sun 22/04/2018

standup comedy

Funny Cow review - Maxine Peake is stellar

One of the joys of writing about comedy over the past few years is the decreasing frequency with which I am asked to comment on “women in comedy”, “female comics” or, most egregiously, “are women funny?” I think we can all agree that you're either...

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Angela Barnes, Soho Theatre review - history with great gags

It's always nice to come away from a show having learned something and Angela Barnes, history buff and a woman with an obsession some may consider weird (more of which later), certainly fills in a lot of historical detail in Fortitude. Some of it...

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Daliso Chaponda, Touring review - uneven but entertaining

You may have seen Daliso Chaponda on Britain's Got Talent last year. He came third but, as he says, he was delighted as it brought him to a wider audience after working in comedy for 15 years – and made possible his first UK tour What the African...

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Simon Evans, Soho Theatre review - intellect examined

Simon Evans, at 52, is far too young to be a grumpy old man, but he’s doing his best to prepare for the role, with this amusingly dyspeptic standup show at Soho Theatre about the ageing process, and how the evolutionary model appears to be moving...

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Craig Hill, Glasgow International Comedy Festival review - sweary and filthy fun

The Glasgow International Comedy Festival kicked off with a performance by one of its most popular performers, Craig Hill, a comic far better known in his native Scotland than south of the border. That may be because his shtick relies so much on...

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Fern Brady, Soho Theatre review - opinions with raw edge

Fern Brady is a young Scot with plenty of provocative opinions – on politics, society and relationships – with a delivery that can only be described as dry as a desert. It means that some pieces of information – as well as a few gags – take some...

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Rose Matafeo, Soho Theatre review - sassy and she knows it

New Zealand comic Rose Matafeo is a fan of romcoms and has decided she is destined to appear in one at some point in her career. As she explains, it's not possible – as a mixed-race woman – to play the film's heroine, but she is surely a shoo-in for...

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Hannah Gadsby, Soho Theatre review - misogyny explored

Hannah Gadsby was awarded best show (jointly with John Robins) at the 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Awards for Nanette, which had already been given the equally prestigious Barry award at last year's Melbourne Comedy Festival. Gadsby draws us in gently,...

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Andrew Maxwell, Soho Theatre - insightful political comedy

“I don't want to talk about Donald Trump,” Andrew Maxwell tells us as he comes on stage at the beginning of Showtime, because no matter what comics make up about the US President, he then goes and does something more weirdly comic, more comically...

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Chris Rock, SSE Wembley Arena review - energetic and fast-moving performance

Chris Rock, another fine alumnus of the comedy factory known as Saturday Night Live, rarely comes to these shores, so his short arena tour was welcome. He last visited the UK 10 years ago as he had been busy with, among other things, presenting the...

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Leicester Comedy Festival Gala Preview Show - going from strength to strength

In the early 1990s, a group of students at Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montfort University) staged an end-of-year comedy project. Three of them – Claire Walker, Abi Palmer and Geoff Rowe – developed the idea into what in 1994 became the first...

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Best of 2017: Comedy

The Edinburgh Fringe is usually the high point of the year for comedy, but in truth it wasn't a solid five-star year – although there were some stand-out performers. And if the test of good comedy is the shows that stay with you, and which you want...

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