The Beehive Inn
Friday 18th February
This comedy show went down in a popular pub in one of Edinburgh’s most well known streets and the venue itself was small so probably not hard to make it appear busy (I estimated capacity to be about 60-70 seats) but still, as embarrassingly-empty-yet-tiny rooms have proven time and again at the Fringe Festival, it takes a lot more than a small footprint to create a crowd these guys must be doing something right because the place was heaving. No doubt the presence of 2 testosterone-saturated stag parties and 1 gaggle of semi-soused hens added to both the numbers and the atmosphere, all 3 groups becoming the collective butt of many a biting joke throughout the night.
One gets the impression that this comedy night will always deliver the goods and at a fairly reasonable price for a Friday night- yes, there are many cheaper or even free nights out in Edinburgh but they are a bit ‘hit and miss’, at best, whereas the quality here was consistent and the performers obviously racked up a fair few comedy miles on the clock. Overall, the show was well organised, with loud music pumping out of large speakers helping build the excitement of the crowd, and the room was packed well before the start time. In total, the night lasted around 2.5 hours and was very well spaced out, with 2 decent breaks in between the 3 sets allowing for ingestion or excretion of liquids, according to individual needs- there’s even time for both, if you’re quick…nothing more annoying than racing out and back again, only to find that the show has already started and you get picked on for the rest of the night by a scathing comedian looking for an easy target.
The compere, Rick Molland, was animated, sharp as a razor and flashed his sardonic smile often, which made him likeable (when he was looking at anyone else) but somewhat frightening (when his beady eye was leveled near a defenceless review writer). His style was tough, fast and decidedly un-PC so if you like your comedy sugar-coated then please stay home with a cup of cocoa and a slanket because he pulls no punches and will push the boundaries of what is considered savoury, as one poor, unsuspecting father-of-the-bride found out…I’m still cringing at the memory of it! His comic timing was excellent, as was his ability to constantly engage the audience and keep the pace trotting along nicely but this comes as no surprise since he is one of the most in demand comperes around, with extensive experience working at The stand, Breakneck Comedy and The Beehive. He has also gigged at T in The Park, Wickerman and Rockness festivals, and was runner up in the 2010 Scottish Comedy of the Year (despite being a Scouser) and makes his own films, to boot.