Review: Fit O' The Giggles, Beehive Inn

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Fit O' The Giggles *** Beehive Inn

PARTIALLY down to the weather and partially down perhaps to the fact they were in direct competition with the Stand's Red Raw evening meant that Monday night's Fit O' The giggles wasn't quite fit to burst. However despite that, the acts on display gave a more than decent account of themselves.

Host Keara Murphy, pictured, put as much atmosphere into proceedings as was humanly possible and her friendly chiding got the bonsai crowd in receptive mood for the eight comedy talents.

Glaswegian Chris Conroy was first up. Conroy was a good solid performer with some half decent material more of which might have been heard had he not spent so long explaining every local reference to the tourists.

John Purves followed, with a stream of well written smart and punishing jokes, he came across like a faster paced but less barbed version of Emo Philips. His best material was elegantly constructed but some of the rest seemed half built with a great set up followed by a let down come punchline time.

Apart from Murphy herself, the only woman on the bill was Jane Walker. A very bright comic with fantastically well written opening and closing gags and warm delivery reminiscent of Miranda Hart. Unfortunately when she fell back on tired self deprecating material her act lost momentum. There's clearly a lot of potential in Walker and the circuit needs intelligent female comics but it's difficult not to feel that with her undoubted qualities she's heading in the wrong direction.

The final act of the first half turned out to be the best act of the evening. Richard Hanrahan's wordy material was witty, genuinely funny and slicker than a greased weasel. On a good bill Hanrahan stood out as being the only performer who, on the basis of seeing one set, you could believe had the capacity to make a living in this fickle business.

Part two was a tale of one liners versus whimsy with Gareth Waugh and Stuart Mitchell providing the gags. Mitchell was strong throughout and Waugh's five minutes of sustained shtick on being ginger was a particular highlight.

The odder elements of the evening were provided firstly by Will McKee a young comic who got plenty of light laughs with surreal jokes read from his student notebook but made the mistake of overstaying his welcome with some tiresome horoscope material.

The final act Niall McCamelly lifted the show up with a whirlwind of audience participation and energy. It's difficult to see a future for his gifts in straight stand up but if he can find some like minded souls he'd make a good quarter or fifth of a comedy troupe.

At the start of this evening the fates appeared to not look kindly on this show but by it's close this turned out to be an imperfect, improvable but overall very enjoyable start to the week in select company.