mon 18/02/2019

Comedy Reviews

Kim Noble, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee

The Soho Theatre's lawyer was in the night I saw Kim Noble's new show, and that's no surprise as it pushes a few boundaries – public decency and legality being just two. In many ways it's typical of Noble's output as it plays with the audience's perception of real and imagined events, blurs ethical lines and dares us to be offended.

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Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights, Manchester Arena

Veronica Lee

Due to unfortunate circumstances I am unable to give a star rating to this show; 15 minutes into the second half a cast member collapsed on stage and the performance was cancelled. At the time of posting Ted Robbins (extreme right in the picture below) was recovering in hospital, in a stable condition, and we wish him a speedy recovery.

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Dara Ó Bríain, Touring

Veronica Lee

It's always an education to see a comic – now a part of the British comedy establishment – performing a gig in his own backyard.

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Noel Fielding, Eventim Apollo

Veronica Lee

Many of the audience for An Evening with Noel Fielding were still in nappies when the comic first plied his trade as one half of The Mighty Boosh with Julian Barrett, which started life on the Edinburgh Fringe in the late 1990s and quickly became a cult hit.

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John Bishop, Touring

Veronica Lee

It's a conundrum for some in the industry how John Bishop, so beloved of the BBC, which has given him several vehicles to parlay his Liverpool-lad-made-good comedy, can still, as a multimillionaire, perform his smiley Everyman persona with such conviction and be met with such affection - as indeed he was at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham where I saw his Supersonic arena tour.

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Jim Davidson, Sands Centre, Carlisle

Veronica Lee

Well, here’s a first; I was taken to a comic’s dressing room to be checked out before I could review his show. There was a mix-up over tickets for Jim Davidson so the front-of-house manager asked him If he would give the OK to let me in. “He wants  to see you,” he said.

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Lee Mack, Eventim Apollo

Veronica Lee

The last time I saw Lee Mack live, my companion and I were literally in pain because we were laughing so much. It's perhaps unfair to expect a repeat of such a wonderful, life-affirming experience - live comedy is an ephemeral art, after all - but the comic doesn't appear to be even trying to achieve the same effect on his audience in his latest show, Hit the Road Mack, and this time we both left disappointed.

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Paul Daniels, Touring

Veronica Lee

It's inevitable that Paul Daniels would introduce his wife and onstage partner as “... the lovely Debbie McGee”, one of two phrases now synonymous with the magician and comic.

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Lee Evans, O2 Arena

Veronica Lee

Lee Evans is one of those comics people either love or can't stick, and the audience at the O2 Arena last night clearly fell into the former camp – not much point in them being there at 55 quid a pop otherwise. For the latter group, though, his new show, Monsters, would be further proof that the Billericay stand-up is all style and no substance.

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Luisa Omielan, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee

Awards are strange things; they can recognise real achievement while at the same time overlook the really talented. Annoyingly, Luisa Omielan fell into the second category with her first two full shows - What Would Beyoncé Do? and its equally joyous follow-up, Am I Right Ladies?! - both of which should have been recognised in the Edinburgh Comedy Awards (in 2012 and this year respectively) but weren't.

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