The Teuchter's Comedy Club show they're serious about stand up at Eden Court showcase with 19 comedians
REVIEW: The Teuchter’s Comedy Club
Eden Court, Inverness
IF nothing else, the fact that this show – a sold out Highland stand-up comedy showcase – exists at all is something worth savouring.
Over the past two years, the Inverness-based Teuchter’s Comedy Club has been quietly – and not so quietly – cultivating and growing a bountiful crop of Highland stand up talent.
And at this evening’s show, in front of a sold out OneTouch Theatre, the club brought the full weight of their talent to bear, with a stonking 19 comedians hitting the city theatre stage over the course of the evening to perform for the 250-strong audience.
With such a slew of acts to get through, the largely sub-five minute sets flew by. In many ways it worked in the night’s favour – the sets whizzed by at a breakneck pace. When a comedian’s set didn’t land, it wasn’t long before another act popped up to take their place.
The flipside to that is that some of the acts left the crowd wanting for more. I could have spent twice as long with Jacqueline Barclay – brave, honest and sidesplitting about her diagnosis with an inoperable blood cancer, those four and a half minutes could become the basis of an entire Fringe show.
Other highlights included Lorn McCormack’s self-deprecating material about weight that lightened the room immensely; and Kieran Lochore’s closing set – guitar in hand – was clever and crafted to precision, finely walking the tightrope of musical comedy without leaning on the music as a crutch.
The strength of these performers, and others, made up for weaker sets elsewhere – as you might expect from a group of 19 amateur stand ups taking to the stage of Inverness’s most famous theatre, the night proved somewhat hit and miss.
Some material was repeated from act to act which was a shame – there are only so many times you can hear a riff on the name Eden Court and “last time I was in court I was before the sheriff”.
And, look, the first time a (male) comedian pulled the old bait-and-switch routine of “This date/hook-up/ballet teacher/etc I know is stunning” with the punchline being “but they’re also a big bloody man, ho ho!” was lazy and not funny and a little bit homophobic (unintentionally though I'm sure it is).
Forgive me for being the exemplar of millennial snowflake, but men being attracted to men – gasp! – should not be a punchline. Not in 2019, not ever.
And when the third (male) comedian pulled that same bait and switch, my eyes rolled so hard they fell out of my sockets.
But then, the Highland comedy scene is teething and growing, there are bound to be some pains – and with more work and workshopping and touring it across the Highlands and beyond, the material can only get stronger.
And looking to the future, these can be ironed out – I for one look forward to seeing how they’ve progressed when, as they surely must considering its overall success this evening, the Teuchter’s Comedy Club returns to Eden Court.
Half 1: Halde Pottinger (compere), Annie Gilfillan, Rab Mulheron, Ranald Fettes, Jacqueline Barclay, Lorn McCormack, Gary Campbell, James Johnston, Jenny Johnstone, Zander McNally
Half 2: Halde Pottinger (compere), Grant Falconer, Emma Johnston, Rob Ford, Robert MacGregor, Dan Hickman, Ryan Jensen, Hazel Urquhart, Mike Hendry, Kieran Lochore