sun 23/01/2022

standup comedy

Russell Howard, Netflix special review - joyous return to live performance

In 2019, Russell Howard was all set to celebrate his 20th year in comedy by going on a world tour. Covid put paid to that, so it was with some genuine celebration that he was able to return to the stage with Lubricant, his second Netflix special,...

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Best of 2021: Comedy

Everybody in the comedy industry started out with so much hope that, finally, things could get back to normal in 2021 – and for a while they did, and there were some gems as live comedy returned to clubs and theatres.In live comedy, which operated...

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Alfie Brown, Soho Theatre review - a contrarian on great form

Well, this is a first: a comedy show with footnotes. Alfie Brown tells us at the top of the hour that he'll be stepping out of his routines from time to time to explain why the gag he's about to tell, or has just told, isn't offensive. It's a clever...

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Ahir Shah, Soho Theatre review - lockdown laid bare

During lockdown most of us were caught in a Groundhog Day existence of sleep, eat, exercise with Joe Wicks, take part in a Zoom quiz, bake banana bread, repeat – or variations on that theme. So a comic doing a show talking about his lockdown...

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Iliza Shlesinger, Eventim Apollo review - feminism, the internet - and bras

Iliza Shlesinger is an American writer, performer and presenter whose film work includes roles in Pieces of a Woman and Good on Paper, the latter which she also wrote and produced. She's also an established stand-up comic, with five Netflix specials...

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Jason Manford, London Palladium review - lockdown laughs and feelgood fun

Tickets for Jason Manford's Like Me went on sale in 2019 but the tour had to be put on hold as events unavoidably detained him at home. "I hope you haven't gone off me in that time – it does happen," he said. He needn't have worried as the...

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Edinburgh Fringe 2021: Comedy Allstars, Underbelly review - depleted festival kicks off

At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, this year's Fringe is a much smaller beast than normal. In the face of Covid restrictions, uncertainty about when they would end and the limitations on international travel, this year many performers are...

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Comedy Shindig, Melbourne Hall review - Jason Manford headlines opening night

What a great idea Just the Tonic's Comedy Shindig is; outdoor gigs at lovely locations under a huge awning - so who cares if the British summer turns out to be a bit wet this year? The season kicked off – in beautiful weather – in the grounds of...

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Jimmy Carr, Palace Theatre review - rape gags and risible claims

What to make of Jimmy Carr? He’s a fantastic gag writer and experienced stand-up who has made a hugely successful career on television. And yet... as Terribly Funny makes clear, you have to share what he calls his dark and edgy humour - or, as he...

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Mark Thomas, Soho Theatre review - new state-of-the-nation show

Mark Thomas comes on stage unannounced. It's not a show of humility – rather, he told us, amused at his own mistake, that his hearing isn't what it used to be and he had misheard his music cue. It was a modest start to his new show 50 Things About...

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Arthur Smith, Brighton Fringe review - touching memoir of his dad

“A real live audience,” said Arthur Smith delightedly as he kicked off the Brighton Fringe with Syd, his touching and funny tribute to his late father, “an ordinary man who lived in extraordinary times” – his life included a stint in Dad's Army (the...

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Josie Long, Brighton Festival 2021 review - giddy post-lockdown spin on pregnancy-based show

Introduced by Brighton Festival 2021 Guest Director, poet Lemn Sissay, Josie Long, clad in blue denim dungarees and a black tee-shirt, initially hits the stage for a celebratory introduction. She’s here to perform her Tender show about pregnancy and...

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