9. In or out? | Ten Fringe shows about the Scottish referendum

9. In or out?

Ten Fringe shows about the Scottish referendum

Just three weeks after the Fringe – September 18 – Scotland will have its historic referendum on independence. The topic doesn’t exactly dominate festival offerings in these times when political comet is marginalised, but there are some shows that have grasped the thistle…

1. Aye Right? How No?

Vladimir McTavish and Keir McAllister have already hosted several instalments of this ‘Comedy Countdown To The Referendum’ in the Stand comedy clubs, mixing stand-up and panel-show elements, as well as spoken word and comedy. Guests lined up for the Fringe include Fred MacAulay, Des Clarke, Mark Nelson and more. Assembly Rooms, 18:30

2. Fred McAulay: The Frederendum

Speaking of Mr MacAulay, he promises to be discussing the issues in his own show – though presumably with the impartiality his BBC employers would expect. Assembly Rooms 19:30

3. Political Animal: Scottishrefedogdddon

The Fringe’s ‘only and possibly best’ long-running political stand-up gig returns with five shows devoted to the issue. Hosted as always by Andy Zaltzman, he of the Bugle podcast and protracted political/sporting analogies, with a different supporting bill each night. The Stand III and IV, 22:30, August 17 to 21 only

4. Erich McElroy: The British Referendum

As an American, Erich McElroy might not be expected to know all the ins and outs of another nation’s business. But as an American, he’s going to butt in anyway. And he’s claiming Scottish ancestry as a justification. In reality, McElroy’s been living in the UK for long enough to get a British passport, so hopefully knows enough about the issues while retaining an outsider’s perspective. Just The Tonic @ The Community Project, 18:55

5. Anything’s Better Than These C**s

Viv Gee and John Scott make no secret of their ‘Yes’ intentions, citing soaring fuel bills, bedrooms taxes and food banks as the ’anti-greed, anti-bullying’ reasons why Scotland should go it alone. We reviewed the show at the Glasgow Comedy Festival in March, saying it melded insight and passion but probably needed some finessing, as you can read here. Scottish Comedy Festival @ The Beehive Inn, 17:10, August 3-4, then 10-21 (not 14)

6. Scotland’s Referend…uhm?

Here’s a man who might know what he’s talking about… Dave Nelder is an ex-civil servant and amateur comic who used to work on policy for the Scottish Government. True to that background he says he won’t take sides in this examination of the issues. Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, 11:00

7. Aaah’m Voting YES

Afro-Scottish comedian Bruce Fummey promises 101 reasons to vote for independence ‘without boring politics or freedom bollocks’. Scottish Comedy Festival @ The Beehive Inn, 18:40

8. Aaah’m Voting NO

…but if you don’t like those policies, he’s also got a show for those on the other side of the fence. Interestingly, this show’s free – while the Yes one costs a fiver. That surely says something about the economics of going independent, but who knows what? Laughing Horse @ Espionage, 21:45

9. Matt Forde: The Political Party: Scottish Independence Special

Listed as comedy because of Matt Forde’s stand-up roots, these two special shows actually see him will interview a politician from both sides of the debate. Previous guests of the show in London have included Alastair Campbell, Nigel Farage and Alan Johnson – so hopes are high for high-profile participants here. Assembly Roxy, 17:45, August 18; and Pleasance Courtyard, 18:20, August 20

10. Referendum And Dumber

This offering by Scottish absurdist/satirical outfit Ten Clowning Street might not be quite as serious as Mr Forde, given that its blurb says: ‘This September Scotland answers: yes or no. We ask you to make a tougher call: plums or bananas. So pick your sides but then split your sides…’ New Town Theatre, 18:15

Published: 24 Jul 2014

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