REVIEW: Gilded Balloon Comedy – Drygate Brewing Co, Glasgow

This review was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews here

Arguably Glasgow’s hippest venue, the Drygate Brewing Co. is playing host to Fringe behemoth Gilded Balloon’s brand, spanking, new, weekly comedy club. Housed in the UK’s first experiential craft brewery, the comedy space under the old Tennant’s Brewery’s seven peaked roofs, is both impressive and entirely fitting for this ambitious project.

The club presents two shows every Friday at 7:30pm and 10:00pm featuring a trio of established acts. Compered tonight by Glasgow’s Scott Agnew, the line-up for this inaugural event comprises two Scottish stand-ups; veteran Vladimir McTavish and fresh-faced Chris Forbes, with Canadian star John Hastings fresh from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as headliner.

From a slightly jittery start, compare Agnew eventually finds his stride and moves the proceedings along apace.  First up, Vladimir McTavish starts strongly but soon loses his way and the laughs peter out to some polite chuckles, the material, not exactly finding its target audience. Forbes fares much better, instantly putting the audience at ease; the likeable and confident comic’s relatable and affable banter has the crowd onside from the get-go.

Fittingly, it is headliner Hastings who elicits the lion’s share of the evening’s belly laughs. He even manages to work in an unsuspecting waiter into the act. Clever, a little surreal at times, but always laugh out loud funny.

The clever combination of the UK’s longest running comedy club and Glasgow’s most in-demand venue coupled with a cleverly curated line-up of the world’s best comedy acts, should ensure that this new venture is a rip-roaring success.

Reviewed on 29th August and running every Friday at 7:30pm and 10:00pm