The Wine & Whisky Comedy Show

The Wine and Whisky Comedy Show definitely encourages the room to drink, although wine and whisky may be the only thing that keeps the comedy alive. This has a very niche market - you need to be either a connoisseur or at least have had a few prior to the show for it to be more than moderately entertaining. Comedian James McDowdswell grew up in a pub and thus has an impressive knowledge of wine, while his counterpart, Vladimir McTavish, was raised in Scotland with an understanding of all things alcohol. The two gents are clearly enthusiastic about their respective beverages and each offer up interesting drinking facts, humorous alcohol anecdotes and attempt to tap into why we love to drink.

The two gents are clearly enthusiastic about their respective beverages and each offer up interesting drinking facts, humorous alcohol anecdotes and attempt to tap into why we love to drink.

There were only a handful of people and this definitely didn’t help the show move along, every time the comedians attempted to work the room they received little to no support. McDowdswell and McTavish are two genuinely nice blokes and the sort you expect to see down your local getting drunk and swapping stories, which is exactly how the show unfolds. The structure is odd and each comedian appears on stage three times with ten minute sets, which hinders the shows rhythm; the awkward shuffling on and off the stage became distracting. The two have one moment where they work together, inviting people to take part in a game to guess which bizarre names for alcohol are true and false, but even this was not well received, offering mostly silence.

The highlight of the show comes from McTavish’s final act in which he acts out a Thursday night “quiet drink” while downing an assortment of alcohol on stage. The booze is definitely flowing, but at a disproportionate level to the comedy and without the steady support of some kind of spirit (perhaps nonalcoholic) the show is really rather tedious.

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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.
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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.
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The Blurb

Hilarious 2-hander about booze. James Dowdeswell champions wine. What's wrong with a Sideways glance of Merlot? "A master of the comedian’s craft. His material is top drawer." (Chortle) Vladimir McTavish waxes lyrical on whisky and its vital contribution to the Scottish psyche. No sober person could ever have invented the bagpipes. "McTavish is one of the finest acts on the Scottish comedy circuit" (The Guardian)

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