Event: Best of Red Raw, The Stand, Glasgow
Verdict by Clare McNeill, 22: 4 stars
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10 beginner comedians were given a leg-up at The Stand as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival.
Headliner Joey Page has a stage presence that sucks you in. His in-your-face-ness is entrancing, his nonsensical, plotless monologues receive bemused outbursts of laughter. However, I suspect his caffeine pumped persona won't be to everyone's taste.
Costumes usually signal over-compensation: as Ross McLelland appeared on stage with a skeleton-painted face, introducing himself as Rosco McSkeleton, the audience exchanged unimpressed glances.
But he was the highlight of the night. With a dead pan demeanour, he told a "terrifying tale" of a beach trip gone awry. Picking out audience members to help with your act can be a hit or a miss, but every time he made someone impersonate the mermaid or jellyfish in the story, the audience erupted at their panicked responses.
The only connection with his skeletal appearance was made when he finished with a "bone joke," involving Napoleon. He stared lifelessly at the audience after the Christmas cracker style punch line, and monotonely said: "If you didn't get that, it's because you don't know his last name... It's Bonaparte..." He sighed tediously, shook his head, and walked off.
Canadian Larah Bross relayed funny anecdotes about Scottish customs, but as she began talking about "the great Scottish hangover cure: the bacon roll," audience members heckled with "Irn Bru!" She stumbled and stiffened, obviously having a whole bacon butties bit prepared. The informality and spontaneity was lost.
Observational stand-up really isn't her thing: every Scot knows the ginger juice is the ultimate hangover cure.