Alan Anderson is one of Scotland's most charming comperes and a very talented man. He's behind the Comedy Ha Ha Club and has fingers in all different pies, from his own show at the Fringe to DJing, comedy walking tours and even a background in architectural history! In this show, he presents some winners and finalists from Scotland's Comedian of the Year. Expect a lot of gags based on local knowledge and Scottishness, but this event won't alienate even the most anglicised of Fringe-goers. As Anderson will remind you, we are all Team GB!
As always with these 'Best of' events, there is a mishmash of acts; the billing changes each night so there's no guarantee of who you'll see. The talent was a little hit and miss, but Scott Andrew was first up and had the audience in stitches. His act is utter filth; Andrew takes his own sexuality in both hands and shakes it vigorously until he's found all the laughs. He is charming and original and is oozing with natural charisma; he seems to love every moment of being on stage. One uproarious moment of his routine involved Andrew turning on the audience: having spotted a few lads to torment, he mock-seduced one of them, sang tender love song to him and launched himself unexpectedly into the front row.
Second to the stage was Chris Henry, ex-Butlins employee and hater of TOWIE and vajazzling. This sat rather less well with the crowd; the delivery was a little disjointed and the material didn't stray far from rather bland stereotyping of the way men and women use facebook and other slightly generic topics. That said, his impression of his nephew being unintentionally very rude is a moment of physical comedy which really hits the mark, and this drew a big laugh.
John Gavin closed the night with his no-nonsense, unpretentious look at family life. He laughs endearingly at his own jokes, and coats every topic he touches with the same cynical ambivalence . He also dealt well with a couple of lines that don't get much of an audience response, pedantically explaining out the joke again and ending with, 'That's a clever joke, that.'
Anderson makes this event run with a slick professionalism, but the event's real function appears to be the promotion of the comics' other solo shows. This show is a nice sample of what else to see at the Fringe and is an appropriate celebration of Scottish stand-up, but there's possibly more reliable laughs to be had elsewhere.