Elvis McGonagall (3 stars)

This article is from 2009

Elvis McGonagall

Poetically charming tartan chappie

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).

Elvis McGonagall: One Man And His Doggerel

  • 3 stars

Politicians. Celebrities. Jeremy Clarkson. All these make Elvis angry. Very angry. Stand-up poet, armchair revolutionary and star of Radio 4's 'Saturday Live'. If poetry's the new rock'n'roll then Elvis... is Elvis.