Stephen Carlin: Pandas vs Penguins (3 stars)

This article is from 2012

Stephen Carlin: Pandas vs Penguins

Scottish stand-up brings anthropologically-angled stand-up to 2012 Fringe

Stephen Carlin has a theory that humanity can be neatly divided into two types: those who exhibit the social and psychological characteristics of Chinese bears, and those whose behaviour mirrors the Antarctic bird. That the Scottish stand-up disproves this central thesis well before he gets to its conclusion in no way detracts from what a crafty, not to say canny, conceit his anthropological/zoological theme is in terms of tying together a hotchpotch of humorous observations about gender and class differences either side of the border.

And if Carlin can’t maintain his argument that, broadly speaking, Scots are penguins (hardy, obtuse) and the English are pandas (picky about food, crap in bed), that’s no bad thing as far as avoiding nationalist stereotyping goes. He doesn’t go so far, or can’t quite bring himself to admit it, but Carlin is clearly part penguin, part panda.

Animal analogy aside, Carlin’s observations might not be particularly original, but this likeable, impish comedian makes them his own in a generally well-paced performance (the odd wrinkle to be ironed out notwithstanding).

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug (not 8, 14), 6pm, £11 (£9.50).

Stephen Carlin: Pandas vs Penguins

  • 3 stars

Are you a panda or are you a penguin? Perhaps you like the cold weather, hanging out in large groups, balancing round objects on your feet? Have you recently forgotten how to fly but are really good underwater? Then you may well be a penguin. But perhaps that's not you at all. Maybe you are the cute and ‘cuddly’ type who…

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