Tom Taylor's consulting detective, Charlie Montague, caught in a rare seated moment 

Is his adroit pastiche a farcical play or an hour of character comedy propelled by the instincts of a stand-up? It is both, and if his application of accents is self-deprecatingly wobbly, his storytelling as gentleman detective Montague is elegant, elastic, elaborate and hugely entertaining.

As the rain pools settled in around our feet for the night, so he unveiled Episode 2, The Man With The Twisted Hip, gambolling and gambling his way through its first ever performance: a Fringe first in every way that gloriously sent up the art world. Taylor made for Edinburgh success.

Onwards to the Herring and Henning double dose of comedy on the Saturday. Fringe favourite, York City fan and son of Pocklington Richard Herring is marking turning 50 with his 40th show in 30 years at Edinburgh.

After Oh F***, I'm 40 a decade ago, here is Oh Frig, I'm 50! a typically rambling yet focused reflection on his progression from "old young man" to "young old man", still fidgeting with his now greying locks, still telling tales from down below/below the belt about sex, now joined by fatherhood in his late 40s, moving to the country, George Clooney's "tortoise lips" and his crush on children's TV puppets.

York Press:

Richard Herring: "understanding his place in the world"

"Am I older and wiser or just older, more stupid, with erectile dysfunction?" he asks himself. "Getting older is about understanding your place in the world, and it's not at the centre," he concludes, frankly but not morbidly.

Henning Wehn, Germany's Comedy Ambassador, is working out his place in the world too in his new show, Westphalia Is Not An Option, on his sold-out return to the GYF, graduating to the Barbican after excelling in the Parliament Street tents in 2015 and 2016.

He begins with greatest hits from past shows, apologising to any Germans in the audience for being late on stage, and plays delightfully wittily on national stereotypes.

Angular, lean, like a stretched-out Woody Allen, with a German accent refracted through 15 years in London, he goes on to mull over immigration, Brexit, Islam, Geoff Hurst's second goal in 1966, and already his new material is sharp, concise, erudite and politically playful yet prudent, with not one wasted line.