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Edinburgh, Wed 20 Feb so

Smooth and pratlsed yet jarringiy predictable

The banner behind the middle-aged woman on stage reads: 'Victoria Wood At It Again'. It's a curiously uninspired name for a tour. one whose constituent words seem to point to some kind of ghastly post-structuralist tango. What exactly is the it she is At. and why is she doing It Again?

As Wood begins her smooth. practised spiel you start to realise what the packed audience presumably already knows: she does It extremely well. Wood. looking alarmingly trendy in trainers. baggy black trousers and a knee length coat. never loses her thread. never fluffs her punchlines and manages to construct an immediate intimaCy with the audience that belies the venue's size. and the fact that you'd feel more comfortable heckling at a church wedding.

That's not to say that Wood is a saintly figure. She's happy to bitch about Debbie McGee. compare mobile phones and pantyliners. and criticise tofu while deconstructing the menopause. Wood's earthiness is one of her more radical and redeeming features: not many comics could discuss their own cancer with as much humanity and humour as she does tonight. Elsewhere she can be jarrineg predictable. probing daytime TV, phone helplines and fat Americans in a series of skits that reveal little panache and still less imagination. It's easy. comfortable comedy that reaSSures prejudices rather than undermining them.

Wood's half-buried but insistent sense of superiority reaches its nadir in two sketches featuring Stacy Leanne Page. a Jane MacDonald clone with an insufferable ego and a weak voice. You'd think an experienced comedian could find a grander way of ending her show than with a snide assault on a rather

minor light entertainment figure.

Luckily she can. and reappears on stage to deliver a fake aerobics class that evidences rather more dynamism than the rest of the evening has offered. Wood is a fine. droll performer but her material could do with an adrenaline injection.

(James Smart)

Thursday 28


lee Floor Show BBC. Old Reception. Queen Margaret Drive. 6.30pm. Free. Live recordings of BBC Scotland’s comedy. music and entertainment programme. The show‘s core of returning performers includes the Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolfe. Craig Hill. Frankie Boyle. Miles Jupp (as Rupert Donaldson) and Bob Doolally. Each week there will also be two guests from the international comedy circuit and a live band. For tickets. call 0141 338 3491 or e-mail theliv'efi()()rsh() Jongleurs Comedy Club Jongleurs. L'GC Building. Renfrew Street. 0870 787 0707. 7.30pm. £6. London-based Scot Geoff Boyz (best known for his wicked de .\'iro gags). plus Australia‘s political sheila Sarah Kendall. comic maestro Pierre Holiins and surreal Yank David Crowe.

The Stand The Stand. 333 Woodlands Road. 08706006055. 8.30pm. £5 (£3).

68 THE LIST 28 Feb—‘4 Mar 20C2

Savvy Californian Jovanka Steel tops a bill which includes John Gordon. John Ross and com ere David Kay.

The Comedy Club O The Edge Chambersfl'he Edge. 57 Cochrane Street. 07979 550602. 9pm. £6 (£4). Likeable Irish rogue Kevin Hayes lays on the laughter. Stuttering nemesis Des Clarke. lunatic virtuoso Allan Miller and compere James Campbell complete the line-up.


The Stand The Stand. 5 York Place. 558 7272. 9pm. £5 (£3). Donna Krachan takes compering honours to introduce Steve Hughes. Keara Murphy. Chris Cooper and Blair.

Reg Anderson’s Comedy Cellar Fin MacCool‘s. 161 Lothian Road. 622 7109. 9pm. £2. Skitters crewmember John Littlejohn goes it alone. with backing from Lee ‘the gay Bernard Manning‘ Ness. and patter merchant Jamie McKenzie.

Snatch Club The Liquid Room. 9c Victoria Street. 225 2564. 10pm—3am.

£3.50 (£2.50). Resident compere and DJ

Harry Ainsworth hosts this weekly carry- on meets Hi-De-Hi debauched cabaret. Each week there will be a selection of guests. and competition host Dave Strong conducts the participatory fun and games.


Watson’s Wind Up GilmorehillGl2. 9 University Avenue. 330 5522. 1.05—1.45pm. Free. Only An Excuse star Jonathan Watson casts a satirical voice over the week‘s headlines at these live recordings. Call for tickets or email boxoft' Jongleurs Comedy Club Jongleurs. L'GC Building. Renfrew Street. 0870 787 0707. 7.30pm. £12. See Thu 28.

The Comedy Club @ The Corn Exchange Corn Exchange. 88 Gordon Street. 556 5626. 9pm. £5 (£4). Word- play wonder Des Clarke. plus .\'eil McFarlane. Brian Fox and compere James Campbell.

The Stand The Stand. 333 Woodlands Road. 0870 600 6055. 9pm. £6 (£5). Straight-talking Aussie Steve Hughes is this evening's main man. Support comes from Bruce Devlin. three guests and compere Donna Krachan.


The Stand The Stand. 5 York Place. 558 7272. 9pm. £6 (£5). Surreal rantings from Ian Cognito. ably supported by Californian blonde Jovanka Steel. John Gordon and compere Jane Mackay.


