Tag Archives: Comedy

NEWS: GLASGOW WRITERS JOIN FORCES FOR COMEDY FESTIVAL

Four Glasgow playwrights have teamed up to present a quartet of plays as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival next month. Short Attention Span Theatre is a method of theatre which delivers exactly what it says on the tin: short dramas for those with short attention spans as well as those who like to experience a variety of works in one evening. 

Karen Barclay, Tom Brogan, Catriona Duggan, and Chris McQueer will each debut a brand new play to audiences in CCA on Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 March.

Barclay’s Mortified aims to get to the root of whether or not a person can actually die from embarrassment, while McQueer’s Last Can tells the tale of a couple living in post-apocalyptic Glasgow when Lou discovers John has stashed the world’s last can of Irn-Bru for himself.

Karen Barclay

Duggan’s When The Penny Drops centres around a school teacher who has found the perfect way to deal with the stresses of the job, and Brogan’s Delivery sees a failed comedian confronted by a pupil in his stand-up comedy class.

Tom Brogan

Five local actors will take on multiple roles in the four plays, continuing the Short Attention Span Theatre trope of performing with a small and tight-knit cast. Regulars Mairi Davidson, Johanna Harper, Kat Harrison, and Grant McDonald will be joined by John Love to keep audiences entertained during the two-night run.

Chris McQueer

Writer Chris McQueer, author of the acclaimed Hings, Leathered, and HWFG, said: “I’ve only just got my head around describing myself as an author, so to try my hand at drama and put on a playwright hat for the first time has been a bit of a challenge – but it’s been great fun. I can’t wait for the performances as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, and for audiences to see these four brilliant plays for the first time.”

Catriona Duggan

Catriona Duggan, who drew on her own experience as a school teacher to bring her play to life, said: “I’ve written for Short Attention Span Theatre a few times before and it’s always been a really wonderful and rewarding experience, but knowing you’re writing something which is going to be performed as part of the Comedy Festival is just a whole new level of excitement! I was really chuffed to be asked to be part of the writing crew for this event and I’m sure the cast will deliver fantastic shows for our audiences.”

For more information, and to buy tickets, visit glasgowcomedyfestival.seetickets.com

REVIEW: Love Me Tinder – The Town House, Hamilton

Much-loved journalist and broadcaster Cat Harvey, has her finger firmly on the pulse of West of Scotland woman (and man) in her new comedy play Love Me Tinder.

Exploring the minefield of dating in the 21st Century, it follows the story of a group of Glaswegian workmates who decide to embark on an online adventure in internet romance. There’s career girl Fiona (Cat Harvey) forever single and looking for Mr. Absolutely Utterly Perfectly Right; Nicola (Michelle McManus) the eternal good-time girl who is ready to swap parties for nappies; Cathy (May Miller), married for 40 years to Willie, who has apparently ran away with a 28-year-old Polish yoga teacher; Ryan (Liam Dolan) unaware of his sexual orientation, unlike everyone who knows him; Davie (Andrew Agnew) who is so commitment-averse he’ll date anyone and everyone “from legal to still breathing” and Davie (Johnny Mac) really Cupid in disguise, currently living in Cumbernauld and working his magic from the side-lines.

Harvey has an ear for Glaswegian patter and the naturalistic dialogue certainly strikes a chord with this largely female, sold-out audience. The laughs are sustained from start to end, and it’s no small thanks to a knock-out cast. From local cabaret star May Miller, the epitome of a ‘wee Glasgow wummin’ to TV stalwarts Andrew Agnew and Liam Dolan to panto royalty Johnny Mac and Pop Idol winner and Scottish national treasure Michelle McManus, a woman with the most enviable natural comic timing (and of course, a fabulous voice), each is an absolute gem.

Mac gets the chance to demonstrate his natural comedic talents and his exceptional audience wrangling skills, honed from years as a panto star. His fourth wall breaking turn as Cupid/Danny is warm, good-natured and laugh out-loud funny. As is McManus’ turn as the gobby Nicola. She manages to get the audience in tears with just a look, particularly hysterical is her disgust at Polish yoga teacher Klaudia stealing her big karaoke number, (which in an absolute belter of a theatrical trick) turns out to be McManus’ real-life Pop Idol winning tune ‘All This Time’.

The show is peppered throughout with party hits (you can’t not let Miller and McManus demonstrate what made them famous in the first place) and there’s even a chance for the audience to get in on the act with a rousing rendition of ‘Sweet Caroline’.

The path of true love never does run smooth, and so it is here. To its credit there’s also a large dose of reality in the mix to temper the laughs. This is a relatable, realistic portrait of love and friendship in the 21st Century and it’s delivered with real heart and soul. Hopefully there’s more to come from the pen of Cat Harvey.

