Audience see black humour in dark

By Angie Brown
BBC Scotland, Edinburgh and East reporter

Image caption,
Comedy In The Dark is on from 2345 BST each night at the Gilded Balloon

What do you get if you put three comedians in a room and turn the lights off? Answer: Black comedy.

Comedy In The Dark is the latest stunt at the Edinburgh Fringe to gain sell-out shows each night.

It is a late-night comedy revue at the Gilded Balloon performed, as the title indicates, with the lights off.

Each night there is a different line-up and one of the plus points is you can sit in the front row without fear of being picked on by the comedians.

The three comedians performing at Monday's show were: Andrew Lawrence, Josie Long and Greg Davies.

Members of the audience said after the show that the darkness made the show more atmospheric and allowed the comedians to be more relaxed.

After the midnight show Mr Davies told the BBC Scotland news website: "I genuinely think it's fantastic.

"I'm such a physical performer, it's a fascinating exercise in realising how much you rely on your facial expressions and your physicality.

"I tend to bound about the stage and look at people and leer all over the place and suddenly all that's gone and you have to just rely on the words."

John Watt, 20, a Glasgow University student, who was in the audience said: "I thought it was absolutely amazing. The darkness gave a surreal but also quite an enjoyable atmosphere.

"You didn't really know what was going on at the front, which made it even more atmospheric and quite funny. I would definitely go again."

Kirsty Oliphant, 20, an Edinburgh University student, said: "I thought it was very funny. I really liked the fact the comedians really got to relax in the dark.

"You also don't really feel embarrassed laughing when nobody else is laughing because its dark."

Jilly Vannet, 20, from Edinburgh, said: "When the lights are on in a comedy show it can get awkward and silent but it didn't matter in the dark and the comedians could just have fun."

Geoff Rowe, the show's producer, said: "Audiences at the Fringe seem to love it. We have sold out pretty much every night.

"The acts really like the challenge of it because its a completely different environment for performers.

"A lot of the relationship between comedians and the audience is non-verbal so they get a lot of feedback from the audience from what they look like but obviously when its in the dark you don't get that.

"People have to listen a lot more, its a very unique experience."