Gary Meikle: Before All This (4 stars)

Gary Meikle: Before All This

A funny love letter to family

Before All This is an entertaining autobiographical hour of stand-up comedy, performed by Glaswegian father Gary Meikle. Winner of the Best Newcomer in Scottish Comedy a couple of years ago, Meikle's show is a funny retelling of his unusual life. Expelled and put into care by the time he was 14, he then found himself a single father just three years later. This show is, in many ways, a love letter to his daughter, and granddaughter.

Meikle seems genuinely likeable, hooking the audience immediately with a comedy-perfect weegie accent. Any pre-show worries around the delivery of a sob story soon fell away, as the comedian was careful to avoid a victim-led narrative. The most effective material lay around his tales of fatherhood, everyday experiences such as needing a drunken lift home or his daughter's first experiences with boys.

Often, it felt as if Meikle was a funny friend in the pub telling some stories as opposed to a slick, polished Fringe veteran. This is not necessarily a negative though: the atmosphere was familial and the delivery natural. It will be interesting to see how well Meikle can later move into fresh material and away from his life story.

Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre, until 26 Aug, 7.15pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).

Gary Meikle – Before All This

  • 4 stars

Gary Meikle Scottish comedy award winner Gary Meikle premieres his debut hour and lays bare his remarkable life story and how he's defeated the odds set against him from surviving children's homes to raising his daughter alone. In this unique and uplifting show, he'll guide you through the trials and tribulations of…

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