PERFORMANCE POETRY JOHN COOPER CLARKE The Arches, Glasgow, Sat 29 Jan
When John Cooper Clarke declaimed an epigrammatic ‘why struggle?’ at the opening of his final 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show in his trademark deadpan northern twang, the statement was a typically double-edged mix of the philosophical and the practical. While the be- suited and be-shaded Bard of Salford’s proclamation smacked of existential enquiry, in actual fact the motor-mouthed stick-insect was merely moving a table closer to the microphone in order to rest his bag full of verses on top and within reach. What followed was a rapid-fire barrage of rhyming vignettes mapping
out life’s everyday absurdities with a decidedly surrealist vision. Hire cars, not so wedded bliss with a bug-eyed extra-terrestrial and a verbal picture postcard on the salubrious delights of Greater Manchester’s satellite suburbs were all in the mix, each one punctuated with the driest of one-liners that rounded Cooper Clarke’s act up into the deadliest of routines. All this and slumland grimoir ‘Beasley Street’, a ‘Waste Land’ for the Thatcher generation that was followed by its regenerated sequel, the pithy ‘Beasley Boulevard’. Set in the interior expanse of the inflatable upside down cow that was the Udderbelly, the effect fell somewhere between high-concept Dadaist cabaret and chicken-in-a-basket top light entertainment for grown-ups.
Five months on, and Clarkey’s back, this time in the more bijou subterranean setting of Glasgow’s Arches space to continue a public rehabilitation that has seen him championed by the Arctic Monkeys, while a decade back Christopher Eccleston recited the whole of ‘Evidently Chickentown’ in Danny Boyle’s TV movie, Strumpet. Cooper Clarke was resolutely pragmatic about such praise. ‘It’s good to have Dr Who on your side,’ he had noted, clearly having missed the last two Timelords. ‘It opens up a whole new fanbase among the sci-fi fraternity.’ (Neil Cooper)
Events are listed by date, then city. Submit listings at least 14 days before publication to firstname.lastname@example.org. Listings are compiled by Siân Bevan. ✽✽ Indicates Hitlist entry
Glasgow One Night Only Nice’n’Sleazy, 421 Sauchiehall Street, 333 0900. 7pm. £6. A fundraiser for St Andrew’s Hospice, with comedians Richard Gadd, Sarah May Philo and Obie, plus other variety acts. The Thursday Show The Stand, 333 Woodlands Road, 0844 335 8879. 8.30pm. £8 (£7; members £4). Host Joe Heenan is joined by Gavin Webster, Andy Sir, Alex Maple and Mark Davies.
Edinburgh ✽✽ The Thursday Show The Stand, 5 York Place, 558 7272. 9pm. £8 (£7;
members £4). Carl Donnelly, Keir McAllister, Chris Ramsey and Alan Sharp join MC Susan Morrison.
Glasgow highlight Comedy Highlight, UGC Building, 11 Renfrew Street, 0844 844 0044. 8pm. £12. Scott Agnew and Janey Godley provide company for Kevin Gildea. Free club entry after the show. The Friday Show The Stand, 333 Woodlands Road, 0844 335 8879. 8.30pm. £10 (£9; members £5). See Thu 20 for line-up.
Edinburgh highlight Comedy Highlight, Omni Centre, Greenside Place, 0844 844 0044. 8.30pm. £13. Raymond Mearns and Kevin McCarthy tell the jokes while dinner is served. Hot food available before and free club entry after the show.
✽✽ The Friday Show The Stand, 5 York Place, 558 7272. 9pm. £10
(£9; members £5). See Thu 20 for line- up. The Improverts Bedlam Theatre, 11b Bristo Place, 225 9893. 10.30pm. £4.50 (£4). Long-running weekly improv show.
Glasgow GU Amnesty’s Secret Policeman’s Ball Queen Margaret Union, 22 University Gardens, 339 9784. 7.30pm. £5. A lower-key event than the usual SPB, hosted by the Glasgow University Amnesty International Group. Featuring performances from Chris Henry, Billy Kirkwood and Des Clarke. highlight Comedy Highlight, UGC Building, 11 Renfrew Street, 0844 844 0044. 8pm. £12. See Fri 21. Saturday @ The Dram Dram, 232–246 Woodlands Road, 332 1622. 9pm. £7 (£5). A weekly show from Ha Ha Comedy, with an ever-changing line-up in the pub you may have known as Uisge Beatha. Tonight, Stu Who? joins MC Ray Bradshaw and local comedian Rob Kane. The Saturday Show The Stand, 333 Woodlands Road, 0844 335 8879. 9pm. £15. See Thu 20 for line-up.
