sat 14/12/2019

Comedy Reviews

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Russell Howard, Cardiff Motorpoint Arena review - a return with bite

Owen Richards

It’s been two years since Russell Howard last performed stand-up. That’s a long gap for such an established fixture of British comedy. As he points out, the world has changed, something reflected in his new show Respite. There are still the whimsical anecdotes that made him a star, but he now has bigger foils than his own family.

Read more...

Ed Byrne, Berry Theatre, Hedge End review - musing on middle-age angst

Veronica Lee

Ed Byrne's new show takes a philosophical bent as he muses on middle age and fatherhood. But don't worry, he's not getting soft at the age of 47 – he's as sarcastic, caustic and self-deprecating as ever in If I'm Honest...

Read more...

Count Arthur Strong, Leeds City Varieties review - stargazing and mangled syntax

Veronica Lee

Count Arthur Strong, the character created by Steve Delaney, started life in the late 1990s and  became a cult figure at the Edinburgh Fringe over several years. Radio shows and three series of a television sitcom (written with Graham Linehan) followed and now he’s taking the character back on the road with Is There Anybody Out There?

Read more...

Brydon, Mack and Mitchell, Portsmouth Guildhall review - family-friendly fun

Veronica Lee

Rob Brydon, Lee Mack and David Mitchell are the host and team captains respectively of Would I Lie to You?, the long-running BBC One panel game. Now they are touring together in Town to Town, which is family-friendly fun (with occasional naughtiness from the delightfully sweary Mack).

Read more...

Romesh Ranganathan, Brighton Dome review - transgressive, edgy and very likeable

Thomas H Green

One question springs immediately to mind on hearing that Romesh Ranganathan’s new stand-up show, The Cynic’s Mixtape, is touring: how does he find the time? Ranganathan has overtaken Jack Whitehall as Britain’s most media ubiquitous comic, with a deluge of TV shows and appearances, a column in the Guardian newspaper and even a recent autobiography.

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

Citizen K review - real power in Russia

Putin and Mikhail Khodorkovsky are “strong”, a...

Pink Wall review - scattered scenes from a tortuous relation...

What Jenna (Tatiana Maslany, star of Orphan Black), likes doing is wrangling and coordinating, not creating – she hates that - which...

Caravaggio & Bernini, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna -...

It doesn’t matter where you stand, whether you crouch, or teeter on tiptoe: looking into the eyes of...

Albums of the Year 2019: Imperial Wax - Gastwerk Saboteurs

No-one needs to be told that 2019 was a year which saw the UK, USA and many other countries looking somewhat at unease with themselves. Inevitably...

Teenage Dick, Donmar Warehouse review - a fearlessly acted,...

If good intentions were everything, Teenage Dick would be the play of the year. As it is, this British premiere at the...

Bauer, CBSO, Koenig, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - Chris...

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s programmes in ...

A Kind of People, Royal Court review - multiculturalism fall...

The trouble with prejudice is that you can't control...

Jumanji: The Next Level review - raising their game

Two years ago Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle dusted off the Robin Williams vehicle from the Nineties with entertaining results, improving...