Comedians take a Stand in refugee charity gig

Photo Above: Sign Supporting Refugees © Haeferl on Wikipedia

By Ian McNally

A collection of comedians took to the stage in Edinburgh last night, with over £700 in proceeds going to two leading refugee charities.

Benefit in Aid of Refugee Community Kitchen and CRIBS International was held at The Stand Comedy Club on York Place.

The venue shunned VAT on tickets by having people pay their £10 on the door, allowing the maximum amount to reach both charities.

Joanne Rose, trustee of CRIBS, speaking at the start of the show, said: “I am extremely grateful for the the support received at the event.”

She said that £730 had been raised so far and that more was expected in further donations and from the evening’s raffle.

She said: “The money received will pay one family’s rent and bills for one month.”

In an intricate setting and with an audience of approximately 100 people, raising money was very much the spirit of the evening.

As for the show itself, opening act Vlad McTavish, shunning his usual parody football pundit persona Bob Doolally, took a less sporting direction but with equally pleasing results.

Up next was Jim Park, who kept it topical with a crowd-pleasing, though admittedly more mainstream routine, grounded largely in the jungle exploits of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here. Kezia Dugdale, as expected, was not off-limits.

Wayne Mazadza hit upon the topic that’s on all of our minds: Zambian filmmaking. His multimedia mash-up presentation about shooting a documentary in Africa was original, funny and genuinely moving, holding particular relevance given the charity context.

Megan Shandley closed with a dramatic, character-driven monologue exploring issues of femininity, lies and waking yourself up by laughing. While the performance very much struck of drama student-turned-comedian, the darkly comic tone provided an edgy and ambitious conclusion to the show.

Special mention must go to the host Jojo Sutherland. Her conversational style put an initially reserved Tuesday evening audience at ease. She added evidence to the idea that the compere often steals the show, but not to the detriment of the other acts.

Fond feedback was given of all performers after the show, with punters generous in their use of the bar in spite of the fact that it was a weeknight.

Bartender Tom Burns said: “It’s been very much an evening of sipping rather than gulping lagers, but we’ve done quite well.”

Speaking after the event, Ms Rose said how she was “proud and grateful to the support we received.’

“It is so important we keep talking about displaced people. We can’t sit back and watch, that is why events like the comedy evening are so crucial both raising awareness of the current situation and much needed funds to support these two grass root charities to continue their life saving and changing work.”

CRIBS International provides accommodation for refugee mothers and their children, renting and furnishing homes for them while taking care of bills.

The Refugee Community Kitchen feeds displaced people on their journey for residence from Syria in Greece and Calais.