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Scottish Comedy Reviews

Craig Hill

Ed Fringe 2007 reviewed by Alan Sharp

There is a long tradition of camp humour within the United Kingdom, stretching right back to the days of the music hall. But all too often the camp has been the humour, the joke has been in the limpness of the wrist. With today’s more sophisticated audiences, and more tolerant world, such acts would find it hard to make any headway outside of the most unreconstructed northern clubs.

Craig Hill is campness personified. To the thumping tones of the Scissor Sisters he bursts onto the stage in black leather kilt and muscle shirt barely concealing a pumped up body and performing a high-energi disco dance. But unlike the likes of Julian Clary or Larry Grayson, this no exaggeration or put-on act, this is Craig just being his own over-exuberant self, and we wouldn’t change a single hair on his head, if he had any.

Indeed, when you get past the flamboyance, much of Hill’s humour is a very honest examination of what it is like to grow up knowing that you are somehow “different” to your peers. So lines like “David came to the door and asked if Craig would be coming out, my brothers told him they imagined I would eventually,” are funny but also take on an added poignancy when you realise that such a life cannot have been easy on the streets of Glasgow.

The central thrust of the show is his love of music and how it developed over those formative years, requiring him to burst frequently into song and reveal a rather lovely and pitch perfect high baritone voice.

A star in his native Scotland but not well known outside it, Hill has such an infectiously warm nature that it is almost impossible not to be drawn in and feel like you are in the company of an old friend.