sun 20/10/2019

Comedy Reviews

James Acaster, Phoenix Theatre review - a masterclass in comedy

Veronica Lee

There's a story in James Acaster's superb new show at the Phoenix Theatre which hangs on him being the first UK comic to shoot several Netflix specials. He doesn't tells us this to boast; far from it.

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Leicester Comedy Festival Gala Preview Show review - an entertaining mixed bag

Veronica Lee

Suited and booted, Tom Allen and Suzi Ruffell presented this gala preview to the Leicester Comedy Festival, which is now in its 26th year and starts next month.

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The Catherine Tate Show Live, Wyndham's Theatre review - sketch show favourites on stage

Veronica Lee

In 2016 Catherine Tate performed live comedy for the first time since her Edinburgh Fringe days at the beginning of her career, and the show was deservedly both a critical and box-office success.

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Best of 2018: Comedy

Veronica Lee

The highlight of 2018 for me was the return of two mighty sets of talents – Flight of the Conchords and The League of Gentlemen – and it was heartwarming to see that they had lost none of their sharpness, wit or love of performing in front of a live audience. In stand-up, while a lot of established comics were again producing the goods, one newcomer, a young Irishwoman, stood out.

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Hari Kondabolu, Soho Theatre review - from politics to papayas

Veronica Lee

As openings go, the first night of Hari Kondabolu's standup residency at Soho Theatre was pretty memorable, so get to American Hour in good time as he is trying to pull off the same trick when he can (no spoilers, but it involves quite a bit of planning for each performance, so he may not)....

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Matt Forde, Purcell Room review - politics plus deft impressions

Veronica Lee

You might think that, given the upheaval we are living through, political comics would be 10 a penny but, surprisingly, they’re thin on the ground. Regardless of how any rivals he has, though, Matt Forde is surely the outstanding political comic working today.

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Dave Gorman, Royal Festival Hall review - PowerPoint king is back with bite

Veronica Lee

Anyone who has seen a previous Dave Gorman show or his television series Modern Life Is Goodish knows what to expect: a show that's part lecture, part conversation, all pedantry, done with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation – clicker, laptop and onstage big screen as important as the patter, the text on screen often providing an addendum gag to the one he has already told, or...

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Natalie Palamides, Soho Theatre - challenging show about consent

Veronica Lee

The #MeToo movement is barely a year old, but it is already prompting some clever and insightful comedy – from standalone jokes or set-pieces in several comics’ shows, or, here, a very funny but frequently discomfiting hour that delves deep into the subjects of gender, relationships and toxic masculinity.

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Ayesha Hazarika, Soho Theatre review - feminism examined

Veronica Lee

As a former adviser to Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband – and a woman who has put her name forward to be a Labour Party candidate at a Westminster election – Ayesha Hazarika certainly knows her politics from the inside.

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Ciarán Dowd, Soho Theatre review - terrific spoof swordsman tale

Veronica Lee

The Edinburgh Fringe does throw up some oddities – in comedy shows, of course, but also in its dishing out of awards. And so it was that Ciarán Dowd's marvellous Don Rodolfo deservedly gained the Edinburgh Comedy Award for best newcomer, even though he's an old Fringe hand.

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