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John Scott: Totally Made Up - Totally Free
Published on Saturday, 20 August 2011
3

3 stars

Laughing Horse @ The Beehive Inn (venue website)
Comedy
4-6, 8-14, 16-21, 23-28 Aug, 5:00pm-6:00pm
Reviewed by Craig Thomson

 Recommended for age 18+ only. Venue may not permit under-18's - check with venue before booking.

John Scott, technically a multi-award winning comedian (at least according to his flyer), delivers a fine stand-up routine with Totally Made Up that easily wins over the audience – no technicalities required.

Nearly an Edinburgh native (he hails from Bonnyrigg), and now living in Newcastle, Scott was the winner of the Take The Mic competition at the 2010 Fringe.  He’s a stand-up in the classic mould: not for him are the PowerPoint slides and extensive props currently fashionable.  Instead, there’s a man on a stage with a microphone, telling jokes.

You’d be forgiven for imagining Scott, with his Scots bluster and imposing presence, as something of a boor, but actually nothing could be further from the truth.  He betrays his sensitive side with the revelation that he was a blouse-wearing “indie kid” at school, who the gay guys gravitated towards.  And he has some interesting observations on class, based on the fact that he dislikes olives – little details that begin to paint a compelling picture.

That picture isn’t quite complete yet: there was a very occasional hesitancy and nervousness about his performance, particularly around the unfortunate marching band in the Grassmarket below. The jokes didn’t always flow well together; it’s not every comic who needs a full narrative structure, but it was occasionally a bit jumpy, so some middle ground would have been welcome. 

For the most part, though, John Scott was confident, accomplished and very funny.  There’s a lazy comparison to the most famous Scottish working-class comedian, Billy Connolly; but better might be someone like John Bishop, a local voice with an interesting hinterland to explore in his comedy.

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