Glasgow International Comedy Festival Review: Frankie Boyle and Friends


As part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, the country’s most controversial comedian Frankie Boyle heads up the show with host Fred MacAulay and support acts Jen Brister and Scott Gibson over four nights at The Kings Theatre.

Perth comedian MacAulay opens the show, not afraid to tear into members of the crowd including a poor, unsuspecting older gentleman in the front row, and warms up the audience for a night full of belly laughs. With a joke about a fish finger that will haunt us all for the rest of our lives, MacAulay entertains the crowd with his brand of Scottish humour using hipsters, old people, Donald Trump, and EasyJet employees as comic fodder. Engaging with the audience and finding out where everyone hails from, MacAulay sets the pace with a lively atmosphere as everyone gets ready for the following acts.

The penultimate act before the main man is born and bred Glaswegian comedian Scott Gibson, winner of Best Newcomer Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016. Perfect for fans of Frankie Boyle and dark, provocative comedy, Gibson’s blend of masterful storytelling, twisted humour, and comic timing announces him as a rising star in the industry. With stories of him realising he loves her so much he wishes she was dead, and how children these days don’t get scheme bootings anymore like he did in the good old days of the ‘80s, Gibson has the audience in tears with laughter. Gibson is daring, side-splittingly funny, and not scared to broach risqué subjects that cause even a Glasgow audience to take a sharp intake of breath before laughing.

The final warmup before Frankie Boyle is Jen Brister, an energetic, naturally funny comedian ripping into clueless, self-obsessed millennials, the imbeciles of British politics, the tear-your-own-hair-out nightmare of having children, and the hilarious, ignorant reactions she gets when people find out she is raising her children with another woman. A slick wordsmith with natural talent and charisma, Brister is a breath of fresh air, breaking up sections of darker, dry comedy with energetic, physical gags. Brister is a bold, confident, fearless performer and definitely one to watch.

Following Brister, the atmosphere in the room suddenly changes with everyone gearing up in their seats, apart from the suckers in the front row who recoil in on themselves, as the black-hearted master of comedy himself, Frankie Boyle, takes the stage. From his usual blend of sadistic, character-destroying, personal attacks on audience members, and his satirical take on politics and current affairs, to nail-biting gags dramatising the most taboo subjects, and traditional Glaswegian storytelling filled with profanity and dripping with cleverness, Boyle is on top form. With new stories including one about ‘a man of a lively disposition’ (also known as: ‘a bam’) interacting with a clueless family of American tourists, Boyle is back with some fantastic, fresh material interspersed with observational tales, inventive routines, personal anecdotes about family life, and political autopsy.

Equally loved and hated for his patented blend of brutal, merciless comedy shattering the mould of political correctness and social convention, Boyle’s raw talent and genius, comedic storytelling is undeniable.

What do you think of Frankie Boyle and friends? Let me know in the comment section below.


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