Category: Comedy

One of Britain’s best loved comedians, the multi award winning…

One of Britain’s best loved
comedians, the multi award winning actor, writer, director, author and producer
Peter Kay, is finally returning to his most successful hobby, stand-up.

His last tour in 2010, which
still officially ranks with the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest
selling comedy tour of all time, played to over 1.2 million people. So why a
return to stand-up now?

Peter says: ‘I really miss it. I
know how lucky I am to be making television series and have really loved these
past few years working on Car Share but I miss doing stand-up. As terrifying as
it is, when it works there’s nothing more fun and exciting. Plus, a lot has
happened in the last eight years, with Trump, Twitter and my Nan getting her
front bush trimmed at the age of 96. I can’t wait to get back up on stage’

Peter Kay’s new stand up tour starts April
2018 in Birmingham and visits all major UK and Ireland arenas right through to
2019.    

Tickets
for the tour go on sale Sunday 19th November at 10am and are available from
www.gigsandtours.com

Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein – the new comedy musical based on…

Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein – the new comedy musical based on the Oscar-nominated smash hit movie – opens in the West End this autumn. Young Frankenstein, the wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Mary Shelley classic, see’s Frederick Frankenstein, an esteemed New York brain surgeon and professor, inherit a castle and laboratory in Transylvania from his deranged genius grandfather, Victor Von Frankenstein. He now faces a dilemma – does he continue to run from his family’s tortured past or does he stay in Transylvania to carry on his grandfather’s mad experiments reanimating the dead and, in the process, fall in love with his sexy lab assistant Inga? Based on the hilarious 1974 film and co-written with Thomas Meehan, Brooks will once again collaborate with Broadway director and choreographer Susan Stroman for this all-singing all-dancing new production, bringing his and Gene Wilder’s classic movie to life on stage.

Tickets: https://www.youngfrankenstein.co.uk/

Straight from its world tour success, critically acclaimed…

Straight from its world tour success, critically acclaimed comedy parody, Graeme of Thrones will transfer to London’s West End at the Charing Cross Theatre this autumn.

In this theatrical journey through the Seven Kingdoms, avid ‘Thrones’ fan Graeme just wants to recreate his favourite fantasy saga on stage. He doesn’t quite have the same budget as the TV show, or as many cast members, or the performance skills required, but he’s sure George RR Martin would approve – and that’s what matters. But when news reaches him that an influential theatrical producer is in the building, Graeme decides that this could be his big break – as long as nothing goes wrong…

After huge success in Chicago, Toronto, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Londoners can now discover a show which Time Out described as ‘a must for any Game Of Thrones fan’, 

Click here for tickets: tickets.charingcrosstheatre.co.uk

Our Rita’s Comedy Gala – Liverpool

Now in its 16th year, Liverpool Comedy Festival 2017 welcomes top comedians from around the UK for two weeks of world class comedy. Tonight, the Epstein Theatre welcomed audiences for ‘Our Rita’s Comedy Gala’, a night “guaranteed to make you roll in the aisles”.

MC for the night was Lou Conran. She gave a brilliant warm-up, a mix of conversational comedy and expert audience reading targeted towards the front row. Let’s be fair when you announce to a Comedian that your female companion is an “acquaintance”, you can expect nothing less than a night full of gentle mocking.

First on the line-up was Danny McLoughlin, a confident; likeable Northern comedian. A strong (but short) set with stories and anecdotes tackling class; age; gender and religion. A very talented comedian who quickly won over the audience.

Gary Delaney was up next with a set full of hilarious material, one-liners and rapid-fire jokes in a style like the greats of yesteryear. Most of Gary’s jokes were crude, some edging on the dark side but he kept the audience laughing throughout.

Canadian Tanyalee Davis and Manchester-based Kiri Pritchard-McLean also gave confident performances.

Headliner Joe Lycett closed the show. A complete mish mash of topics from Joe, covering his life in suburban Birmingham; becoming a homeowner for the first time; trolling EDL members on Facebook and pranking jewellery engravers with fake enquiries. Lycett has a mature confidence in his material which shines through in his performance. Whilst his set appeared to be the shortest of the night, his honest and brilliant brand of comedy left audiences buzzing.

Overall, a brilliant night of live comedy with many belly laugh moments from some very talented performers. A great addition to the Festival and a huge success.

