The magic of Scotland’s premier improv comedy performers, Stu & Garry

The economy is meant to be growing again but, for most of us, that’s not a reality that’s being reflected in our pockets. The Fringe at least offers us the opportunity to catch a show at the Free Fringe, but there aren’t many shows during the rest of the year that give the chance to catch some top quality comedians for nothing. For years now though, The Stand Comedy Club in Edinburgh has done just that, via the magic of Scotland’s premier improv comedy performers, Stu & Garry (Stuart Murphy & Garry Dobson).

I say free, the show is on at lunchtime so you might feel a wee bit tight sitting enjoy their freewheeling hilarity without sampling some of The Stand’s tasty lunchtime menu. If the events of the night before haven’t left you quite feeling up to that, then at the very least you can surely stretch (both physically and financially) to an orange juice, no?
Stu and Garry are both established comic performers in their own rights. Stu has been performing improv comedy in Scotland for over ten years and is frequently to be found compering Friday and Saturday night shows at The Stand. Away from that venue, he has also performed with the Bedlam Improverts.

Garry, meanwhile, has been performing since 1990 across both theatre and improv strands. He’s also an accomplished stand-up comedian, having won the Fife Comedian of the Year contest in 2012. I know…because he beat me!

Although both being capable performers individually, when they’re united onstage they really start to crackle with comedic electricity. That’s not to underplay the role of the audience though. The great part about improv comedy is that you, the humble punter, get to play a key role in how events will unfold via your suggestions. Some improv games that have become huge audience favourites over the years include Half-life. A one-minute scene has to be repeated again in 30 seconds, then 15 seconds, then 7, 3 and finally, 1 second. You haven’t seen a truly energetic comedic performance until you’ve witnessed the mental and physical dexterity that goes into that particular challenge!

The game Should Have Said sees the audience shout out that very phrase every time they believe that the duo should have used a different phrase in the scene they’re acting out. Crowds tend to get so carried away with the excitement that they’re soon shouting it out with such speed that they may be playing Half-life among themselves!

The popularity of the quick-thinking duo’s Sunday show means that a regular crowd has built, so you’d be well-advised to get there early. Doors open at 12.30pm on, for a 1.30pm showtime. Arriving soon after doors open is no hardship though…remember what I said about that delicious lunchtime menu?

If I haven’t already sold it to you (If I really have to sell something free…), then let me mention The Scotsman newspaper’s description of the show as, “a riotous, madcap anything-may-happen burst of chaos”. If you find that Saturday night has sucked the energy out of you…let Stu & Garry add it back into you on Sunday.

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