tue 07/07/2020

Comedy Reviews

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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Ivo Graham, Soho Theatre review - the perils of growing up

Veronica Lee

Considering where Motion Sickness ends up, Ivo Graham's new show begins a million miles away, as he talks about his love of trains and his favourite train company, Chiltern – or “The Chilt”. But don't be fooled by this quotidian fare; what begins as a seemingly aimless wander down a path of nothing very much packs an emotional punch by the end of the hour.

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Nish Kumar, Soho Theatre review - the state we're in

Veronica Lee

Blimey, Nish Kumar is angry. Angry about Donald Trump, angry about misogyny, angry about racism, angry about Brexit – angry about a lot of things.

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Katherine Ryan, Garrick Theatre review - feminism with extra sass

Veronica Lee

Katherine Ryan was making her West End debut – a big moment in any comic’s career – but she made her entrance on stage at the Garrick unannounced. Yet if the opening to Glitter Room was strangely underwhelming, it wasn’t long before the Canadian’s trademark waspish style was to the fore and the sass kicked in.

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