WHAT’S ON JANUARY: Strath Laughs

The only regular Student Comedy Night in Glasgow! Introducing some of the most exciting Comedians, hosted by former ‘Scottish Comedian of the Year’ Jamie Dalgleish. Open to all University and College students.

Headliner: Christopher Macarthur-Boyd.

Billed as ‘the next big thing’ in Scottish comedy, Christopher is a three-time Scottish Comedian of the Year finalist, a So You Think You’re Funny? finalist, and a two-time nominee for Best New Act at the Scottish Comedy Awards.

Already. he’s made quite a name for himself as a writer, actor and director for online content for BBC Scotland’s Short Stuff and Room To Write.

Date

Thu 17 January 2019 20:30-22:30

Time

8:30pm – 10:30pm

Location

Barony Bar

Tickets

Buy tickets

£3.00 (Ticket)

WHAT’S ON MARCH: Lubna Kerr – Where Are You Really From?

Lubna Kerr is confused about her identity. She was born in Pakistan, raised in Glasgow, married a man from Lanarkshire, has two Welsh children, one Scottish child and lives in Edinburgh. A trained pharmacist who now thinks Laughter is the best medicine. Lubna explores her identity as a Scottish Pakistani Muslim women living in a world dominated by fat, blond white men…

As seen on Still Game, Scot Squad, Armchair Detectives and (soon) Two doors down. Pharmacist, actress, comedian, writer, social entrepreneur and mother. Which hat fits? ‘One to watch’ Funny women.

FRIDAY 29 March 2019 – YES BAR, Drury Street, Glasgow G2 5AA

NEWS: WHYTE & MACKAY GLASGOW INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2019 PROGRAMME

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) reveals its full programme, as this hugely popular event in the comedy calendar returns for its 17th year from Thursday 14 – Sunday 31 March 2019.

Top flight stand-up lined up for the 18-day festival includes: Limmy, Julian Clary, Reg D Hunter, Larry Dean, Jerry Sadowitz, Al Murray, Jasper Carrott, Elaine C Smith, Foil, Arms & Hog, Russell Kane, Des Clarke, Rich Hall and Scot Squad star Cameron Miekelson.

From the cerebral to the joyously daft, the programme has something for every taste and budget: An Evening With Eric & Ern evokes memories of Britain’s best loved double act; the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas offers a comedic exploration of topical issues from online privacy to toxic masculinity; Matt Winning takes on the most pressing (and depressing) issue of our times – climate change; and there will be two nights of comedy in the unusual surroundings of the Hunterian Museum.

The Glasgow Women’s Library will present the Women of Colour Comedy Collective, while Phil Differ and Janey Godley will be in conversation in two evenings at the City of Glasgow College. Some of the scene’s most innovative and creative comedians can be found at the Vacant Space – Josie Long, John Luke-Roberts, Helen Duff and Ben Target will all stage solo shows at the Finnieston gallery.

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival always features the very best of Scotland’s home grown talent: Phil Kay, Iain Connell, Rob Florence, Ashley Storrie, Mark Nelson, Chris Forbes and Gary Meikle are all set to appear. The festival also provides a platform for rising local stars, this year including Christopher MacArthur Boyd, Susie McCabe, Stephen Buchanan and Marc Jennings.

 2019’s roster of international humour brings together hugely popular audience favourites and hotly-tipped must-see performers: Tony Law, Sofie Hagen, Bobby Mair, Desiree Burch, Dave Fulton, Evelyn Mok, Sara Barron, Olga Koch, and Catherine Bohart will all be making the trip to Glasgow in March.

As well as stand up shows in some of the city’s biggest venues and intimate gigs in pubs, the Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival features plays, sketches, improv, film and comedy for kids. Short Attention Span Theatre at the CCA features four new twenty-minute plays from Chris McQueer, Karen Barclay, Tom Brogan, and Catriona Duggan. Keith Farnan, James Campbell and Comedy with Baby! At Dram! provide laughs for all the family. Cinephiles can catch silent comedy and classic animation at the Britannia Panopticon, and special showings of Trainspotting and Gregory’s Girl at Sloans.

Comedy (and hip hop) fans on the look out for something a little bit different can catch the reliably anarchic CHUNKS collective’s ‘An Indeterminate Amount of Comedians Attempt to Perform 1993’s Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers) in Full Live’ at The State Bar. For the more historically-minded, Scot Squad’s Karen Bartke will embody Mary Queen of Scots in a one woman show about life, love and hating your cousin. Avoiding the (very strong) temptation to declare GICF a Brexit-free zone, Ambush present The Salon Brexit Special at The Old Hairdressers – an idiosyncratic comedy cabaret which aims to distract us from stockpiling and blue passports in (at time of going to press) our final days of EU membership.

