Des McLean looking forward to Cumbernauld gig

Scottish stand up Des McLean
Scottish stand up Des McLean

Des McLean is enjoying the buzz of live comedy again after time spent presenting radio and acting.

The comic says he can’t wait to return to Cumbernauld Theatre for his first show there in a decade.

“I am really looking forward to the Cumbernauld gig,” said Des.

“At quite a lot of venues they basically just leave you to get on with it but the people in Cumbernauld have really been pushing the show, putting a lot of work into it.

“I last played there about ten years ago and really enjoyed the atmosphere as it’s not just a matter of the audience being sat in front of you like in most theatres.

“It’s more like Prime Minister’s Questions where the audience are on both sides. Plus it’s only a short trip from my house.”

Des, whose career has seen him present radio and perform in theatrical roles ranging from panto to portraying Tommy Sheridan as well as a stint doing comedy in Las Vegas, says he is really enjoying the spontaneity that comes with returning to his standup roots.

“I love performing live,” said Des. “It’s important for all forms of art to be performed live, unfortunately it seems people are getting lazy and would rather watch a DVD or streamed performance than make the effort.

“Going to different places away from the usual cities as the crowds can be very different.

“An Edinburgh crowd, for instance, will laugh at totally different things from a Glasgow crowd.

“It means that you always have to be thinking on the fly about how well material is going across and perhaps pulling something else out of your toolkit than you’d originally planned on.

“Sometimes you realise that material you thought was a banker actually won’t work with this audience and you need something else.”

His comic roots have also helped Des build up a thick skin where audience participation is concerned.

“I remember one time I was doing I, Tommy at the King’s. Colin McCredie (ex-Taggart) was nervous about being heckled as a lot of the audience were comedy fans rather than regular theatregoers.

“I told him ‘you’ll be fine, this is the King’s Theatre’. As soon as Colin went on someone shouted ‘there’s been a murder!’”

“Social media has totally changed the relationship between audiences and performers though.

“I have comedian friends who are no longer on social media at all because they can’t deal with online comments, yet they can easily cope with being heckled at a gig.”

Des McLean plays Cumbernauld Theatre this Friday, May 20 at 7.45.

You can book tickets, £12 full price, by calling 01236 732887.