Jongleurs Comedy Club Jongleurs. L'GC Building. Renfrew Street. 0870 7870707. 7.30pm. £12. See Thu 28.

The Stand The Stand. 333 Woodlands Road. 0870 600 6055. 9pm. £7 (£4). See Fri 1.

Madcap Comedy Club State Bar. 148 Holland Street. 883 2334. 9.30pm. £5 (£4). Laconic David Kay headlines with support from Charlie Ross. Frank Truck and Ali Love.

Edinburgh The Stand The Stand. 5 York Place. 558 7272. 9pm. £7 (£4). See Fri 1.


The Joke Box Hamish's Hoose. 42 Old Sneddon Street. 561 7107. 9pm. Free. More boisterous banter courtesy of Gerry Grant. musical comedian Sandy Nelson and hard man Raymond Mearns.


Snoddy BBC. Old Reception. Queen Margaret Drive. 305 6602. 6.45pm. Free. but ticketed. Live recordings of BBC Scotland‘s new sit-com starring Gregor Fisher. Set in a Glasgow police station. Fisher trades his string vest and buckie bottle for police chief stripes and a golfing habit. Call for tickets or email

Cralc @ The Sac Cul de Sac Southside/Attic. 1 179 Pollokshaws Road. 649 1819/649 4717. 8pm. £4. Live F/(mr Show regular Frankie Boyle and comic wordsmith Viv Gee join compere Alan Anderson.

Michael Redmond’s Sunday Service The Stand. 333 Woodlands Road. 0870 6006055. 8.30pm. £4 (£2). Californian Jovanka Steel challenges the dumb blonde stereotype. with backing from John Gordon and three Velvet Virgins.

The Comedy Club 0 Bar Sporto Sporto. i 1 Waterloo Street. 556 5626. 9pm. Free. Tough-talking Raymond Mearns tops a bill which includes Nick Gray and compere Janey Godley.


Whose Lunch Is It Anyway? The Stand. 5 York Place. 558 7272. 1pm. Free. Freestyle funniness and hangover- banishing antics from resident duo Paul Graham and Stuart Murphy.

Six On Sunday The Stand. 5 York Place. 558 7272. 8.30pm. £3 (£2). Bitter humour from Australian Steve Hughes. with support from Bruce Devlin. three guests and compere Donna Krachan.

Reg Anderson’s Big Fun Quiz Night The Waterline. 10 Burgess Street. Leith. 554 2425. 9pm. Free. An offbeat comedy quiz with karaoke. interactive audience games and a spot of stand-up from the man himself.

Monday 4


Tam Cowan's Offside BBC. Main Reception. Queen Margaret Drive. 7.30pm. Free. but ticketed. Fans of the beautiful game stand united in this right-royal piss-take of Scottish football hosted by Tam Cowan. Expect celebrity guests being mauled by Motherweii’s trendy pie-eater and Tam‘s inimitable expert commentary on the weekend‘s sporting action. For tickets for these live recordings. call 0141 305 6602. The Comedy Module Solid Rock Cafe West. Dumbarton Road. 556 5626. 9pm. £3. Cheeky gag merchant Joe Heenan. plus Nick Gray. Brian Fox. Bee Dee and compering force The Trinity Of Mirth.


Red Raw The Stand. 5 York Place. 558 7272. 8.30pm. £1. Host Donna Krachan and headliner Donna Krachan show the stand-up try-outs how it's done.


The Live Floor Show Workshops The Stand. 333 Woodlands Road. 0870 600 6055. 8.30pm. Free. Resident comedians from BBC Scotland's flagship new comedy show workshop ideas for the series. See Craig Hill. Frankie Boyle. the Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolfe 111. Miles Jupp and Bob Doolally do their thing. and best of all. it’s completely free.


Bruce Morton Presents The Stand. 5 York Place. 558 7272. 9pm. £6 (£4). Stand-up old timer Bruce Morton hosts another night showcasing new comedy talent and special uests.

Reg Anderson’s Big gun Quiz Night Noble’s Bar. 44a Constitution Street. Leith. 554 2024. 9.30pm. £1 to play. See Sun 3.

Wednesday 6


Bruce Morton Presents The Stand. 333 Woodlands Road. 0870 600 6055. 8.30pm. £6 (£4). See Tue 5. The Comic Club Blackfriars. 36 Bell Street. 556 5626. 9pm. £5 (£4). Seasoned professional Vladimir McTavish (aka Live F/(mr Shaw’s Bob Doolally) is aided and abetted by Charlie Ross. Alan Anderson and compere James Campbell.


Wild Wednesday The Stand. 5 York Place. 558 7272. 9pm. £4 (£3). The Bushtucker Brothers push the boundaries of good taste to the least likely limit with their monthly exploration of all things offensive. outrageous and downright filthy. Departure Lounge @ PopRokIt PopRokit. 2 Picardy Place. 556 4272. 10pm—lam. Free. Perrier Newcomer 2001 winners Dave Strong and Harry Ainsworth host this weekly shambolic