Jason Cook – The End (Part One) Stand Comedy Club

I had occasionally wondered if it was worth watching ‘the same show again’, especially as I had only seen it as late as August, barely three months ago. But I knew on this occasion at least it would be worthwhile when the comedian in question was gregarious Geordie Jason Cook. Why? Well he has an innate ability to riff with the audience so that each show is different, and during the Fringe his show was restricted to an hour, and the offering at The Stand was going to be at least twice as long.

So along with eighty plus others I eagerly took my place long before the start on a cold Sunday night in November. Cold it may have been outside but the temperature was red hot once Mr Cook hit the stage.

The essence of the two hours was that he would warm up the audience briefly, do the first half of his Edinburgh show, an interval and then the concluding portion, but Cook being Cook, and the enjoyment he seemed to be getting from the crowds reaction, the ad-libs, banter and riffing took him to a whole load of places he didn’t expect to go.

He does talk quickly, well he has to, to pack in all his material, and it is all top notch stuff as well. He can always find an anecdote or ad-lib from whatever treasure he uncovers and often he is the butt of his own stories.

The story behind the title of his show is that before Christmas 2009 he thought he had breathed his last, and when he fortunately found he hadn’t then he resolved to change his life somewhat for the better. It is the lead-up to and the immediate aftermath of the event that is his mainstay.

I was fairly late in catching on to this exceptionally funny chap, others within my team were far more astute than I in recognising his comedy genius. I hate the term as it is so often over used, but in his case it is truly appropriate, in fact I don’t think another word could describe his performances. I am not alone; I spoke to a number of people at the interval and after the show concurred 100% with my opinion which was gratifying.

As his name could imply, he take the best of ingredients in his material, mixes them the spice of his humour, simmers for two hours and ends up serving up a feast of regal proportions for one and all. A recipe for a great night out This cook certainly deserves more than a few Michelin stars to add to his name.

So do yourselves a favour, check out his website  www.jasonlovescomedy.com to see where he is playing near you, then do everything you can to get a ticket. You would be a fool to yourself if you did.

For future dates at The Stand Comedy Club, both in Edinburgh and Glasgow, then check out their website www.thestand.co.uk and hopefully I’ll see you there.

Reviewed by Geoff

Julien Cottereau: Imagine toi

5 Stars

*****

Julien Cottereau has taken the arts of mime and clowning and given them a 21st century makeover by introducing a spectacular range of sound effects generated by his own voice. Despite his modernistic approach, the influences of the comedy greats of the era of silent movies can be seen and he matches what they devised.

He makes his first entrance as a cleaner and we get an idea of his act from the combination of facial expressions, movement and sound. For many of his routines he brings on to the stage volunteers from the audience to help with the action. What is truly impressive is the way he can co-ordinate precisely the actions of the volunteers with his sound effects. It is uncannily telepathic and achieved with an impish sense of humour. He can play tennis football and my eyes are following the movement of an invisible ball.

His final routine with the aid of two volunteers is spellbinding. There is the damsel in distress and the evil rogue. He, in Chaplin style, slays the evil rogue to achieve the rescue and to round off a classy performance.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number                  Assembly @ Princes St Gardens; V52

Dates                                                  5 to 29 August 2010 (not 9, 23)

Times                                                 16.15 to 17.15

Fringe Programme Page Number: 149

Brazil! Brazil!

4 Stars

****

The company of dancers, singers and musicians have created a dazzling spectacle. They tell the story of the creation of Brazilian popular culture which has carnival, samba and football as the unifying factors that transcend poverty and politics.

The centrepiece of the show is the troupe of 5 male dancers cum acrobats who give stunning displays of athleticism and timing. One of the troupe gives the narration as they trace the dance forms from the earliest folk roots, through the African slave influences to the contemporary capoeira, a fusing of dance and martial arts. They whirl, spin and somersault to the accompaniment of Rhythm Carnival who provide a full and dynamic sound with the emphasis on percussion.

They are rightly proud of their football heritage and it is a nice touch to mention the influence of Scots in bringing the game to Brazil. There is a little bit of football keepy-uppy amidst all the physical action. Between the dance routines, the female singers perform seductively; swaying hips in short tight skirts.

The finale brings all the elements together creating a breathtaking carnival atmosphere with the audience clapping in time and cheering the individual talents on display.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number                  Udderbelly’s Pasture; V300

Dates                                                  5 to 30 August 2010 (not 16)

Times                                                 18.55 to 19.55

Fringe Programme Page Number: 144

Moment4Sheila / Laff4Sheila

Time
Today · 08:30 – 19:30

Location The Stand Comedy Club, York Place, Edinburgh

Created by:

More info
Moment4Sheila.

Join us at The Stand Comedy Club celebrate the life of a truly warm and wonderful woman.

Most of us knew Sheila Kay Jack as the enthusiastic co-founder of the One4Review site with her partner Geoff. Their presence at any gig was always a pleasure, and their reviews were unfailingly supportive and constructive.

