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Joe Heenan

Feb 2008 reviewed by Alan Sharp

There’s a quality about Joe Heenan that makes you think he would have been very much at home behind the wheel of a big Ford Granada in a 1970’s TV cop show. Something in his blokish charm seems like it would sit well alongside the likes of Bodie and Doyle or Regan and Carter. A physicality about his performance which says he’d be good to have a pint down the pub with, but you wouldn’t want to mess with him.

If you wanted to sum up Heenan in a single word, it would most likely be “dependable.” There is nothing flashy or gimmicky about his performance style, he just tells it to you in a straightforward and open fashion.  And he clearly doesn’t need anything more, because he seems to have a wealth of material at his fingertips which allows him to allow his set to be led by audience reaction rather than sticking rigidly to a set plan.

One of the regular set of comperes at The Stand clubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow, his experience in that area stands him in good stead when performing his own set. He never appears afraid to interact with his audience, making them part of the experience rather than mere spectators, making his set seem more like a comfortable, if boisterous, chat with some friends rather than a performance.

The result is that when he leaves the stage, he has never outstayed his welcome, and you get the impression he could keep going all night if you asked him to.