The Rat Pack Presents...

If the illustrious names that have performed as part of The Rat Pack Presents is a guide, then it is worth heading along to the Cabaret Voltaire during this year's festival. As part of the Free Fringe, they have a great track record of bringing through acts who have gone on to bigger things. Sara Pascoe, Romesh Ranganathan, and Phil Wang are just a few few of the names that have played this night.

Given the revolving roster of names appearing each day throughout the Fringe, it is worth dropping down from the beaten track to see what the Rat Pack has to offer.

Luke Stephen was the compere for the today's performance and his opening routine highlights the perils of being bald. Let's just say that there is not much sympathy, even from within the bald community. There was a great routine about Superdrug's liberal policy in giving out change and the unheralded Meal Deals that they offer.

The first act was the Aussie, Daniel Muggleton, whose comedy was sharp and with a fine take on the cultural differences between his home country and the UK. He honed in on Brad, the Canadian guy sat in the front row and this was quite cutting to say the least. His observations stayed just this side of being affectionate. He abandoned the riff about relationships in favour of mining this comedy gold. This spontaneity highlighted someone that knows how to work a crowd. He is helped in that regard by the pocket of Aussies in the audience that could pick up on the cultural references that the other members might have missed.

Jo Wells was bravely attempting a line of political humour that is a perilous game these days given the constantly changing landscape. He talks about having had. issues with a David Cameron fronted flyer at last year's fringe. When he offered the opinion that the Tories are almost accepted in Scotland these days, a heckler in the audience helps to modify that point of view. At first I thought that he may be one of the few Tory comedians on the circuit. Given that he has a show at the Fringe called 'I Hope I Die Before I Start Voting Tory' that notion was soon revised.

The final act was Sarah Callaghan, who commands the stage like a seasoned performer. Her material starts off looking at her relationship and how that she is in love for the first time. This is not the type that is depicted in women's magazines but something a bit harsher. There is no doubting who is the dominant partner in that relationship. Her boyfriend gets it in the neck for his perennial lateness, which to be honest is annoying from anyone. There's a great riff on the ridiculous nature of ice cream names.

Given the revolving roster of names appearing each day throughout the Fringe, it is worth dropping down from the beaten track to see what the Rat Pack has to offer. 

Reviews by Paul Clark

Assembly George Square Theatre

Andrew Maxwell: Showtime

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Angela Barnes: Fortitude

★★★★
New Town Theatre

Dickless

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 5 & 6

Phill Jupitus: Achtung!/Acting!

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus Up the Stand

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Lucy Porter: Choose Your Battles

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

The best stand-ups and storytellers on the Fringe come together as The Rat Pack celebrates five sell-out years with a different line-up every day, plus occasional live music and cabaret. 'Classy show. Laid-back, joyful fun and a wonderfully friendly vibe' (Time Out). Line-ups at theratpack.co.uk. Past acts include Sara Pascoe, Romesh Ranganathan, Nathan Cassidy, Chris Turner, Mark Dolan, Patrick Monahan, Jarred Christmas, Scott Capurro, Dan Antopolski, Abandoman, Milo McCabe, David Mills, Sarah Callaghan, Trevor Lock, Phil Wang, Adam Hess, Phil Nichol...