Liverpool Comedy Festival continues around Liverpool venues until October 1st: www.liverpoolcomedyfestival.com

Reviewer: Alan Stuart Malin
Reviewed: 17th September 2017  

This review was originally written for North West End. North West End Rating: ★★★★

http://www.northwestend.co.uk/index.php/comedy/2397-our-rita-s-comedy-gala-epstein-theatre-liverpool

Fresh from his hugely memorable performance on 2016’s I’m A…

Fresh from his hugely memorable performance on 2016’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, one of the UK’s most energetic and exciting comedians returns to the road with his solo show, Joel Dommett: LIVE. Catch the star of Sky1s Bring The Noise as he delivers his high octane comedy to venues up and down the country.

Click here for tickets: www.eventim.co.uk

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour – Duke of York’s Theatre, London

“Fuck the singing… we’re just gonna go mental”.

The girls from ‘Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour’ don’t disappoint on this statement as they head to Edinburgh to take part in a national choral competition. For Chell, Fionnula, Kay, Kylah, Manda and Orla this is a rite of passage, an adventure, an alcoholic; drug fuelled; sex­-obsessed rampage across the Capital City.

Adapted by Lee Hall (of Alan Warner’s novel ‘The Sopranos’), this play is simply breath-taking in its honesty, it’s vulnerability and the way it tackles shocking themes (teenage drinking, sex and rock and roll). The characters are acutely real and having the time of their lives which translates directly to the audience. They characters (and cast) are incredibly funny with natural comedy timing but also demonstrate some intense, heart-breaking vulnerabilities in their relationships with each other and the world.  

It’s rare to see such a cohesive and connected ensemble, but under the direction of Vicky Featherstone these six very gifted young actors have this perfected. The six actresses play all the characters in the narrative expertly, including some dubious middle-aged men and Sister Condom. Backed by a four-piece, all-female band with simple club-like staging, the talented cast deliver note-perfect angelic renditions of Mendelssohn, Bartok and Handel one minute followed by energetic Jeff Lynne classics and Electric Light Orchestra covers the next, coupled with poetic monologues and foul mouthed dialogue.

The stand out performance comes from Dawn Sievewright as Fionnula a feisty party animal who is passionate about her friendships and wants them all to have an amazing night. Finnula goes on a personal journey of discovery throughout the play and by the end of it she’s a very different person. Sievewright tackles the characterisation with great maturity and presence that exceeds her years.

Frances Mayli McGann also delivered particularly stunning vocals throughout in the role of Kylah and Isis Hainsworth’s portrayal of Orla was innocent and beautifully acted.  

In short, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is quirky, visceral and highly unconventional but ever so refreshing and works perfectly. It is one that should not be missed and absolutely deserves a long, successful run in the West End.

Running Time: 1 hour 45 mins – NO INTERVAL
Age Recommendation: 16+

www.ourladiestheplay.co.uk

Reviewer: Alan Stuart Malin
Reviewed: 28th June 2017  
Theatre-Geek-Reviews Rating: ★★★★★

Mark Steel: Finding out who I am

Mark Steel: Finding out who I am:

Comedian and writer Mark Steel brings his surprising and enthralling stand-up show, Who Do I Think I Am, to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse this June. 

Adopted shortly after his birth, Mark Steel has only recently unearthed the remarkable story about his birth parents.

The Guardian
interviewed him about the extraordinary story behind his adoption: 


When did he first learn about the circumstances of his birth? “I knew I was adopted, strangely, before I knew where babies came from. I didn’t feel different or special, and I don’t ever remember giving the slightest damn about it. I knew because my very lovely auntie Gwen would tell the story of how she got talking to a blonde girl, Frances, who had moved into a flat in the same house in London. She was 19.

“She was in a bit of a state because she was pregnant. Her parents didn’t know and she’d run away from home. It was 1959, so this wasn’t easy to deal with. So my auntie Gwen said to her, ‘Well, I’ve got a solution. Have the baby and give it to my brother.’ So this girl had me in 1960 and I was handed over to Doreen and Ernie.”

Only it wasn’t quite so straightforward, as Mark discovered decades later when, as with many adopted people, becoming a parent himself prompted thoughts about finding his birth mother. “I don’t know why I did it really,” he says, “but I can honestly say it wasn’t because I was searching for myself. I thought maybe she might like to know how I had turned out.”

Read the full interview on The Guardian’s website.


Join Mark Steel for a moving and incredibly funny evening in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on Wednesday 28 June, 8.00pm. More info and tickets.

Mark Steel brings his independent and truly unique voice to our Festival of Independence. Find out more about the Festival.

PAM ANN: Touch Trolley, Run to Galley – Salford

‘Touch Trolley, Run to Galley’ is the 20th anniversary UK tour for the comedy icon that is Pam Ann (alter ego of Comedian Caroline Reid).

