Karen Koren: Greg gives command performance at Usher Hall

Gary Tank Commander played by Greg McHugh. Pic: Comp

Gary Tank Commander played by Greg McHugh. Pic: Comp

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THE Gilded Gala went down a storm, as they say in the comedy business. The celebration of the Usher Hall’s 100 years was a roaring success. The audience really seemed to enjoy themselves, which is what makes it all worthwhile, though Phill Jupitus did say to the audience that the dressing room was like ‘death’s waiting room’ as there were so many older performers on the bill - all Fringe veterans, it has to be said.

Arthur Smith being one of them, did a wonderful job and had researched the history of performers who had appeared at the Usher Hall over the years.

It was only the fact that Doon MacKichan was forced to cancel that made it very obvious there was not a woman in the show, which I personally was not that happy about. Greg McHugh was the big hit of the night, performing as Gary Tank Commander. The audience fell about when he introduced himself as ‘Gurry’. The crowd, mainly girls screaming out, ‘We love you Gary!’

I know Greg had been thinking of giving up this character, but he is now having second thoughts.

Dylan Moran also had not performed stand-up for a while, but you would never have known. He is arguably the best stand-up in the UK today, and his set covered everything from the referendum to Fifty Shades of Grey.

Elsewhere, Rich Hall took to playing the guitar and gave a wonderful rendition of The Rose of Hawick, an hilarious love song about girls from Scottish towns with misleading spellings and unpronounceable names.

Music played a bigger part in the show than expected, with Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden opening the Gala with Zimmer Frame Blues before coming back for a rousing finale, which brought the balloons down as Arthur Smith and others sang Happy Birthday to the Usher Hall.