Comedy, Issue 638

92 articles

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Dan Atkinson: Death by One Thousand Pricks

1 Sep 20093 stars

Compelling and entertaining thesis on the current state of Britain

Dan Atkinson is sick of pretending. He's through with being nice, kaput with repressing his desires, and done with right-wing 'pricks' that moan and whine on radio call-ins. Charmingly presenting the stage as a realm in which the truth runs free, and…

Miles Jupp: Telling it Like it Might be

28 Aug 20094 stars

Mr Nice Guy is generous with the laughs

Playing on his persona as a harmlessly posh good egg, the sort you’d happily leave your kids with, Jupp crafts tales of his failings and faux pas, mishaps visited on him and his own ineptitudes into a rolling onslaught of rib-tickling yarns. Designed to…

Cabaret Whore

27 Aug 20094 stars

Sex, revenge and Katie Price

The themes of sex, revenge and Katie Price are just some of the topics tackled in Sarah-Louise Young’s all female cabaret show. Performed with passion from the very beginning, Young’s interchanging characters - Southern belle, socially inept librarian…

Kim Noble

27 Aug 20094 stars

Unfettered lunacy?

Of the near 600 shows listed under Comedy in the Fringe programme, there will be absolutely nothing in there like Kim Noble Will Die. Indeed, whether the return of the man who was once one half of the Perrier Best Newcomer winning double act Noble and…

Life of Brian

27 Aug 2009

Monty Python classic comes back to the big screen

Has it really been that long? Find out what the Romans really did for us in this special thirtieth anniversary screening of Monty Python’s most contentious and complete film. GFT, Glasgow from Sun 6-Tue 8 Sep.

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Russell Kane: ‘Fakespeare: The Tragicall Saveings of King Nigel’

27 Aug 20094 stars

More bard theory than he's letting on?

Russell Kane’s second ‘Fakespeare’ play tells the story of Nigel, a vile Essex banker torn between his fat orange wife – ‘the Gorgon’ – and his ‘semi-chav’ secretary, Donna. Nigel also has to choose between suicide and the nefarious investment in Sudan…

Eric's Tales of the Sea

26 Aug 20094 stars

Moving, humbling, and comic

Breathtaking, poignant, suspenseful, and hilarious, Eric's tales are enthralling, told by a gifted storyteller who will draw you into the murky depths of his world. Self-deprecating and never boastful, he gives an account of the bravery of his fellow…

5 Questions: Terry Alderton

26 Aug 2009

Terry Alderton once played in goals for Southend FC before turning to comedy. There’s nothing in our

What five words best describes your show this year? No format, just full on. Can you name a comic who should be more famous than they are now why? Me. What bugs or delights you most about Edinburgh in August? The weather bugs me; it…

Comedy Hitlist

26 Aug 2009

Brendon Burns In years gone by this mouthy Aussie could have started an almighty battle in an empty room. He doesn’t have that problem anymore given the number of dates he’s added to this sold-out run. Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 25–29 Aug…

Jason John Whitehead

24 Aug 20093 stars

This rambling show needs a little more coherence

JJW is having a crisis: now in his 30s, his body clock is ticking but he has no real affection for kids, and a string of jokes about beating other people's children compose the core of this routine. His quirky delivery steers him past slower moments but…

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Jason Byrne

24 Aug 20094 stars

Life-affirming offbeat madness

The Fringe just wouldn't be the same without our favourite angry Irishman. This year's offering is more hysterical rantings, more rubbish magic and the heart-warming wonderment of a hyperactive child. At times the energy seems to dip below his normal…

Ivan Brackenbury

24 Aug 20093 stars

Often-amusing ailment-themed gags

Saying you prefer a band's early material may be a cliché but this year's 'all-new' hospital radio show makes 2008's Brackenbury-induced tears of laughter seem like a dream that can never be recaptured. The inappropriate song choices are still there as…

