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.