Joke's on folk

Re: Gagging for it (letters 385) An rnterestrng letter from Brll Dewar The funny thrng rs that you c0u|d replace vrrtually every reference to 'comedy’ wrth 'folk' and have an egually valrd set of comments. Thrs rs not a crrtrcrsm of yourselves, who at least acknowledge the presence of the folk scene, but rt wOuId appear that the rest of the Scottrsh rneclra seem to thrnk that Celtrc Connectrons rs the be-all and end- all of what happens and completely rgnore the huge amount of frne musrc that goes on darly rn clubs up and down the country. Why not send a revrewer out to a folk club grg sometrme7 You mrght be pleasantly surprrsed

Chris Rogers vra e-mar/

Fun fun funding Re: Gagging for it (letters 385) As owner of the Scottrsh Comedy websrte, | read Brll De\"s letter Wrth rnterest

The rdea of the Sc'ottrsh Arts C0uncrl fundrng 'physrcal dance theatre’ over comedy rs a red herrrng. The rssue rs not whether one art form deserves fundrng more than another. The rssue rs whether comedy deserves fundrng Mrnorrty arts are grven frnancral bacgkrng by the SAC because they cannot fund themselves Comedy rs rgnored because, rn the eyes of the SAC, rt can

The truth rs drfferent. Whrle establrshed clubs Irke The Stand can draw sell-out crowds every weekend, cOuntIess others have been forced to close after a few short weeks of srngle frgure audrences. What rs the problem7

1) Pub/Venue Owners With An Ulterior Motive. Problem a! bar Iosrng busrness rn the face of strff corrrpetrtron, br owners have Ircensrng problems whrch rnrght be solved by provrclrng entertarnment Solutron get a few comedians Grve them the room upstarrs Don't provrde egurprrrent leave them to publrcrse the g:g themselves Pay them a door splrt See 'f rt works It costs nothrng There rs no commrtment from the venue They thrnk the punters wrll have such a terrrfrc trrne that they wrll spend loads at the bar and come back next week for more of the same Thrs puts all the pressure on the performers When thrrrgs don’t work out, suc h venues thrnk erther the comedrans are shrt or the rclea of a comedy club rtself rs a non-starter Four ‘.'.eeks later, they cancel the club 2) Hey... Let's Do the Show Ourselves! Problem comedrans not gettrng enough grgs because there are too few clubs Solutrorr open your own club Corrredrans erl almost rnevrtably need a free venue, whrc It leaves them at the mercy of Pun/Venue Ouners Wrth An Ulterror lvlotrve Secondly, rt has all the drawbacks of vanrty publrshrrrg There wrll always be a temptatron for cornedrans to use such a platform to launch therr own acts, hog the stage and treat rt as therr show, drsr'egardrng what the aud:ence wants to see Perhaps the Scottrsh Arts Counc rI should help, but Its no more Irker to grve comedy the respect rt deserves than the rneclra are The Lrst rs not alone rn churnrng out second-rate comedy coverage Whrle every br‘oaclsheet, tablorcl and glossy mag rs full of ’the best comedy coverage' for three weeks rn August, they couldn’t grve a monkey's for the other 49 If lvloby

was rn town, The Lrst would fall over rtself for an exclusrve rntervrew, but Johnny Vegas plays rn Glasgow and he barely makes the Irstrngs. As for the countless hrghly talented new acts who have emerged over the past few years, you wOuId thrnk they never exrsted.

So perhaps rt's not money that comedy needs, but respect. Jason Hall vra e-rnar/

It’s no' oer accent

Re: English censorship I read wrth clrsgust a news rtern rn The Sunday Herald about Chevwn’ The Fat havrng rts more 'drffrcult to understand’ sectrons removed for the benefrt of Englrsh vrewers.

Why7 If they can't understand rt, they could stretch therr frngers just that lrttle brt harder and use therr subtrtles button to make out what’s berng sard

If Englrsh vrewers are havrng Chewrn’ The Fat doc tored for therr benefrt, why doesn't the BBC do us rn Northern Brrtarn a favour and tarlor Tire Fast Show jUSl to make sure we don't have problems unclerstandrng rt7 We should have the power to stop them berng so petty

But we don’t because the BBC, far from berng a publrc broadcastrng servrce, has become rust another corporatron run by men rn surts whose only rnterest rs makrng as much money as they can There's a phrase for thrs sort of behavrour rnver‘ted racrsm A programme should be a prograrrrrrre should be a programme, end of story It's trrrre the BBC realrsecl thrs Jonathan Muirhead vra e-mar/

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