Some Things for the Weekend

Take a stand and enjoy the comedy shows

Vladimir McTavishGetting ever closer to Christmas, we are now approaching the weekend which every comedian and taxi driver dreads all year. This is “Black-Eye Friday”, when office parties, some of which have been going on since lunchtime, end up in fights at bus-stops, and when being on stage at a comedy club can resemble a trip to the zoo.

Even normally nice gigs can turn nasty at this time of year. I was on stage at a small club in Edinburgh last Christmas when a full-scale punch-up broke out in the audience which culminated in the compere nearly being hit over the head with a fire extinguisher.

If you do want to see live comedy at the weekend, take in one of the shows at The Stand in either Glasgow or Edinburgh, as they have a policy of never allowing audience members to get out of hand. Elsewhere, there is plenty of good theatre and cinema this weekend.

The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh Thursday 17th-Saturday 19th December 9 pm
Always a joy to watch, the surreal and endlessly-inventive Geordie comic Gavin Webster headlines a show which also features rising star on the Scottish scene Ray Bradshaw and the delightful Irish wit of Mary Bourke, hosted by Bruce Devlin, whose scathing wit is worth the entry price on its own.

On General Release
This is a must-see movie for the holiday season, featuring the sublime comedy talents of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler is a hilarious story of an adult house party going out of control. Particularly apt for this time of year.

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow Until 3rd January. Times Vary
As a child growing up in Glasgow, my first experience of te theatre was a pantomime at the Citizens Theatre. As a young adult, I worked at an adventure playground in The Gorbals, and the our kids used to be invited to watch a special free dress rehearsal performance, and have seen more over the subsequent thirty-odd years. In all that time, I have never seen a bad Christmas show at The Citz, and this year is no exception. Rapunzel is a welcome departure from the normal repertoire of panto stories, and contains a stunning set and some brilliant original songs.

Oran Mor, Glasgow   Until Wednesday 23rd December Times vary

This lunchtime pantomime is the seasonal offering from Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and A Pint. Written by Wildcat stalwart Dave Anderson, the show’s title alone is worth the ticket price. And you get a pie and a pint too.

Byre Theatre, St Andrews   Until 2nd January.   Times Vary
A modern take on one of the more traditional pantomime stories. The Byre Theatre’s version is set in a dance class run by Cinders’ wicked step-mother and has a Strictly Come Dancing feel to it. As well as the core professional cast, there are also some stunning performances from the local youth theatre. Also, in case you were worried, it does still end in a good old-fashioned singalong with the song-sheet.

Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline Until Thursday 24th December Times Vary
OK, if you live in Edinburgh, it’s unlikely you’ll want to make the long journey to Dunfermline via Kincardine. However, residents of the Kingdom of Fife do not need to sit in traffic jams of suffer over-crowded trains to get their fix of seasonal entertainment, as there is top-class panto in Dunfermline this year, featuring Matthew Ellis (otherwise known in the comedy world as Jellybean Martinez) in the role of Captain Hook

The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh   Saturday 12th December at 4.30
A final plug for this delightful show, which is an alternative approach to Christmas every Saturday afternoon in December. It’s hosted by the brilliantly talented Andrew Learmonth, with guest spots from some big names on the comedy circuit, and from a few oddball artistes too Anything could happen, and on last week’s evidence, almost certainly will.

The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow Thursday 7th-Saturday 19th December 8.30
Familiar to viewers of Eight Out Of Ten Cats and Live At the Apollo, Zoe Lyons heads up a strong bill of stand-up, which also includes Mark Nelson, Keir McAllister and star-of-the-future Ashley Storrie. If you miss this show, you can catch Nelson and McAllister with myself in our satirical review of the year at the same venue on Monday 21st and at the Edinburgh Stand on Wednesday 23rd

Vladimir McTavish will be appearing at Just Laugh, The New County Hotel, Perth on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th December and in “So That Was 2015 ?” at The Stand Comedy Club, Glasgow on Monday 21st and The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh on Wednesday 23rd

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