The Rat Pack Stand-up Comedy

The Rat Pack did far more than sing. A huge part of their charm was their style, their charm, their wit and the relationship between them. It is this, then, and not the smooth dulcet tones of Sinatra, Martin and Davis Jr. that inspired Nathan Cassidy's pet project the Rat Pack Stand-Up Comedy.

This is another variety show featuring four great acts from around the Fringe, with key tweaks to costume and staging to make the whole thing look more stylised. Each stand-up wears a particularly dapper suit and sits onstage throughout; occasional interjections are even facilitated by a few extra microphones distributed between them, bringing in yet more elements of the original show's allure.

Perhaps one of the greatest aspects of the show was the oft-abused sound technician Madeleine, whose comic timing and deployment of the punchline drum-kit was particularly inspired. In bringing more bodies into the comic team - even seating two members of the overflowing audience on the stage itself - the acts break not only the fourth wall but the backstage curtain, with no room left for pretension.

Ushering comics in and out of the spotlight with old swing tunes is Nathan Cassidy himself, who seems underprepared to act as compere. Riffing mainly off the audience, his punchlines are often smothered by the same backing music to which he refuses to sing. His choice of guests, however, is impeccable, even welcoming stand-ups who don't have their own show. Tonight, for example, we see stand-up comedy from one of the Shit-faced Shakespeare team, as well as established acts and character comedy from across the globe.

Barely organised and always talking over itself, the Rat Pack Stand-Up Comedy show is sure to get you grinning if not singing.

Reviews by Jenni Ajderian

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★★★
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★★★
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★★★★
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★★★★
Sweet Grassmarket

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★★★★

Performances

The Blurb

Different, top comedians every day in a cool, laid-back stand-up show with Rat Pack music, drinking, silliness and hopefully, you! Hosted by Malcolm Hardee Award nominee 2012 Nathan Cassidy. ‘Gloriously entertaining’ (Chortle.co.uk). www.theratpack.co.uk