thu 25/05/2017

standup comedy

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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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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Miles Jupp, London Palladium

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...

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Suzi Ruffell, Soho Theatre

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...

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Chris Gethard, Soho Theatre

Comedy fans will be familiar with "New York neurotic" – performed mostly by Jewish writers and comics, with Woody Allen being the exemplar. Chris Gethard, however, is from New Jersey, was raised as a Catholic and is not neurotic at all. Rather, this...

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Michelle Wolf, Soho Theatre

American comic Michelle Wolf was nominated for best newcomer at this year's Edinburgh Comedy Awards with this show, So Brave, but she is also a writer on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah. She's an acute observer both of human quirks and the...

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The best comedy DVDs of 2016

The period before Christmas is, inevitably, when stand-ups rush to market. With so much material now available on YouTube, fewer comics release DVDs nowadays, but some of the best still do. This is theartsdesk's selection of the best live acts...

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Tom Allen, Soho Theatre

Tom Allen may have started life in Bromley, a non-descript south London suburb, but there was always a touch of Oscar Wilde about him – whether in his dress sense or his way with words, as we have learned from previous shows. It was obvious to him...

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Susan Calman, Soho Theatre

Susan Calman's latest show has a delightfully silly title – Calman Before the Storm – which neatly doesn't pin her down to any particular theme but instead allows her to riff on a wide range of subjects. It makes for a pleasing hour of...

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