Events take place every day throughout the festival and tickets for all shows are on sale now, with some performances already selling out.

Sarah Watson, Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival Director, said: “Whether you’re a dedicated comedy fan seeking out the next big thing, or you’re thinking of catching some live stand up for the very first time we’ve got some great shows for you this year. It’s brilliant to see venues like The Old Hairdressers, The Bungo, Vacant Space and Yes Bar really get behind the festival with comprehensive programmes and a huge variety of shows across our run. Let’s face it, good news might be in short supply come late March, so GICF is hoping to provide a valuable public service by giving everyone something to laugh about for a few weeks at least!”

Ruairi Perry, Head of Blended Whisky Brands at Whyte & Mackay, said: “In 2019, we proudly celebrate 175 years of Whyte & Mackay. It’s our birthday year, we’re 175 years young and still surprisingly smooth. We’re delighted to start our birthday year celebrations by partnering with the biggest comedy festival in Europe- the Glasgow International Comedy Festival 2019. Let’s raise a dram to toast the biggest and best year yet! Slàinte mhòr.”

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival is supported by Glasgow Life and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Councillor David McDonald, Chairman of Glasgow Life, said: “Looking at the line-up for the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, you get a strong sense of the range of exceptional talent that will be appearing in the city in March 2019. Having so many local comedians among the headliners makes this festival so special and I am looking forward to some great nights out and some unforgettable performances. Whether you are enjoying the latest tour from one of your favourite acts or setting out to discover the stars of the future, we are all in for a great 18 days of comedy.”

 Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival promises to be another great event this year. Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and the strength of the 2019 GICF programme is testament to that fact, with a variety of shows and venues, as well as big comedy acts and local talent there is undoubtedly something for everyone at the festival.”

Keep up to date with all the latest news by registering at glasgowcomedyfestival.com and follow on Facebook and Twitter @glasgowcomedy.

REVIEW: Milton Jones and Chums – The Town House, Hamilton

The king of the one-liner Milton Jones and star of Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and Comedy Roadshow, is touring the country with a slew of local comedians in tow. Luckily for Lanarkshire, Jones and chums are stopping off in Hamilton for one night only.

Compered brilliantly by stand up and star of Scot Squad, Chris Forbes, this is a well-curated showcase that delivers a satisfying night of comedy to the packed crowd.

Chris Forbes

Unenviably, it’s down to Edinburgh-based Gareth Waugh to open the show. Waugh is a personable and polished comedian and his self-deprecating stories have enough relatable material to get the crowd nodding and laughing along. It must be said though that for anyone who has seen him in the last few years, much of the material has been culled from his past two Edinburgh Fringe show: granny’s mad childhood games, the teenage gang asking him to buy them a carry-out and his jogging exploits to name a few. There’s also a fair amount of awkwardly familiar stories to make you cringe in recognition. It’s funny enough, and it serves its purpose as a warm up for the acts to come, but there’s nothing new or particularly ground-breaking here.

Gareth Waugh

Next up is the Santa Claus bearded and board shorts and t-shirt wearing veteran Graham Mackie. Mackie’s look may be benign and affable but his material is deceptively subversive, a combination that goes down well with the Hamilton crowd.

Graham Mackie

Second-to-top-billing falls to recent social media viral sensation Gary Meikle, whose rant on his daughter’s obsession with her eyebrows has struck a chord in these self-absorbed times. Meikle a single dad and youthful granddad at 40, delivers a knock-out selection of hugely relatable anecdotes that really do have the audience almost rolling in the aisles. What shines through is his love for his daughter and granddaughter, who provide rich material for the deft story-teller.

Gary Meikle

The wild-haired Jones is well worth the wait and the intellect behind the drolly delivered one-liners is sharp, sharp, sharp. Jones is well aware that some are so clever that they need a moment to land and his deft-touch with an audience allows this to happen.

This is really is a bumper evening of comedy, without a weak link on the bill. Each comedian is well worth seeing on their own and an even bigger treat altogether.

Milton Jones

NEWS: NEW COMEDY & MUSIC VENUE IN GLASGOW

GLEE CLUB COMES TO GLASGOW

Comedy in Glasgow has a rich history, and Glee Club are bringing their newest venue to the city.

Every week they will be bringing their own brand of comedy shows on a Friday and Saturday night. They will also play host to some of the best touring comedians. Over the years they have brought the biggest names to their venues including Michael McIntyre, Kevin Bridges, Sarah Millican, John Bishop, Joe Lycett and many more.

The launch weekend will be Fri 1st & Sat 2nd February 2019. The line up will feature Gary Little, Geoff Norcott, Jay Lafferty and a very special guest. Tickets are on sale now.

