Stars come out to celebrate 20 years of Waverley Care comedy gala
Stars of this year's Fringe helped Edinburgh-based charity, Waverley Care celebrate 20 years of their comedy gala - raising funds for their work with people living with HIV and Hepatitis C.
Hundreds were entertained in the Pleasance Grand venue on Monday, August 15 which marked the 20th birthday of The Tartan Ribbon Comedy Benefit.
The event was established in partnership with festival venue, The Pleasance in 1991 to support the work of Waverley Care.
For two decades Fringe performers have donated their talents to the cause and this year's line-up hosted by comic Stuart Goldsmith who came to public attention this year in the BBC television programme, So You Think You're Funny.
He was a warm and engaging host who, in my opinion, struck the balance between performer and presenter very well while managing to maintain the show's momentum throughout.
The acts included an energetic musical performance with a light touch of humour from the a cappella group that shot to fame in ITV's Britain’s Got Talent, Out Of The Blue; the winner of last year's funniest joke at the Fringe, Tim Vine; the delightfully bizarre Terry Alderton and the anti-politically correct Tom Stade.
Chris Cox, 'the mind-reader who can't read minds' added diversity to the line-up with an impressive set of tricks neatly decorated with well-placed humour. Sketch performers, Idiots of Ants presented two accomplished pieces poking fun at gender stereotypes and the clichés of fatherhood.
The event reached its finale with tuneful Fringe favourites, 4 Poofs and a Piano. They opened with this year's biggest chart hit, Adele's 'Someone like you' only changing the words to describe the demise of their role as Jonathan Ross's band after his dismissal from the BBC.
They continued with lively and original songs which drew much laughter from the crowd as the show came to a close.
Anthony Alderson, director of the Pleasance said: "It's not all about raising money but it's about raising awareness too. Waverley Care devised a campaign called Laugh off Stigma in a bid to tackle the stigma that surrounds HIV, AIDS and Hepatitis C. Do what you can to support that campaign, Tweet a joke in support."
He went on to thank the comics for 'an exceptional night', the volunteers on hand to collect money for the charity after the show, the venue staff and a special thanks to Karen Docwra who has worked for Waverley Care since it was established in 1989.
Mr Alderson said: "She walked into the Pleasance 20 years ago and asked for help to support the work of Waverley Care. She has done an immense amount of work and deserves a massive round of applause."
David Johnson, the out-going director of Waverley Care was also praised and welcomed to the stage to receive a cheque of £34,643.
He said: "I want to thank everybody here because you have made a tremendous contribution to the care of people living with HIV and Hepatitis C in Edinburgh and this partnership has made a tremendous difference to a great deal of lives over the years."
The evening seemed to be well-received by the capacity crowd but it was unfortunate that not all of the performers wore the Waverley Care trademark red tartan ribbon, especially considering the name of the event.http://bit.ly/nypmFe