sat 02/07/2022

Comedy Reviews

Joe Lycett, Eventim Apollo review - prankster goes long-form

Veronica Lee

Joe Lycett’s career was on an upward trajectory when he took on hosting duties on The Great British Sewing Bee, and the crafting show delivered a whole new audience for his live comedy. But anybody thinking that his sweet-natured wit was all there was to Lycett might be taken aback by some of his stand-up material.

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Ricky Gervais, SuperNature, Netflix review - a provocateur at work

Veronica Lee

Irony can be a trump card for a provocative comic such as Ricky Gervais, and he plays it right at the top of his SuperNature, an updated version of a show he started touring in 2019, which was rudely interrupted by the pandemic and is now his latest Netflix special. 

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Andy Zaltzman, Soho Theatre review - satire on the hoof

Veronica Lee

Andy Zaltzman comes on stage to deliver a short preamble to his show Satirist For Hire. Much of the hour is suggested by the audience as they choose subjects they want him to muse on. Some have emailed before they arrive, others have left it till they arrive at the theatre; one shouts out a suggestion from the bar.

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Brandon Wardell, Soho Theatre review - US comic wings it

Veronica Lee

Brandon Wardell is a big social media star – he has a large following on Twitter and Instagram, YouTube and TikTok – and has in the past appeared as support for fellow Millennial Bo Burnham. And now he is doing a short run at the Soho Theatre.

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Stratagem With Alan Partridge, touring review - he's back as a lifestyle guru

Veronica Lee

After the latest disaster in Alan Partridge’s rollercoaster career, what would be the logical next move? To be a lifestyle guru, obviously. Partridge's creator Steve Coogan dipped into the idea back in 2008's Alan Partridge and Other Less Successful Characters and now, co-writing with Neil Gibbons and Rob Gibbons, Partridge is imagined as the purveyor of a lifestyle programme called Stratagem – where you turn STRAT into A GEM.

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Shaparak Khorsandi, touring review - sex, drugs and rock'n'roll

Veronica Lee

Shaparak Khorsandi has reverted to her given name since she last toured (she used to be known as Shappi) but other than that not much has changed in her brand of feelgood comedy, and her new show, It Was the 90s!, is an amusing look back at her youth from the perspective of middle age.

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String v SPITTA, Soho Theatre review - rival children's entertainers battle it out

Veronica Lee

Spoofs of children's entertainment is a rich area for comics – whether it's the permanently drunk Jeremy Lion (Justin Edwards), or the permanently disappointed Funz and Gamez (Phil Ellis) – as they create adult fun in a seemingly innocent world. And now Ed MacArthur and Kiell Smith-Bynoe take an interesting new tack with String v SPITTA.

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Katherine Ryan, London Palladium review - a softer comic emerges

Veronica Lee

A lot has happened to British-Canadian comic Katherine Ryan since she last toured and was expecting to go back on the road in 2020 – the “pandem”, which affected us all, of course, plus unexpected marriage and second-time motherhood. Updating us on that, plus her thoughts on much more, is a lot to pack in but she does so at pace in a show that barely stops for breath.

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Catherine Bohart, Soho Theatre review - anatomy of a break-up

Veronica Lee

Catherine Bohart had a more eventful lockdown than most, as it marked the end of a five-year relationship and what she describes as a sort of breakdown followed. To add insult to injury, the break-up came not along after she and her girlfriend, fellow comic Sarah Keyworth (whom she doesn't name in the hour), had launched You'll Do, a podcast about – you've guessed – love and relationships.

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Sarah Millican, Winter Gardens, Margate review - enjoyable filth

Veronica Lee

Sarah Millican is clearly glad to be back on stage, and the noisy reception she gets at the Winter Gardens in Margate suggests her fans are glad to have her back too. Bobby Dazzler is a crowd pleaser in much the same vein as her previous shows – unflinching honesty about women's bodies, and scatological filth.

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