‘Nothing was off-limits’: Mark Thomas on his West Bank comedy club
When the activist-standup put on a comedy show in a refugee camp in Jenin, the jokes he heard were angry, funny – and radicalThe first time I went to Jenin was when we did the Walking the Wall project – to hike the length of Israel’s wall in the West Bank. When we started, I was hu... [Read More]
From scissor attacks to diabetes improv: comedians' weirdest gigs
Lucy Porter caused a breakup. Romesh Ranganathan did a diabetes panel show. And Alexei Sayle survived a skinhead invasion. Comics relive their worst moments on stageThe 10 best jokes from the Edinburgh fringeA guy in the crowd had been drunkenly obnoxious all evening so I got everyone to chant &ldqu... [Read More]
Mark Thomas review – comic gambles on his audience in a lively show
Summerhall, Edinburgh The political comic mixes debate about Britain’s future with confessional memoir in an odd hybrid that solicits contributions from the crowdMark Thomas has called this latest fringe outing The Show that Gambles on the Future, which you’d peg as a reference to Britai... [Read More]
'Bit daunting, really': the Edinburgh standups reading Chilcot in full – video
At 2.6m words it’s something of a mouthful, but John Chilcot’s Iraq war report is being tackled by comics at the 2016 fringe in a performance expected to take two weeks. Here, they explain why holding the powerful to account is ‘exactly what Edinburgh is for’Chilcot’s 6... [Read More]
'If I get laughs, I will have failed': Chilcot report recital begins in Edinburgh
Comedians kick off Iraq Out and Loud, the reading of all 6,000 pages of the Iraq war report in a small shed at the fringeThe most talked about performance at the Edinburgh festival fringe kicked off less with a bang and more with the clearing of a throat, the donning of some glasses, and the grippin... [Read More]
'Booed off in 17 seconds' – comedians recall their first gigs
Shappi Khorsandi felt as if she’d walked on the moon. Isy Suttie watched a man change a dressing on a wound as she spoke. Omid Djalili fell off the stage. So how did the first gigs of Paul Merton, Susan Calman and other top comics go?I was on at midnight and did a show about a policeman giving... [Read More]
Fun factory: the finest comedy of summer 2016
Bridget Christie grapples with a Motörhead vibrator, David Baddiel tackles dementia, Todd Barry busts boredom – and Mr Swallow re-creates Houdini’s daftest escapeSummer culture: Theatre | Music | Film | Dance | ArtHaving ducked out of last year’s Edinburgh fringe to write a bo... [Read More]
Comedy: the best standup gigs and tours in autumn 2015
Get ready for comedy on a grand scale: Kevin Bridges is doing a mammoth Glasgow run, two huge double acts (Harry and Paul, Vic and Bob) return, and Sara Pascoe is reinventing ChristmasNinety-nine dates, 450,000 tickets sold, 14 nights at the 10,000-capacity SSE Hydro in Glasgow: Kevin Bridges is, by... [Read More]
Mark Thomas at Edinburgh festival review – a bulletin from the frontline of dissent
Summerhall, EdinburghIt may not by very funny, but the standup and activist’s vehement, animated piece about the privatisation of public spaces certainly has a lot of convictionPicking up where his last standup show, 100 Minor Acts of Dissent, left off, Mark Thomas’s latest responds to t... [Read More]