Gary Little at the 2010 Glasgow Comedy Festival

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

Forget the ‘international’ part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival – Gary Little’s show is as Glaswegian as a ned quaffing Buckfast on Sauchiehall Street.

The city’s influence comes through as strong as his unmistakable accent, as he makes wry observations about a place where a brutal stabbing is casually dismissed as ‘a bit of nonsense’.

The sizeable home crowd he attracts – pretty much filling out The Stand – clearly enjoy observations they can identify with, even if the punchlines are often predictable, be they about the working-class Glaswegians hill-walking in shorts and sandals, or about the Commonwealth Games coming to town in which someone is inevitably ‘stabbed with a javelin’.

Little delivers all this with an imposing, superficially amiable presence, with a hint of a more menacing streak, should things turn nasty. I suspect Little doesn’t get too many heckles.

However when he does become agitated, the effect is rather phoney. He rants and raves at the ridiculous hyperbole of someone describing a steak pie as ‘unbelievable, absolutely fantastic’ – but the only unbelievable thing is that such an offhand comment should provoke such passion.

Like so many comedians, he’s better with the personal material, especially his tales of being newly single at 46 and turning to internet dating. Needless to say, the rendezvous don’t always go well – even if he can generate any interest from the female users of the site – and this section does create a more detailed idea of who Gary Little might be. However, does sometimes feel exploitative of the women he did go out with, especially the recently widowed lady, whose genuine depression he treats as an inconvenience to him.

Little is prepared to venture into areas others might shy away from – mentioning, for example, the recent deaths of three asylum-seekers, throwing themselves from a high-rise flat. But the results, like so much of his writing, are very hit and miss.

Review date: 16 Mar 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Glasgow Stand

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