sat 21/09/2019

Craig Hill, Glasgow International Comedy Festival review - sweary and filthy fun | reviews, news & interviews

Craig Hill, Glasgow International Comedy Festival review - sweary and filthy fun

Craig Hill, Glasgow International Comedy Festival review - sweary and filthy fun

Festival gets off to a rousing start

Craig Hill spends much of the show bantering with his audienceSteve Ullathorne

The Glasgow International Comedy Festival kicked off with a performance by one of its most popular performers, Craig Hill, a comic far better known in his native Scotland than south of the border. That may be because his shtick relies so much on knowing the ins and outs of Scottish social classification – anyone from Fife, Paisley or Aberdeen was fair game for insults here, but non-Scots may be none the wiser.

Hill, dressed in a petrol-blue kilt and kick-ass boots, started the show by gyrating to a dance track as he came on stage at Òran Mór. If wearing fetching kilts is Hill’s trademark, being gay is his calling card – and if you’re not on board with that you will find him and this show rather tedious, as references to his sexuality punctuate almost every sentence. “If you didn’t know you were coming to see a gay comic, you do now,” is his opener. Well, yes, those pelvic thrusts at a bloke in the front row do rather give the game away.

But if good-natured, sweary filth is your thing (and I’m never adverse to a bit of that) then Hill delivers, and the audience – predominantly straight middle-aged couples – lapped it up. The first half of this two-hour show is entirely filled with audience banter, as Hill asks seemingly everyone in the room where they come from, their name and their occupation. Some exchanges threw up some great comedy, either from the fans or from Hill’s quick-witted responses, and they prompt his fund of stories – “That reminds me of...”, “Oh, I must just tell you about...”

I was expecting the show proper to begin after the break, but it's more of the same – chatting with the audience and anecdotes from Hill, not all of which have the ring of authenticity about them. He also occasionally breaks into song, rewriting the lyrics to great effect; he has a lovely voice, equalled by his impressive range of accents. 

The show is titled Someone’s Gonna Get Kilt!, proving yet again that Hill is the king of show titles – previous ones include Tartan About! and Playing With My Selfie! – and it is a reference to the show-ending dance-off with a guy (straight, of course) from the audience, dressed in a loaned kilt. The comedy feels repetitive and over the course of the evening the unrelenting campness suffers by the law of diminishing returns. But Hill is an undeniably affable comic, and he got the festival off to a rousing start.

The Glasgow International Comedy Festival continues until 25 March

Read more comedy on The Arts Desk


If wearing fetching kilts is Hill’s trademark, being gay is his calling card


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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