Scotland Stands Up has a very sound purpose and can be a good way to round off the night
What was the biggest downfall for the preview night was the compare and host of my viewing, Raymond Mearns. Mearns does reveal a quick mind for improvisation, and a clear enjoyment of it, which would suggest why he was chosen to host the evening. However, within minutes he proves himself to be out of touch with the small audience he was facing. Picking on men’s nationality and women’s sexuality, Mearns seems to feel that now and again referring to himself as ‘the fat man’ is a sound way to remove any discomfort as he is ripping into himself as much as the audience. Around ten or so year’s ago, an audience may have played along, but it seems to fall flat and give the following acts a smaller chance to win audience’s over.
The show seemed to pick up with the appearance of its first act, Viv Gee. Gee evokes a very natural style to her stand up, remaining bubbly through the naughtiest of her material. In her short time, she had created an impression and personability that you would feel this showcase was meant to show off to an audience.
The second act Jay Lafferty, was a sound comic but one that seemed too determined to prove herself on stage. For what was an equal gendered line up, it seemed strange that Lafferty was still set on beginning the show by challenging our expectations of her as a female comedian, which ironically made the rest of her crude material feel slightly unnatural and conscious in comparison to her predecessor of the night.
To round things off was headline Stuart Mitchell, who proved himself to be a real highlight and the one to look for in the future. Mitchell’s was personal, frank, and had that little bit of darkness that you would expect from a late night comedy show. For what had been a rocky night, Mitchell picked up the same faith in the show’s format that came from Gee and then some.
The conclusion is that Scotland Stands Up has a very sound purpose and can be a good way to round off the night. However, hopefully the booker will realise that if it wants to stand out, the idea behind the show (and constant filler questions about the referendum) alone just won’t do.