Comedy review: Aye Right? How No’? What Next?

The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh. Picture: Toby Williams
The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh. Picture: Toby Williams
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IT SOMETIMES takes detailed planning to make an improv show look slick.

Aye Right? How No’? What Next?

The Stand, Edinburgh


During Aye Right? How No’? What Next?, a mixed-bill comedic reflection on post-Indyref Scotland, a “who’s the odd one out” picture was flashed up onscreen. A somewhat startled Andrew Learmonth pointed out that some warning might have been nice in order for him and an equally puzzled-looking Jim Park to fully flex their satirical muscles.

The lack of ad-libbing nous on display was the key failing of this show, helmed by Vladimir McTavish and Keir McAllister, featuring Learmonth and Park plus freshly crowned Scottish Comedian of the Year Bruce Fummey and laconic legend David Kay.

Each act’s prepared material fared a whole lot better than the spontaneous musings that were expected to produce effortless punchlines. Learmonth was amusing on the fate of companies who have had to stick to their guns now that being called ISIS has unsavoury connotations, while Park excelled with his ramblings about an animal’s right to vote.

But whatever the improv failings on the night, headliner David Kay came to the rescue with a typically off-kilter set which baffled or enthralled depending on how familiar you are with his stage persona. Looking as though he should be in an art school indie band yet talking as if he is a senior citizen, Kay’s most political gambit was a made-up tale of his audience with David Cameron.

The subject of Scotland and its future is certainly ripe for comedy, but a format rejig might yield a stronger Yes vote.

Seen on 19.11.14