Review: Red Raw, The Stand

Host Gus Lymburn did a splendid job of creating an upbeat atmosphere
Host Gus Lymburn did a splendid job of creating an upbeat atmosphere
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Red Raw is so popular with first-time comics and seasoned performers honing new material that its five-minute slots are fully booked until September. Michelin restaurants and designer handbags have shorter waiting lists.

***

So is it worth popping down to The Stand to see an amateur comedian who’s been waiting his turn longer than it takes Apple to release a new product? Well, last night’s troupe did admirably.

Limbering up the audience in anticipation of witty one-liners and some deeply philosophical anecdotes, host Gus Lymburn did a splendid job of creating an upbeat atmosphere between sets.

Opening, Greg Davidson delivered a downbeat but clever slot that would have benefited from more story telling rather than an endless list of Basil Brush-style “boom boom” jokes .

On his heels, teen William Mitchell debuted with outstanding self-assuredness. With shedloads of potential up his sleeve the performer’s first time on stage made somewhat more seasoned comics look like rank amateurs. His angsty set could have the potential to be legendary if he actually manages to come up with more than the brief couple of minutes of material he tried to eek out into ten.

Language student Becky Price’s set was littered with amusing asides and observations, many based, surprisingly enough, on her love of words. Let down by her tendency to ramble at the audience rather than engage with them, her creation of a collective noun for chavs won the punters over regardless.

Ending part one of the show, Dog-s*** Johnson’s turn from the Deep South, was a joy for its sharp one- liners, well-timed delivery and musical examination of life in Hicksville, United States.

Kicking off the second part of the night, Timmy Avenue’s ballsy bedroom banter had a great deal of merit and went down well. Up next, tangential Irishman Aidan Killian stole the night away with a beautiful riff on telephone banking and the existential questions posed by proving your identity.

Closing the second act, Owen McGuire and Lach both performed sets filled with material they’ve been working on in Edinburgh for the past few months, dampening their impact. Lach’s Jim Morrison meets Batman, however, has a great deal of development potential.

Headlining, Russ Powell was diverting if uncertain himself of the new material he was trying out.

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