City comedian helps city's homeless at Christmas
A kindhearted comedian has rounded-up a host of Scottish funny people to bring a little laughter to the city's homeless this Christmas.
Comedy actress Rachel Jackson, from Baberton, responded to a plea from homeless charity Crisis for entertainers to volunteer at a temporary shelter on Christmas Day.
And instead of putting on a one-woman show, Rachel has rallied three other comedians to give up their festive frolics and take to the stage.
Rachel and the band of fellow merrymakers – Gus Lymburn, Zara Janjua and Gary Meikle – will perform a quickfire comedy gig at the Crisis Skylight Edinburgh temporary shelter on December 25.
“The response from the charity and fellow comedians was brilliant,” Rachel said. “Crisis were so pleased to have something from a different genre and we’re happy to get involved.
“Everybody can use a laugh but I am starting to feel the pressure. A lot of the times you’re trying out new material and you’re not bothered if it fails or not, but this is an unusual event and I obviously want to be funny for these people who may not get the chance to go to other comedy gigs.”
But Rachel, star of Scot Squad and a Fringe veteran, is not altering her material.
She said: “We are all just humans and I am very much of the ‘take me as you get me’ comedian.
“I don’t want to tailor it to a particular audience.”
For the self-confessed workaholic, it is a relief to have something to occupy her when the workload lightens over the festive period.
Rachel said: “Christmas Day has always been quite a traditional family time for me – back at home in Edinburgh with my mum and dad and brother, and this is the first year I have done something a bit different.
“I am a complete workaholic and as well as hopefully spreading a little joy, having the chance to work on Christmas Day when everyone switches their emails off will help to keep my insanity at bay.”
Rachel attended the Lyceum Youth Theatre before moving to Kent to hone her skills at the Rose Bruford School and recently returned to Scotland as part of the Fast and Funny BBC comedy initiative for up-and-coming comedy talent.
“Part of the criteria was you had to be Scotland based, so I moved back up,” Rachel explained before deciding to stay after the project was complete.
“I made so many contacts and was getting so much work. I also met a boy and fell in love,” she said of youth care worker boyfriend Michael Mullin.
“I am loving being back here for many reasons but also the loyalty of the industry up here has been great.
“I’ve been offered quite a lot of gigs and am hoping to secure a slot at the Gilded Balloon in the Fringe.”
The News told last week how Hibs star Marvin Bartley was also due to make an appearance at the Crisis temporary shelter on Christmas Day. The midfielder will be chatting with those who gather and helping to dish out the dinner after getting a rare December 25 away from the training pitch.
Bartley, 30, explained how he and his girlfriend Sasha had been looking for opportunity to give something back to the less fortunate.