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Glasgow International Comedy Festival


Preview

We round up the Fringe shows that are making their way to Glasgow.

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Glasgow is looking forward to 500+ shows at its ever-expanding comedy festival next month. Blessed as we are in Scotland with another not inconsiderable comedy event in Edinburgh each August, there are a few of them we’ve already enjoyed. Here we round up the Fringe shows we reviewed that are now making their way across the country for GICF…

Mark Nelson: Irreverence
★★★★★
@ The Stand, Thu 8 & Fri 9 Mar

“Nelson branches out his comedic talents to include a broad range of subjects from the absurdities of the Trump presidency to the uselessness of millennials with the same razor-sharp wit… Nelson isn’t afraid to go to the darker edges of comedy for his jokes… Irreverence is an hour-long example of Nelson’s ability to keep an audience entertained with a wide range of material without trying to play it safe.”

Juliet Myers: This Flipping Rescue Dog Has Ruined My Life
★★★✩✩
@ Yesbar, Sun 11 Mar

“Meyer shows that a dog can really transform your life; Homer has made her into a more confident individual who isn’t afraid to tell drunk strangers on trains that if they touch her dog, she will decapitate them… The duo is inspiring and undeniably funny; it just seems like there is so much Meyers wants to say in such a short period of time that the message sometimes gets a little confused between heartwarming dog anecdotes and insightful commentary on the way society treats women today.”

George Egg: DIY Chef
★★★★★
@ The Stand, Mon 12 Mar

“A comedy show with a difference, heavy metal loving comedian George Egg cooks a three course meal on stage using the most unconventional equipment… It’s a delicious, fun hour of comedy and cooking, a cross genre show falling somewhere between stand-up comedy and a TV cooking show… And the best bit – you get to try what he’s made at the end of the show, and it’s surprisingly edible. Eat your heart out Masterchef!”

John Robertson: The Dark Room
★★★★✩
@ The Stand, Wed 14 Mar

“An adventure in The Dark Room is a weird experience. A lone man struts up and down looking exactly like a character you’d find in a video game, lit only by a small torch he holds under his chin… The style of the show is niche, but has garnered him a large and loyal following and while being inventive and unusual, it doesn’t rely on gimmick – there are just as many laughs as you’d hope to have in a stand-up show.”

Foil, Arms & Hog: Oink
★★★★★
@ The Garage, Wed 14 & Thu 15 Mar

“Foil, Arms and Hog’s springboard to success has been social media, amassing an obscene number of views on YouTube… Even the best shows can sometimes stretch your patience with regards to their duration, but the hour spent in Foil, Arms and Hog’s company simply flies by. With a solid hour of sketch comedy cooked to perfection, Oink is guaranteed to have you in stitches.”

Larry Dean: Fandan
★★★★★
@ The Stand, Thu 15 Mar

“The performance is a bombastic sprint through all kinds of scenarios in Dean’s life setting the audience off with a hilariously intimate opening line and never letting up. After an hour not only does the audience know more about Dean’s life, but we feel we know Dean himself. The comic’s enthusiastic flair, brilliant punchlines and conversational style make Fandan a completely engaging show that entertains from beginning to end.”

Tiff Stevenson: Bombshell
★★★★✩
@ Blackfriars Basement, Fri 16 Mar

“From the off, Bombshell is a show of utter conviction, which avoids the excesses of polemic for the most part.  Stevenson wields the mic as a weapon as much as a tool, and there are moments where the passion can be read in her eyes from the back of her room.  In those moments she retains absolute attention even if there’s occasionally a slight gap in between punchlines. Bombshell is an excellent hour of incisive political comedy.”

Ed Gamble: Mammoth
★★★★✩
@ The Stand, Sun 18 Mar

“An hour of excellent observational comedy of everyday things such as the seemingly impossible ability women have to shed hair everywhere they go in the house and the fear of what your mum will say when you get a tattoo… the comedy circuit is saturated with young white males of a certain social standing and appearance and yet, despite fitting squarely into this category, it would be a comfortable assumption to make that Gamble is surely on the brink of becoming a household name.”

Alun Cochrane: Alunish Cochranish
★★★✩✩
@ The Stand, Mon 19 Mar

“This leisurely, genial hour doesn’t get too carried away with anything. The Yorkshireman can take a very simple topic and keep finding an angle on it… There’s a good section where he supposes what the rise of the robots would do for the masses of non-boffins amongst us.  Cochrane is the kind of mid-career comedian it’s always a pleasure to see at the Stand. Good room, evening slot, experienced performer, guaranteed good time. Always with a cheeky half-smile on his face, he’s at the entertainment, rather than the esoteric end of [the comedy circuit].”

Alexei Sayle
★★★✩✩
@ Citizens Theatre, Mon 19 Mar

“The downside to being a comedy pioneer is, inevitably, people pick up your ideas and run with them. Take time out, and unless you’ve kept moving in the meantime, you come back looking like a watered-down version of someone else’s act… That said, if you’re in the market for that kind of thing, Sayle retains a presence and swagger that can fill a place.”

Hardeep Singh Kohli: Alternative, Fact
★★★✩✩
@ St Luke’s, Thu 22 Mar

“Political comedian, Hardeep Singh Kohli, is not afraid to delve into the pressing issues of the day: Brexit, the Scottish Independence question, Sectarianism and Terrorism are all covered in this hour long (very Scottish) look at the world today. The show is littered with laughs, but Kohli also serves up some thought-provoking questions, and allows for moments of reflection on the politics of our age. It is not necessarily a laugh-a-minute show, some of the content is too deep for that, but Kohli is enigmatic and entertaining and deserves his long, loud round of applause.”

Richard Herring: Oh Frig, I’m 50!
★★★★✩
@ Citizens Theatre, Fri 23 Mar

“It finds Herring as a more reflective and infinitely less hedonistic version of his former self, although he speculates this may be as much down to the inevitable degradation of his body and depletion in his energy reservoir rather than the settling of his soul. The material is all very much along the same themes of family and ageing.  It isn’t breaking new ground, but being in his company as he conducts his existential archaeology is a rare treat.”

Rik Carranza: I’m A Fan
★★✩✩✩
@ Yesbar, Sun 25 Mar

“Star Trek is Carranza’s chosen indulgence. He visibly brightens when he identifies fellow travellers, of which there are a couple in today, and engages them in conversation about Trekkie arcana. But Star Trek is not all there is to this set. Carranza’s discovery, abandonment and re-adoption of the programme runs in parallel to the highs and lows in his own life story, including bullying, love and break-up. In fact, if there isn’t a performance strand at the Destination Star Trek convention he raves about, they should create one. Carranza would be a hero. For non-fans, though, he offers little to cling on.”