wed 28/07/2021

Comedy Reviews

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

Veronica Lee

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 Melbourne Hall near Derby, where a sunken Victorian walled garden provided a natural amphitheatre. Chuck in a barbecue and a bar, and it was a perfect way to enjoy an evening of comedy.

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

Veronica Lee

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 has it: “Cunts are a key demographic for me” - to find it mirth-making.

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

Veronica Lee

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 Us, which he is giving a runout at Soho Theatre before touring with it later in the year.

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

Veronica Lee

“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 Home Guard) and as a prisoner of war in Colditz Castle, and for decades he was a bobby on the beat in south London.

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

Thomas H Green

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 childbirth, but this is her first show in well over a year, due to COVID-19, and she’s keen to say hello first.

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

Veronica Lee

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 its opening night was for anti-violence charity Reclaim These Streets. Proceeds will be distributed by the charity Rosa.

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

Veronica Lee

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.

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

Veronica Lee

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.

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Comedy podcasts round-up 5: politics, relationships and spoofery

Veronica Lee

 

Tiny Revolutions With Tiff Stevenson

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

Veronica Lee

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.

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