wed 08/07/2020

Comedy Reviews

Adam Hills, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee Your comic needs you: Adam Hills's new show is based on his audience's stories

It’s an interesting concept that Adam Hills has come up with for his latest show, Mess Around. The ever-smiling and hugely likeable Australian - a longtime sellout hit at the Edinburgh Fringe but who has yet to make a broader breakthrough like his peers - is a past master of audience interaction, so why not ditch the material and make that the show?

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Russell Kane, Touring

Veronica Lee Russell Kane: Comedy about being the book-reading son of a racist homophobe

Russell Kane, a thoroughly deserving nominee, was the surprise winner of the Edinburgh Comedy Award (ECA) - the bookies’ money was on young American Bo Burnham - with a show that explores his troubled...

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Ross Noble, Edinburgh Playhouse

graeme Thomson Ross Noble: 'A confused man being poked with a stick'

Call a comic surreal and you hand him or her a licence to be as self-indulgent as they desire. Think of Vic Reeves, who long ago started believing that the mere proximity to one another of words like "bacon", "kazoo" and "Manama" was sufficiently hilarious to bring down the house. Ross Noble is, we are frequently told, a surreal comedian. His new show certainly contains enough references to "...

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Celebrity Autobiography, Leicester Square Theatre

Veronica Lee

Celebrity Autobiography, like most of the world’s best ideas, is simple yet inspired. Eugene Pack’s creation, developed with Dayle Reyfel, was first seen in Los Angeles three years ago, then in New York and other American cities, and was a sellout hit at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Both creators, along with a bunch of actors and comics, appeared last night to read from various celebrities’ autobiographies. That’s all it is, folks.

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Alun Cochrane, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee Alun Cochrane: A thoroughly amiable comic who talks about life and that

It will come as no surprise that a critic should instantly become a fan of a comic whose debut show at the Edinburgh Fringe (for which Alun Cochrane received a Perrier Award nomination) was a show titled My Favourite Words in My Best Stories. Anyone who loves words is a hit with me - we’re ploughing the same furrow after all, just in different ways.

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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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