I Ian Smith Barbizon Restaurant. 40 High Street. Glasgow. 04] 552 0707. 8.30pm. £12.50. The third ofthe Barbizon‘s performance banquets hosted by the weird and wonderful Ian Smith (art gangster). A series of performance ‘intercourses' are sandwiched between the presentation of specialist food courses. Music is provided courtesy of Charlie Proppa and additional moments of lunacy from Roland Miller. More music and performance once you‘ve eaten. You should state your preference for vegetarian or carnivorous food when booking.

I Elaine C. Smith Tron Theatre. 63 Trongate. Glasgow. 041 552 4267. 10.45pm. £5 (£3). Mainly music from the Naked Video star. but she also promises a few of her old monologues for good

I Kinny Gardner Theatre Workshop. Hamilton Place. Edinburgh. 2265425. 8pm. £3.50 (£2.50). Camp musical entertainment from Edinburgh-born Kinny Gardner who takes a highly personal look at male sexuality. A mixed bag of 14 songs delivered with ironic panache.


I The Comic Club Blackfriars. 45 Albion Street. Merchant City. Glasgow. 552 5924. 9pm. £5 (£3). Bar open 8.30pm—midnight.

Kevin Kopstein is your compere for a packed evening of alternative wisecracks. The weekly club is making an effort to give a longer bill of entertainment and tonight it‘s presenting Fred McAulay. as seen on TV. Cathy & Claire. Steve Walls. new comic Stuart Bishop and newcomers The New Breed Theatre Company. Recommended.

I Cavern Comics Clyde Cavern. Clyde Place (just over Jamaica Bridge). Glasgow. 9.30pm. £2. Glasgow‘s youngest comedy venue has proved to be an instant success with audiences over 100 people turned up last fortnight. This evening‘s hosts are the juggling trio Up For Grabs. who will be sharing the bill with improvisers Theatre Nepotism and off-beat eccentric Ian Smith. Sounds like a good gig.

I Bruce Morton Marco's Leisure Centre. Templeton Street. Glasgow. 041 554 7184. 8pm. £3. The star of Halfway To Paradise warms up for his forthcoming mini-tour of the Central Belt with an hour ofstand-up comedy. Lots of new material is promised. I Elaine C. Smith Tron Theatre. 63 Trongate. Glasgow. 041 5524267. 10.45pm. £5 (£3). See Fri 23.

Sunday 25th March THE COMIC CLUB





Start 8.30 Ticket : £3.50



I Kinny Gardner Theatre Workshop, Hamilton Place. Edinburgh. 226 5425. 8pm. £3.50 (£2.50). See Fri 23.


I Comic Club lmprov Blackfriars. 45 Albion Street. Merchant City. Glasgow, 041552 5924. 8.30pm. £3.50. Who knows what may happen when the Funny Farmers take to the stage for the latest bout of fortnightly free-form comedy. Taking the stage will be Libby MeArthur. Fred McAuley. Kevin Kopstein. Phil Kay and Kate Donnelly. and no doubt the audience will have a fair say in the proceedings.


I Three Men Trio Bros Troupe Upstairs at Bonhams. 194 Byres Road. Glasgow.041 357 3424. 9.30pm. Free. Three-fold entertainment in triplicate from the comedy triad. You’ll catch them at Bonhams on the last Monday ofevery month.


I Freddie Starr Playhouse. Greenside Place. Edinburgh. 557 2590. 7.30pm. £8.50—£10.50. The Liverpool comic has been 25 years in the business and promises a few spots of music alongside the wisecracks.


I Freddie Starr Pavilion Theatre. 121

Renfield Street. Glasgow. 04] 3329107.

6.30pm & 9.30pm. £8.50/£9.50. See Wed 8.


I Freddie Starr Pavilion Theatre. 121 Renfield Street. Glasgow, 041 3329107. 6.30pm & 9.30pm. £8.50/£9.50. See Wed


I The Comic Club Blackfriars. 45 Albion Street. Merchant City. Glasgow. 552 5924. 9pm. £5 (£3). Bar open 8.30pm—midnight.

An interesting line-up ofGIasgow comedians tonight. Parrot will be introducing the debut performance of Thaim Again. featuring Vicky Lee. Craig Munroe and Ian McCall (TV‘s Mr Sinclair). Take Two. featuring Libby MeArthur and Louise Goodall. and new comic John Paul Leach.

