Comedy review: Fern Brady & Stuart Mitchell, Glasgow

Stuart Mitchell has a wince-inducing medical history that most comics would give their right arm for, even if he’s only missing a few finger tips. Denied his Unique Selling Point in comedy lore by Dave Allen’s legendary missing digit, he’s young to have a colonoscopy routine too, usually a rite of passage for middle-aged comics.

Fern Brady and Stuart Mitchell

Fern Brady & Stuart Mitchell - The Griffin, Glasgow

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So just in case he’s not distinctive enough, the Glaswegian ungallantly shares his fiancée’s health travails as well. Aside from an easy but effective lampoon of an NHS questionnaire, he doesn’t seem that enamoured by these tales though, with his memory of the bizarre way he met her much more outlandish and funnier.

An early flavour of his next Edinburgh Fringe run, Mitchell’s Protestant faux-naivety about Catholicism needs serious rethinking. But for this Glasgow International Comedy Festival preview he’s got an amusing enough account of performing in Barlinnie Prison.

Opening with a variation on the rookie comic tactic of suggesting their celebrity lookalike, Fern Brady’s version is calculated to prompt a self-deprecating response however the crowd responds. A chippy West Lothian native living in England, the ex-journalist and stripper is caustically forthright and doesn’t suffer fools gladly, notwithstanding the drunk bumbling in midway through this show, who less than helpfully tried to assist with a bit of “improv”.

Taking this in her stride, she demonstrated a potent mix of insecurity and aggressive righteousness, heaping scorn on society’s celebration of babies and demonisation of the unemployed, before capably mocking the Daily Mail’s hysteria about urban foxes.

Seen on 22.03.14