Seventeen years after making a pact at the Edinburgh Fringe to reunite one day and tour together, Canadian stand-ups Stewart Francis, Glenn Wool and Craig Campbell offer disparate types of comedy, appearing together for a couple of endearingly daft sketches but otherwise benefiting greatly from the variety of their styles.
The Lumberjacks - Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow
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As the most famous and with the punchiest delivery, along with his knowing, slightly cheesy persona, Francis is the obvious choice of host. But as a concise (and accomplished) one-liner merchant, there’s also the greatest demand on him to fill his allotted time. And it’s apparent that his newer jokes don’t quite stand comparison with his “classic” material, openly disclosed as such. That said, gags like his diabolically witty fairy godmother quip truly deserve that description. With an itinerant philosopher’s sense of inquiry, Wool ponders the nature of comedy itself, and specifically offence, questioning some people’s supposed right to it and mischievously playing with touchiness about paedophilia and political correctness, throwing in a couple of South-East Asian puns for good measure. Of the trio, Campbell arguably took the longest to find his stride, opening with what initially seemed like merely uninspiring comparisons between Scotland and his homeland, as if slowly easing himself in. Happily, his observations grew more incisive as time went on, culminating in a masterfully told, dumbly funny Halloween story from his adolescence, further elevated by the poignant coda about the cost of the prank to his social life.