Glee Club Glasgow

11 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G2 3AB

REVIEW: Flight of the Conchords sing Flight of the Conchords – SEE Hydro Arena, Glasgow

It’s been a long seven years since the “almost award-winning, fourth most popular folk duo in New Zealand” have toured the U.K., made longer by Bret McKenzie’s recovery from a broken wrist, sustained from a nose dive down a flight of stairs at the start of the tour.

Flight of the Conchords have come a long, long way both physically and metaphorically. From bumbling young cult duo trying to find their niche in the comedy world to a 13000 person audience at Glasgow’s Hydro Arena via Bret McKenzie winning the 2012 songwriting Academy Award and Jemaine Clement’s glittering movie career going from strength to strength.

Their 90-minute set is a perfect mix of old and new, launching straight into Father and Son, a seemingly tender ballad that takes an unexpectedly dark turn. There are highlights throughout, so many it would read like a setlist, but Deana and Ian, a tale of inter-office romance is hysterical; The Ballad of Stana a disturbingly funny traditional country story-song; Summer of 1353, a madrigal, yes, you read that right, complete with recorder solos, and two old favourites, Bowie and Foux du Fa Fa (who doesn’t love a lyric that rhymes haricots verts with pomme de terres), the list goes on and on.

The duo acknowledge that they look a lot older than they did in their TV show days, and apologise for reminding us of our own mortality, but the wit and intellect and self-deprecating humour is still there. They remain utterly irresistible and, if anything, funnier than they have ever been. This reviewers’ love for the pair remains undiminished. Just perfect.

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: News Hacks – Òran Mór, Glasgow

Political satire may not be dead in Scotland, but it’s demise on the comedy scene has left it in dire need of resuscitation. Producers Karen Townsend and Rikki Brown have applied the defibrillator and delivered News Hacks, a monthly riff on the great, the good and the not so clever making the headlines in Scotland.

No political stone is left unturned and no Scottish political figure of any worth escapes examination. While Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, diminutive Scottish Green Party co-convenor Patrick Harvie and Scottish Lib Dem’s Willie Rennie come in for some cutting comment, it is the SNP and it’s leader, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, one Fiona Hyslop, who are on the receiving end of the most biting satire.

While the lion’s share of the night is given over to national politics, it spreads its gaze further: Putin’s Russia, TV show Shetland (a highlight of the evening), Lorraine Kelly’s somewhat idiosyncratic interview style (having Ed Sheerin and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad in the same segment), local TV news anchor John MacKay and newspaper The National and it’s independence referendum spin on even the most ridiculous subjects, all come under scrutiny.

The sharply observed script is given greater punch by the three hugely talented actors delivering it. Stand up comedian, actor and presenter Des McLean has the requisite comedy chops to pull this off with great aplomb and his accents are (largely) on the nose, hugely experienced actor and comedy veteran Elaine MacKenzie Ellis has the chance to shine with her spot-on take on a wide range of Scottish female worthies, and Scottish national treasure Jimmy Chisholm’s comic timing and ability to get an audience on side, all amount to an absolutely hysterical look at Scotland today and all our quirks.

News Hacks is a hugely welcome addition to the comedy scene: biting, brilliant and about time too for a resuscitation of satire in Scotland.

This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub 

The next News Hacks will be at Òran Mór on 20 June 2018 | Image: Contributed

REVIEW: Weegie Hink Ae That present Where Ye Fae? – Websters Theatre, Glasgow

New Scottish sketch group, Weegie Hink Ae That, take the most familiar (and embarrassing) Glasgow stereotypes, and oh so cleverly put a new spin on them to create an original, and frequently hysterically funny evening of comedy.

There’s no doubt, from the performers to the material they deliver, where they’re from. This is Glaswegian to its very core. From a musical eulogy to the Greggs Pie, through Saturday night with the girls at the dancing, a parody of some familiar playground taunts, to some new and unusual ways to utilise the tattie scone – it’s clear there’s huge potential here.

The transitions are slick, each of the performers (Gregor Mackay, Conor Hardie, Jack Jarvis Gouther and Elliot Hannigan) pulls their weight, and to their credit, has their own identity (which is quickly established by the clever writing) within the group.

Don’t be fooled by the tracksuit/trainer-clad lads you see in front of you. These are highly intelligent writers and performers. It takes a great deal of talent to pull this material off with such aplomb, and it’s easy to see this getting picked up for TV. It would make a youthful counterpoint to the geriatric Glaswegian pals in BBC TV hit Still Game.

Not all the material hits its mark, and for broader appeal they could extend their frame of reference a few decades beyond their own youthful demographic to ensure Scotland-wide comedy domination, but these young men are going far – keep your eyes peeled, this won’t be the last you’ll hear of them.

« Older Entries