•• Comedy is just the tonic – Natalie Doidge ••

Natalie Doidge is a Trainee Producer on Big Burns Supper’s programming team, as well as the co-facilitator of Dumfries Youth Theatre. Natalie was a member of Dumfries Youth Theatre and Dumfries Community Choir from 2013-2015, and has returned to Big Burns Supper after graduating with a Theatre and Film degree from Queen Margaret University. Natalie has a passion for comedy of all genres – sketch, stand-up, dark humour, musical comedy – and believes that laughter is truly the best medicine.


“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine”

 Lord Byron


In times of crisis throughout history, humanity has turned to comedy to lift its spirits. Ancient Roman Gladiators left humorous graffiti on the walls of their barracks, and the term “black humour” can be traced back to the ancient greeks. In March 2020, the world began to face a crisis like no other – one that forced us to stay inside for the safety of ourselves and those around us. And as we have done so many times in history when the world turns upside down, we once more turned to comedy.


Viewing of comedy shows increased by 40% during the first 3 weeks of lockdown in March 2020, and over 2020 as a whole the viewing figures were 26% higher than in 2019. Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime took advantage of this trend, and released a plethora of new comedies in 2020 and 2021, from animated series’ like Star Trek: Below Deck to live filmed specials like Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas.


Musical Comedy virtuoso Bo Burnham debuted his 3rd Netflix special in May 2021, aptly titled “Inside”. Burnham, who had taken a break from live comedy due to mental health issues, scheduled his comeback in 2020 which was, of course, halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. The special explored the meaning of comedy and social interactions in the covid-era, and quickly became one of Netflix’s most watched pieces of original content. Social media exploded with praise for the special, with Fellowship of the Screen calling it “the most poignant art to come out of this past year”.


After 18 months of watching comedy specials on our couches, the time has come for us to come back together and laugh like you’ve never laughed before! So at Big Burns Supper 2022, we’ve curated a stellar comedy line-up just for you – designed to tickle your funny bone in these trying times.


Edinburgh Fringe standout Ray Bradshaw brings his stellar show “Deaf Comedy Fam” to the Spiegeltent. Ray’s routines centre around him acting as a British Sign Language interpreter to his parents – who are both deaf – leading to some hilarious situations. The routine is performed in Spoken English AND British Sign Language, making this show fully accessible for all who love a good laugh!


Scottish Comedy: Mixed Bill contains a supreme line-up of comedians who are rising stars in the Scottish scene, putting themselves on the Spiegeltent stage for a stellar night of shenanigans. Ross Leslie – fresh from his fantastic Fringe show “Guess Who’s Back, Back Again, Big Lesbo’s Back, Tell a Friend” – is a regular host on the Scottish comedy circuit who can always land a scathing punchline. 3-time Scottish Comedian of the Year finalist Christopher MacArthur-Boyd is a firm favourite at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with 2 sold out runs under his belt. Pun legend Richard Pulsford is a master of wordplay, and as a 6 time UK Pun Championship Finalist, you’re guaranteed to have a good giggle. A series regular on Radio Scotland’s Breaking The News and a recent guest star on Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, Susie McCabe is fast becoming a familiar face for Scottish comedy lovers. Susie was the fastest selling act at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival for 3 years running, so make sure and get your tickets now so you don’t miss out!


And for those who harbour dreams of being the next Russell Kane, we have our fantastic Stand Up Dumfries programme. This is a community show where we will showcase aspiring comics of all ages from across Dumfries & Galloway – some participants who took part in our Amazing Summer comedy workshops are as young as 8!

We will be running a series of workshops for aspiring comics – titled “So You Think You’re Funny?” – to take part in this show. If you’re interested in taking part then please email natalie@bigburnssupper.com for more details.




Stand Up Dumfries takes place in The Spiegeltent on Sunday 16th January at 12pm. Tickets are £5 and are available here: https://bigburnssupper.seatedly.com/events/16-01-2022-12-00-stand-up-dumfries


Ray Bradshaw – Deaf Comedy Fam takes place in The Spiegeltent on Sunday 16th January at 2pm. Tickets are £12.50 and are available here: https://bigburnssupper.seatedly.com/events/16-01-2022-14-00-deaf-comedy-fam-ray-bradshaw


Scottish Comedy: Mixed Bill takes place in The Spiegeltent on Sunday 16th January at 9pm. Tickets are £10 and are available here: https://bigburnssupper.seatedly.com/events/16-01-2022-21-00-scottish-comedy-mixed-bill


Dumfries Carnival takes place on Saturday 29th January 2022 at 5pm in Dumfries Town Centre, and is completely free. It’s “dressy-up”, and the theme is 1950s!

Check out how you can get involved at http://bigburnssupper.com/dumfries-carnival/


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