Glasgow Comedy Festival

Blog: 'Booze Hell' by Sandy Bouttell

My mother recently apologised to me for having let me watch Ren and Stimpy when I was a young boy. She claims that my watching that particular cartoon turned me into an odd sort who appreciates weird humour to a worrying degree. I'd be inclined to disagree with her, but the elements that comprise Booze Hell showcase a person pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable in terms of a 'normal' comedy show.

It was my intention to articulate an appreciation for the bizarre when I took my first, tentative steps into the world of comedy. Booze Hell is a compilation of all the routines I have done in the time I've been performing, with these routines having sailed to the upper echelons of alternative comedy genius and/or sunk without trace in a sea of confused faces. You will either love them or loathe them, this much I can guarantee.

Booze Hell aims to introduce a number of characters and comedy styles that will offer a break from more mainstream comedy (i.e. I'll never get on to the telly with this nonsense!)

Elements of Booze Hell were performed at the Edinburgh Fringe last year. In one of the shows I incurred the wrath of the mother of two Emmerdale child actors who took exception to one of my, admittedly inappropriate, lines of 'shtick'. The maternal mother scooped up her talented, Woolpack-dwelling children and rushed them to the relative safety of the stinky, dank corridor a mere two meters from where they had once sat. Shocking the mother of young actors was not the original intention of my getting in to comedy, but it made the audience laugh uproariously without me having to try – essentially the ultimate goal of any aspiring, lazy comedian such as myself.

Another notable performance of my comedy stylings involved annoying a room full of baying football supporters with material that seemingly glorified their fiercest rivals. No matter how terrible a comedy gig goes from now until my dying day, I can rest assured that I won’t be pelted with coins by a gaggle of alcohol soaked sports 'enthusiasts'… fingers crossed.

(N.B – Coin-throwing, alcoholic soccer fans are more than welcome to attend the show) 

I performed as part of a triple header extravaganza with Ally Houston and Paul McDaniel at last year's Glasgow International Comedy Festival. Our show Afterbirth sold out its two night run and provided an excellent platform for three weirdoes to get credit for faffing around in public on a Friday night.

The crowd at the shows was as diverse as to include someone who ended up setting their hair on fire, a rather drug-addled man accidentally walking onstage (on a number of occasions) to share his displeasure, and drunkard 'friends' of an act being forcibly ejected at an unscheduled interval for forcibly being knobs... 

...Booze Hell will be a complete and utter failure unless we top that level of absurdity and potential bodily harm within the assembled crowd members. You’ve been warned folks... UP YOUR GAME!

Besides myself, belters that what you should go see include:

Ally Houston, Chunks, Paul McDaniel, Richard Brown, Gledhill and Callaghan, Nev, Eleanor Morton, Andrew Learmonth, Darren Connell (if you can get tickets), Matt Winning, Richard Gadd.

Whatever you do go see, make sure to see at least a few unknown acts so as to give their wee egos a similarly wee boost. Karma will thank you for years to come.

Sandy Bouttell: Booze Hell is at the Old Hairdressers, Wednesday 25 March at 9pm - book your tickets online or call our box office on 0844 873 7353.