Speakeasy @ The Storytelling Centre, with Jo Caulfield 09.07.2013

Words by Susan Ford

Jo Caulfield
Jo Caulfield

The Speakeasy is a once-a-month event, which takes place in the Netherbow Theatre at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. Hosted by comedian and lovely lady Jo Caulfield, the Speakeasy is a colourful affair with a little bit of everything to take your fancy. The night celebrates the old-fashioned variety show by inviting musicians, comedians, actors and story tellers to the stage. Although the Speakeasy is on every month, they will be taking a break throughout August and September and returning in October: as they prepare for their 2 month gap I was lucky enough to be a member of this month’s audience.

As already mentioned, Jo Caulfield is the host, and she does a remarkable job at making all of us feel welcome and a part of the show. Jo recognises regulars in the audience, asks for everyone’s participation and creates a genuinely lovely atmosphere. She is also a very funny comedian and twists each introduction into a joke as she welcomes a variety of great minds to the Speakeasy.

Performing in the first half is Colin McLeod, mind-reader and one third of Fringe act ‘The Colour Ham’ (www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/colour-ham). He is very quick and funny, and his mind-reading skills will leave even the biggest sceptic thinking out loud about the set. Up next is fiction novelist Eleanor Updale who strays from her norm to tell a quirky true tale about her husband, showing off a natural talent for storytelling. Local improv duo Stu and Garry then perform, taking ideas from the audience to create hilarious sketches. Tonight’s short set from the two Comedy legends is a taster to what we can expect during the Fringe (www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/stu-and-garry-in-the-catchily-titled-improv-show).

The second half sees variety pushed to the boundaries, as we are treated to a comedy band, an actress with a monologue, and a favourable Glaswegian comedian to headline. The Martians sing, tell tales and dance their way through an uproarious Scottish-themed song: whilst they did lose me slightly on their Star Wars material (or Star Trek, maybe?) they were unique, original and absolutely brilliant. Up next is a monologue written by a fan of the Speakeasy, Jane Walker, performed by actress Wendy Barrett who has a gripping intensity that pulls everyone in to the punchline at the end.

To conclude the Speakeasy’s whirlwind of entertainment is headline act, the adorable Susan Calman. Because we are in the Story Telling Centre, instead of a pre-written stand-up routine, Susan narrates one of her stories from her own life. Susan Calman is a great finish to the night, she is a quality comedian, an interesting personality and a real pleasure to be in the company of. The next Speakeasy will be on October 8th 2013 at The Netherbow Theatre, Storytelling Centre.


Published by somethingfunnyedinburgh

My blog all about comedy.

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