Edinburgh A Toast to Burns Corn Exchange, 11 New Market Road, 319 8075. 7pm. £50 (premier ticket £65 includes drink on arrival, private bar, priority seating and goody bag). Fundraiser for Children 1st, which aims to provide health and happiness for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children. The festivities include a ceilidh, tasty food, and some words of wisdom from Peter Brown and Susan Morrison. Burns Supper Comedy Night Beehive Inn, 18 Grassmarket, 225 7171. 7.30pm. £25 including meal. Traditional Burns Supper with a comedy twist. Featuring Vladimir McTavish, Keara Murphy, Dave McLennan and a special guest singer. highlight Comedy Highlight, Omni Centre, Greenside Place, 0844 844 0044. 8.30pm. £13. See Fri 21.
✽✽ The Saturday Show The Stand, 5 York Place, 558 7272. 9pm. £15. See
Thu 20 for line-up. Sunday 23
Glasgow Michael Redmond’s Sunday Service The Stand, 333 Woodlands Road, 0844 335 8879. 8.30pm. £6 (£5; members £1). Mr Redmond introduces Chris Ramsey, Niall Browne, Richard Melvin, Chloe Philip and Alan Scott. Edinburgh FREE Whose Lunch Is It Anyway? The Stand, 5 York Place, 558 7272. 1.30pm. An afternoon of improv-comedy with Stu and Garry. Hot food and a bar available for hangover victims. The Sunday Night Laugh-In The Stand, 5 York Place, 558 7272. 8.30pm. £6 (£5; members £1). Keir McAllister joins Gordon Alexander, Rob Kane, Mickey Anderson and Jeff O’Boyle.
Glasgow ✽✽ Burns Night Special The Stand, 333 Woodlands Road, 0844 335
8879. 8.30pm. £8 (members £5). Sandy Nelson, Gus Tawse, Daniel Sloss, Elvis McGonagall and Bruce Morton raise a glass to Rabbie.
Edinburgh Burns Supper Comedy Night Beehive Inn, 18 Grassmarket, 225 7171. 7.30pm. £30 including dinner. See Sat 22. Red Raw The Stand, 5 York Place, 558 7272. 8.30pm. £2. Sian Bevan and Simon O’Keefe join some hopeful newbies in Scotland’s finest new talent showcase.
Tuesday 25 Glasgow Red Raw The Stand, 333 Woodlands Road, 0844 335 8879. 8.30pm. £2. A selection of new comedians join Derek Johnston and Simon O’Keefe.
THE BEST COMEDY
✽✽ Carl Donnelly The laconic and laid back funnyman with the curious eyewear holds court for a weekend of chilled- out fun. Perhaps including tales of carrying pots of poo into music gigs? We can only hope. The Stand, Edinburgh, Thu 20–Sat 22 Jan. ✽✽ Burns Night Special A top-notch bill is assembled to pay tribute to Scotland’s national poet, with Elvis McGonagall, Bruce Morton and the perennially youthful Daniel Sloss among the merry band. The Stand, Glasgow, Mon 24 Jan. ✽✽ John Cooper Clarke Given that we’re deep in the season of verse, it’s appropriate that the Salford Bard should be up our way, here recreating his glorious punk-poetry days. See preview, left. The Arches, Glasgow, Sat 29 Jan. ✽✽ Russell Kane The current holder of the Edinburgh Comedy Award shows why the judges got it darn tootin’ right. See 5 Things. Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 29 Jan. ✽✽ Benefit in Aid of the Spartans FC Youth Team A stellar line-up goes fitba crazy with Tramadol Nights contributor – and genuinely funny bloke in his own right – Tom Stade, Greg McHugh (in the guise of his cult telly creation Gary: Tank Commander) and the often controversial Mark Nelson among those dribbling jokes for a fine cause. The Stand, Edinburgh, Wed 2 Feb.
Edinburgh Burns Supper Comedy Night Beehive Inn, 18 Grassmarket, 225 7171. 7.30pm. £30 including dinner. See Sat 22. Burns Night Special The Stand, 5 York Place, 558 7272. 8.30pm. £8 (members £5). A night of comedy in the name of the Rabbie. Sandy Nelson, Graeme Thomas and Susan Morrison do their things.
Wednesday 26 Glasgow Best of Irish Comedy The Stand, 333 Woodlands Road, 0844 335 8879. 8.30pm. £7 (£6; members £3). Stand
20 Jan–3 Feb 2011 THE LIST 53