TALKING robots, genitalia drawing competitions, a bit of burlesque and no shortage of comedic weirdoes – The Stand’s Electric Tales evening is a bit like a Britain’s Got Talent audition. Some have genuine flair, whereas others probably shouldn’t be on a stage at all.
Hosted by the admittedly “bonnie but glaikit” Sian Bevan, this supposed “sexy dream-factory” of funny stories saw Fergus McNicol and Ron Fairweather roll off the conveyor belt first, looking as sexy as only two Scotsman wearing cartoon bunnets and fake beards can. A sort of Singing Kettle for adults, the idea was to guess which of their tales were “triths” or “blethers”. No-one cared. Yet what they were doing inviting onlookers to hurl a “haggis” at Velcro strips tied to a female audience member’s hat is anyone’s guess.
Next, Gretel Grimm: a sultry, provocatively-dressed minx who wandered through the audience retelling the tale of the Gingerbread Man. Passing out biscuits and the occasional crumb of innuendo, the one who appeared to get the most pleasure out of Grimm’s storytelling was the in-house photographer. Funny that.
Allan Miller, meanwhile, likes to read out largely unfunny, if bizarre, sections of his 2011 diary. He also likes to shout out the word “boobies” a lot. Miller, however, does have a canny knack for wordplay, and if he works on it, could become a half-decent performer. A tip, though, Allan: never apologise for comedy.
Thank heavens, then, for Bob Skeldon. A local Edinburgher, his hilarious spiel about “devil dug devastation” and the time he and his wife acquired a couple of boisterous dogs was The Stand’s stand-out of the evening. A down-to-earth, no-nonsense man, Skeldon yaps away like a brickie would over a flask of tea in the back of a portacabin. Be sure to seek him out.
Finally, Stand stalwart, Teddy, wrapped things up with a workmanlike routine that focused on the disturbing (sex) mind-games he’s shared with women in the past. Ever likeable, Teddy’s spot was notable, in that he appeared to the most well-rounded and sane of all the evening’s entertainers. Given his subject matter, it’s certainly saying something. BARRY GORDON