Image courtesy of Carlos Delgado
The Pleasance Cabaret Bar
Tuesday February 16 saw another night in the weekly series of Grassroots Comedy at the Pleasance Cabaret Bar. Hosted by Isobel Moulder, whose breathy and lewd comedy guided the audience through the lineup, the evening saw a pleasantly varied and talented list of performers.
First on was Pedro Leandro, who against all odds, had everyone laughing at a joke about George Orwell that no one, including him, understood. We saw both ends of the experience spectrum, with student Caroline Elms performing for the first time right before Iain Hume, a professional comedian who used the classic ‘Glasgow-is-so-terrifying’ humour that always does so well in Edinburgh. My personal favourite was Will Hughes, who came on looking like an early-90s kids’ presenter specialising in science, wearing a large cable-knit jumper. He presented an easel storybook of his tale, ‘Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth’, with an increasingly ridiculous cast of hilariously drawn characters.
The headliner was Steve Duffy, whose self-deprecating and purposefully awkward routine felt smooth and professional as the audience laughed at his dating mishaps, Irish Catholic background, alongside his father’s dubious convictions of his son’s sexuality. James Strahan’s routine adopted the persona of Barry, a racist-sexist-conspiracy theorist and all around bigot whose terrifying mixture of a Little Britain character and SNL’s Drunk Uncle had the crowd roaring at his disbelief in the existence of women as well as his suggestion that Jeremy Clarkson might actually be a snake.
The atmosphere at Grassroots Comedy was comfortable and relaxed. The audience never experienced that awful anxiety that accompanies an absence of laughter at a comedy night as the performers sat amidst the crowd in support of their peers. It was a hilarious night, and anyone who has not yet experienced this weekly event at the Pleasance should surely make an effort to do so.