How does one cheer oneself up on a January Sunday night? Well you could always do what I did last night and visit the comedy oasis in Edinburgh, The Stand Comedy Club where of course it was business as usual; they run virtually 365 days a year after all.
Even in early January there was a more than respectable crowd in attendance by the time our hostess Sian Bevan took to the stage to control the evening’s entertainment. This certainly not the first time I have seen her in charge at the Stand, she is one of the many quality MC’s they have at their disposal, each with their own style.Sian, complete with a new haircut and a new svelte frame, treated the crowd to her take on proceedings. The usual information garnering, making contact with potential ‘victims’, and boy did she have a choice, boy-band soldiers, American club owners the flat-mates from hell, even an evil banker were all candidates. Ms Bevan has a pleasing easy going personality, backed up with all the comedy skills and material she will ever need breezed through the warm up prior to introducing the opening act Glaswegian Chris Conroy.
This was the first time I had seen him perform, and I certainly hope it won’t be long before I see him again. From the moment he hit the stage to his finish some 20 minutes later he was totally at home. His stage presence is commanding, his material different whilst being funny , one doesn’t normally expect to see a male comic going on about childbirth or even The Samaritans for example, well written and delivered. At times his style reminded me a little of an early Kevin Bridges, not that he is trying to be him, it’s just the same obvious quality is lurking there in my opinion. Certainly an act I’ll look forward to seeing again.
After the first break,Sian introduced the opening act of the second segment, the relative newby Kitty Wood. Now she hasn’t got too many gigs under her belt yet, but anyone who didn’t know this would not have guessed. Exuding calm and confidence Kitty was gentler in her humour than many, but once into her stride the time evaporated. This lady has plenty of stage presence, a pleasing voice, with a composed delivery style. Her material is peppered with gems on yet again non-standard topics, and is blessed with wonderful comic timing. I look forward to seeing her perform a longer set, as I felt she was building well throughout her short set and felt given more time will really be able to shine.
Closing out the second part was comic Alan Sharp, he blessed with film star looks, albeit that filmstar being Hagrid from Harry Potter!! This is the second time I’ve seen his hairy, bearded guy in recent months and rather enjoy his somewhat pessimistic outlook on world in general. He is self deprecating throughout, but has a set packed to the gunwales with funny material on a variety of subjects from pizza, mobile phone upgrades,Gloucesterand Christmas birthdays. His set finished with a well written almost rant, that had the club in stitches. I am already looking forward to the next helping.
Headliner on the night was magician, comedy-writer and of course stand-up all rounder Steven Dick. Although his was a name I was aware of, again this was the first time I had seen him perform live. ThisGlasgowbased entertainer split his set into initially stand-up, and I thoroughly enjoyed his stuff before, finishing off with comedy magic. Now I have to say I am not a huge magic fan, even though I am beginning to come round to it more and more. I must admit I am in awe of the illusions he delivered. I always thought that I could believe what I saw, but following his trick with a kiwi fruit I am no longer sure I can. Steven certainly was a popular performer with the crowd and came across as a nice guy too.
And that was it. Another successful night of top quality entertainment, and for a small price. At £6-00 abargain, and even a better one if you are a member. To check out how to join, or to see what is on the bill check out their website www.thestand.co.uk for details of the clubs in Edinburgh,Glasgow and the new venture inNewcastle.
Reviewed by Geoff