Karen Koren: Three great comedies in a week

Victor (Greg Hemphill) and Jack (Ford Keirnan) .Pic: BBC
Victor (Greg Hemphill) and Jack (Ford Keirnan) .Pic: BBC
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JUST had my long weekend in Norway, where it was cool, sunny and very beautiful. Saw a couple of shows at Oslo’s equivalent of the Comedy Store,

The venue is called Latter, translated it means laughter, and it is a bespoke bar, restaurant with two performance spaces, a 200-seater stand-up venue and a 500-seat theatre space, which specialises in comedy. It also has an excellent restaurant with gourmet food and two bars.

I was the guest of the owners and was treated to a lovely meal and then a show, by three very good Nor-wegian girls, one stand-up, one singer/comedian and another older actress. They reminded me of Fascinating Aida. It was excellent entertainment and would be amazing for the Festival if only it was in English. Shame, but still a very enjoyable evening and it is just the kind of place I would love to have as the Gilded Balloon.

Before I visited Norway I went to Still Game at the Hydro and what a brilliant evening’s entertainment that is. Still Game started its life at the Gilded Balloon in the Cowgate back in the nineties and we toured it around Scotland and even took it to the Toronto Fringe.

In fact, that was the last time Ford Kiernan, Greg Hemphill and Paul Riley performed it as a live show. It was the Comedy Unit who made it into a television series for BBC Scotland and the rest is history. A huge number of fans absolutely loved them. The show at the Hydro has three sets, the pub, the corner shop and Jack’s flat. Above each are screens and because of the size of the venue, most of the audience end up watching the screens rather than the actors, making it feel much more like a TV recording than a live show.

I very much doubt whether we will ever see the likes again. The same may be said for the show I am going to see tomorrow, which is the wonderful Billy Connolly, can’t wait and I know that this is more than likely his very last tour, so truly unmissable.