I Freddie Starr Pavilion Theatre. 121 Renfield Street. Glasgow. 041332 9107. 6.30pm & 9.30pm. £8.50/£9.50. See Wed 28

I Joke Box Bar Point. 42 Wellmeadow Street. Paisley. 041 889 5188. 8.30pm. This fortnight‘s comic is Phil Kay. rising young star of the Funny Farm. while blues guitarist Eric Cuthbertson provides the music.

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King’s Theatre, Edinburgh. Run Ended. As a long-term defender of the Comic Strip against accusations of juvenile smuttlness, I find myself back-tracking in the case of Andy De La Tour. Where once his act seemed fresh and full of insight, it now comes across as a weak and predictable romp through a set of easy targets and quips about masturbation. In his value-for-money hour-long warm-up for Rik Mayali, he picks on TV commercials, student life (the man’s in his 40s!) and the Poll Tax, causing minor chuckles, but few serious laughs. In pastiche Ben Elton mode he wins over a new audience, but I’ve seen it all before.

There’s no denying that Rik Mayall’s act has a more than healthy helping of toilet humour, but his ability to hide behind an array oi characters introduces an all-important measure of irony absent in De La Tour’s material. The snotty-nosed Rik persona is an armchair revolutionary who thinks the word ‘bottom’ is radical and the two-finger gesture rebellious. As gratuitously obnoxious as Viz Comic’s Rude Kid, Rik is every stuck-up, self-important student who ever wanted to change the world before the next Rag Ball. He doesn’t just say ‘wank’, he is a wanker.

While Rik is the mainstay of the act, the richly varied routine takes us through a host of voices and characters; a snatch of conventional stand-up, an all-too brief ramble from Kevin Turvey, glib patter from a show-biz smooth guy, the manic meanderings of a paranoid comic and somewhere in amongst it all, elusive and impossible to pin down, Mayall himself. The man is a consummate performer with razor-sharp physical and verbal timing that can turn the cheapest of gags, the simplest of lines, into hilarious show-stoppers. Demonstrating an ever broader range of accents and acting skills, and always pushing into new areas of comedy, Mayall is a joy to watch. Excellent. (Mark Fisher)



Seen at Glasgow Pavilion. Run Ended. News came through that on 11 March, 24 hours after Comic Relief had raised a further £7000 for a starving people, the Ethiopian government saw fit to bomb food dumps in the North, for the

very good reason that they had fallen into rebel hands. Reports in the following day’s press described the dumps, which were originally donated by the European Community, as ‘burning slag-heaps'.

It remains a sad fact that the appalling circumstances of North-West Africa come as a result of civil war. Crop failure there may be, but poor harvests do not account for the sheer magnitude of the ongoing holocaust. Starvation survives in Ethiopia and the Sudan because of poor access, uneven distribution and, above all, military interference.

Given this, what exactly can ‘A Night for Comic Relief’, as it appeared on Sunday, hope to achieve?

I have to qualify this question. Comic Relief, as a cabaret showcase, was an overwhelming success. The combined talents of the Funny Farm, aided by a variety of musicians, celebrities and other comedians, provided an evening’s entertainment which could have run for a great deal Iongerthan it did. They also raised money. Of course, any charity has a moral right to request a contribution from the well-heeled public, but this seemed even fairer given the comic sweetener offered in return.

From the punter’s perspective, nothing could be rosier than the Scottish cabaret circuit right now. From the manic tendencies of the Alexander Sisters, the curious ironies of Gordon Robertson and the musical caricatures of Dave Anderson (to name but a few), a picture emerges of a dynamic, quirky and intelligent comedy scene. Given the much vaunted idea of ‘Cultural Capital’, it might be worth asking whether comedy might not appear as its salient feature.

My objection to Sunday’s proceedings is that, if the comedians on show are so talented, why did they feel it necessary to back down from any sort of reference to the cause which they claimed to support? If the deaths of Ethiopians and Sudanese come as a result of starvation caused by war rather than starvation caused by crop failure, then it seems more relevant to generate political pressure alongside fundraising than simply fundraising alone. Sunday’s performers were uniquely placed to provide an explanation of the purpose behind the charity. it was as if somebody backstage had said: ‘These folks are here to be entertained, better not include any heavy stuff'. The assumption being that a good comedian can’t cope with ‘the heavy stuff’.

As comedy, “A Night for Comic Relief‘ was a big success. As a worthwhile act of charity, my feeling is that they chickened out. (Philip Kingsley)

52 The List 23 March 5 April 1990