Review: The Stand Christmas Special, The Stand

Have you done all your Christmas shopping? Are you sick of it all two weeks early? Or have you done none of it and do you have the fear?

It is Christmas Special week, and there’s an accordingly fine line-up. The evil anti-Santa that is Martin Mor dispenses gifts of scatological, intrusive and occasionally abusive greetings and enquiries to guests from here and further afield. And very funny he is too.

James Kirk boldly takes us a long way down a corridor of character-comedy uncertainty which is a little light on laughs before he busts out some deeply funny stuff about his musical autobiography and quantifying of the problems of Jay-Z. Not sure the balance of fun had to be quite so loaded to the rear of the set, but to get from challenging beginnings to a sing-along to the theme from Shaft is worth points by any reasonable measure.

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Simon Donald founded Viz, and he was also at the Festival this year to do a comedic lecture on swearing. If neither of those things are of interest, then this may not be for you.

While not every gag is on the money, there is plenty of occasionally educational crudity and, through the power of music, Donald clearly shows that he has swirled around the spirit of Christmas and, after due consideration, spat it out.

Jo Caulfield has some funny things to say about Christmas shopping in Edinburgh before turning the comedy gun on telly, useless husbands and indeed herself. Accomplished, acerbic and laugh out loud funny, a fine end to a cracking night.

Unless you have very forgiving in-laws, this probably isn’t festive fun for all the family.

But, however wholesome, happy or otherwise your Yuletide promises to be, there is surely some welcome laughter on offer at The Stand this week.

Run ends December 15.


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