Arts Review: BBC Comedy Presents The Stand

The Stand, 11th November 2015

When going to a live stand-up gig you can always expect excitement and anticipation. I find myself getting nervous, and I’m not even the one going on stage in an intimate room full of sceptical strangers.

As a Stand virgin, I didn’t know quite know what to expect from the venue, and was pleasantly surprised at its intimate and modest underground qualities. Horror induced hoever, as it soon became clear we were actually in the front row. Though being several rows back, no one else quite had the nerve to sit in front, making us the first port-of-call, the ripest pick for the upcoming comedian.

And the ripest pick I most certainly was. Trying so hard to stifle any trace of Englishness to avoid easy-pickings, I failed and became the first target. Within a mere five seconds, my equally-scared flatmate and I were outed as English. This was soon followed by a poor imitation caricature Ray Winstone-type in my direction; by the literal embodiment of Glasgow himself, funny-man and host, Scott Gibson.

A couple of pints later and it’s safe to say I no longer gave a shit. The night presented us with an array of starkly different comedians, with varying degrees of controversy, each with an entirely different sense of humour. The night began in a safe low-key inoffensive tone, with geeky newcomer, Kieron Nicholson, and gradually moved on to the more daring and obscure. Admittedly, my personal favourite was ‘Scottish Comedian of the Year’ Larry Dean’s unsettling dinosaur impression. Comedian Stephen Bailey, reminiscent of a young Julian Clary, shocked us with his outlandish and quick innuendos; where star of BBC’s Scot Squad, Chris Forbes, offered unassuming, dry, and eccentric anecdotes.

A range of great comedians in such a small place that offers something for everyone is hard to come by, but this gem of a venue is somewhere I will most certainly be going back to.

[Serena Ruberto]

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