Comics welcome ban on stags and hens at The Stand

The Stand turns away rowdy stag and hen nights and the comedians are definitely in favour.

Feature by Edward Whelan | 21 Apr 2009
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They won’t sit still, they won’t shut up and they won’t leave. Hen and stag parties are a nuisance for anyone close to their crash sites, be it in pubs, in taxis or weaving their way down the street. That is, to me they are. I suppose it’s possible some people find them charmingly mischievous. But The Stand Comedy Club has now taken the bold step of banning these annoying clusters of idiocy from their audience, to give the rest of their patrons a chance to hear the act the comedians have spent time and effort on.  The club’s director, Tommy Sheppard, explains that that they are in danger of losing regulars who get fed up at the antics of drunken groups.

It has been a couple of weeks now since the ban, so we talked to some comedians about the difference it makes playing to a crowd free of farmyard animals. Edinburgh comic Dee Custance sums up the feelings of many we spoke to.

“The odd heckle is ok, but a party has a shared brain. If one person in the group is unhappy, then they all get unhappy like one fat, giant, drunk baby. The pack mentality can really turn a gig on its head. I'm glad The Stand have worked hard to create a fantastic atmosphere in their clubs”.

Siân Bevan, who has performed many times at The Stand, agrees that hearing about the ban was a relief: “Comedians are torn between giving the party the attention they want, often to the irritation of the rest of the audience, or ignoring them and risking them yelling out stuff”.

Stags and hens are still catered for at more corporate clubs such as Jongleurs, but as for Scotland’s longest running club, it seems a hard line is the best route to the punchline.