The calendar might show that it is May, but nobody told the weather gods as the Edinburgh climate was reminiscent of November. Following a rough day I nearly decide to call it a day and duck out on this show. Thank God I didn’t!!
Once out of reach of the weather and having an excellent meal from the Stand’s food menu I was feeling more disposed to being entertained. And boy did they achieve that in style.
The man in charge for the night was Scottish stalwart Raymond Mearns and like many of his peers he is an excellent compere. From the moment he hit the stage the man was on fire. Okay the Gods of Comedy had blessed him with the front row of his dreams, a Bostonian couple on holiday from college, two Canadian nurses, a trainee councillor and three game designers amongst others and did he make the most of them? You bet he did, and the atmosphere he generated with the pithy hilarious repartee set the tone of the night for one and all.
Glaswegian Mikey Adams was the opener and he picked up the baton from his fellow ‘Weegie’ Mearns and ran with it like an Olympic athlete. It has been a while since I last saw this personable young comic and am glad to say he was as good as I remembered him being. His material was wide and varied, Gladiators TV programme, horses instead of cars, Scottish Education system, his appearance and a late night pizza story were stopping off points in his set. Each was well observed, written and delivered in his unique style. I’m certain he made a huge impression on one and all.
The first break followed and the opening act of part two, traditionally a set for up and coming comics to do a short set, was Richard Melvin. I had previously only seen him as a ‘gameshow host’ in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ as part of Edinburgh Comedy Collective, so was totally unprepared for the quality of the set he delivered. His relaxed manner, posh accent and laid-back stage presence belied the quality of the shorter segment. His material was extremely funny and well written, his stage presence was quietly commanding and if this is an example of his abilities then a long career as a stand-up surely beckons. I look forward to hearing the next instalment.
Closing out part two was comedy actor and stand-up Matt Green. Now Green, who looks about 15, although is in his early thirties, has been known to me since 1999 when I first saw him as part of Cambridge Footlights in the Fringe that year. Each and every time I have seen him since the quality of his set and the material content has always been top notch. I suspect that many at the gig were getting their first Green experience, and yet I’m equally sure he is already a favourite. His material was again varied, Airport welcome signs, Prague toilets, elections, relationships, facebook profiles and movies are just a few of the topics he expounded on and I’m sure we could have all listened to a lot more given a chance.
Following the second interval and more magic from Raymond Mearns the headliner on the night Zoe Lyons took command of proceedings. Now Ms Lyons is a quality act and she certainly did nothing top harm her reputation I can assure you. Confident in approach, occasionally self-deprecating in material, she held the club enthralled through out her all too short set. She is at home delivering her really funny stuff, yet more than able to riff with the audience and go to different places with no drop off of quality in anyway. Zoe touched on many topics, the weather, Olympics, CCTV images, and Ugg boots in the rain were just a few subjects this engaging Brighton based comedian had everybody laughing at, and her time just evaporated.
So that was it, Mearns closed the show as usual and I was left reflecting that it was one of the best shows I have seen in many a year. All excelled. And I could so easily have missed it!!
There is still a chance for you to go see them too, the line-up is playing on Friday and Saturday too. The Stand Comedy Club run shows virtually 365 days a year and future attractions and tickets can be bought on their website www.thestand.co.uk
Reviewed by Geoff