Gary Little: The Thing Is @ The Stand
Never has a name been so ill-fitting. Gary Little looms over his audience, ten feet tall and buff as hell, skinhead gleaming, deep voice booming. Little’s served time in prison, swears like a docker (the word ‘shite’ is his constant companion), and seems to address his fellow males as either ‘wee man’ or ‘big man.’ He’s proper blokey, shouting so loud that on three occasions a woman in the front row jumps in her seat.
Little’s dog-walking tales are a great opener, blessed as he is with that special brand of Glasgow banter: gossipy, sharp-tongued and hilarious. He’s got the Weegie gift of the gab and tells a cracking tale. His anecdote about an ill-fated car boot sale reduces some audience members to tears.
His portrayal of women is problematic. He mentions his wee mammy, his naïve girlfriend (every time he quotes her he makes her sound daft as a brush), expresses horror at the thought of women not shaving their legs, and appears disgusted at the mere notion of his partner breaking wind in his presence. Germaine Greer he ain't.
However, this bellowing, masculine, sweary persona is undercut by his obvious warmth, a softness that emanates from him despite the bravado. His interactions with the audience are jocular but cruelty-free. The high point of Little’s set is his description of past depression, the medication he had to endure and the dance therapy – of all things – that got him back on track. You can tell the experience, bleak as it was, blessed him with compassion, and it’s lovely to witness, funny as well as moving. Little might be a bloke, but he’s a bloody nice one.