Fringe 2011 Review – The Skinny

Raymond Mearns: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Stress…

Posted by Bernard O’Leary, Mon 08 Aug 2011

Raymond Mearns restores a bit of Scottish pride to a city overrun by Londoners in front of an adoring home crowd tonight. With absolutely no attempt to temper his Glasgow charm, he flies through an hour of anecdotes and banter. He could easily go on for two hours, maybe three.

The show is based on a DVD Mearns produced for the NHS, also titled Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Stress… Mearns takes these very serious tips about stress and uses them as a jumping-off point for stories about getting ripped off by mechanics, a nightmare gig on a cruise ship, getting in a punchup on the Caledonian Sleeper train, and a basket of other yarns. All the while, he’s batting away unsolicited contributions from a rowdy audience, reminding us all of his considerable skill as an MC.

The audience are a benefit to Mearns, who visibly feeds off their energy and looks to be enjoying himself. By his own standards this is nothing particularly special, but do remember that those standards are very, very high. If Billy Connolly was still Scottish, he’d just about be the equal of Ray Mearns.

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