mon 02/08/2021

standup comedy

Comedy Shindig, Melbourne Hall review - Jason Manford headlines opening night

What a great idea Just the Tonic's Comedy Shindig is; outdoor gigs at lovely locations under a huge awning - so who cares if the British summer turns out to be a bit wet this year? The season kicked off – in beautiful weather – in the grounds of...

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Jimmy Carr, Palace Theatre review - rape gags and risible claims

What to make of Jimmy Carr? He’s a fantastic gag writer and experienced stand-up who has made a hugely successful career on television. And yet... as Terribly Funny makes clear, you have to share what he calls his dark and edgy humour - or, as he...

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Mark Thomas, Soho Theatre review - new state-of-the-nation show

Mark Thomas comes on stage unannounced. It's not a show of humility – rather, he told us, amused at his own mistake, that his hearing isn't what it used to be and he had misheard his music cue. It was a modest start to his new show 50 Things About...

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Arthur Smith, Brighton Fringe review - touching memoir of his dad

“A real live audience,” said Arthur Smith delightedly as he kicked off the Brighton Fringe with Syd, his touching and funny tribute to his late father, “an ordinary man who lived in extraordinary times” – his life included a stint in Dad's Army (the...

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Josie Long, Brighton Festival 2021 review - giddy post-lockdown spin on pregnancy-based show

Introduced by Brighton Festival 2021 Guest Director, poet Lemn Sissay, Josie Long, clad in blue denim dungarees and a black tee-shirt, initially hits the stage for a celebratory introduction. She’s here to perform her Tender show about pregnancy and...

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Reclaim These Streets fundraiser, 21Soho review - entertaining mixed bill hosted by Sarah Keyworth

London's weather – a day of huge downpours – underlined the point that we should be rushing inside as entertainment venues (in parts of the UK, at least) reopened. It was lovely to be back at 21Soho, a welcoming and well run venue, particularly as...

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Mark Watson's Carpool Comedy Club, Henley-Marlow review - Nish Kumar sticks it to the Tories

Heckling at a drive-in gig is rather pointless, don't you think? The audience, mostly listening through their car radios, will be unable to hear the interruption, while the comic can deliver a slam-dunk put-down that we can all enjoy. And so it...

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Mark Watson's Carpool Comedy Club, the Hop Farm review - strong kick-off to 2021 live comedy

What a pleasure it was to go to the first drive-in date of 2021 as Mark Watson's Carpool Comedy Club, produced in association with The Alfresco Theatre, rocked up in the picturesque surroundings of the Hop Farm, near Tunbridge Wells in Kent. The...

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Loyiso Gola, Netflix review - South African muses on race, religion and friendship

Loyiso Gola, twice nominated for Emmy awards for his satire show Late Nite News, has been a big star in South Africa for some years now but this show should help cement his reputation abroad. UK fans will remember his 2018 appearance on Live at the...

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Working From Home online review - Johnny Vegas and Jason Byrne in a strong line-up

Comedy promoters Just the Tonic have been keeping occupied during various lockdowns, and are continuing with livestreamed shows until comics can perform live in clubs and theatres again. This show was presented as part of JTT's fortnightly variety...

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Chinese Arts Now Festival review - comedy of the diaspora

Chinese Arts Now was founded in 2005 and aims to produce and present work that explores Chinese themes, stories and art forms in the UK. Its annual festival includes a comedy night (presented in conjunction with Soho Theatre), and this year three...

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Rachel Parris and Marcus Brigstocke's Tuesday Night Club review - daft and good-hearted

Lockdown has been mostly pants for live performers, comics included. There was that brief foray into open-air performances last summer, made even more fun by some lovely weather (although not always) – and I sincerely hope that promoters and comics...

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