The Dog, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

Scotsman Bob Skeldon produces fifty minutes of storytelling and stand-up comedy that achieves a warm atmosphere, with the intimacy of a chat in his living room. However, the content of Skeldon's set, though some gags are very funny and light-hearted, is generally really quite offensive – especially to women – and would make you think that his brand of comedy is a bit old hat.

Skeldon forms his set around the story of an episode in his life in which he and his wife attempted to buy two dogs from a woman they had never previously met; an episode which led to various bizarre happenings. Skeldon, an Edinburgh man, has something of the old-school Protestant upbringing about him and he draws on his Scottishness as the source of many jokes, which are by and large very funny indeed. His explanation of the reasons why he finds open wardrobes terrifying, for example, gets a great deal of laughs from the audience.

But Skeldon's performance has one serious pitfall – the basis of the majority of his jokes is his relationship with his wife, and the repeated assertion that all women are indeed witches. At the early mention of this topic in his show, Skeldon immediately loses the attention of pretty much all of the women in his small audience and near enough half of the men. He even goes as far as to, at one point, make one female member of the audience wear a witch's hat and a pointed rubber nose for the rest of the show, so that she can easily be identified as a witch. Apart from being deeply offensive, the problem with this style of comedy is that it is on its way out. One would expect those kinds of remarks from men performing in The Black and White Minstrel Show, but not from a comedian at the largest arts festival in the world in 2013.

Skeldon ends on a positive and heartfelt note: he will donate a pound to a dog rescue charity for every ticket purchased for his show, because he doesn't want the audience to leave with a negative opinion of rescue dogs. If only he felt so charitably towards women. Bob Skeldon is a funny man, with a warm and engaging manner and the old-fashioned Scots charm of Billy Connelly. But he would do well to bring his jokes forward into the 21st century, or this is the last we will hear from him.

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Performances

The Blurb

Uproarious tale of deceit, missing persons, omnipotent dogs, bewitchment, psychosis, ballroom dancing, dog whispering, dodging bullets and why wardrobe doors should be closed! 'Hilarious ... be sure to seek him out' (Scotsman).

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