Puts its money where its mouth is

Mac Star and Dougie Munro are all shook up

Candles, cakes, cards, bumps and filthy hangovers are what most people associate with birthdays. Not Mac Star. His anniversary holds two very different associations. Firstly, he returned to Blighty on his 25th birthday two years ago, and thus rediscovered stand-up comedy through a heckle at the Stand. Secondly, it was on his birthday this year that his stand-up mate, Ashley Frieze, bought him his very own company. Or the name and the website at least. ‘He actually put a bit of money into it for me, so that was kind of nice of him,’ adds the Tasmania-born comedian.

And so Capital Comedy was born. A joint concern between Mac Star and Edinburgh mirthster Dougie Munro, it aims to build on the success of their weekly Comedy Cave venture at Edinburgh’s subterranean nightspot Nichol Edwards. Sponsorship has been secured (the alcoholic Oz milkshake brand Vodka Mudshake), venues around the country have been sourced for monthly comedy outings, word of mouth is spreading like wildfire among its bank of comics, and WAM TV is onboard to broadcast the gigs live over the internet. The company is also promising a huge Fringe presence, erecting a marquee on Leith Docks for the three weeks of the festival.

So in a business that’s as unforgiving and competitive as Scottish comedy, what makes Capital Comedy gigs different? ‘Dougie’s going to kill me for saying this,’ says Star, ‘but we actively encourage heckling. If someone in the audience has something to say that they think is going to add to the show then we want them to say it. We won’t throw anyone out for it. If a comedian isn’t good enough to come up with a response then they need to go away and work on that.’

It’s an ethos that’s proved unpopular with some, but Mac Star is unstinting in his determination. Nights are being organised as far afield as Dundee, Prestwick and Jedburgh, spreading the name far and wide. And Capital Comedy’s creative duo lay heavy credit for their success at the feet of established comics - step forward Paul Sneddon, Jo Jo Sutherland, Keara Murphy and Simon McKinney. ‘They’ve been giving us their time for whatever our budget is and we simply wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.’ (Maureen Ellis)

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Events are listed by date, then city. Submit listings at least ten days before publication to, by post or by fax on 0131 557 8500. Listings are compiled by Maureen Ellis.

Thursday 8


The Grand Gong Show The Vault. l l H) Pollokshaws Road. Shawlands. (14‘) 0007. 7.30pm. £4 (£3). A host ol comics. magicians. poets. singers and all-round entertainers attempt to win oyer the audience and beat the gong. Anyone lasting oyer liye minutes will go forward to the linal in l'cbruary to compete for £ 1 k. Anyone interested in taking part should email

newact200-l(n latighinghoi' Jongleurs Comedy Club Jongleurs. l'(i(' Building. Rentrew Street. ()870 787 0707. 8pm. £7. Former Big Break/(ix! host and Northern gurner Paul 'l‘onkinson heads a bill which includes Alun ('ochrane. 'I'ony Hendricks and Smug Roberts.

The Thursday Show the Stand. 333 \Voodlands Road. 0870 600 (i055. 9pm. £6 (£5). The uncompromising .\l('-styling of Raymond .\Iearns payes the way for Brendan Dempsey. .\'ik (‘oppin. John Ross and Bratchy.


Duck Downe 'I'lie Laughing Duck. 24 Howe Street. 07905 045573. 9pm. £3. (‘amp cabaret packed full oi last and furious l‘riy'olity. competitions. silliness and gay -lriendly fun.

0 The Thursday Show The Stand. 5 York Place. 558 7272. 9pm. £o (£5). Stand commandant Jane Mackay takes met the mic to introduce (‘anadian TV star (‘raig ('ampbell (also known as the hairiest third ol"I‘he l)inks). plus .\lotherwell‘s Mark Bratchpiece and (‘olin .\lc(iiil.

The Snatch Social The Liquid Room. ‘)c Victoria Street. 225 25(i-l. |0.30pm 3am. £3.50 (£3). l-‘illh- lixated. l‘unky disco-cum—eabaret. comically competed by Tap Water Award winner 'I'ony (‘arter and Harry Ainsw‘orth (aka l’errier Newcomer winner (iarth ('ruikshank) back from the dead.


The Vault Comedy Club The Vault. l I It) l’ollokshaws Road. Shawlands. 64‘) 0007. 7.30pm. £8

(£6 £7). (iag guarantor l)es McLean introduces the conl'rontational wit of Raymond .\Iearn.s. pltis Vladimir .\Ic'l'a\'ish and Karen (‘ocklield Jongleurs Comedy Club Jongleurs. l'(i(‘ Building. Rentrew Street, 0870 787 0707. 8pm. £l2. See Thu 8.

C) The Stand The siuiiti. 333 Woodlands Road. 0870 000 (i055. 8.30pm. £7 (£0). ('anadian 'I'V cult (’raig (‘ampbell indulges his silly side with some anarchic. l'ree-l'orm toml'oolery. ()pen .‘tlic linalist (iary Delaney. comedy globetrotter (iraeme Thomas and Bratchy stand up in support alongside host Susan Morrison.


Jongleurs Comedy Club Jongleurs. ()mni ('entre. (ireenside Place. 08707 870707. 8pm. £ l 2. Pop satirist Sandy Nelson takes a turn in the compere spot to introduce Scotland‘s adopted [t‘ish \\ it Michael Redmond. (ieordie comedian (iayin Webster and filthy lunny lady (iina Yashere.

The Stand The Stand. 5 York Place. 558 7272. 0pm. £7 £8 (£0). Brendan Dempsey leads the imprm charge. ably supported by Mark Bratchpiece. Nik ('oppin and host Jane Mackay.

listings Comedy


Comedy editor Maureen Ellis gazes at the brightest stars to fo/Iow this year

Few would disagree that Frankie Boyle is ripe to make a huge impact in 2004. Teetering on the brink of stardom in 2003 as one of the Live Floor Show's Original line- up. he was relegated to the writing credits when the series was granted national status. Was he too risque for mainstream audiences? Too political for Friday night viewing? Who knows. but 80er made good use of his time. performing a double header with Jim Muir (aka Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolfe) at the festival and honing his stand-up act to gilt-edged perfection. Now a regular headliner at Jongleurs and the Stand. the lad from Glasgow will be back on Our (Scotland—only) screens as one of the crew members of BBC Scotland's Viva Floor Show in mid-February. Catch him live before some clued-tip TV bod gives him his own show.

If straight stand-up doesn't float your boat like it used to. then indulge your funny side with a little sketch-based comedy. It’s a Mad, Mad World is a new bi--m0nthly sketch show which premieres at the Stand in Glasgow on Wednesday 28 January. Anyone who caught the brilliant festival show EtchySketc/iy at Edinburgh College of Art will recognise a few of its characters Perrier Newcomer winner Garth Cruikshank. Tap Water Award winner Will Andrews (aka Tony Carter). BBC comedy writer Ewan John and new kid on the sketch block Colin Heggie. Their collective CVs make their visions of a. . . Mad World a formidable prospect. Expect it to be thoroughly off the wall.

From the wacky to the conventional. Danny Bhoy is the COmedian most likely to go stratospheric this year. Originally from Moffat. but a London Town resident of some years. his star shone brightly at the Royal Variety Performance in November. Still only 28. this yOung lad has so far eschewed teleVision offers. but With a face and demeanour that screams TVsncom, it can only be a matter of time.

. Thesky’s } the limit It for Danny

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