thu 13/05/2021

standup comedy

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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First Night Funnies, Leicester Comedy Festival review - uneven start to 2021's online gathering

The Leicester Comedy Festival, always great fun, was one of the last to be able to run fully in 2020, but this year it's not so lucky. Instead of several hundred events in and around Leicester, the 2021 iteration is an online-only version with many...

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Natalie Palamides: Nate: A One Man Show, Netflix review - deep dive into toxic masculinity still has power

Edgy comedy runs the risk of discomfiting the audience so much that they can't relax and enjoy the show. But Natalie Palamides, appearing as Nate, her alter ego, in Nate: A One Man Show on Netflix, pulls it off, and then some.The show, which has a...

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10 Questions for Singer/Pianist Joe Stilgoe

Singer/pianist/songwriter/entertainer Joe Stilgoe responded remarkably rapidly to the new circumstances of March 2020. Even before the first nationwide lockdown was declared, he had started doing a series of daily performances on YouTube: “Stilgoe...

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Adam Kay, Apollo Theatre review - former medic tells tales from NHS front line

What a pleasure it was to step inside a West End theatre again, and what a different experience it was – temperature checks at the door, a one-way system through to the seats and an app to order drinks. While markedly smaller audiences are terrible...

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Live From the Grand Hall, BAC review - strong mixed bill to start autumn season

After a successful – and very welcome - summer season of gigs in its outdoor courtyard, Battersea Arts Centre has come indoors for its autumn season of comedy from the Grand Hall; it started with this strong mixed bill curated by the promoters Berk'...

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The Cheeky Chappie, The Warren Outdoors review - entertaining drama about risqué comic Max Miller

It’s fitting that there’s another run of Dave Simpson’s terrific play about Brighton’s favourite son, Max Miller (aka The Cheeky Chappie), at this delightful pop-up on the seafront he knew and loved so well.Jamie Kenna, who has been playing the role...

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Picnic at the Castle review - entertaining mixed bill

Of all the outdoor spaces being utilised to keep live performance going in this maddest of years, Warwick Castle is surely among the most striking. Its Picnic at the Castle series has the building as an imposing backdrop to events, the stage reached...

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