Wicked Wenches Stand Comedy Club Edinburgh 01 May 2012

The first Tuesday in every month atEdinburgh’s Stand Comedy Club is always reserved for an all female line up of comics and it is a show I try hard not to miss if possible. This evening gathers together a selection of both local and more travelled performers and is a fine vehicle for the ladies to showcase their talents.

This performance was strangely quieter in audience numbers than most I have attended but still a bijou crowd settled in for the fare on offer.

With regular host Susan Calman unavailable it fell to Sian Bevan to run the show. Now Sian is well known to the local crowd and well liked too. She is a nice person, always smiling it seems, but can control a difficult audience too if required, and she set about setting the scene in her own imitable style. Chatting to the crowd, finding out information for others to go back too and limbering up the chuckle muscles of one and all, the scene was set.

Opening act was Pauline Curtin, a new name to me and I suspect a lot of the people. This lady hails fromDublin and describes herself as a desperate housewife!!  Now I don’t know what it was, maybe it was the wrong audience for her, maybe her material didn’t appeal, but I felt although it was a well prepared set, mostly on female subjects, it just didn’t illicit the audience reaction in the way she would have expected. She tried hard, but I guess it wasn’t to be her night.

Following the first interval and some more audience interplay from Ms Bevan another new name to me Susie McCabe took to the stage. Judging by her accent Suzie is from the west of Scotland and much of her set was based on all things Scottish. I really liked her short set, she had presence, comic timing and a way of getting everyone laughing with her. Some of her anecdotal references were so wonderfully described the characters were almost palpable.

Closing out part two was Caroline Mabey. Now she was someone whose reputation I was aware of but this was the first time seeing her perform. Immediately grabbing the club by the lapels she launched into a set of funny, occasionally zany, often self-deprecating material, much of which was based loosely about her impending arrival.

Now I have to admit I enjoyed her set, it was funny, definitely quirky at times and she is definitely someone I’d like to see again doing a longer set. I did find her referring to laminated notes to offset her ‘baby brain’ distracting at times and I’m sure they were not necessary as she is obviously an accomplished performer and did not need this gimmick in my opinion.

Following hard on the heals of the second interval and the prize draw Sian introduced the headline act, Katherine Ryan, a Canadian national living in London. This is not the first time I have seen her perform, far from it , and each time she just gets better and better.

Ms Ryan is still young, but has bags of confidence, a huge personality, oodles of classy material and all packed into such a slender frame. The way she can flit from set to riffing with the audience at will has been sharpened up since her last visit. Also the ability to extract genuine belly laughs from all sorts of situations speaks volumes of her abilities as far as I am concerned and her numerous appearances on TV, with more to come, surely she will only become better still. That said she is already great value for money, I don’t know exactly how long she performed but it must have been around 45 minutes and her energy and pace never dropped, and neither did the audience reaction either. I look forward to seeing her back in the capital in August when she plays at the Gilded Balloon during Fringe 2012.

And so ended yet another great night. The Stand offers comedy almost 365 days a year so why not visit their website www.thestand.co.uk for what’s on inEdinburgh,Glasgow and nowNewcastle as well. You can be assured of a good night.

Reviewed by Geoff

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