Glasgow Comedy Festival

Burnistoun - Live And For Real, Kings Theatre, Glasgow

Lorraine Wilson

four stars

Comedy was first to be the new rock'n'roll and judging by the reaction to the first live outing of Burnistoun, it has reclaimed that title.

The atmosphere in the theatre was more akin to a rock gig, with a palpable excitement at being the first to witness the characters who populate the legendary TV suburb, including Jolly Boy John, Quality Polis, Widden Pallets, and the guy who won't take "nae rolls" for an answer. Oh, and that wee one about the voice-activated lift, which has become Burnistoun's own "Dead Parrot".

With no set to speak of, the costume changes and handovers were handled cleverly with audio fills, but if a quick change resulted in a comedy moustache malfunction, all the better.

The partnership of Iain Connell and Robert Florence is one of the gifts from the comedy cosmos. Not a double act but two equally funny guys who are generous to one another in their writing and performance. The surprise was how well the sketches translated to the stage, thanks in the main to the physical comedy skills and timing of the pair, who barely missed a beat, even when catchphrases and lines were bellowed from the audience before they had a chance.

What the live show allowed them to do was play with some of the sketches, ad-libbing and stretching the ideas. Some, however, had to be delivered verbatim. Change the dialogue and the audience can't sing along.

The solid supporting cast of Louise Stewart and Gerry McLaughlin meant they could present some sketches that could allow a change of pace, such as the excellent Sarcasmoholics Anonymous.

It's fair to say that Burnistoun property values have rocketed following this.