Not Just a Funny Turn

It was a shock just sitting down in the Stroke Association Scotland's venue - on every seat was a leaflet telling us that one in six people in Scotland will suffer a stroke in their lifetime. It felt a little strange, to start with, to go from that information to watching supportive celebrities telling their favourite joke while we waited for host Stephen K Amos to take to the stage. But, as headliner Jason Cook later put it, “We cope with laughter- it's how the world works”. Tonight's line-up was perfect not only for the excellent comic talent that we saw, but for the stories that came along with them. Cook's father survived a stroke, and the comedian reiterated time after time that even after such a trauma, his dad was still there. The person who joked with him and supported him and drank with him was still there and still laughing along.

Through events like this, Stroke Association Scotland are going some ways to make people more aware of the signs and effects of strokes, as well as raising funds for research which is so desperately needed.

Events like these often tread a fine line between being a devastating wake-up call and ignoring the issue in question altogether. Tonight, however, each comedian coupled an uncomfortable truth with a gag and showed us that, even when tragedy strikes, we can still find things to be grateful for. Tim Vine's inimitable brand of awkward dad humour warmed us up to the evening before Tiff Stevenson's brutally honest set talked us through Everyday Vodka drinking and how to seduce a Scot. Keeping an afternoon crowd laughing is no easy task, but Stevenson's brave set took us from nervous chuckles to belly-laughs in a matter of minutes.

If there was one story to take away from an event designed to tell people that a stroke is 'Not Just a Funny Turn', it was Marcus Birdman's. Waking up with a headache and partial blindness one morning, Birdman assumed he had had a hangover. He hadn't. When the headache receded, and the partial blindness didn't, he found that he'd had a mini-stroke without realising, as so many people across the UK do. Through events like this, Stroke Association Scotland are going some ways to make people more aware of the signs and effects of strokes, as well as raising funds for research which is so desperately needed. A great and well-designed night of comedy for an excellent cause.

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Join us for a gala night of comedy with a myriad of the biggest names on the Fringe coming together to raise funds for the Stroke Association in Scotland. Hosted by Stephen K Amos and guests Tim Vine, Jason Cook and Marcus Birdman as well as many more to be announced!. Help us raise awareness that a stroke is not just a funny turn - it's a medical emergency. The money raised will be used to help prevent strokes and provide support to people who have had a stroke in Scotland.

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