mon 14/10/2019

Comedy Reviews

Alistair McGowan, touring

Veronica Lee

Alastair McGowan’s larynx is an amazing thing; it allows him to do 120 voices in 120 minutes during his solo touring show, The One and Many..., which I saw at Journal Tyne Theatre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Not all the impressions are spot-on and there’s an over-reliance on sport-...

Read more...

Tim Minchin, Hammersmith Apollo

Jasper Rees

Of course there’ll be no certain way of knowing whether the ensuing rave is heartfelt. Four years ago Tim Minchin, fresh off the plane from Down Under, burst onto the Edinburgh Fringe to be greeted by a short sharp one-star crit from a Guardian reviewer who had possibly got out of the wrong side of the bed. Where a regular stand-up would look horribly petulant to bear such a...

Read more...

Modern Family, Sky1 / Question Time, BBC One

Adam Sweeting

American critics have been fanfaring Modern Family as something of a sitcom revolution for its wit, intelligence and the cast's all-round expertise. It might take longer to grow a British fanbase, because you need a few spins around the circuit before its contours start to feel familiar, but then suddenly the lights go on and revelation ensues.

Read more...

Grumpy Old Women, Dorking Halls

Veronica Lee

Anyone looking for a novel way into their PhD on how the British like to be entertained would do well to sit in the audience of the live version of Grumpy Old Women, a successful spin-off from the BBC television series where celebby femmes d’un certain age sit and moan about whatever takes their fancy. Students of British social mores will learn that what Brits love more than...

Read more...

Al Murray, Brighton Dome

Veronica Lee

When Al Murray started doing his Pub Landlord character in the mid-1990s, many (including me) thought it was an invention of comic genius.

Read more...

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Vaudeville

Veronica Lee

It’s a big ask for any performer to take on a role that was written specially for another actor, but Diana Vickers’ supporters from her appearances in last year’s X Factor on ITV will be pleased to learn that she acquits herself very well indeed. She is Little Voice in Terry Johnson’s pleasing revival of Jim Cartwright’s The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, which began life in the National’s Cottesloe Theatre in 1992 with Jane Horrocks in the title role.

Read more...

Comedians, Lyric Hammersmith

aleks Sierz

What are the politics of comedy? The great thing about Trevor Griffiths's 1975 classic, Comedians, which opened last night in a solid revival directed by Sean Holmes, is that this subject is debated with grace as well as humour. As six apprentice comedians attend a night class run by the veteran stand-up Eddie Waters, they find that their hunger for stardom clashes with his desire to use comedy to make a difference, to change society.

Read more...

Frank Skinner's Credit Crunch Cabaret, Lyric Theatre

Jasper Rees

The watertight theory behind the Credit Crunch Cabaret is that we all need cheering up, above all on Monday nights. Frank Skinner compered 10 of these start-the-week-for-a-tenner variety nights earlier in the year. He returned last night for another 10-Monday stint. Variety was still on the agenda: it’s never not going to be the case that in a bill with four acts, some are going to be funnier than others. Much funnier.

Read more...

Simon Amstell, touring

Veronica Lee

“Let’s start with ‘I’m so lonely’,” says Simon Amstell at the top of his show, Do Nothing. As an opening line for most comedy evenings, that would be about as enticing as the oyster special at the Slurry Pond Inn but thankfully the ex-host of BBC’s Never Mind the Buzzcocks serves up an evening as witty as it is intellectually nutritious.

Read more...

Michael McIntyre, Wembley Arena

Jasper Rees

“Got a mortgage.” Thus spake Michael McIntyre last night. It’s an article of faith for McIntyre - an all but unique selling point - that he is one of us. He wears a suit to work and doesn’t think about al-Qaeda that much. How many other comedians do you come across who remind you even vaguely of you? Where most stand-ups are weird or ugly or angry or hairy or epically rude (or all of the above), McIntyre is groundbreakingly normal, boy-next-door bourgeois. The jokes are all about the things all...

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

Verdi Requiem, LPO, Gardner, RFH review – beyond the big noi...

You seldom expect to feel the breath of apocalypse and the terror of the grave amid the modestly rationalist architecture and passion-killer...

CD: James Arthur - You

It’s an easy joke to suggest that James Arthur needs an editor. By this point, the 31-year-old singer is almost as...

Thomas J Campanella: Brooklyn - The Once and Future City rev...

For visitors to New York, it’s all about Manhattan, its 23...

Great Women Artists review - the book we have been waiting f...

Every now and then a book comes out that can change lives. If a survey like this had appeared when I was a student at the Slade, the struggle to...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Dip - Ḣ-Camp Meets Lo-Fi

The temptation with the 20th anniversary reissue of Ḣ-Camp Meets Lo-Fi (Explosion Picture Score) is to look for traces...

Baby Reindeer, Bush Theatre review - break, break, breaking...

True stories, even in a fictional form, have the power to grip you by the throat, furiously shake your body and then give you a parting kick in...

PP Arnold, Islington Assembly Hall review - joy in a consumm...

“I had my first inter-racial relationship.” Moments after walking on stage and before the first song, PP Arnold is reminiscing about when she...

The Cunning Little Vixen, Welsh National Opera review - fami...

Considering that Janáček’s Vixen is, among other things, an allegory of the passing and returning years, it’s appropriate that...

LFF 2019: Le Mans '66 review - Matt Damon, Christian Ba...

While recent motor racing movies have been built around superstar names like Ayrton Senna and James Hunt, the protagonists of Le Mans ’66...