sun 17/11/2019

Comedy Reviews

Jack Dee, Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage review - now he really is a grumpy old man

Veronica Lee

Jack Dee has made a career out of being a grumpy old man, even though he started on the comedy circuit in 1986 when he was 25.

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Tim Minchin, Eventim Apollo review - fabulous triumph of rhyme and reason

Jasper Rees

Is there anything Tim Minchin cannot do? He sings his own songs, plays hot bar-room piano and tells jokes about the existence of God. He composes musicals, performs in Lloyd Webber and Stoppard, writes a multimillion-dollar Hollywood cartoon which he is allowed to direct – until he isn’t.

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Jonathan Pie, Eventim Apollo review - spoof reporter in coruscating form

Veronica Lee

Jonathan Pie is a YouTube star, a spoof television news reporter (created by actor and comic Tom Walker), who is prone to gaffes. It was one of those on-screen gaffes that led to Pie being sacked as the BBC's Westminster correspondent, footage of which we see here on the onstage big screen alongside the highlights and lowlights of Pie's career – mostly the latter.

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Lou Sanders, Soho Theatre review - feminism and dodgy massages

Veronica Lee

Lou Sanders has named her latest show (which debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe) Say Hello to Your New Step-Mummy. But, as she tells us in her opening comments, she's not a mother or stepmother, and hasn't yet met a father she likes, but “by the end of the year, God willing…”

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Ben Elton, Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall review - magnificent return to stand-up

Veronica Lee

It has been 15 years since Ben Elton, known as Motormouth in his 1980s heyday – last toured.

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Lenny Henry, Watford Colosseum review - enjoyable evening with genial host

Veronica Lee

It’s a long time since Lenny Henry performed live comedy, and a lot has happened in that interval. He has reinvented himself as a serious actor on stage and screen, become a spokesman for the black British experience, was knighted in 2015 and is now a national treasure.

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Hannah Gadsby, Royal Festival Hall review - simply magnificent

Veronica Lee

It's a wonderful thing when a talented comic goes from niche performer to international star almost overnight, and that's what happened to Australian stand-up Hannah Gadsby. In 2017, she announced that her award-winning Edinburgh Fringe show, Nanette, was to be her last as she felt ground down after a decade in a misogynistic and homophobic industry.

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Elf Lyons, Komedia, Brighton review - bonkers, brilliant and a bit of bare bum

Katie Colombus

Elf Lyons’ new show, Love Songs To Guinea Pigs, has moved away from her usual slapstick and absurdist mimicry into new realms of traditional stand up. She cites the reason as being unable to do mime on the radio, but there’s a more serious reason for the switch.

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Rob Beckett, St David's Hall, Cardiff review - a mixed bag of observations

Owen Richards

There’s been no avoiding Rob Beckett in recent years. His high beam smile and infectious personality have made him a mainstay of comedy shows. Now he’s back on the road with what he calls the best job in the world, stand up. You can tell he means it, with a show that thrives on enthusiasm if not consistency.

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Eddie Izzard, Brighton Dome review - splendidly surreal storytelling

Veronica Lee

Eddie Izzard is dressed in a killer outfit of black leather jacket, tartan mini-kilt, thigh-length stiletto boots – and false boobs. “I got them at IKEA,” he deadpans. He’s in jovial form for Wunderbar, his farewell tour before he hopes to enter politics.

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