Three to See

Lots of joy in those golden oldies

Vlad headIf you were to walk the streets of Edinburgh during the Fringe and pay attention to the myriad of giant posters on display, inevitably you will find yourself gazing at a whole load of almost exclusively youthful faces. 

his could lead to the impression that comedy is a young person’s game.  In reality, it is anything but.  Almost all comedians, like good wines, improve with age. 

Most younger comics have limited life experience on which to draw, so their comedy tends to be more superficial.  However, the major London agencies use Edinburgh as a platform to sell their newly-signed hopefuls, and perhaps land them a TV deal, hence the proliferation of the poster boys. 

If it’s true that you can’t tell a book by its cover, it is truer still that you can’t judge a comic by his hype.

Here are my top three shows featuring some slightly more experienced pro’s.

Gilded Balloon, Bristo Square  4.15 pm until tomorrow

Barry Cryer is, quite simply, a national treasure.  He celebrates his 80th birthday this year, and the Gilded Balloon organised a gala show last weekend to mark the event.  In his near-sixty year career, there is virtually no-one Barry has not worked with, from Bob Hope, David Frost and the Monty Python team to current stars such as Paul Merton.   This year he teams up once more with ex-punk star Ronnie Golden of the Fabulous Poddles in a mix of stand-up and comedy songs.  Their run finishes on Wednesday, so you have two days to catch this show.

Assembly Rooms, George Street  6.30 pm

Another legend of British television comedy, Ian Lavender looks back at his career in conversation with scots actor Steven McNicoll.  Best known as Pike from Dad’s Army, but also a one-time regular on Eastenders, Ian Lavender is one of the best story-tellers in the business.  Expect some hilarious anecdotes from his days of filming Dad’s Army in the 1970’s.

Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, West Nicholson Street  7.45 pm

A mere child in comparison to the other two, Janey is nonetheless the grande dame of Scottish comedy, a world-class stand-up who’s never lost touch with her roots. Her true-life stories are side-splittingly funny.  As she says herself “I don’t write jokes, I just leave the hoose and stuff happens.”  I was gigging with her last weekend , and by the time she got off stage, there wasn’t a dry seat in the house.  This show will be brilliant AND it’s free to get in.  Mind you, she’ll be rattling a bucket for cash donations before you get out.

Vladimir McTavish’s one-person show “Scotland, 45 Events That Shaped A Nation” is at The Stand Comedy Club 5, at 6.15 pm from Friday 7th to Sunday 30th August.

Vlad also appears at tomorrow’s Daily Business Summer Party at the Jam House. Tickets can be bought on the door or in advance here:

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