ROB DEERING Experienced comic avoids making a tit of himself

Some musical comics mask a lack of gags with skill in their chosen instrument. Not Rob Deering. An all rounder, his is a sharp. slick wit and he's deft with the hecklers too; hefty experience on the circuit really shows. Despite the humongous jugs he's photoshopped onto himself on his (self- confessed) disturbing poster, the fact that his show is provocatively entitled Boobs 2008, and with some of his chat verging on the laddish, Deering assures us that his mammary motives are purely feminist as a brief critique of lad mags proves. And of course ‘boobs' is simply what you get when 58008 is tapped into a calculator as everyone who ever wore a school uniform knows.

While some comics may only have a few songs they change the words to, Deering trips off many. giving the impression that he spends much of the rest of the day plucking his strings; he even manages to include a recurring tortoise theme. Effortless stuff.

(Marissa Burgess)

I Baby Belly, 0844 545 8252, until 24 Aug (not 20), 8.20pm, £9. 50—210. 50 (88.50—29.50).


An innovative Viz-fuelled waxing COO .

Comedy Store regular Gavin Webster has decided to structure his Fringe show with an on-screen, computer- operated random topic wheel where he will wax on whatever subject comes up. As it happens, this doesn’t constitute the main part of the show nor is it the most successful. Where Webster is at his best proves to be in more surreal territory. There's innovation in evidence with the lovely image of a church and a nice and simple impression of Big Ben. Elsewhere. some of his straight gags about women and lesbians could seem a little uncharitable and out of character for the usually affable Geordie. though

Rob Deering

his later comments about Liverpool are better pitched. His stand-up is punctuated by some inventive on- screen skits such as his ironically inapprOpriate gig try-outs and the grumpy old transvestite played by VIZ founder Simon Donald. Webster rounds off with a sublime finale where he duets with the voice in his head about “stuff that nobody needs'. (Marissa Burgess) I The Stand II, 558 7272, until 24 Aug (not 11), 10.15pm, £8 (£7).


Making the leap with cheek and charm mos

Stand-up comedy is an act of onanism. The trick is to make the audience feel like their satisfaction is the aim and Teddy observes this rule well in his rambling discourse on his travails in love. The Dunfermline—born 28-year-old with pinchable cheeks mixes tales of self-effacement and downright shame with digressional gags and


observational gems. Ten years on the circuit have honed his ability to hold a room (even the unforgivingly small, hot and bright Stand IV) and ad lib at will: a creaking door is a ‘heckle from a haunted house'. He even inserts copious expletives and some risque jokes easily into his confessional autobiography with knowing self- reference lessening the sting.

It can often be hard to make the leap from 20-minute sets to a solo Fringe show but Teddy teases his material out into continuous rolling waves of chuckles. It would, however, benefit from some added framework: the comedic equivalent of an introductory paragraph and some signposts. Teddy can woo a room; let ’3 hope he can get the girl. (Suzanne Black)

I The Stand Ill 8 IV, 558 7272, until 24 Aug (not 11), 10.40pm, £6 (£5).

THE ANGRY PUPPY Slick and slightly sick sketch silliness 0.0.9

Biting the crowd's ankles for one seamless hour, this foursome of jokers have created a scary but amazing collection of oddball crazy-ladies. It's from The Comedy Unit production team behind Chewin' the Fat and Rab C Nesbitt, who also brought last year's critically acclaimed The Ugly Kid with two of last year's stars, Susan Calman and Leah McRae. returning and bringing along Marj Hogarth and Kirstin Mclean. Between them they act out a string of (mostly) Glasgow-flavoured characters with a few smarrny TV exec types and common or garden weirdies thrown in.

Calman, a well-liked Stand regular, is excellent as a wide-eyed Jeanette Krankie lookalike trying to get into the posh Glenlivingston Academy, or seduce her boyfriend with her creepy ‘wee green goblin' foreplay, while McRae doubles as a fighty, working class snob (with the catchphrase 'oh my actual godl'). and a girl freakishly possessive of her dad. Well-observed back-stabbing and two-faced, gobby characters make this an original, slick and very funny show. (Claire Sawers) I The Stand Ill 8. IV, 558 7272, until 24 Aug (not 1 1, 18), 1.30pm, £8 (£7).

THE CHEESE AND PINEAPPLE CLUB Semi-cylindrical sphere of fun

This charming show sits somewhere between Josie Long and Penny Spubb's with its homemade artwork and quirky qualities. Sarah Campbell and Grainne Maguire are having a party complete with awkward small talk, inappropriate flirting and, of course. cheese and pineapple on sticks. They've just moved into their new flat (‘we actually live by fluke!’ exclaims Campbell) and are keen to invite us round to their small, ‘semi-cylindrical’ living space that conveniently happens to be a room in the Underbelly.

Smart and sassy Campbell and kooky and gauche Maguire are an odd pairing with an unexpected chemistry. Both 2008 Funny Women competition finalists perform a bit of their stand—up in amongst the shenanigans, Campbell revealing her unique way of getting out of awkward introductions while Maguire proposes that Emily Bronte was a bit of a lush. By the end the twosome have adopted their much practised ‘cool pose’ to welcome their equally funny special guests and Campbell is unafraid to become just a bit cheesy for her comedy. (Marissa Burgess)

I Underbelly, 0844 545 8252, until 24 Aug (not 12), 5.15pm, 29—81050 (£8-£‘9. 50).