Friday 21st July

Advertise | Login  RSS  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

A2+poster+w+underbelly+(2)

Wil Greenway: The Way The City Ate The Stars review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Greenway elevates the art of storytelling with this lyrical, moving, funny and compassionate tale of love and tragedy in New South Wales.

Eleven months ago, I reviewed Sarah Kendall’s show, Shaken.  In hindsight, and having listened to more of her work since on Radio 4, she perhaps deserved more than three stars.  However, I stand by the assertion that for storytelling to work effectively live, “it needs a higher laughter-count, or a more vulnerable and relatable narrator.  Kendall’s very talented, but projects an Antipodean toughness from the moment she bounds onstage talking forcefully about dick drawings and bowel movements.  As a result, she finds it hard to generate much sympathy from an admittedly difficult crowd, necessary before embarking on a story that portrays her younger self so unfavourably.”

I restate this to contrast Kendall’s countryman, Wil Greenway, who last night delivered an equally challenging story at Soho Theatre with a different outcome.  When he entered the stage after a short introduction from his folksy, melodious backing musicians (Will Galloway and Kathryn Langshaw), I was ready for a similarly forthright, Kendall-esque approach, given the Melburnian’s solid frame, thick auburn beard and topknot.  But it quickly became clear that Greenway’s a gentler type of performer and someone who could end up going very far.

Continue reading »

Category: Comedy
Bongo's Bingo

Bongo’s Bingo at Clapham’s The Grand

Rating:

A week on Friday, Clapham’s The Grand hosts its latest Bongo’s Bingo extravaganza – a wild night of drinking, dancing, cavorting and … well, bingo, but not as you know it.  

Last month, Samm Abbott headed south of the river to check out the silliness for herself, and reported back for What’s On London on why this event has become so popular in the UK and beyond.

What’s Bongo’s Bingo, you ask?  Well, it isn’t your grandma’s bingo, so don’t head along if you’re hoping for a quiet night floating in a sea of blue rinses and hearing aides.

Bongo's Bingo London - summer dates announcedBongo’s Bingo is bingo on speed, featuring dance-offs, fantastic music, rave interludes, bouts of bingo and some awesome – and some not-so-awesome – prizes.

It started two years ago in Liverpool, aimed at bringing back a healthy dollop of unadulterated fun and escapism to nights out.  From these humble beginnings, it’s spread across the world, even to Ibiza, Spain and Dubai.  And last month, its Australian launch saw two Sydney shows selling out in under half an hour.  So it’s very much a brand on the rise.

Joshua Burke, one of Bongo’s Bingo’s co-founders, explained: “We’re loving our London events and are incredibly happy at Clapham Grand – a really beautiful and intimate venue for our shows.

“This summer’s looking really good: we’re launching in locations around the world and our UK events are going from strength to strength.  We expect these to sell out quickly!”

Burke’s prophecy is likely to be fulfilled because – as I can testify – Bongo’s Bingo’s just so raucous and infectious.  My pals and I danced, drank and played bingo until the early hours, buoyed by the electric atmosphere.

Winning a bottle of Malibu was a highlight, but it was really the hosts that kept the vibes flowing.  Full of energy, they danced around, hyped up guests and kept things as far from geriatric as you could imagine – an example being when they forced British Olympian Perri Shakes-Drayton on stage to compete in a dance-off caught on camera!

You’d better get in quickly before the July and August events sell-out.  It’s the bingo we wish was on every weekend.

Bongo’s Bingo is taking place at Clapham’s The Grand on Friday 14th July and Friday 18th August from 6pm.  For tickets and more information, head to the official website.  You can also follow the brand on Facebook here or on Twitter @bongosbingo88.

Category: Clubs
London

What’s On, London? 16th – 18th June 2017

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

It’s been another tragic week for London with the full consequences of the Grenfell Tower fire still emerging.  One thing’s clear: never again can people be exposed to such danger.  Londoners must do all we can to ensure our politicians act quickly to help those affected and prevent any repeat.  The only silver lining to this awful cloud has been the response: money donated, items provided and fundraising efforts set in motion.  So while again we have no choice but to try to carry on with our lives, making the most of the positive things happening in our city (listed below), we include a special section highlighting the events coming up to raise funds for the victims and their families.

