Poetically charming tartan chappie
This article is from 2009.
There’s something very reassuring about Elvis McGonagall. It might be the tartan jacket or the golden Scottish tones which drip over the audience. It could be the older demographic this poet-comedian attracts, or the hypnotic rhythms of his accomplished poetry. Perhaps it’s just the fact that the targets of his civilised anger, from James Blunt to Jeremy Clarkson, are so deftly ripped apart through verse that it’s impossible not to smile with agreement. However he manages it, McGonagall has his audience captivated throughout this charming show.
Even during the dips in laughter, when the politics of the piece overtakes the humour, his listeners remain loyal, patiently awaiting the next punchline, poem or supportive applause break. Although some aspects can appear old-fashioned – perhaps an inevitable consequence of reading poems from a notebook – there are some cracking jokes which add a much-needed freshness to the show, with particular kudos for a nice twist on the Olympics. A thoroughly pleasant way to spend an hour.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 662 6552, until 30 Aug, 5.45pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).