Rhys James review – standup with a superiority complex
Soho theatre, LondonThe 24-year-old comedian is charming and verbally virtuosic sending up his own white privilege, but can’t bring himself to be profound“Nothing bad has ever happened to me,” says Rhys James, a 24-year-old whose mastery of standup art – by his admission &nda... [Read More]
Plan your week's theatre: top tickets
Noma Dumezweni directs I See You at the Royal Court, Dominic Dromgoole presents his Globe swansong and Standby for Tape Back-Up is out on tourThe hollowness of the New Labour dream is exposed in Luke Wright’s What I Learned from Johnny Bevan, which is terrific and has a run at Soho theatre, Lo... [Read More]
Jerry Seinfeld and Steve Martin standup comedy review – superbly honed
Martin performed his first comedy gig in 30 years – but Seinfeld was the star, with a wonderfully calibrated show that proves he’s still the safest bet in standupJerry Seinfeld more or less exists in his own comedy realm. He’s by far the highest-paid comedian in the world and argua... [Read More]
This week’s new live comedy
Russell Kane: Right Man, Wrong Age | Sarah Kendall: A Day In October | Ed Aczel: The Random Flapping Of A Butterfly’s WingsAgeing can feel like a curse to many of us, but it must be especially difficult when you feel as if your career depends on people thinking you’re young. Russell Kane... [Read More]
The five stages of British gags: silliness, repression, anger, innuendo, fear
Are you Fawlty, Edina, Partridge or Brent? In his new play Monster Raving Loony, James Graham examines what 70 years of comedy reveal about the British – through the story of Screaming Lord SutchWhen it comes to comedy, national stereotypes have long carried their own punch lines: the British ... [Read More]
Tar Baby review – passionate comedy slams the sham of a post-racial America
Vault festival, LondonDesiree Burch invites the audience to rebut racist cliches and face up to centuries of injustice in a show that loses some impact due to its scattershot approachThe US performer Desiree Burch is the current Funny Women award champ, but don’t mistake Tar Baby for (just) a ... [Read More]
Masai Graham wins UK pun championship – video
Masai Graham, from West Bromwich, wins this year’s UK pun championships at Hansom Hall in Leicester on Monday. He battled against seven opponents over four rounds, during which they delivered puns on randomly-chosen subjects. The knockout contest saw Masai Graham going up against Richard Pulsf... [Read More]
Tony Law review – a standup parping one long raspberry
Leicester Square theatre, LondonOutlandish non sequiturs stack up as the wild-eyed, broad-grinned Law works the myth of his own zaninessIt’s Tony Law’s ambition, he tells us, to make a solid hour’s comedy of which his audience understands not a word, but loves it anyway. “But... [Read More]
Isy Suttie review – standup's endearing, embarrassing search for Mr Right
Cambridge JunctionThe ex-Peep Show star co-opts Roy the papier-mache penguin and her Slovenian flatmate Anya in a warm and wise show about her quest for loveWe’re not in unfamiliar territory with Isy Suttie’s new show, which is about the frantic search for Mr Right as youth ebbs into mid... [Read More]
Sock it to Satan: the barman behind profane puppet drama Hand to God
Robert Askins drew on his evangelical Texas upbringing to create a comedy about a teenager tormented by an evil puppet. As the play hits Britain, will he quit his day job mixing margaritas in a Tex-Mex restaurant?When the playwright Robert Askins was a kid in Cypress, Texas, his mother forced him in... [Read More]