Saturday 27th February

Advertise | Login  RSS  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

What’s On London Comedy Awards 2017

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Now the New Year bells have finished chiming, it’s time to announce our Comedy Awards for the year just gone and news of where you can catch these fantastic acts in the months ahead.

There’s no shortage of talent around, so whittling down the vast forest of performers to a handful for each category has been tricky and some excellent comics have had to be overlooked.  On the plus side, that competition for bums on seats is driving artists onto new heights, constantly pushing boundaries of subject matter, delivery style and occasionally taste.

This is superb news for Londoners because, despite underlying political and economic uncertainty, its comedy scene is thriving.  While leading lights like Soho Theatre, Leicester Square Theatre and The Comedy Store will always drawn top acts and expectant audiences, it’s been fantastic to see less established venues such as 2Northdown and The Bill Murray host some of the biggest names in comedy this year, while monthly events like Suspiciously Cheap Comedy, Knock2bag and Rye Laughs regularly put on the best mixed bills in the country.

So take our advice and fill your 2018 with grins, chuckles and snorts by heading along to those venues or catching our top picks in stand-up, character, storytelling, musical, sketch and improvised comedy for 2017.

Continue reading »

Category: Comedy
DFxlxs0WsAA5fvz

Rachel Parris: Keynote review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Parris delivers an upbeat message for the next generation, showcasing her recent development as a stand-up.

Over the past twelve months, Rachel Parris has started to tap into the sort of success her abilities warrant.  This has come at a price: an ominous invitation to deliver a motivational speech at her alma mater, Loughborough High School, in September.  The self-deprecating comedian, musician and actress is concerned she will have nothing of value to say to these “500 teenage girls with the education of princesses, but with the gritty realism of the East Midlands”, so uses Keynote to air what she’d like to share with the next generation and garner other ideas from her audience.

Continue reading »

Category: Comedy
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
WOL Comedy Awards

What’s On London Comedy Awards 2016

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Now the sun has firmly set on this year’s season of comedy festivals, it’s time for What’s On London to announce our 2016 Comedy Award Winners and alert you to where you can catch these acts over the next couple of months.  

The field is stronger than ever before.  Londoners are privileged to have such a talented generation of performers available to entertain them across the city on each and every night of the week, in every conceivable style.  Whether you’re after stand-up, music, sketches, improv or something else entirely, the list of winners below contains something for everyone.

So follow our advice: make this the season of good cheer, book some tickets, get out of the house and keep yourself warm with the roar of laughter.

Continue reading »

Category: Comedy
©Richard-Davenport

Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Austentatious perform the very best improvised comedy, blowing the audience away with their talent, timing and interaction.  Even those who hate Austen can love this.

I’d like to start with a confession: I didn’t think I’d massively enjoy watching Austentatious.  That’s despite the mountain of top-marks and awards the troupe has earned.  Despite liking all of its cast members from first-hand experience or by reputation.  And despite appreciating that Austen provides a good backdrop for improvised comedy (as Daniel Nils Roberts explained to me).

The problem was that I hated reading Pride and Prejudice at school and always found the Regency era a bit … well, twee.  So it’s even more impressive that the performers completely won me round, turning in one of the funniest and most watchable shows of the Fringe.

Continue reading »

Category: Comedy
Austentatious Publicity Image

Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel, Edinburgh Preview

In our sixth Edinburgh Fringe preview, Ian Cater speaks to Daniel Nils Roberts of the Austentatious improvised comedy troupe about their award-winning show, chastity, trust, blasphemy and yoghurt.  Austentatious are performing their unique brand of period comedy – based on an original, and often whimsical, Jane Austen title suggested by the audience – at Udderbelly each day until 21st August. 

Most performers I’ve spoken to in the build-up to the Fringe express similar emotions: relief that the phoney war is nearly over and a panicky wish to squirrel themselves away for more revision before an all-important exam.  But from a growing number of improvised comedians, there’s a different vibe: one of calm contentment, stemming from inborn confidence, acting acumen and experience.

Daniel Nils Roberts knows more than most about the world of ‘improv’.  After graduating from the legendary Oxford Imps collective – a La Masia for churning out talented, spontaneous performers such as Ivo Graham and Rachel Parris – he’s starred in a number of improv groups including Racing Minds and Impromptu Shakespeare.

Continue reading »

Category: Comedy
Rachel Parris 086

Rachel Parris: Best Laid Plans, Edinburgh Preview

In the first of our Edinburgh Fringe previews, Ian Cater meets comedian, actress and musician Rachel Parris to chat about her new show, Best Laid Plans, which she is performing daily at The Pleasance Dome.

“Sorry, I’m so distracted by this stupid fringe,” Rachel Parris apologises with a soft East Midlands lilt.  She’s not talking about the annual Edinburgh cultural orgy – where she appears next week in her third solo show – but the blonde strands that keep dropping into her eye line.  “I got this haircut six months ago after a breakup and now I’m aggressively trying to grow it out.”

That breakup forms part of her new show, Best Laid Plans, reflecting the fact she expected by now to have settled down and grown up, whatever that means.

Continue reading »

Category: Comedy