The Stand. Glasgow, Thu 17 Apr; the Stand, Edinburgh, Fri 18 & Sat 19 Apr

If you haven‘t heard of Kitty Flanagan yet (and, let’s face it, you'd have remembered that name, suggestive as it is of a heroic kids' character such as Crystal Tipps or Minnie the Minx) the funny girl’s memorable moniker may soon be imprinted on your grey matter. And not just because of her recent appearance on lTV‘s The Sketch Show.

In her native Oz, the comedian, writer and actor is already a weel- kent face (not to mention distinctive tangle of black hair) thanks to her illustrious stand-up career and copious telly appearances, creating a multitude of eccentric characters on sketch comedies such as The Fifty Foot Show.

Flanagan’s stage persona - employed to hysterical effect in her one-woman tour Flanosserus - is a mix of the caustic and the cheeky, the warm and the wise; her targets ranging from Elle McPherson to blue-haired golfing women named Merle.

While Flanagan’s Edinburgh gig will emphatically not include profuse spleen-venting about the invasion of Iraq (‘I aim to provide a brief but entertaining diversion from today‘s grim reality . . . ooh, doesn't that sound noble?’), pretty much anything else is fair game. It'll be particularly refreshing to hear Flanagan’s take on the Sydney-Melbourne divide rather than the usual posh- Edinburgh versus couthy-Glasgow stuff.

‘I’m from Sydney, which is great, and I love Melbourne, which is great,’ she starts, magnanimously.

'However, if I was from Melbourne, I would hate Sydney.

Melbourne folk are competitive. They bang on and on about how much better Melbourne is than Sydney: how it‘s got more culture, better coffee, better restaurants, better bars. Sydney people never dispute that, they simply say: “Yes, you’re absolutely right, now remind me - where‘s Melbourne again?"

Surprisingly, though, it was that European cultural capital Berlin that provided Flanagan with her most

Hi Vll, V:

THE LONG RIDERS TOUR Seen at the Stand, Glasgow; touring throughout central Scotland. check listings .000

My rriule don't like people laughrn'. He gets the crazy idea yOu're laughrn' at him. But even my bad- terrrpered beast of burden looks forward to Bruce Morton, MIC'XlOl Redmond and the man they call Parrot coming to town. Cer'tarnly there's quicker-tire comedy out there. But this trio are a long time the saddle and the experience tells tonight builds to a Sergio Leone-like climax.

He may resemble Einstein toucheo by senrlity. but Redmond's hangdog express‘ron and leisurely stage- manner belie a quick Wit. Beginning Slowly driving his Chew to a ieu, and finding it wet he has 'em eating out of his hand by the end.

The Crystal Tipps of comedy: ‘A diversion from today’s grim reality'

feeding cauliflowers to the front row. They're throWing them back, but it seems good-natured.

Parrot opens much faster, but only

The magnificent three


memorable gig to date. ‘I was on a bill with four German-speaking comedians. The audience was German, but I was booked to do my act in English. I think the audience was nervous about the potential language problem and, perhaps out of relief, they started applauding every sentence they actually understood. I'd do the set-up to a joke and the crowd were so thrilled by the fact they‘d understood me that they would burst into applause. I don’t think I did a punchline the whole time I was there . . . and yet I stormed every night! Maybe I’ll try it up in Scotland: “So I was walking down the street today . . . cue spontaneous applause.‘

You never know, it might just work. (Allan Radcliffe)

hits h s stride With a drunken. wardrobe-r)issrng shtick.

What follows rs an unlikely combination of shagging gags and mental breakdown reflections. with cheese SéllKlVJlClltfii cut by spoons the enduring image of a freguently great set.

Top-billing, though. desenxedly goes to Morton. As sharp as ever. With the Iraq conflict grist to h;s clever corriedy-rrrill. he remains the rare combination of a thought- provokrng yet devastatingly funny stand-up. That said. it's a series of absurd obsemations that finally brings the house down, the best involving firerrren, therrrio-goggles and microwaved bananas. Appear"th at a series of saloons and wate'rng holes across Scotland. don't msz an opportunity to catch these excellent comedy cowpoxes. Long rriay they ride. (Jay Richardson.

Joking aside

Where the laughter matters


set to start up at the Radisson Hotel bar in Glasgow. Alan Anderson is organising the gigs which look like being held every Sunday night. Meanwhile, Craic @ the Sac is in limbo land the venue now doesn‘t close for another two months and as yet there are no more weekend gigs planned.

Ross Noble: talking Italian

ROSS NOBLE WILL PLAY THE first English stand-up comedy club in Italy. Famed for his spiralling feats of absurd ingenuity, the Cramlington comic (pictured) will have no easy task ahead of him if he’s to win over an Italian crowd. The gigs will take place at the Scimmie (eh?) club in Milan, Monday 5 & Tuesday 6 May.

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