Mention ‘comedy’, ‘festival’ and ‘Scotland’ in the same breath and it’s a pretty sure-fire bet that everyone will think of Edinburgh.
And, yes, it’s true, Edinburgh does indeed host some kind of annual comedy festival. However, as anyone with a decent sense of humour knows, the Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) is fast becoming a hot ticket for aficionados of stand-up. Launched in 2002, GICF takes place each March in venues large and small across the city. GICF is a chance to see big-shot comedians from off the telly and to spot up-and-coming new talent.
This year we took in two shows:
Russell Kane (The Garage, Friday 16th March). The Garage is a nightclub on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street, so it felt a tad strange to be heading there at 7.30 on a Friday evening, stone-cold sober. However, it turned out to be a great little venue, albeit with bum-numbing seating. Russell was on top form with his award-winning show of observational comedy, Manscaping, in which he dissects the sorry state of modern masculinity. I laughed so much that my tummy and ribcage hurt all weekend. Russell was supported by local comedian Davey Connor, soon to be seen on BBC3.
Barry and Stuart (Citizen’s Theatre, Thursday 29th March). Sick but funny, Barry and Stuart first came to our attention on BBC1 show The Magicians. To this day, my husband remains mystified by the ‘grand illusion’ the boys performed in a shopping mall, which culminated in X Factor winner Joe McElderry appearing out of apparently thin air. The tricks on display for the GICF were on a smaller scale but excellent nonetheless. The premise of Barry and Stuart’s current live act is ‘show and tell’. So, in the first half we got to see the magic (show), while the mechanics behind each illusion were revealed after the interval (tell). I’m already working on the prop required to turn H2O into vino…