tue 13/11/2018

Comedy Reviews

Eddie Izzard, Palace Theatre

Veronica Lee

Eddie Izzard tells us at the top of a show lasting two-and-a-half hours that he's on the home straight in a mammoth tour taking in 28 countries. He first performed Force Majeure in 2013 and now, in a slightly rebooted form, he parks it in the West End for an extended run as Force Majeure Reloaded.

Read more...

Anne Edmonds, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee

When Anne Edmonds comes on stage I notice a banjo sitting ominously in a corner. She is full of Australian bonhomie and energy, instantly connecting with the audience, and our first impression is that she's a likeable chatterbox, telling anecdotes without punchlines - and she begins with a lengthy one about spewing copiously on a New Year's Day flight in front of her parents some years ago.

Read more...

Bill Bailey, Vaudeville Theatre

Veronica Lee

What a trouper Bill Bailey is. Just as he's introducing what is clearly meant to be a showstopper in which he and the audience would create a number in the style of “maestro of melancholia” Moby, his technology lets him down. But no fear, Bailey ad libs for several minutes as he tries to rectify the problem, knocks out an Irish reel on one of the many instruments on stage, and moves on when it's clear that the “Moby song" will have to remain unsung.

Read more...

Ed Byrne, Theatre Royal, Winchester

Veronica Lee

The show's title, Outside, Looking In, might suggest we're in for some philosophising from Ed Byrne – but then, after 22 years in the business, the Irish observational comic has earned the right. And indeed, he covers subjects such as feminism, slut-shaming and gender imbalance, but in the mix there is also some material about the perils of dating and a graphic description of food poisoning.

Read more...

Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, Eventim Apollo

Jasper Rees

Loadsamoney stomps on clutching a wad of twenties. He hasn’t been seen since the Eighties, he advises, because he became irrelevant. In the strict sense Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse have never been relevant. Relevant comedy has a habit of becoming irrelevant, which is why their Legends! tour is such a treat for audiences over a certain age.

Read more...

Dawn French, Vaudeville Theatre

Jasper Rees

When is a comedian not funny? Dawn French has spent so much of her life making audiences laugh that her debut as a one-woman performer requires some recalibration. The next-door smile is as big as ever, and the eagerness to be liked, so the early section – about the thieving march of time – looks and sounds like a stand-up routine that isn’t quite landing. Laughs are thin on the ground.

Read more...

Michael McIntyre, O2

Veronica Lee

It may seem strange to begin a review of a comedy gig with a description of the Tube journey home. But it was noticeable that the crowds who left the O2 Arena in London after Michael McIntyre's new show Happy & Glorious weren't talking about it. About the weather, the full train, what they were up to at the weekend, yes; but his show, no.

Read more...

Alan Carr, Touring

Veronica Lee

Alan Carr has titled his latest live show Yap, Yap, Yap! Because, he says as the show opens, everyone has too much to say these days, much of it - such as the stuff on Twitter - not worth listening to. Coming from the host of Channel 4 chatshow Chatty Man, that's comically rich. But such is Carr's genuine likeability that the audience overlook that and settle in to enjoy the evening.

Read more...

Sam Simmons, Soho Theatre

Veronica Lee

Sam Simmons' new show – for which he won the Edinburgh Comedy Award last month and the Barry award at Melbourne earlier this year – is titled Spaghetti for Breakfast, but could easily be called “Things That Shit Me”; the phrase pops up repeatedly on a recorded loop, as the Australian comic runs through the large number of things that annoy him.

Read more...

Kevin Bridges, Hammersmith Apollo

Veronica Lee

Kevin Bridges, although only 28, has been performing comedy for 10 years. Strange to relate then, that he still gets rattled by hecklers (even friendly ones telling him he's awesome – “Relax, it's not a One Direction concert”) and that this otherwise excellent gig descended into acrimony with Bridges leaving the stage at the end clearly irritated.

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

CD: Imogen Heap - The Music of Harry Potter and the Cursed C...

London’s Palace Theatre this week celebrated the thousandth...

They Shall Not Grow Old, BBC Two review - Peter Jackson...

Peter Jackson has form when it comes to re-examining cinema history. In 1995 he made Forgotten Silver, a...

Robert Hastie: 'a seam of love runs through the play...

Robert Hastie is a little late for our meeting. Directing ...

LSO, Roth, Barbican - not enough pathos, but a remarkable st...

Missa in Angustiis. Mass in troubled times. There was a logic in...

Edward Burne-Jones, Tate Britain review - time for a rethink...

When, in 1853, Edward Burne-Jones (or Edward Jones as he then was) went up to Exeter College, Oxford, it could hardly have been expected that the...

Widows review - feminist crime pays

Steve McQueen’s progress from video artist to...

CD: Liela Moss - My Name is Safe in Your Mouth

My Name is Safe in Your Mouth takes off with “Above You, Around You”, its fourth track. Up to that point, progress has been stately....

The Silver Tassie, BBCSO, Barbican review - a bracing memori...

In a week of flickering memorial candles and cascading poppies we’ve all been asked to contemplate the pity of war – to remember and to seek...

Dramatic Exchanges review - a brilliant slice of theatre his...

Dramatic Exchanges is a dazzling array of correspondence, stretching over more than a century, between...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Jazz on a Summer's Day

When Jazz on a Summer's Day was first seen in American cinemas in March 1960, it showed that seeing popular music live could be a leisure...