As many of you will know, we lost Sheila earlier this year.

The Stand Comedy Club, on behalf of all those involved in Scottish comedy, would like to extend this invitation to friends, colleagues and those who knew Sheila to join us at the club for a quiet moment to reflect on Sheila’s life, and to share a few stories, and raise the roof in laughter in memory of this lovely lady. If there was one woman who understood the value of a good laugh, it was Sheila.

Moment4Sheila will begin at 8.30, August 15th, 2010, at The Stand Comedy Club.

Places are sure to be limited, so we really need those attending to RSVP.

Following the Moment4Sheila, The Stand has generously donated the entire ‘Best Of Scottish’ show on the 15th as a benefit, Laff4Sheila.

It’s sure to be a great night, worthy of a glowing mention in One4Review, with Paul Sneddon, Keir MacAllister, Anthony Murray and Parrot.

Proceeds will be given to the World Wildlife Fund in Sheila’s name, as Geoff requested

Please remember, is it important to RSVP for Moment4Sheila.

Laff4Sheila details

Sunday15 August Laff4Sheila benefit night
Venue: Stand 1 | Price: £10 | Doors: 9.35pm | Show: 9.50pm – 11.40pm

Tickets for Laff4Sheila can be purchased through the Stand website

Tall Storrie and Wee Godley

4 stars

****

I’ve seen a number of children’s shows in my time reviewing for the site.  Most of them know how to cater to their audience through a mixture of storytelling, song and general silliness.  All of which are evident in this show by the mother and daughter team of Ashley Storrie and Janey Godley.  The only difference is that they’re making it up as they go along.

As most parents will know, it’s hard to maintain a rigid structure when you have children, and it is this idea which Storrie and Godley seize upon and use to great effect.  Your children are encouraged to bring along instruments, sit on the stage, crawl about the stairs and generally contribute in whatever way they see fit.  Although some of the younger members might initially feel a bit reluctant to join in, it takes little time at all before they are swarming the stage.  Storrie interacts with the children beautifully, drawing them into the fun, whilst Godley manages to keep both the children and adults entertained.  It might be seen as a risk letting an adult orientated performer like Godley participate in a children’s show, especially if you’re familiar with her one-woman standup routines, but it works surprisingly well, ensuring that the parents are kept on side during the sillier moments.

Attending this show as an adult you might feel as if the lunatics have taken over the playground, but it certainly entertained the audience on the afternoon I went along.  So take your kids along and let them wear themselves out running riot, it’s positively encouraged.

Reviewed by Di

Venue – Pleasance Dome, Queen Dome

12.45 – 13.45

Cabaret Chordelia: Making a Song and Dance

3 Stars

***

The show centres round Damian Thantrey who has a fine, clear baritone voice. The songs selected reflect composers who penned romantic, often sad, lyrics with a strong story line such as Noel Coward, Rogers and Hart, Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.

Three female dancers Kimberly Lawrie, Kally Lloyd-Jones and Kirsty Pollock provide sensitive interpretations of the emotions contained in the songs. The highlight for me was the final song, Kirsty McCall’s ‘In these Shoes’ which was given lively and humorous treatment.

Cabaret Chordelia is pleasant and enjoyable late afternoon entertainment.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number – Pleasance at Ghillie Dhu; V236

Dates – 4 to 22 August 2010 (not 11, 16)

Times – 16.15 to 17.15

Fringe Programme Page Number: 144

Be-Dom

4 stars

****

If you want to start your afternoon with a bang, a boom or even a rat-a-tat-tat, then I thoroughly recommend attending Be-Dom at E4’s Udderbelly.  There you’ll spend an hour clapping and clicking along to the delights of these Portugese performers.

The show begins behind a large curtain, the backlit performers’ shadowy figures projected forward.  Soon enough the curtain is whipped away to reveal a space populated by a colourful array of, well, ‘stuff’.  A technicolour junkyard filled with TVs, bottles, barrels and buckets, all of which are used by the performers to create a wonderful sound.  Never has the term ‘tub thumping’ seemed more appropriate.   The choreography is wonderful to behold and the sheer joyful physicality of the performers engaged the audience throughout.  What seems ramshackle at times obviously took a lot of skill and practise to put together.

The show is divided into a number of different sketches and skits, all of which allowed the performers to develop a sense of their characters.  In addition, the gentle audience interaction allows you to contribute to the show in a delightful way.  The end of the show drew the crowd to their feet, appreciative of a genuinely entertaining hour.

Allow me to quote the highest recommendation, which came from the lady sitting next to me: “It’s the type of show you could recommend to everyone – you could bring your kids or your granny.”  Upon leaving the show a number of the younger audience members were tapping at various parts of their bodies, trying to recreate the sound that had kept them enthralled.  I fear for their parents’ kitchen cupboards, which will no doubt be raided so that they can ‘Be-Dom’ away into the evening.

Reviewed by Di

Venue – E4 Udderbelly

14.00 – 15.00

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