From Holyrood to comedy

Ex-MSP Rosie Kane turns to stand-up

Former Scottish Socialist MSP Rosie Kane is to become a stand-up comic.

The firebrand politician is staging an autobiographical show at the Glasgow Comedy Festival, and says it has long been her ambition to be a funny performer.

The 51-year-old has plenty of material to draw on. Elected alongside Tommy Sheridan, her colourful political career includes accepting an invitation to meet Fidel Castro in Cuba, moving an asylum-seeker into her home, being jailed for not paying a fine at a nuclear submarine protest, and being suspended from Holyrood for disrupting parliamentary proceedings.

She was a prominent prosecution witness in Sheridan’s perjury trial, testifying that her former leader had admitted visiting a swingers' club; and has suffered mental health problems.

However, the show will cover none of this, extending only from her childhood up to her election in 2003. She said: ‘I had to end somewhere and that seemed like that was the point.’

Kane told BBC Scotland's Comedy Cafe that she decided to try comedy after being assessed for her ability to work after her illness.

She says a friend asked her what she wanted to do and ‘I just spilled the beans. I told her I would love to write and perform a show that was funny.

‘So, basically I took the stories I tell in pubs to fill silences, because I don't like them much, and put them all together in a show that's about a wee girl that starts bumping and scraping and scratching and tripping, but not in a drug kind of way, all the way to Edinburgh.’

She first attempted comedy show last year at the Tron in Glasgow and says she goes ‘a bit bonkers with adrenaline’ as her performances come closer.

However, she seems to have found an audience, as a second show has been added to the Glasgow festival because of demand.

In a blog last month, she said: ‘During the process of learning my craft as a performer I've had to do a great deal of digging.... digging into my thoughts and my past, digging into my reserves , my energy and even my pockets... but its been brilliant. I've learnt that the safest place in the world for me is the stage !

‘I often feel fear and anxiety in certain situations yet I can stand up, sing, jump about and perform without fear. I don't analyse this I just bloody do it and enjoy it.’

‘I'm really looking forward to getting in front of my audience and sharing my show and if I see smiles and hear laughter and maybe even a wee tear as the nostalgia kicks in.... well, I'll be the happiest wee eejit on the planet.’

  • An Evening with Rosie Kane is at the State Bar in Glasgow on March 21 and 23. For full details of the Glasgow Comedy Festival, click here.

Published: 16 Mar 2013

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