fri 24/05/2019

Comedy Reviews

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

Veronica Lee

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 a huge stand-up following.

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Peter Kay's Dance for Life, Ricoh Arena Coventry

Veronica Lee

Peter Kay’s love  and extensive knowledge  of pop music is well known. He has often spoofed misheard song lyrics in his shows, and has released various charity singles over the years.

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Miles Jupp, London Palladium

Veronica Lee

Miles Jupp starts by telling us he’s trying to fathom the kind of comic he should be, after he overheard a comment by an audience member at a show on his previous tour: he was nice, the man proffered, but what he said had taken him by surprise. So should Jupp now be full and malice and predictable?

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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.

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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.

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