Rosco McClelland @ Monkey Barrel

A shambolic but endearing hour from former Scottish Comedian of the Year Rosco McClelland

Review by James McColl | 12 Aug 2019
  • Rosco McLelland @ Monkey Barrel

"I’ll win you over, one by one if I have to," warns a smirking Rosco McClelland to an audience not sure what to make of the very shouty Glaswegian man. A quick detour into Brexit before hastily moving on, McClelland doesn't seem interested in such topics and neither does the crowd, who are at this point suffering serious Brexit fatigue. Pockets of laughter are a constant, but McClelland takes a while to find his feet, as do his audience who sit slightly baffled clutching bricks supplied by McClelland (the bricks are foam but still likely to cause some bruising). This year’s show, a somewhat shambolic look back through past grief and worst days, sees McClelland pondering big questions and life-changing events. He still has time to get in a passive aggressive war with his in-laws over the use of his Netflix account, but this kind of material takes a back seat. 

Loosely working around the second worst day of his life, the one involving his Magic Belly, there's no clear path McClelland wants to take to get there. He's happy stumbling through routines and later revisiting them when he remembers another part of the story. It's by no means poor, rather a rough approach to his craft that is often overly polished and underwhelming when done by others. McClelland is never these things.

His honest and brutal descriptions of hardship and adversity are never at anyone else's expense. They’re told with warmth, sincerity and at all times, humour. McClelland deals with the bricks the same way he deals with his worst days, head on – only most of the time he doesn't have the protection of a chainmail helmet to shield him.

Rosco McClelland: Magic Belly, Monkey Barrel (Monkey Barrel 5), until 25 Aug, 4.35pm, £5/PWYW