sat 17/11/2018

Comedy Reviews

Forbidden Broadway, Vaudeville Theatre

David Nice

“It takes a star to parody one,” wrote theartsdesk’s Edward Seckerson, nailing the essence of this immortal spoof-fest’s last incarnation at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Star quality was assured given the presence of Damian Humbley, peerless in Merrily We Roll Along and even the unjustly short-lived Lend Me a Tenor, who’s in this transfer.

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Steen Raskopoulos, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee

Steen Raskopoulos has hit the ground running with his debut show; it was nominated for a Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award (best newcomer) at the Fringe earlier this month, after he won Sydney Comedy Festival 2013 and Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014’s best newcomer gongs.

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John Kearns/ Alex Edelman/ This Is Ceilidh

Veronica Lee

John Kearns: Shtick, Voodoo Rooms ****

London comic John Kearns made history at the weekend, when he became the first comic to win the main prize at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards after winning best newcomer gong, which he did last year That's some achievement.

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Edinburgh Fringe 2014: Chris Turner/ BEASTS/ Angela Barnes/ Show Pony

Veronica Lee

Chris Turner: Pretty Fly, Pleasance Courtyard ****

This is Chris Turner's debut show as a stand-up, although his previous experience in improv group Racing Minds gives him a wonderful assurance on stage and an easy rapport with his audience.

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Edinburgh Fringe 2014: Adam Riches/ Josie Long/ Loretta Maine/ Dane Baptiste/ Tom Allen

Veronica Lee

Adam of the Riches, Pleasance Dome ****

No one is safe at an Adam Riches show from being grabbed to take part in his frantic sketch comedy; each skit in this hour of anarchy involves audience participation, from using someone's mouth as a cocktail mixer (compete with half a banana shoved in his gob) to having gents of a certain age “strumming” each other's hair, as if a harp.

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Edinburgh Fringe 2014: Bridget Christie/ Men in the Cities/ Lazy Susan/ Outings

Veronica Lee

Bridget Christie: An Ungrateful Woman, The Stand *****

This is the “difficult second album” show for Bridget Christie, despite her having done 10 years at the Fringe. She finally found her voice at last year's festival, deservedly winning the Edinburgh Comedy Award after a raft of five-star reviews for her avowedly feminist show, A Bic for Her - but how do you follow that? With another five-star show, obviously.

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Edinburgh Fringe: Andrew Maxwell/ Spoiling

Veronica Lee

Andrew Maxwell (****) tells the Scots in the audience that he’s going to “rip the shit out of everything they hold dear” in Hubble Bubble, his take on the independence referendum. He doesn’t quite do that but it’s a witty and thoughtful take on the issues surrounding the vote.

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Ursula Martinez: My Stories, Your Emails, Purcell Room

Hanna Weibye

In her book How To Be a Woman, Times columnist Caitlin Moran explains the difference between strip clubs and burlesque shows, and why the latter are perfectly acceptable to feminism.

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Edinburgh Fringe: Sarah Kendall/Christian O'Connell

Veronica Lee

Comics rarely start a show by referencing the ending of a previous one, but Sarah Kendall has first to do a bit of housekeeping to explain the genesis of Touchdown. The payoff for her last show was her dropping the c-bomb on her high-school gym teacher, Coach Harris, but when her mother attended a gig she said to her daughter: “It didn’t quite happen like that, though, did it?”

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Chelsea Handler, London Palladium

Veronica Lee

Chelsea Handler may be an unknown name for many in Britain - although some will know her from her spat with Piers Morgan on his now-cancelled US chat show -  but there were plenty of fans at the London Palladium to watch the actress, comic and chat show host making her UK stand-up debut, with a one-off show based on her travelogue of a trip to Africa with some friends, Uganda Be Kidding Me.

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