“ Comedy Club. 5 York Place, EH1 Edinburgh. tel = 0131 558 7272 „
A group of friends and I decided to have a night away somewhere just for a change. We ended up deciding to go to Glasgow as it was relatively close only being just over an hour away by train. We booked a hotel and thought we would just arrive and explore the local nightlife. A few days before we left I was browsing the internet and read something about The Stand comedy club which someone was raving about. I'd never actually been to a comedy club but had always been interested in visiting one as I love watching live comedy on the TV so I phoned my friends and asked if they fancied going. They were all up for it so I bought the tickets online there and then.
As we were visiting on a Saturday night the tickets were more expensive and cost us £15 each with a 50p supplement for using a card to buy them online. Prices vary for other nights with a Tuesday costing just £2 a ticket. If I had been going any other night I would have just bought them on the door but apparently the Saturday night show has sold out every Saturday for the last 5 years so I wanted to be sure that we could get in.
We decided to get a taxi to the venue as according to maps on our phones it looked a little far out of the city centre and we didn't want to risk getting lost. The venue is located on Woodlands Rd which was a little far from the centre but we couldn't get a taxi after the show back in to town so we walked and it only took us 15 minutes or so to get back in to the centre so is walkable if you know where you are going.
The show starts at 21:00 but on the website it recommended that you get there for about 19:30 hours to ensure that you get a seat. When we arrived the club still hadn't opened but there was already a small queue forming outside so we joined it and waited for it to open. Within about 10 minutes of us arriving the queue had already got to about 50 people or so all waiting for the club to open so it does pay to make sure that you arrive early.
When the club opened and we got in we immediately went in search of a table to sit at. The tables are all small and arranged for couples so we pulled a couple together. The venue is located in a basement and isn't a huge room but has space for a couple of hundred people easily. We tried to choose seating near enough to the stage where we could see the acts but far enough away so that we wouldn't become the butt of a comedians jokes. No matter where you sit you should be able to get a good view of the stage and hear everything that is going on.
The bar was open as soon as the venue was and since we had quite a wait for the show to start we got drinks in which were really reasonably priced and in fact were cheaper than quite a few bars we visited later on in the night. The club also sells a selection of bar foods such as nachos and paninis.
On Saturday nights they have their best comedians performing and there were 5 acts including the compere. The acts change on a regular basis but with their being so many on there is bound to be something that you find funny.
The compere was hilarious and actually funnier than most of the main headliners. I'd never heard of the headliners but they do occasionally get a famous comedian playing such as Frankie Boyle. There was a female comedienne who was hilarious and the rest were men and the comedy ran the gauntlet from the filthy swearing kind to the more bizarre surreal kind. I originally worried that I might have trouble understanding some of it as the Glasweigen accent isn't the easiest to understand but of the three glasweigens who performed I had no trouble understanding and the rest of the performers were English so I had no problems understanding them.
I was right to be wary of sitting near the front as these tables were the ones 'picked' on by the acts. Where we were sitting we managed to avoid becoming part of the act but I was afraid to go to the toilet at one point in case I unwittingly became a part of the routine.
The comedy on offer was all different but every act was funny and there wasn't one that I didn't laugh at. Of course there were acts I laughed at more than others but on the whole I found them all to be worthwhile watching.
During the show there was a couple of intervals where you could go to the bar or outside for a smoke. The bar remains open during the performances but they do ask that you are quiet when ordering drinks so as to not disturb the performers.
One thing that I really liked was the atmosphere of the club. Everyone was there to enjoy the performances and there was only a small amount of heckling which the comedians handled well and actually added to the show. The Stand doesn't allow hen and stag parties or large group's entrance to the club on weekends which I think is an excellent idea as any stag night I have been on has been loud and rowdy and this would become boring after a short time when trying to pay attention to the acts on stage.
The show itself doesn't actually last that long and we were already leaving the club by 23:30 but even for the most expensive tickets on a Saturday night I personally thought it was worth every penny. The acts were hilarious and my friends and I all had an amazing time. It made a refreshing change from the usual nights out at pubs and clubs and the club itself was good value for drinks. One other thing I should mention was the bar staff who were all really friendly and helpful and were polite every time I went to the bar even though it was extremely busy. You would be surprised just how much this can improve a night when everyone works together to ensure that the customers who have paid to come have a good time. When we left we got talking to people outside and everyone else we spoke to had come to the same conclusion as we had that The Stand made for an excellent night out.
I THOROUGHLY recommend the Stand Comedy Club in Edinburgh for a great night out!
I have been going for a few of years now and have enjoyed every night. It's great for large or small groups although large groups in particular (a) have to arrive early to get good seats together and (b) are an obvious audience target for the acts which adds to the fun of the night!
The show starts at 9 but the doors open at 7.30 and you need to get there pretty sharpish if you want a good seat. Right in front of the stage there are small round tables and chairs - the best place to enjoy the show - sociable for drinks and chat during the interval and with a good view of the stage. The layout of the club is irregular so if you miss out on these seats, there are rows of chairs to one side of the stage. After that it's standing room only at the bar! Despite the clear advantages of being so close to the bar, it's a long time to stand (the show finishes at about 11) and you get mobbed at the intervals.
The show itself is fab - there are normally about 4 comedians over a 2 hour period wih a compere in between so even if you find one of them less than amusing, there are plenty of others to do the trick.
The show costs £7 on a Friday night and £10 on a Saturday which is not bad value considering the number of acts and the fact that it's a complete night out. There are also shows every other night of the week (with free comedy on a Sunday lunchtime! In the bar, both food and drink are pretty reasonably priced although the food's not anything to write home about (think burgers and chilli).
The only disappointment for me is that as soon as the show's over, the lights come on and the place is cleared - just when you're all in the swing of a great night out and halfway through your third bottle of chardonnay...! To be fair, you're not far from lots of decent bars but moving on when you're settled is a nuisance! Still - not enough to spoil a fab night out!
If you're in Edinburgh and looking for something a bit different with guaranteed feel-good factor included, this is it!