mon 21/08/2017

standup comedy

Edinburgh Festival and Fringe 2017 reviews round-up

Wondering what on earth to choose between as you tramp the streets of the festival? These are our highlights so far.STANDUPAthenu Kugblenu, Underbelly Med Quad ★★★ Strong debut hour of political and identity comedyCally Beaton, The Caves ★★★★ Single...

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Edinburgh Fringe 2017 reviews: Ingrid Oliver / Darren Harriott / Jayde Adams

Ingrid Oliver ★★★★ Ingrid Oliver is an old Edinburgh hand as one half of the sketch duo Watson and Oliver, but this is her debut solo show, and a very fine one it is. The set-up in Speech! is that she plays various characters giving speeches –...

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

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...

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

 Tom Allen ★★★★ Tom Allen is celebrating his 10th year at the Fringe, and he appears to be having a ball – and so do we. He bounds on stage full of energy and does a fantastically strong 10 minutes' interaction with the audience, and...

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

 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...

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

Tiff Stevenson ★★★★“I identify as a 10!” Tiff Stevenson tells us in Bombshell. It’s a strong opener, particularly as she follows with: “And if you don’t agree you’re beauty-phobic.” It’s not to boast, though, more marking her territory in a show...

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The Big Sick review - enchanting romcom about mixed marriages

The Big Sick is an enchanting film from the Judd Apatow comedy production line. Don’t be put off by the terrible title. There are two forms of sickness on display in the story of Kumail Nanjiani, a Pakistani American who plays himself in his own...

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Russell Brand, Touring review - grandiloquent performer in reflective mood

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...

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Ricky Gervais, Touring review - chatty and relaxed riffing

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...

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

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. If Ayesha Hazarika needed any extra material, yesterday morning's events would certainly have supplied it....

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

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...

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Russell Howard, Touring - 'the passion and anger are real'

Russell Howard is in typically chipper form, and so he should be. Dismissed by some at the start of his career as just one of the slew of beige twenty-something blokes emerging in stand-up in the Noughties, he has built a solid television career and...

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