Scott Agnew: Spunk On Our Lady’s Face ****

COMEDY

Gilded Balloon Teviot.    (V14)   

August 2nd to 28th   (not 15th)

22.15

Scott Agnew is on excellent form this year, seated above his audience like a beaming icon, nursing his pint, in a tiny attic that is smaller than the venue he deserves. The title of the show is very appropriate, but you have to be patient to discover just why.

Scott tells us about the travails of a Glaswegian Catholic childhood, of being expected to confess your sins at age six, and, having little understanding of the concept of sin, being very glad to discover that you have a real sin to confess. There is much about priests and their crazy, dictatorial ways, and a delicious section about the dangerous art of pretending to piss.

Scott has been hailed as brave for coming out as HIV positive a while back, but he considers this to be a responsible thing to do, and here he talks about being “undetectable”, about his treatment being so effective that the virus level in his body is too low to be detected, and the virus is thus very unlikely to be transmitted. Given the unreasoning fears that are still around in some quarters, it is important that such a message is put out.

This is a comedian who takes you into his confidence warmly from the beginning, with a smile that encourages other smiles to spread around the room. There are comments Scott drops in that tell us that things have not been good for him in the recent past, but he has come through all that to be in a position where he commands his audience in a brilliantly structured show, which includes distant call backs and which builds to a superb hilarious climax.

Do get along a see this wonderfully skilled gay comedian on the top of his form. It is as though he takes some awful things that have been done to him and, having chucked them into a comedic trash bin, is able to triumph over them and make art out of them. Going through this with Scott is inspiring as well as being hugely enjoyable.

 

Tony Challis