Comedy season begins at Spa tonight

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A NEW season of stand-up comedy begins at the Spa Suncourt tonight.

Every Wednesday until 31 August, four comedians from all over the country will perform at the outdoor venue.

John Scott - “among the top five new comedians emerging from Scotland today”, according to the Observer – headlines the opening night.

John is billed as a highly versatile and lovable rogue.

Cheeky, commanding and oozing charm, he won a lucrative national comedy competition called Take the Mic at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year.

John has participated in five Edinburgh shows in the various guises of double act, comic actor and solo performer, and in 2003 won the Scottish section of the Spike Milligan award.

His shows have included the critically acclaimed Fish Supper sketch show which ran for three successive years, won rave reviews, went into development hell with BBC Scotland and eventually collapsed into a morass of hatred and copyright theft.

Other shows have included Mongrel Nation, written with Scots-Asian comedian Saj Chaudry. Taking an ironic look at race, stereotypes and modern Scottish, British and Asian identity, the show made List magazine’s top-10 pick of the fringe.

Tonight’s support acts are Mr Drayton and Ben Davids. The compere will be Roland Gent.

Next week’s headliner is poet, singer, songwriter, comedian and tree impressionist Rory Motion.

On the scene for 20 years, Rory boasts a deceptively laid-back style, keen intelligence and quirky wit.

A regular contributor to national radio, he has appeared on comedy shows, the literature panel game Booked with Roger McGough and Miles Kington, and written and presented his own programmes on Radios 4 and 5.

In 2001, Rory and fellow poet Matt Harvey created a series of programmes called One Night Stanza which, in a victory for poetry lovers everywhere, made the coveted 6.30pm Radio 4 comedy slot. In the same year Cassells published Rory’s collection of poems, Neither is the Horse.

Rory’s fascination and evident facility with language has led him to perform in other tongues. In his French-speaking persona, Raymond Bizarre, Rory enjoyed a network radio hit in France with his epic homage to Eric Cantona, and in a triumphant accolade for the Englishman abroad, the disc was played before international matches at the Parc de Princes on several occasions.

Next week’s support acts are Phil Pagett and Curtis Threadgold.

The shows are due to start at 7pm.