The best comedy gigs of 2013
Alexei Sayle, Russell Brand, Bridget Christie, The Pin and Tim Key showed us the funny this year
Showing the young ’uns a thing or ten, the guy who singularly invented alternative comedy (as he half-jokingly insisted during the brilliant hour-long set he delivered at The Stand in August) made the finest comeback since Lazarus. He was known back in the early 80s for larking about in tight suits, and the joy of seeing him split his trousers on stage during a particularly physical routine was a nostalgic tour de force for all who witnessed it.
Another chap known for his slim clothing choices also brought a barnstorming show to an adoring public, and proved once more that he’s got a lot more going on upstairs than many people give him credit for.
A well-deserved victory for surreal wit and feminist wisdom as Christie became the first solo female stand-up to win the big Edinburgh comedy award since Jenny Eclair way, way back in the mid-90s.
This year’s Fringe was tipped to be a showcase of sketch loveliness, and although it might not have wholly lived up to that billing, the pairing of Ben Ashenden and Alex Owen was a prime example of how to turn natural chemistry into something rather wonderful.
He was here in August doing just some work-in-progress gigs, but even a half-finished Key hour is livelier and more inventive than most other comics’ completed jobs. He arrived, not with a bath on stage this time, but a bed full of cunning theatrical surprises while he mock-seduced his audience via some daft poetry and dafter mutterings about life and love.