(iCOl’gC Wyllie’s paper boat is not the only floating attraction on offer during this year's
Mayfest. The other is the Renfrew Ferry. which
has been redundant since it was taken out of
commission three years ago. Now moored at the
(‘lydeside ()uay. it has been refurbished and glassed over. though its original structure has been maintained. A bar. a stage and other essentials fora cabaret venue have been
installed. and the Ferry will be the main venue for
Mayfest comedy and cabaret performances.
including The ( 'mii'ersurrrm. a satirical play by
the imprisoned Czechoslovakian dissident
, THE LIST
Vaclav Havel. presented by two members ofthe
Royal Shakespeare (‘ompanyz
Mayfest‘s director Bill Burdett-(‘outts is
delighted with the venue. which he discovered
with (ieorge Wyllie while looking for a mooring
for the paper boat. lle approached the owner
Ronnie Scott. who. it transpired. had long been
keen to exploit the f-‘erry‘s potential. ‘We were looking for a centre for the festiva
where people can socialise.‘ says Burdett-(‘outts
‘l .ast year we had the Spiegeltent. but people didn‘t really socialise there. and there wasn't enough sponsorship to do that again. The
Renfrew Ferry has a really nice atmosphere. and it‘s free to performers and the media. so it should
be quite lively.‘ Like last years. the comedy programme
features some of the most popular names on the London circuit. including Jeremy llardy'. who yvon the Perrier Award for comedy at last year's Iidiiiburgh liestival l-‘ringe. .lohn Sparkes (also known as Naked l’uleo's Siadwel). .lulian ('larv —
'l'he .loaii (‘ollins l’an ( 'liib. ey'patriate (ilasw'egiaii Arnold Brown. and Simon
l-‘aiishaw‘e (see panel). who last year co-ordinated
Mayfest's International ( 'omedy Festival.
dropped this year (according to Biirdett-('iiiitts)
becauseofthedangersoftoomany festivals within a festival
'l'here are no great surprises among these ac
nor in the local contingent. which includes l i7 lochbead. Susie Magiiire and members of the
remarkably successful l’unnv l’ar'n eo-operat (see below)
More adventurous bookings include a triple
of Irish stand tips new to Scotland. described ‘li'islimen with brains' (a pre-emptive strike against a type of humour not likely to be
deployed by right-on l,ondoners)_ Among these is Michael Redmond (he of the monstache and
raincoat ). who was recently very funny on (‘li A nderson‘s television show.
Also featured are improvisation comics from l ondon's(’omedy Store. now popular through
eyposure on (’liannel 4‘s ll'hme I ine Is I! .‘lriytvuyf’. and Mime 'l‘heatre Project‘s
‘l‘hiuulerhiri/s l-..-t H. which l‘dinburgh took to
its heart last year “If! perhaps the prograiiime‘s most
unpredictable element is another triple bill. this time from ( ‘anada. which seems to be Mayfest's featured country for l‘lS‘l. All one can say about these comics is that Simon Fanshtiwe chose them.
which may. after all. be no bad recommendar l’iiially . one night will be dedicated to new
talent. in the shabe of the So You Think You're '
Marla Lukovsky of Yuk Yuk's (3.9 May)
Funny." contest. which last year featured many of the acts now in the Funny Farm. A necessary evil ofcold sweat for the performers. it offers a chance of real exposure and a foothold on the road to fame. ‘Ouite a few" applications have already been received. btit readers are still invited to enter. Everyone has to start somewhere. after all. (Andrew Burnet)
“If you put an S in front of it it becomes Shrug/i(er/rouse. which I think is rather niceTRo says glad-to-be-garruloiis Simon l-"anshaw-e of his comedy agency . whose actual name may be deduced by removing the S. A frighteningly funny and spontaneous stand-up comic with an international following. be has emerged as an energeticadministrator. andone oftlie guiding hands on May‘fest's comedy programming \Vitb his partner Rick Rogers. he has been try me to est'iblish M'Iy lest 'is ‘l" internationalcomedy eyent to match Mooti'nal or Melbourne
l :iiighterlioiise‘sspecitii aim being the introduction of \‘orth American and international comics to RflllSh audiences
‘l ast year. he recalls.
we r iced :ilic id and lt‘Tt'ly pushed the boat out \Ve hid eighteen comics from fiye different i oiiiitries and it inlectcd a lot of energy It‘ssiitallerthis year. but it's still runs “1:1. It should grow
organically . and nest year it w ill be bigger It sounds
a very yaw iiy thingtosay. but comedy is iiist becoming an industry in Scotland You‘ve got to takeone step back and two forward. and of course it‘s all down to sponsorship lt‘syery difficult to finance new ideas.’
llis enthusiasm is undented. how eyei'. and he Iscttltc‘k toenumerate the virtues of lltttSL‘ .‘tL‘Is which are appearing this year. 'l'he pairingol ‘queen of the diags'l ily
Say age's scotise hottsew ife
with ‘real scousewomrin' l’aiiline l)aiiiels(w ho spends much of her workinglileentertaiiiing lliitlin's punters) is. he says. what teleyisiori producer's 1"tllel'tt's\ 't\e! So too is Andy (‘ameion's sctoiid intrepid
ippe tf'ft‘t e mart
i"".""‘.‘. l s. iltein H“ c pawn invite thistiriic lt‘plt'st‘llllllL'illst‘l‘tlftlty to l ‘tr‘sl1:|\\c"s'|til_ ‘bir u back'bilhiig. [he
I4 HL'II\ l‘HH/l! " Iris lint-W l l." ".l !‘
\ei'y .iiiyioiistoii‘ il, ‘l“ '
(I'Ir/ !/Ii' \i‘HIHmHI you“. s iys "unsl‘ (\yo iyitlthunt-stadniuatinv- \Vifli hiel .l'u'\'\-v.s‘stl. ,- l‘ t' on he is ilso [\ltHI'l'”
[Vesi't‘l three L‘tttitti‘s
encountered through his pcitoriiianees lot \ Iik \‘iik. a chaiitof around twenty toniedy clubs in
Simon Fanshawe 3 ty‘lay,i
(’anada. ‘They are all not quite what they seem .' he says. citing Ron \"audry. whose esplicitly political humour is an unusual commodity in North America
llesides appearingon Mayfest's floating yenue. l-‘anshawe will himself push out a few boats in his act ‘I do improvise an aw l'll lot. and it depends w bar‘s happened the day before \nytbinglr'om l)e\ olution to the stateof
the audience's marriages.‘
heeytemporises‘ which institution will be dtssi‘lye l first " (Andrew Burnett
Simon l'itiiyhmi'e. .i \Irry'
See I Islmgy.
