Raymond Mearns: Shaggy Dog Stories
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Sharp gags and observations, first class audience interaction and masterful storytelling combine to render a Raymond show as more of a memorable event than simply a comedy gig as anything can, and often does, happen!
Raymond Mearns begins his show with a lengthy discussion of every comedian’s fear of dying on their ‘chuff’, but successfully dispels any fear such a thing could happen tonight. Virtually every line that issues from this man is funny, some of them very much so.
Mearns’s Shaggy Dog Stories ramble around the experiences of an ordinary Glaswegian who always wanted to be a butcher but instead finds himself jetting around Eastern Europe in search of a cruise ship to entertain. The inmates of those ships are spoiled; the Adriatic should be enough for them, it’s the poor souls left to the grind at home who really need his skills.
Granted he’s a bit of a pisshead and you may prefer not to actually share his flight to ‘unreconstructed’ Dubrovnik, but you’d want to be first in the bar to hear about it when he got back.
He makes great use of the family in the front row, whose young son he guarantees will enjoy the language, while his mother will doubtless find it excruciating. She takes it all in very good part, as it is meant, while the lad laps it up as predicted.
Right in the middle of the show is a rant about the NHS raking in subsidies from the smokers and drinkers it disparages, which Mearns backs up with some jolly good statistics. There may be one too many lost luggage stories, but it’s a tiny, forgivable flaw.
Mearns is unpretentiously, straightforwardly funny. He will provide you with a health-giving hour of laughter, just avoid the front row.
Reviewed by: Chloe Smith