Guy Incognito

24 Aug 20093 stars

A muddled execution that feels unfinished

A series of sketches set over one public school term, the former BBC New Talent Pick of the Fringe act has a more interesting conceit than material. Though wonderfully empathetic at times (the English teacher defining 'love' nearly brought tears not…

Greg Behrendt

24 Aug 20093 stars

Predictable material

This is the American comedian's UK debut and comes on the back of his co-writing success with He's Just Not That Into You. Behrendt describes the gig as like a date where he'll 'talk about himself without listening to you'. While he's overflowing with…

Gary Little

24 Aug 20092 stars

Storytelling is not his forte

Having served a year in Barlinnie, Little should really have more to say than this. Storytelling is not his forte and what should be top drawer material for a comedian is muddied by poor delivery and structure. Constant digressions don't help matters…

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Fredrik Lloyd

24 Aug 20091 star

Blessed with neither presence nor charisma

You can see what Lloyd was aiming for with this unlikely account of bionic boy turned super featherweight cage fighter. He's meant to represent, rather than actually embody, a deluded waif holding court with tall tales and a YouTube fixation, but the…

4 Poofs and a Piano

24 Aug 20092 stars

A seemingly inexhaustible supply of sexual puns

The four poofs of Jonathan Ross's house band are affable enough but their hour of musical comedy is suffocated by a seemingly inexhaustible supply of sexual puns. A few energetic dance routines - after which these pre-Brüno stereotypes nearly collapse…

Elis James

24 Aug 20093 stars

Sex, drugs and rock'n'rollercoasters

Join Welshman James for an endearingly tentative foray into the world of sex, drugs and rock'n'rollercoasters. The Welsh comic makes a confident stand-up debut with an engagingly honest hour of chit chat. In places, he is a touch rough and ready but…

Des Bishop

24 Aug 20093 stars

A show of empathy, if not quite originality

Spending his teenage years in Ireland after growing up in New York has not only given Bishop a mongrel accent, but a complex mix of Queens confidence and Blarney charm all wrapped in a self-effacing confusion. It's a confusion that invades the intimate…

Dead Cat Bounce

24 Aug 20093 stars

The overall effect is enjoyable

Taking the idea of musical comedy to the extreme, these Irish lads not only perform sketches but are a four-piece band too. It's nicely presented but much of the actual comedy hasn't a lot of substance, instead relying on the music to carry it through.

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Daniel Rigby

24 Aug 20093 stars

Frenzied and wilfully bizarre one-man character sketch show

Despite the musical pieces proving fresh and genuinely funny, there is something classically British about Rigby's frenzied and wilfully bizarre character sketch show. The forceful pace brings a certain shambolic charm to proceedings; indeed we could…

Colm O'Regan

24 Aug 20093 stars

An effortless talent abounding

You can just about hear the voice of David O'Doherty in your ears every time O'Regan pulls out another charming anecdote or dwells on a whimsical image or two. This softly-spoken young comic claims to have written some alternative Mills & Boon and…

Edinburgh Free Fringe round-up

24 Aug 2009

In a festival where Ricky Gervais can charge whatever he wants for a show in the Playhouse and sell out comfortably, as well as expecting to pay £10 for a half-decent comedian nobody's heard of, it's nice to see the free alternatives still going strong.

Tom Basden

24 Aug 20094 stars

Damn fine, damn funny show

A damn fine, damn funny show combining quirky songs on guitar and banjo (plus a couple of invented instruments) with strange slide shows, photo stories and suggestions for a new dance craze. Learn about the former if.comedy Best Newcomer's suspiciously…

Wilson Dixon

24 Aug 20094 stars

Wryly amusing and peppered with plain silly songs

It's a pleasure to spend an hour in the company of this affable, laidback, slightly dopey country singer from Cripple Creek, Colorado (perhaps by way of the Antipodes). During it, Wilson recounts the story of how he took off to make his name in…