Thursday 21st November

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Chris Kent: Looking Up, Edinburgh review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer & Reviewer

Chris Kent proves himself to be a witty and adept storyteller, but lacks punchlines needed for the next level.

Cork-born comedian Chris Kent is James Acaster’s favourite stand-up and – for swathes of this show – you can see why.  His style isn’t dissimilar, injecting run-of-the-mill stories with a measure of absurdity by fixating on funny phrases (like “booty cover” and “sweat pea”) and heightening their impact by telling them behind an emotionless mask.  But where he falls short of his biggest fan – in this show at least – is in creating tension (without which, there’s nothing to cut through), producing punchlines and hanging his tales onto an overarching narrative framework.

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Category: Comedy
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Rye Laughs review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer and Reviewer

Last week saw the final Rye Laughs comedy night of the year and the last ever at Peckham’s The Nines, before it moves to new home Peckham Springs next month.  

In three short years, hosts Rose Johnson and Sarah Nade have built the event – which takes place on the third Wednesday of each month – into one of the most consistently enjoyable around.  And the latest show was a perfect example of what Rye Laughs has to offer: a relaxed environment packed with excellent young comedians bestowing South Londoners with a great blend of material.

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Category: Comedy
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What’s On London’s Edinburgh Fringe Preview

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

With the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – the world’s largest arts event – officially starting today, we decided to follow the Highland herd and put together a list of the comedy shows we’re most looking forward to seeing this month and then subsequently in London.

Given the vast number of acts performing over the next month in this seventieth year of the Fringe, we can’t pretend our list is completely comprehensive, and apologise to the many worthy artists unmentioned below.  It reiterates just how spoilt for choice fans of live comedy currently are.  But we guarantee this: if you choose to see our suggested stand-up, character, storytelling, musical and sketch comedians, you won’t go far wrong.

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Category: Comedy
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Rose Matafeo: “Apart from the coffin on-stage, the show isn’t morbid. It’s actually pretty silly and inappropriate.”

This Thursday, rising star Rose Matafeo returns to Soho Theatre for the last three performances of her 2016 Fringe hit, Rose Matafeo Is Finally Dead.  The show – a clever blend of stand-up and sketch-play – earned the endearing Aucklander rave reviews last year, which have reverberated around the comedy industry since.  

Matafeo returns to Edinburgh this August to deliver her new show, Sassy Best Friend, which she’s also presently previewing across London.  But before putting Finally Dead to bed, she spoke to Ian Cater about her compulsion for control, well-hidden laziness and Tweed-clad fans.

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Category: Comedy
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Preview: The Underbelly Festival Southbank 2017

The Underbelly Festival Southbank 2017 is up and running, with a roll call of stellar entertainers taking to the stage before the distinctive purple dome gets dismantled at the end of September.  

And this year’s festival, presented by Hilton, promises to be better than ever, bringing together two slightly smaller offerings – Udderbelly and London Wonderland – into a summer-long, one-stop shop for comedy, circus and variety shows.  

Whatever your tastes, there seems to be something for everyone.  Plus, with free entry into the complex, there are few better spots to enjoy a beer and decent street food in a festival atmosphere, nestled beneath the London Eye and overlooking the splendour of Westminster.

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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.

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Category: Comedy
JamesAcaster

James Acaster. Recognise.

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James Acaster is a stand-up comedian from Kettering. Weetabix, a whole grain wheat breakfast cereal, is also from Kettering. Acaster’s comedy combines the dryness of a bowl of Weetabix, pre-milk-dousing, with the enjoyable flavour of Weetabix, post-milk-dousing. His delivery, which is deliberately downbeat and playfully awkward, is a joyful thing to consume.

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Category: Comedy