tue 19/09/2017

comedians

10 Questions for actress Tracy-Ann Oberman: 'it's made me pretty fearless'

What do you call a woman who murdered Dirty Den, is the darling of TV comedy producers, writes radio plays about the golden age of Hollywood, hosted and judged Channel 4’s Jewish Mum of the Year, was until just a few weeks ago tap dancing through...

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Albert Herring, The Grange Festival review - playing it straight yields classic comedy gold

Perfect comedies for the country-house opera scene? Mozart's Figaro and Così, Strauss's Ariadne - and Britten's Albert Herring, now 70 years and a few days old, but as ageless as the rest. With the passing of time it's ever more obvious that this...

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White Gold, BBC Two review – rattling pace and razor-edged dialogue

In the dog-eat-dog world of White Gold it’s 1983, when greed was about to become good and (as the show’s creator Damon Beesley puts it) “a time when having double-glazed patio doors installed meant you were winning at life”. The streets were full of...

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The Mikado review - Sasha Regan's all-male operetta formula hits a reef

Men playing boys playing girls, women and men, all female parts convincingly falsettoed and high musical standards as backbone: Sasha Regan's single-sex Gilbert and Sullivan has worked a special magic on Iolanthe and The Pirates of Penzance, HMS...

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

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...

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The Miser, Garrick Theatre

Trimmings, trimmings. They prove the final straw for Molière’s Harpagon in this new adaptation of the classic French comedy-farce. The menu for his wedding banquet – which he doesn’t want to spend a centime more on than he has to – is being...

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Mr Swallow - Houdini, Soho Theatre

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...

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theartsdesk in Cape Town: Summer of nostalgia

Just 22 years old, South Africa’s national “Day of Reconciliation” on 16 December has shuffled into its perplexed young adulthood. Although commemorative events abound, few people seem to know how to strike the right note for this (just) pre-...

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Once in a Lifetime, Young Vic

An amplified crunch in the dark, sound without vision, kicks off this take on Moss Hart and George S Kaufman's light comedy about the advent of the talking pictures. It's a typical Richard Jones leitmotif, not as fraught with horror as the baked...

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Damned, Channel 4/ Morgana Robinson's The Agency, BBC Two

Damned (★★★) is the third comedy drama in what could be termed Jo Brand's social/healthcare triptych (after Getting On, set in a geriatric hospital ward, and Going Forward, in which she appeared as a care-home worker). Damned, in which she also...

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Tom Ballard

Australian stand-up Tom Ballard was nominated for best newcomer in last year's Edinburgh Comedy Awards for Taxis & Rainbows & Hatred; last month he went one better with The World Keeps Happening, which gained him a nomination for the main...

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Fleabag, BBC Three

Have you seen Fleabag yet? If not, here’s the one-word review: brilliant. You need three hours to watch the lot on the iPlayer, which is BBC Three’s main address these days. Do come back afterwards and read this longer appreciation, which contains...

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