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Glasgow International Comedy Festival


Preview

The Dear Green Place has its annual comedy shindig next month. Here’s our round-up of some of the shows we’ve already seen.

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Rich Hall’s Hoedown
Garage, Thu 14 Mar – Sat 16 Mar, 8pm

★★★★✩

“Rich Hall is a brilliant stand-up, but also a fine songwriter and musician, as anyone who has seen his alter-ego Otis Lee Crenshaw would attest.  The evening is split into two sections; the first straight stand-up, and the second featuring Hall’s Hoedown band.  The evening hinges on whether these two disparate portions work as a whole. is undoubtedly a man ploughing a very comfortable furrow, but this in no diminishes the enjoyment of the evening.  Hall obviously loves performing in Scotland, and his Hoedown is consistently funny, and often tips over into hilariously.” – Kevin Ibbotson-Wight

Original Review

Sean McLoughlin – Hail Mary
ARG @ Hug & Pint, Fri 15 & Sat 16 Mar, 7pm
★★★★✩

“McLoughlin recently turned 30 and has slipped to fourth in the Google search results after a university professor, a footballer and a YouTube gamer of the same name. In a hysterical hour of comedy Hail Mary explores faith, love and technology as religion.

He mocks the reaction to the Cambridge Analytica scandal and laughs at Deliveroo “caring about your privacy” when they once posted a cheese toastie through his letterbox. Technology has also impacted on his love life – he was in a long-distance relationship for a year and relied on tech to keep the romance alive. His girlfriend’s name is Alexa, which provides fodder for a whole skit with a few a predictably cheesy punchlines.

The hour motors along and McLoughlin’s jokes have a staggeringly high success rate. If a joke ever fails to land, he becomes bitter which is often funnier than the dud gag itself.” – Cath Renton

Original Review

Lou Sanders – Shame Pig
ARG @ Hug & Pint, Fri 15 Mar, 10pm
★★★✩✩

“Her readiness to recount honest and raw observations (her dad faking his own death to avoid family responsibilities, multiple stepmothers, nascent sensuality) make her seem accessible but she tellingly stops short of mining the darker moments for comic effect.

Sanders is strongest when opening up about her relationships and the hypocrisy inherent in male-female interactions particularly when related to sex and power. She could cover an entire set with amusing anecdotes about general misadventures with men (and women) but on this occasion her focus is on the dichotomy between shame and embarrassment, the former being more “lasting and profound” and the latter “more fleeting”.” – John Gibson

Original Review

Gareth Waugh: Oh Boy… !
The Stand, Sat 16 Mar, 5pm
★★★✩✩

“For some people it’s quite difficult to look back at your childhood memories without wanting to throw yourself off a bridge, yet Gareth Waugh revels in revisiting the glorious naivety of his wide-eyed youth with cheerful optimism. Despite Oh Boy…! mostly existing as an exercise in self-deprecation, it’s done in such a way that still lets the performer come out on top of it all, humiliated but unscathed.” – Pete Carson

Original Review

Catherine Bohart: Immaculate
Blackfriars Basement, Sun 17 Mar, 9.15pm
★★★★✩

“Despite the friendly exterior she displays, Bohart is unafraid to be a little confrontational with the audience. Throughout the show, she draws people in with casual-seeming questions, only to turn on them. She challenges a dad who claims to be more of a friend to his children, and quizzes an audience member about the flexibility of her sexuality in the event of their husband’s death.

Yet, despite the potential of mockery, Bohart manages to create an intimate environment. While Immaculate is a highly entertaining hour of comedy, it’s also something not so far from the group therapy sessions she reminisces about. She does not hold back at all, baring all about her personal struggles with OCD and coming out to her family.” – Emma Lawson

Original Review

Jay Lafferty: Wheesht!
Blackfriars Basement, Fri 22 Mar, 7.30pm
★★★✩✩

“For this hour-long show, we’re treated to an intimate portrayal of Lafferty’s infectiously chatty persona up close and personal, as she takes us on a meandering journey through her life, both then and now.

The meat of the show [is] the futility of trying to get a bit of wheesht in the modern-day world. Whether it’s the infuriating DJs on the number 26 bus or the constant clamour of unsolicited opinions on social media, Lafferty reckons society is a bit on the noisy side. Not that she plans on leading by example – she also regales us with plenty of tales of when her own big mouth has got her into hot water on a number of occasions.

It’s a great chinwag between what, at its close, feels more like old friends than paying punters, which is a huge credit to Lafferty’s effortless charm.” – Jonny Sweet

Original Review

Sindhu Vee: Sandhog
The Old Hairdresser’s, Sun 24 Mar, 9.30pm
★★★★✩

“Sandhog is Vee’s refreshing and witty take on the common experience of marriage, parenting and ageing parents, in a hilarious show which rightly earned her a Best Newcomer nomination in the Edinburgh Comedy Awards.

In Vee’s opinion (and from the knowing laughter in the audience, she’s not the only one) marriage and parenthood are a series of battles to be won. The comedian explains that being married to a Danish man for 20 years hasn’t been all ‘hygge’ and Lego fun and his pragmatism can often jar with her fiery personality, as demonstrated in a series of amusing anecdotes. Some of the language used to describe her husband may seem critical but it’s delivered with heart, in a way that anyone in a long-term relationship can understand.

By the end of the hour the audience can see why the Dane still loves his ‘Sandhog’, as the audience leave the venue a little bit enamoured with her too.” – Cath Renton

Original Review

Paul Mayhew-Archer: Incurable Optimist
Oran Mor, Tue 26 Mar, 8pm
★★★★★

“The co-creator of the classic BBC sitcom The Vicar Of Dibley and one-time producer of radio staple I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, Paul Mayhew-Archer provides an hour of gently humorous stories about his Parkinson’s as well as his career in radio and television.

He is a natural storyteller who manages to make light of the many symptoms arising from his condition, describing a group of friends who individually have one of the symptoms of Parkinson’s as an ideal subject matter for a sitcom. In addition, the audience is treated to interesting behind the scenes stories about Dibley, such as Mayhew-Archer’s script reading incident that led to him getting the unfortunate nickname of ‘Fuckwit’ amongst cast and crew, as well as being the real inspiration for the eccentric Dibley parish council. An earlier anecdote about David Jason injuring himself is also hilarious, although not something that the actor himself would like to remember!” – Adam Thornton

Original Review

Christopher Macarthur-Boyd: Home Sweet Home
The Stand, Sat 30 Mar, 5pm
★★★★★

“He may only be 5’3” but Macarthur-Boyd is set to become a giant of the Scottish comedy scene with Home Sweet Home, cementing him as an intelligent, articulate and most importantly, incredibly funny, comic.

Too often comedians miss the mark and misread the audience reaction but Macarthur-Boyd tests us out before going for the jugular which places Margaret Thatcher in a very ‘unthatcherlike’ situation. He covers topics from the more routine – still living at home with mum and dad – to the more niche – his love for wrestling, and it is all done with a perfect combination of boyish charm and supreme professionalism.

This is as assured and as funny an hour as you will see from any comedian; the only surprise is that he is not yet a household name.” – Aisling McGuire

Original Review

Glasgow International Comedy Festival takes place in venues across the city from Thu 14 – Sun 31 Mar 2019. For tickets and more info see www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com