tue 05/03/2024

standup comedy

Andy Parsons, Touring review - reasons to be cheerful...

In the middle of another age of austerity, a climate crisis and seemingly intractable international conflicts, it's cheering that a comic should tour with a show called Bafflingly Optimistic. Even more so when that comedian is Andy Parsons, whose...

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Paul Foot, Soho Theatre review - how to discover the meaning of life

It's probably fair to say that Paul Foot is an acquired taste for some; his absurdist, poetic comedy isn't for everyone but he has built a strong and loyal following without the help of television exposure. And now in Dissolve, which debuted at the...

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Jessica Fostekew, Soho Theatre review - age is just a number

Jessica Fostekew is ageing fast. Actually, she's not, but having recently reached 40 she says that's how she feels. And for an hour she describes to us the signs, from despising litterbugs to gaining a political viewpoint that may not chime with her...

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Frank Skinner: 30 Years of Dirt, Gielgud Theatre review - a mature master of class-A smut

As the man himself says, he was awarded an MBE last year, despite the dirt, for services to comedy – though which services weren’t specified… On paper that isn’t a remotely risqué remark, but Skinner can milk innuendo from anything that comes out of...

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Tatty Macleod, Soho Theatre review - cross-Channel relations

Tatty Macleod, whose debut show is about the differences between the French and the English, has a confession to make: she's not French. She not even half English/half French, despite having lived her life between the two countries. But she's...

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Best of 2023: Comedy

From Covid-delayed dates (yes, that's still a thing) to emotional comebacks and assured debuts, 2023 had much to offer.Of the big TV names rediscovering the joys of live comedy were Dick and Dom on their Covid-delayed 20th-anniversary tour and shiny...

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Trevor Noah: Off the Record, O2 review - welcome return to standup for the polyglot motormouth

The O2 has to be the K2 of comedy peaks: a vast ovoid drum of a place where those right at the back have to be content with watching magnified images on screens. And for a standup, there are no electric instruments to drown out the echoing acoustics...

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Michael McIntyre, Brighton Centre review - observational everyman

It takes some chutzpah to do a substantial section of a comedy show in 2023 (and touring until mid-2024) that deals with your pandemic woes, but that’s Michael McIntyre for you – he has never been short of confidence. To be fair, it’s the closing...

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John Robins, touring - high anxiety can be funny

Recovery from alcoholism is now standard fare in stand-up comedy; so too are  living with ADHD, OCD, depression and anxiety. It's the last of those conditions, combined with becoming sober, that 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner John Robins...

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Peter Kay, O2 Arena review - comeback show is worth the wait

In 2017, Bolton comic Peter Kay had to cancel his planned tour because of “family circumstances”. But then, when he announced last year that he was back in the saddle, the tickets for Better Late Than Never sold like the proverbial. Well into what...

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Kate Berlant Is KATE, Soho Theatre review - glorious spoof of actory types

The show begins before the audience troops into the theatre; the walls of the staircase leading to it are plastered with images of Kate Berlant, its writer and performer; we file past her (sitting by the doorway with a sign saying “Ignore me”) and a...

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Edinburgh Fringe 2023 review: Ahir Shah

Ahir Shah, Monkey BarrelAhir Shah is a fast talker, but then in Ends – which deservedly won best show in the Edinburgh Comedy Awards – he has a lot to say. It's a show about multiculturalism, family, identity, fitting in, and encompasses modern...

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