Boothby Graffoe Scratch Tour 12 February 2014 - Stand Comedy Club Edinburgh - One4Review
one4review | On 19, Feb 2014
Some comics are fairly easy to pigeon hole, others less so and then there is Boothby Graffoe. Over a decade or more I have seen him in the region of a dozen times, be it as a comic, a playwright, a musician, even to forays on TV and radio, it doesn’t seem to matter. Graffoe has talent in abundance and a comedy mind, occasionally a little surreal, to match anyone.
It was a cold and damp Wednesday night when he brought his touring show to Edinburgh’s Stand Comedy Club and long before ‘doors’ the queue was halfway down the street such is his popularity.
The show of two distinct halves kicked off with the more usual, if that is a word one can use to describe him, side of his personality on offer. Packed through with his eclectic mix of comedy songs, anecdotes and his musing on a variety of subjects, audience interaction and of course his almost inevitable ensemble sing-a-long number written about Hartlepool, yes really, as a fitting end to the first section.
Following a brief interval it was straight into the featured segment of the show Scratch, an hour or more of his take on the futility of the scratch card phenomena that has gripped the nation over the last 20 years or so. Although as he intones at the off there is not a huge amount of effort put into creating this show it does give him a suitable vehicle for his audience interaction play whilst offering to ‘share’ the winnings from the scratch cards that he goes through on stage.
Ever self-deprecating, from the lack of content and preparation of this performance, his previously small audiences and even his less than elaborate ‘Wheel of Almost Total Disappointment’ Graffoe seemingly epitomises the less is more maxim. What is on offer is the fertile imagination, the stage presence and abundant talent of a comedian with the best part of a quarter of a century of experience under his belt.
The message from the show is the futility of the ‘scratchy’, with way more losers than winners, but who were the true winners? Not just the lucky few who did actually get to share his winnings but the entire audience who were privileged to see one of the best kept secrets in comedy in his natural environment.
Reviewed by Geoff