Bruce Morton Isdescribed in the May fest brochure as ‘linalist in Mayfest ‘HH's So You [hilt/r You're I‘umri“ and hes not altogether happy about that “'l'obe perfectly honestf he says. "I feel have I not done a bit more than that.”
He's right of course Besides icmnmg the eqtiiy alcnt competition in l'dinburgh. he's appeared twice on teley ision. co-w rirten and performed in the 'l‘ron’s(‘hristiiias show and. perhaps most importantly . been a founder member of the Funny liarm a groupof voting comics w idely seen :is the future of stand tip comedy ll‘ Ssotlattd (though. its 'nembe's cypress _iil'iiir'.itior‘. for tbos‘ w b i helped put. the w iy f." tfg' l-ergiisoi‘ Rt""‘lz‘ ( 'oltiai‘e “ii' e2: ti Hilly ( “"Ylt‘lly l
A ye i: igo. the Vi Ihmh You "i' l‘umn
Y *1 contest was ilortim fr '7 t't"ttfe\l"t‘t‘tlttt'lttitlt ~ piopci st igc :iiid lt‘ll‘.‘ r up. iiideeds-imel-aiiu iiiciitbcrswerer" Y'lllli'tl :isa result.iticliidiiis! (iordon Robertson. w ho made lttsilc‘l‘lll tlieict .i \cry 'isef'iloppoittiiiity ' besaysiandlasr w eel. headlined for tli 'ftrst time t‘!‘ if 'tt‘tH l irritbtlliiii' \\. toiililpiobably put aityoiicoii.iiiywhciz-
mm. s '\ l'ftt‘
lll"“~ t‘i: Kil‘.‘ i lft'tf ‘: w! '3.
‘y 1.:‘.‘l up“ .If A1,.Hy!‘ Wits" 17!: :' tof' '--
t". .itivl yoti 'gally “ .\ ,- t.~
b o e some ‘t‘L‘ w bi ii-i
infill-5' dyo i l
'11!er '.' if"! yd" H- ~: "its :t‘. 'Y..-y w .t‘. ‘rteriw l’i' Ll [lo- onypo't and
_.H. .y \
do/en members hay e hem able to offer each other. their constant presence and hiin standards hay e enabled ( ilasgow managements to experiment with regular comedy bookings. The Barpoint. l’aisley . isone such venue; more recent is Blackfriars in the Merchant ( ‘tty . w hose new ('omic ( 'lub is described by Morton as “a really significant milestone for the ( ilasgow entertainment scene .' l’ari ot agrees. but i'emembeis significantly that ‘about two and half years ago I was taken off the stage at Blackfriars for being too coiitroy ersial.
because people w eren't iiito yyliat was liappeiiiiig.'
Now the bit/xiii (ilasgow is such that far in members fiiid the allure of the South perfectly resistible 'l'ni not interested iii loiidon.‘ say s Morton. ‘and that‘s a measure of the confidence I hay e that somethiiig‘s deyelopiiighei'e People come up to see its and speak to us after the gigas “you young wee locks with iokes” and taking notesandsayiiig. "that was a good ioke artdl likedthe wording iiitliat oiieaiid yousrai‘tedwell," l don't need someone from I ondon to come and tellmerliat lr‘sayeiy condescendingattitude '
‘l was offered this (ioldeii ( ioiig Night at the ('iimedy Store: adds Robertson. 'and they told me it's eypcnses oiin but you can w iii a trip to New York lint the thing is l coiisidei myself asorta workiiigcomie l'mmoie than happy togodown .ind do a pioper spot .it Hi: ( ‘oincily Stoie. but I iiist don't want to be ticated likedyt‘lsel
'\\'liat's good about the (ilaseow comedy scene is that it is a small circuit and you’re going to be play HIV. the same placescyi l\ oiip! f weeks illl’l thi rc is ipicssiiie tokeep pioduciiig new material li'ssoiiietliingthat you 'lon‘t really haye in l oiidon because it‘s such a \ ‘l\' thing and you c iii get my :iy w ith the same sl‘tll time arid time .t‘.'.'lll
\it there “I” " lL'l‘tNl
leal of new llt.tlell.tl in the
funny laiiii'ssiy ltlL'llI\.tl thet'handle! lbcati~ feyi'ty membei featiiied. ~f:ffe'cnl line iipeyciy ritultl
ti_'l\) .is well .is it!
nicebalaiiceot \-1t‘l'l‘ll'\\l‘|t‘\llt‘“ tl'l‘ litort. alidoii l’aiiot's .\slttl \o lnu Hunk lou're lumii "_ they ll be tltete.
pirate [Jilin \ht tyy
"'II this year they 'ie st iyingiii tbt .illtlly'llye t '\l‘llly w lluiiictl
l'IHHH' from. J H Um.
'l hel ist ‘l April 4 May WHO—25