On Wednesday night, the On the Rocks Festival presented Stand Ups Takes The STAge.
Six St Andrews comedians took to the stage, each performing a 15 minute set; longer than the usual 5-10 minutes they would normally do in Sandy’s Bar. The STAge was set up to look quite professional, and I have to admit, I was impressed. The atmosphere of the STAge was more formal than Sandy’s Bar, and the audience was in the dark. This marked a changed from the more informal setting of Sandy’s Bar, especially as the comedians were no longer able to gage audience reactions aside from any laughter. Sitting there in the dark, we were excited to see if the comedians were up to the task.
To their credit, the comedians stepped up and met the calibre of a professional stage, much to the delight of the audience. However, there were a couple of things I remarked upon. First, the event page marketed the event as sold out, but half of the tickets were being sold by the door. The lack of marketing meant that there were a few empty seats – a shame, as I know a couple of people who were keen to go. The only other quibble I had with the event was that I was hoping for at least one more female comedian, having seen the talent Sandy’s has to offer. Having said this, I cannot fault those who performed, and I left the event with aching sides.
Each comedian’s set had a very different tone, with the first act using an audio file to enhance his performance. Most of the comedians told amusing stories or mused about their uncertain futures – topic the student audience could very easily relate to. One comedian even took it old-school and told us hilariously terrible puns (last week the police investigated his missing bag – it was a brief case). The event was rounded off by a set from this year’s winner of the St Andrews heat of the Chortle Student Comedy Awards, Gabriel Robinson.
All in all, I would call the night a success, and would be keen to see what the comedy society has in store.