Craig Hill - Live! Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh

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The Independent Culture

He is, by his own admission, wee, baldy and as camp as a pink pineapple upside-down cake in an East Kilbride sink estate, where in fact he was raised in what must have been a tough upbringing. One of the kings of Scottish stand-up right now, Craig Hill rushes at the audience with bursts of song, fast insult and tales from the housing schemes, sporting the tightest red T-shirt, the daintiest goatee and a swishing black leather kilt.

He asks us to love him, and we do, immediately. He stares at the audience with a Graham Norton-like blend of glee and sympathetic disdain in his malleable mouth and quizzical eyebrows. "Nice hair," he tells a front-row female: "Jewellery from Argos?" The essential Hill thing is his rapid-fire bitching combined with a singalonga song cycle which, in other hands, would be pretty naff.

Hill preens and poses in an almost classical approach to gay stand-up, with material completely grounded in the Scottish milieu. He is that rare thing, a naturally funny comedian whose skewed expressions are enough to keep us happy. But he is also a terrific singer, with an effortless high falsetto that he employs to parody all the gay icons, from Shirley Bassey on, in uncanny vocal impressions. His drunken Judy Garland and underwater Streisand are spine-tinglingly accurate; tiny vocal masterpieces alone worth the ticket price.

Venue 3, 9.15pm (1hr), to 25 Aug (not 10 and 18 Aug) (0131-226 2428)

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