I was in Uzès for a week celebrating my friend’s 60th birthday. It’s a perfect little French village close to Montpelier, Nimes and Avignon. The way of life is a lot slower than here: coffee in the market square in the morning which drifts into lunchtime, a walk by the river and visit to wineries or places of historic interest. There was the big birthday bash with my pal Bill Bailey in attendance and we led the dancing, which turned into a Tamla Motown conga. It was great fun. Then I drove down the coast to Nice and had a few days on the Cote d’Azur in the sun with a glass of Cote de Provence Rosé looking out over the turquoise sea. Heaven!
Now: back to reality and back to Gilded Balloon Basement for our autumn season. We are featuring Elf Lyons, with a show based on her real-life tale of doctors telling her she might never perform again; award-winning comic Cally Beaton brings back her critically-acclaimed Invisible, inspired by Yann Moix’s statement that women over 50 were invisible to him; and Derry Girls’ very own Da Gerry Tommy Tiernan brings Paddy Crazy Horse, an exuberant celebration of everything that’s wild, wrong and wonderful about being alive right now. Shappi Khorsandi (pictured) returns to Edinburgh with an all-new hour of sharp-tongued gags charting her warts-and-all journey from the 90s comedy scene to breaking through on telly. Larry Dean will be trying out brand new material in his latest Work in Progress and Harriet Dyer has her Dinosaur Show, your last chance to see the Fringe smash-hit.
We’re also featuring Fred MacAulay’s In Conversation, the monthly chat show hosted by one of Scotland’s most treasured stand-ups. Want to be at the forefront of comic creativity and see fresh material first? Then Scott Gibson and Pals Try New Jokes and the Comedy Show: New Sh*t are for you – featuring old pros with new ideas, and new acts taking the plunge for the first time. Jay Lafferty’s Besoms flips the traditional line-up show on its head, as it features only one straight, white male on the bill, whilst Katie Mulgrew’s Mums the Word is a comedy gig designed for parents with babies – feel free and relaxed to feed, change and nurse your baby as the UK’s funniest acts perform their usual adult material at a much more convenient time!
Musically, we are thrilled to showcase Fayne and the Cruisers with Sixties on a Sunday featuring the greatest hits from the era of Free Love; Rootsbase is the Basement’s resident Trad and Folk night and Sonnet Youth is a literary rave bringing together poets, rappers, musicians and comics for a no holds barred spoken word party – hosted by the critically acclaimed Cat Hepburn. There is something for everyone this Autumn at Gilded Balloon – so ‘mon doon as we say in the old Scots tongue, warm up, and have fun!