Pam Ann has developed a global cult status amongst her devoted fans and her new celebration show starts positively with a video montage of her previous shows and iconic comedy gold moments of which her fans are very familiar. An intended introduction the video actually quickly highlights that this new show is pretty much the same comedy that Pam Ann has delivered for the last 20 years with very little variation. In fact, it is fair to say that many of her previous shows have been much funnier and this tour lacks originality.

Over the last 20 years, Pam Ann has developed a skill for delivering unscripted comedy based on the participation of unplanned audience members. She loves “her gays” and of course bounces off the inevitable cabin crew audiences. However tonight that seemed to be lacking, and the comedy felt disjointed and at times failed to fall well with the audience especially as at the start of the show when, without any real warm up she picked on four audience members to join her on the stage to create a new Spice Girls band. The first “volunteer” was a “hungry gay bottom” (Leroy) who also works as Cabin Crew so Pam Ann was in her element with the delivery of her one-liners. When Leroy also announced that he works for Easy Jet, Pam Ann was in her element. However, moving down the line to the Care Home Manager and the Call Centre Worker it was easy to feel that the humour was fast sinking. I wished that she had picked on four Cabin Crew so that we were guaranteed some harsh put downs and quick one-liners. I guess that is the luck of the draw though and Pam Ann did her best with what she had to work with.  

There was definitely something missing in the first half. Pam Ann threw in some new material about the current issues relevant to the airline industry: bad treatment of passengers by United Airlines; failed IT systems for British Airways and some jokes about Airbus but these were short and mixed in with the rehashed familiar jokes that she has delivered may times before. Act one then ended abruptly with the announcement of an in-flight presentation which was a cleverly devised film clip, in which we see Pam Ann taking over from Mary Berry in the Great British Bake Off tent. It’s extremely funny, but incredibly lazy. In the past, Pam Ann would have performed this section live, so I was left wondering why I was watching a film screen.

The second half delivered many jokes over the cabin trolley, laden with champagne and cocaine. Of course we have seen and heard the jokes before, but you can’t help belly laughing because the delivery is perfect. The rolling around the stage in a cloud of cocaine was extremely funny and a real highlight of the show especially as Pam Ann attributed the delivery of the giant bag of drugs to Nigel (Ex-Policeman) who is sat in the audience. Unfortunately, Pam Ann chose to use plastic dolls to deliver some of her funnier well known Cabin Crew material: Lufthansa; Virgin; British Airways and the like which didn’t work as well as picking on audience members who work for the respective airlines.
If you’ve never seen Pam Ann before or you are a die-hard fan you will adore this show. It’s rude, offensive but incredibly funny. However, if you’re not one of the above you need to know that the show is 2 hours long with a 20-minute interval and 20 minutes of video footage which may leave you slightly short changed. This show could easily have worked better as a shorter one act show in a smaller venue.

The UK tour continues around UK venues throughout June: www.pamann.com

Reviewer: Alan Stuart Malin
Reviewed: 4th June 2017  

This review was originally written for North West End. North West End Rating: ★★★

http://northwestend.co.uk/index.php/comedy/2106-pam-ann-touch-trolley-run-to-galley-the-lowry-salford

Following sold-out London seasons in 2013-2016, the world’s…

Following sold-out London seasons in 2013-2016, the world’s hottest all-male boylesque circus stars return in a brand-new show for 2017!

Having glitter-bombed the globe as we know it with their iconic and hilarious brand of circus, drag, burlesque and comedy, the Briefs boys are now ready to explore the third dimension.

With their trademark skill and humour they test the limits of masculinity, taste and decency. Expect interstellar aerials, incredible artistry, and warped speed strippers from outer space.

Prepare yourselves for a very close encounter with the Briefs boys.

Click here for tickets: www.underbellyfestival.com

Michael McIntyre has announced a major new tour, one which will…

Michael McIntyre has announced a major new tour, one which will see him perform in venues around the world.

Michael McIntyre’s Big World Tour will see the stand-up perform to arenas across the UK and Ireland in 2018 as well as revisiting Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and Norway and heading to the US, Canada, Switzerland, Iceland, Sweden, Malta and the Netherlands for the first time.

Between March and November 2018 he will play the arena venues in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Cardiff, Dublin, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth and Sheffield.

McIntyre is one of the UK’s biggest selling artists, having sold over 1.5 million tickets to his live shows to date. His sales statistics include a record-breaking 28 performances at London’s 16,000 capacity O2 Arena. Meanwhile, around the world, Michael has previously sold out arenas in New Zealand, Australia and Dubai and he holds the record for the biggest selling comedy shows in South Africa and Norway.

Tickets are on sale now!

Click here for yours: www.michaelmcintyre.co.uk/big-world-tour/