Sunday 19th November

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Colin Hoult Anna Mann 2017 v2

Anna Mann: “I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say I brought down Thatcher. But I don’t know what hyperbolic means.”

This week, character comedian Colin Hoult brings his superb creation Anna Mann to Soho Theatre with critically acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe show, How We Defeat The Fascists.  Ahead of six hotly anticipated performances, Ian Cater spoke to Anna about the show and what she views to be her dazzling career as ‘supreme siren of the stage and screen’.

Anna Mann is a professional, immediately turning on the charm when I call at what turns out to be an inopportune moment.  “You just caught me coming out the toilet, darling.  Don’t worry – I’ve completely wiped and tossed.  I’ve got it down to a fine art.  You’ve got to be ready to go at any time in showbiz, and if necessary suck it in and get out.”

Once the apologies and toilet tissue have been dispensed with, Mann’s delighted to reflect on the acting career and colourful personal life that brought her to this point: as an unfairly underrated treasure, ready to help the world with her latest show.

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Category: Comedy
Tom Green 1

Tom Green: “I’ve made my comedy less polarising. It’s still edgy, ridiculous and outrageous – but there’s a point to it.”

This Saturday, Tom Green concludes his first UK tour with two performances of his European Comedy Road Trip at O2 Academy Islington.  

The one-time ‘wild child’ of MTV and – his critics would say – purveyor of poor taste has mellowed a little, returning to his stand-up roots to hone a show Green calls his best work yet.  Including segments of improvisational comedy and rap, it promises to be a performance packed full of energy, anecdotes and cracked observations on the world we live in.

Ahead of the shows, Ian Cater spoke to Green about his stand-up style and a career that’s seen the Canadian marry Drew Barrymore, fine dine with Prince Charles and get fired by Donald Trump.

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Category: Comedy
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Lionel Shriver: “I know who I am. I’m never going to produce a soft, sentimental treatment of anything.”

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On Tuesday night, The School of Life hosted a remarkable interview with Lionel Shriver at Cecil Sharp House in NW1.  Ian Cater reports for What’s On London on a fascinating evening which scratched deep beneath the surface of one of the leading lights – and most intriguing creators – of 21st century fiction.

On the edge of Regent’s Park, a dark, oak-panelled hall is packed with bodies, laughter and the hum of middle-class anticipation: a cocktail always on the menu when a star’s expected to serve up something unexpected.  Eventually the murmurs dissipate as Lionel Shriver enters the room, accompanied by TV psychologist Tanya Byron, for an evening examining what makes her tick.  But the anticipation remains.

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Category: Culture
© Jessica Verma
© Jessica Verma

Baby Wants Candy: Thrones! The Musical Parody review

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Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

The latest production from US comedians Baby Wants Candy is a fun, crude and entertaining tribute to Game of Thrones, with plenty of tits and dragons.

Warning: as with the musical, this review contains some GoT spoilers.

Like its televisual inspiration, Thrones! The Musical doesn’t take itself too seriously.  That much is clear from the opening number, which bluntly tells those who prefer George R.R. Martin’s books to leave now.  Because of that, it can recognise the TV show’s flaws upfront without committing sacrilege: “So many plot lines quickly end in disaster, although the blonde-girl-in-the-desert one could go a lot faster.”

We then cut to an apartment, where recently divorced Lesley admits to her friends that she’s never seen the hit HBO series.  Although initially horrified (“No wonder he left you!”), the friends agree to act out GoT to show her what she’s missing.

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Category: Comedy
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Erich McElroy: (US) Electile Dysfunction review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Don’t miss a hilarious and insightful analysis of the state of American politics by a natural and intelligent entertainer.

So many shows at this year’s Fringe cover Brexit or depression, that it’s refreshing to get a little light relief with a witty analysis of the flawed individual who’ll soon run The Free World.  And there’s none better to provide it than Erich McElroy, an immensely likeable US stand-up who’s lived in the UK for 16 years.  Because he gets what we don’t understand about America, explains it simply and humorously, and – importantly, given the range of ages in the crowd – puts it in historical context.

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Category: Comedy
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James Wilson-Taylor: Ginger is the New Black, Edinburgh Preview

In our second Edinburgh Fringe preview, Ian Cater speaks to James Wilson-Taylor about his new show, Ginger is the New Black, being performed daily at Underbelly on Cowgate.

In the US, the depressingly regular mistreatment of African Americans has spawned the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement, harnessing protest through large demonstrations and worldwide solidarity on Twitter.  Back on this side of the pond, another minority continues to face daily prejudice and James Wilson-Taylor wants to do something about it.

Not through marches.  Not by lobbying.  Not even via a catchy hashtag.  Instead, Wilson-Taylor seeks to protect his fellow redheads with the skills he learned on a masters’ degree in musical theatre.  Following last year’s successful run of Bat-Fan – an hour-long audition to replace Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader, showcasing Wilson-Taylor’s acting, musical and comedy talents – he returns to the Fringe with Ginger is the New Black.

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Category: Comedy