Stand up for yourself

Comedy boosts deprived areas

Out-of-work people in some of Scotland's most deprived areas are being groomed for jobs in comedy under a scheme to revitalise the area.

Paisley In Stitches has already led three aspiring comics to join the industry - and now organisers are planning a mini-festival to celebrate its success.

Under the scheme, comedian Paul Sneddon, currently appearing in BBC2's Live Floor Show as Bob Doolally, pictured, held workshops teaching skills such as confidence building and creative writing that could help youngsters in their hunt for jobs.

Other sessions were more relevant to comedy, such as performance skills, improvisation and even business planning for those planning a career in stand-up.

The two-year project has also helped bring entertainment to Renfrewshire, which had virtually no live music or comedy scene beforehand.

Now the county is to get its first comedy festival, four events featuring graduates from the programme as well as such established acts as Bruce Morton and Hattie Hayridge. The gigs start on February 20 - see our Scotland listings for details.

Published: 29 Jan 2003

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