Full disclosure, I have always been a big fan of Martha McBrier.
Martha McBrier: Fur Coat Nae Knickers, Laughing Horse @ The Counting House (Venue 170) ****
But tonight I watched The McBrier Effect on my fellow audience members : three twentysomething guys-with-pints, a young girl and a 30-year-old American yuppie. McBrier’s humour is packed with references to things that had disappeared before they were born, she speaks broad Weegie and her story belts along faster than a scally running from the polis. But McBrier’s comedy somehow belts the bottom of the generation gap, crosses the Atlantic nae borra and by the time we have laughed and cried our way through this love letter to her wee brother, the boys go off to flyer for her, the yuppie reveals an impoverished past and the young girl buys her a glass of wine and promises to bring her mum the next day.
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McBrier would be the first to tell you she is not a stand-up comic. She is a storyteller. But she is a comedy Midas: everything she tells you about turns to comedy gold. Her childhood was, she tells us, “grim”. Her story is packed with shoplifting, corporal punishment, religious terrors, chain smoking and Provi loans. That is how it was, she reminds us “in the 70s”. There is so much laughter in the hour (even allowing for Martha’s taking time out to explain the difference between “ginger” and “juice” and what a companion set is) that when the laughter stops it is like being hit by a truck you just do not see coming.
Heavy Metal and talking parrots, zithers and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown – each stars in its own tiny comedy epic in McBrier’s world. This hour will fill your heart with laughter and your eyes with tears. As we say in Glasgow – pure, dead, brilliant.
• Until 26 August, 7:15pm