tue 10/12/2019

Comedy Reviews

Jason Byrne, Leicester Square Theatre

Veronica Lee

It takes a very talented comic indeed to warm the main room at the Leicester Square Theatre, a venue that is situated beneath a Catholic church and which, vampire-like, can suck the life out of even the most buoyant of audiences. Fortunately, Jason Byrne has enough energy to wake the dead or, in this case, a few hundred damp souls who have come in from a rainy London town outside.

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Sunday Night Comedy, Lyric Hammersmith

Jasper Rees Trying out some stuff: David Baddiel returns to stand-up

Nowadays, stand-ups who can fill the Enormodome grow on trees. But once upon a time, before comedy was the new rock’n’roll, that sort of thing didn’t happen. Then David Baddiel and Rob Newman played Wembley Arena. It feels like a long time ago. While Newman’s career wandered off the map, Baddiel became exceptionally celebrated as, in effect,...

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Frisky and Mannish, Touring

Veronica Lee Frisky and Mannish: Laura Corcoran and Matthew Jones deliver a very original musical 'lecture'

Felicity Fitz-Frisky and Hansel Amadeus Mannish (aka Laura Corcoran and Matthew Jones) describe their act as “twisted pop cabaret” but that doesn’t begin to encapsulate a show that expertly parodies modern music. An easy target, you think, but this duo bring real singing and musical talent, plus a deliciously bitchy touch to the subject.

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Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Prog 2, Peacock Theatre

Judith Flanders

I have a friend who loves telling jokes. One night he started a well-worn story: “Please,” he said, “if you’ve heard this before, don’t stop me – it’s one of my favourites.” I am always reminded of that evening when watching Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo – the Trocks to their many thousands of fans across the world – when they touch down in London on one of their regular stops.

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Rich Hall, Autumn Tour 2010

ismene Brown Rich Hall on tour: Swigging his beer bottle, he comes across as grumpy with twinkles

Mindful that Dara Ó Briain ticked off one of my colleagues for revealing a punchline of his in his show, I can lumber without fear into reporting Rich Hall’s outing at the Wilde Theatre, Bracknell, as punchlines aren’t really what his comedy is all about. Morose as he looks on TV, on this very early date in an exhaustive 63-gig tour over the British Isles between now and...

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Dara Ó Briain, Hammersmith Apollo

Kate Bassett

At 6ft 4in, Dara Ó Briain is a massive bloke. With his bald, cannon-ball head and barrel-chested torso – togged out in a suit – he looks like a bulldog that's acquired a tailor. But it is not, of course, his physical build that has made this affable Irishman a huge name in the entertainment industry. What's key to his popular appeal is his "ordinary bloke" manner combined with his gift of the gab and his quick mind.

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Edinburgh Fringe: Bo Burnham/ Ovid's Metamorphoses/ Tony Tanner's Charlatan

theartsdesk Bo Burnham: Astonishingly accomplished musical comedian and wordsmith

Bo Burnham says he doesn’t like the terms musical comic, internet sensation or teenage wonder. Well he’s all three, save the last now, as he turned 20 during this year’s Fringe - and anyway he prefers the term prodigy, he tells us in deadpan tones typical of the deeply ironic, faux offensive manner of his performance style. But sensationally talented he undoubtedly is, and this is an hour so stuffed with gags - verbal, visual and musical - that one almost doesn’t have enough time to savour...

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Edinburgh Fringe: Patrick Monahan/ Asher Treleaven

theartsdesk

With the charm-cum-cheek of a naughty schoolboy, Patrick Monahan is an instantly likeable presence whose latest show, I Walked, I Danced, Iran, is a lop-sided but very funny hour-and-a-bit of observational comedy. Monahan is a veteran of several Fringes and a regular on The Paul O’Grady Show on Channel 4.

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Edinburgh Fringe: Sarah Millican/ The Phantom Band

theartsdesk

When Sarah Millican won the If.comedy newcomer award two years ago, it was with one of the most accomplished shows I had ever seen at the Fringe - by newbie or veteran - and now the South Shields stand-up has made critics reach for the superlatives again with another hour of superbly crafted comedy.

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Edinburgh Fringe: Greg Davies/ Apples/ Carl Donnelly

Veronica Lee

Comic Greg Davies has made us wait for his solo debut - he’s in his early forties, appeared at the Fringe as part of sketch group We Are Klang for a few years and more latterly has been starring in The Inbetweeners on Channel 4 as Mr Gilbert. Before that he was a drama teacher in a secondary school for 13 years. But boy, was it worth the wait.

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