Continue reading »

Category: Clubs
London

What’s On, London? 8th – 11th June 2017

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Last weekend was a tragic one for London.  But we can’t let mindless, hateful morons stop us doing what we do best: making the most of the amazing things this great city has to offer everyone – whatever your tastes and interests.  We carry on.  We must and we will.  With that in mind, the next few days offer plenty of opportunities for Londoners to seek escapism, to laugh and to marvel at the creative contributions people make to our shared culture every day.

Continue reading »

Category: Art
17093087_10101988559627729_302233059_o

Rachel Parris: “I was a bit nervous about the Samaritans seeing the show. I didn’t want them to think I was laughing at what they do.”

Tomorrow night, Rachel Parris gives the first of three performances of award-winning show Best Laid Plans at Soho Theatre this week.  Ahead of her run, she spoke to Ian Cater about break-ups, the curse of ‘niceness’ and fictitious twat bankers.   

Persuading you to go and see Rachel Parris this week at Soho Theatre should be an easy sell.

The talented comedian, singer, musician and actress is very much on an upwards trajectory, increasing her profile with each comedy gig, acting job and improv appearance she juggles across the country.  Parris’ voice – straight out of the West End – has long been her strongest suit, but her stand-up skills and confidence are catching up.  Her latest show, Best Laid Plans, showcases these superbly and earned Parris our Best Musical Comedy Act Award for 2016.

Despite her natural modesty, she describes the show’s current incarnation as “hopefully even better”.  Boosted by Soho Theatre’s atmospheric cabaret room and grand piano, perhaps even Parris is starting to believe in herself.

Continue reading »

Category: Comedy
dan-backups-white-blur

The Dan Band: Live at The Garage, Highbury, 1st November 2016

After all of last night’s tricks, Londoners are in for a treat tonight with top musical comedian Dan Finnerty bringing The Dan Band to the UK for the first time.  Finnerty, who made his name in Old School and The Hangover, is performing his live show at The Garage for one night only.  Head along to Highbury to see why his earnestly sweary style is so loved by the great and good of US entertainment, including Steven Spielberg, Jay Leno and Nicole Scherzinger.

Ahead of the show, Ian Cater spoke to Finnerty about his unexpected journey into musical comedy, awkward wedding experiences and hopes for a future collaboration with Bonnie Tyler.  

Continue reading »

Category: Comedy
781fdb3a-402f-41eb-8da1-1dfc8d2be2ba

James Wilson-Taylor: Ginger Is The New Black, 1st – 5th November 2016 at Leicester Square Theatre

Ah, Autumn.  The ground matted with crisp, ocher leaves that release a congenial crunch and create a copper-coloured carpet.  Early sunsets dye the sky blood-red and enflame wisps of cloud freckling the planet.  An urban fox – painted from the edges of its ears to the tip of its tail in rich, titian pelt – hides in the undergrowth, nibbling at a discarded … erm, Solero.  This seasonal scene provides the perfect backdrop for James Wilson-Taylor to return to Leicester Square Theatre with his new show, Ginger Is The New Black, between 1st and 5th November 2016.  

As with his previous successes – Bat-Fan and I Need a Doctor: The Whosical, Wilson-Taylor unravels a tightly-written night of entertaining songs, stand-up comedy and pleasing pop culture references all delivered in his warm, relaxed style.  However, this show marks a slight change of tack, using the stage to stand up for his carrot-topped kin.  And that’s not all.  As he told Ian Cater, Wilson-Taylor’s also making his fellow gingers an offer they can’t refuse.

Continue reading »

Category: Comedy
unspecified

The Beards: Farewell Tour, 19th October 2016 at Scala – Q&A

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Australian comedy folk rock band The Beards are deep into their Farewell European Tour, before calling it a day after 11 years together.  In that time, Johann Beardraven, Facey McStubblington, John Beardman Jr and Nathaniel Beard have grown a large cult following with their ‘Bearded Songs for Bearded People’.  

Despite their seemingly niche appeal, The Beards have achieved a fair degree of commercial success along the way, most notably with their 2012 album, Having a Beard is the New Not Having a Beard, and its 2014 follow-up The Beard Album.  However, they’re most renowned for their raucous and charismatic live performances, so London is lucky to be hosting The Beards for the last time tomorrow, Wednesday 19th October 2016

Ahead of the gig at Scala (N1) from 19.30, we spoke to bass guitarist Nathaniel Beard about the band’s origins, inspiration and reasons for bowing out now.

Continue reading »

Category: Comedy