thu 23/02/2017

Comedy Reviews

The UK Pun Championships, Leicester Comedy Festival

veronica Lee

The UK Pun Championships have quickly become a fixture of the Leicester Comedy Festival, and this year the organisers installed a boxing ring at De Montfort Hall to underline the event's competitive element.

Read more...

Suzi Ruffell, Soho Theatre

veronica Lee

Suzi Ruffell tells it straight: she's working-class and proud, but some people might think she's "common", which is the show's title. She has devised a quick quiz for us to check if we're working-class ourselves, and among the amusing tell-tale signs is: did your mum use to freeze milk? A new one on me, but the show is off to a good start.

Read more...

Chris Gethard, Soho Theatre

veronica Lee

Comedy fans will be familiar with "New York neurotic" – performed mostly by Jewish writers and comics, with Woody Allen being the exemplar. Chris Gethard, however, is from New Jersey, was raised as a Catholic and is not neurotic at all.

Read more...

Mr Swallow - Houdini, Soho Theatre

veronica Lee

Nick Mohammed doesn't do things by halves as his chatty airhead alter ego Mr Swallow. Forget the scholarly approach of finely researched biographies of Harry Houdini (“boring!”); his “first-ever entirely true auto-biopic” of the magician and escapologist comes complete with conjuring tricks, song-and-dance numbers and a whole lot of laughs.

Read more...

The Great Indoors, ITV2

veronica Lee

The main attraction of this new US sitcom for a UK audience is that two British actors - Stephen Fry and Susannah Fielding – appear in it. The basic premise is that Jack Gordon, a famed reporter, has led a thrilling outdoorsman life, writing about his adventures for the magazine Outdoor Limits.

Read more...

Scott Gibson, Soho Theatre

veronica Lee

Scott Gibson won best newcomer at last year's Edinburgh Comedy Awards for Life After Death, about the near-fatal brain haemorrhage he had as a 24-year-old in 2009. It happened after the Glaswegian had been to Blackpool for a stag weekend with 11 mates, including the groom “Junkie Steve”. Some rich material for an hour of comedy in there...

Read more...

Michelle Wolf, Soho Theatre

veronica Lee

American comic Michelle Wolf was nominated for best newcomer at this year's Edinburgh Comedy Awards with this show, So Brave, but she is also a writer on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah. She's an acute observer both of human quirks and the American political scene.

Read more...

The best comedy DVDs of 2016

veronica Lee

The period before Christmas is, inevitably, when stand-ups rush to market. With so much material now available on YouTube, fewer comics release DVDs nowadays, but some of the best still do. This is theartsdesk's selection of the best live acts caught on film.

Billy Connolly: High Horse

Read more...

Tom Allen, Soho Theatre

veronica Lee

Tom Allen may have started life in Bromley, a non-descript south London suburb, but there was always a touch of Oscar Wilde about him – whether in his dress sense or his way with words, as we have learned from previous shows. It was obvious to him – and to school bullies – that he was not like them, a gay, bookish, clever boy with a very distinct way of expressing himself.

Read more...

The Catherine Tate Show Live, Eventim Apollo

veronica Lee

Catherine Tate's television sketch shows - apart from a couple of specials devoted to her character Nan Taylor - were last screened in 2007, and she hasn't performed comedy live since her early days at the Edinburgh Fringe. So it was particularly good news for fans when she announced her first live UK tour.

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

Twelfth Night, National Theatre

Everybody’s a little bit gay in Simon Godwin’s giddy new Twelfth Night at the...

America After the Fall, Royal Academy

It may be a cliché to say that this is a “timely” exhibition, but America After the Fall invites irresistible parallels with...

The Girls, Phoenix Theatre

Why? That's the abiding question that hangs over The Girls, the sluggish and entirely pro forma Tim Firth-Gary Barlow...

Roots, BBC Four

Those of us who saw the first, 1977 TV adaptation of Alex Haley's Roots in our teens still remember the shock and horror at its handling...

Patriots Day

Patriots Day is a patriots’ film. It dramatises the grievous day on which American values were threatened on American soil like no other...

Mirjam Mesak, Kristiina Rokashevich, St Bartholomew the Grea...

Treasure our young continental European musicians in London while you can. Only last week I learned that so many of the overseas students at...

CD: Alison Krauss - Windy City

An album to please old fans and make new ones, Windy City is a peach – even at first playing it feels like slipping in to a worn-in pair...

The Best Albums of 2017

Disc of the Day reviews new albums, week in, week out, all year. Below are the albums that our writers gave four or five stars,...

10 Questions for Musician Kevin Rowland

After 27 years away, band leader Kevin Rowland (b 1953) successfully relaunched Dexys as a recording unit in 2012. The album, One Day I’m...