Carry on Screaming's Fenella Fielding on fighting with Kenneth Williams and bouncing back after bankruptcy
She survived a violent upbringing to become the 60s’ favourite comedy vamp. As she turns 90, the star remembers fending off Norman Wisdom, attempting suicide – and having two lovers for 20 yearsFenella Fielding, 90 this month, has lost none of her comic timing. She is about to publish he... [Read More]
Ken Dodd at 90: the rib-tickling genius is still crazy after all these years
With a gag for every occasion, the tattyfilarious comic clocks up 50,000 miles a year performing his epic standup shows. He talks about stage fright, playing Yorick for ‘Sir Kenneth All-Bran’ and taking on the audience like a gladiatorIs theatre the best rejuvenating pill on the market? ... [Read More]
A bleary agent of chaos: Tony Slattery returns to live impro
The charismatic Whose Line Is It Anyway? star is a blithely uninhibited lord of misrule at a new improvisation night in London On the way to Slattery Night Fever, the new weekend impro night featuring ex-Whose Line Is It Anyway? man Tony, I read two old interviews with its star. One was from 15 year... [Read More]
Anarchy at the ice rink: when comedy, theatre and nonsense collide
Tony Law is going where no comic has gone before: staging a play about global warming – on ice. Our writer gets his skates on and crashes into a chaotic rehearsalYou might not guess it from looking at this bunch of brightly dressed characters, skating haphazardly around Alexandra Palace ice ri... [Read More]
Tim Minchin: ‘The world feels a bit post-jokes’
The comedian-composer on his children’s book, Australia’s same-sex marriage vote and why he’s glad to be leaving HollywoodAustralian composer and comedian Tim Minchin, 42, was born in Northampton but raised in his parents’ native Perth. After an award-winning comedy career, h... [Read More]
Tim Minchin: ‘The world feels a bit post-jokes’
The comedian-composer on his children’s book, Australia’s same-sex marriage vote and why he’s glad to be leaving HollywoodAustralian composer and comedian Tim Minchin, 42, was born in Northampton but raised in his parents’ native Perth. After an award-winning comedy career, h... [Read More]
Sara Pascoe: how I overcame my Jane Austen prejudice
Austen’s women have the same rights as children; her ‘romantic’ match-making smacks of desperation. So how did the standup see the funny side of Pride and Prejudice for her new stage adaptation?“Why does no one talk about how funny Jane Austen is?” I ask my friend Katie... [Read More]
Lydia Towsey: how I discovered the Venus in me
From Botticelli to glossy magazines, women have been idealised and misrepresented for centuries. Performance poet Lydia Towsey reveals how her own near-fatal eating disorder set her on a path to explore new ways of looking at female bodiesBotticelli’s painting of the Birth of Venus was the fir... [Read More]
Edinburgh’s double comedy winners mix humour with darker takes on life
Shows about relationship breakdown and homophobia pick up a prize – or two – for John Robins and Hannah GadsbyThe longest ever shortlist. The first ever joint winners. And clearly, the most indecisive judging panel ever.It was indeed, as the publicity would have it, an “unprecedent... [Read More]