Tartan Ribbon Comedy Benefit

When it comes to variety shows, it's often the case that each act is really just shamelessly attempting to entice bigger crowds to their own solo shows, suddenly amazed that they have been granted the honour of performing in front of such a huge audience. With the likes of Tim Vine, the Boy With Tape On His Face and David O'Doherty gracing the stage, however, this could never have been the case for the Tartan Ribbon Comedy Benefit.

Compere Stuart Goldsmith was quick to create a great convivial atmosphere in the packed event, bringing on acts whose balance and delivery kept spirits consistently high. From The Boy With Tape On His Face's bizarre prop comedy to Gary Delaney's impeccable quick-fire one-liners, we were treated to a range of styles from across the comedy circuit.

Brief dips in energy allowed for more low-key observational comedy, or the middle-class musings of Hal Cruttenden - a set finely-tuned considering his audience. Tim Vine's absurdly clownlike dad humour kept us tittering away happily and David O'Doherty's trademark questionable songs hinted on the macabre without ever getting too dark. However the choice of cabaret act Slightly Fat Features as a closer was slightly off key. Impressive juggling chops aside, the troupe attempted to get every member of their act on stage at once and with only a ten minute slot, not everyone was pulling their weight, instead cluttering up the stage and setting up visual jokes that never really came off.

Nevertheless, the Tartan Ribbon team presented a great hour and a half of variety comedy. Providing funding for Waverley Care, a charity caring for those affected by HIV and Hepatitis C, Tartan Ribbon charity collectors have been out in force in the Pleasance Courtyard all month. For those more inclined to buy a ticket than rifle through wallets for spare change, a show like this is a great box ticker.

Reviews by Jenni Ajderian

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★★★
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Sweet Grassmarket

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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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

A top night of comedy with proceeds going to Waverley Care. Previous line-ups: Michael McIntyre, Russell Howard, Jason Byrne and many more. Beg, borrow or steal a ticket, it's sure to sell-out!

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