sun 20/08/2017

Comedy Reviews

Edinburgh Festival and Fringe 2017 reviews round-up

theartsdesk

Wondering what on earth to choose between as you tramp the streets of the festival? These are our highlights so far.

STANDUP

Athenu Kugblenu, Underbelly Med Quad ★★★ Strong debut hour of political and identity comedy

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Edinburgh Fringe 2017 reviews: Hannah Gadsby / Suzi Ruffell / Ivo Graham / Athena Kugblenu

veronica Lee

Hannah Gadsby ★★★★

This is Hannah Gadsby's last show, she tells us. Not because she has stopped being funny (she most definitely hasn't, as the laugh count in this show attests), but because making comedy out of her life experience has become toxic for her.

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Edinburgh Fringe 2017 reviews: Tom Allen / Cally Beaton / Lauren Pattison / Trumpageddon

veronica Lee

 

Tom Allen 

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Edinburgh Fringe 2017 reviews: Kiri Pritchard-McLean / Dad's Army Radio Hour / Elliot Steel

veronica Lee

 

Kiri Pritchard-McLean ★★★★

Appropriate Adult has an unlikely subject for comedy – Kiri Pritchard-McLean's work with vulnerable teenagers. But it proves rich territory as she recounts her relationship with one in particular, 15-year-old “Harriet”. Don't worry, it doesn't pose an ethical issue, as the comic, rather than the child, is the butt of the jokes – of which there are plenty.

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Edinburgh Fringe 2017 reviews: Tiff Stevenson / Jarlath Regan / Urzila Carlson

veronica Lee


Tiff Stevenson ★★★★

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Russell Brand, Touring review - grandiloquent performer in reflective mood

veronica Lee

Were ordinary folk to plunder their lives for comedy, most of us would be sadly lacking in any topics worthy of analysis, let alone laughs. But Russell Brand, who every few years appears to reinvent himself – from drug addict to stand-up comic, from sex addict to husband, from anarchist to social campaigner, to name a few reboots – can in no way be described as ordinary.

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Jeremy Hardy, Brighton Festival review - expert raconteur shows political bite

thomas H Green

Jeremy Hardy is very happy to mock his audience and they love it. One of the biggest laughs of the night is when a punchline refers to us as a collection of “middle class white people”. Being Brighton, he goes further, explaining how tolerant the city is but that everyone’s frustrated as they have no-one to tolerate. Any immigrants, he explains, take one look and head down to Devon “...

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Ricky Gervais, Touring review - chatty and relaxed riffing

veronica Lee

Ricky Gervais enters the stage after recordings of some the great (and not so great) men of history – including Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King and Adolf Hitler. And then there's a portentous introduction – are we then going to hear some deep philosophical insights tonight? Well not so much, more chatty and relaxed riffing, with some of his most personal material yet.

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Ayesha Hazarika, Soho Theatre review - 'politics is her patch'

veronica Lee

What a day to open your political stand-up show, entitled State of the Nation, a few hours after Theresa May had announced a snap election.

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Our Friend Victoria review – ‘Victoria Wood’s genius is irreplaceable’

jasper Rees

In the closing credits of Acorn Antiques, wobbling diagonally across the screen, it says the part of Berta was taken by “Victoria Woods”. Has there ever been a lovelier, truer typo? There was only one Victoria Wood, and yet she seemed somehow to be plural.

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