Saturday 27th February

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30 CHRISTMASES - Promo Image (1), image by Anna Soderblom

Jonny Donahoe: “If Christmas resonates of loss, grief or even guilt, you can’t escape that.”

Next week, rebellious musical comedy Thirty Christmases makes its London debut.  The brainchild of playwright, actor and musical comedian Jonny Donahoe – who stars in the show alongside Rachel Parris and Paddy Gervers – offers an intriguing alternative to more traditional glitzy festive fare.  

Ahead of the three-week run at New Diorama Theatre, Ian Cater caught up with the engaging Donahoe to discuss the show’s origins, and a host of topics ranging from Victoria Wood to reindeer sex.

For Andy Williams, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.  “But for a lot of people, it’s traumatic,” Jonny Donahoe explains, with the patient, persuasive voice of his Every Brilliant Thing character, rather than the booming baritone heard at a Jonny and the Baptists gig.  “If it resonates of loss, grief or even guilt, you can’t escape that.  And it’s compounded by the fact that everywhere you go people are signposting that they’re having a joyous time.”

That harsh reality forms the backdrop to Thirty Christmases, written and performed this month by Donahoe at Euston’s New Diorama Theatre.  If it sounds a heavy premise for a festive show, that was the 34-year-old’s intention.

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Category: Comedy
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.

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Category: Clubs
josie-long-2-please-credit-giles-smith

Josie Long: “Brexit was the first time I’d voted alongside moderate Tories. It’s unifying there are things we agree on.”

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

On Monday, Josie Long brings her excellent stand-up show – Something Better – back to London for one final performance at Duchess Theatre.  This follows six months of an extremely successful tour, including two-week stints at Soho Theatre (review here) and in New York City.  

Like much of her previous work, the show fuses Long’s endearingly honest anxieties with her hopes for the future, shaped by strong left-wing beliefs.  Her confidence in these beliefs has been tested by a difficult break-up and a crushingly disappointing Brexit vote.  Despite that, the message she wants to deliver is upbeat, funny and profound.

Kindness and Exuberance.  Trying is Good.  All of the Planet’s Wonders.  Romance and Adventure.  You only need to take a cursory glance at Josie Long’s previous show titles to realise what sort of person she is: an optimist.  She’s no different in real life: talking with warmth and excitement, overflowing with passion and ideas about how to create ‘something better’.  And that’s precisely what Long has done in both a literal and figurative sense.

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Category: Comedy
Josie Long
© Giles Smith

Josie Long: Something Better review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

With her infectious, left-leaning and hugely entertaining show about hope and despair, Long injects a burst of optimism into an uncertain vein.

It doesn’t take long to like Josie Long.  For most, it happens pre-show as she greets her audience from the stage and dances unpretentiously to her favourite songs.  For others, it’s when she formally begins, quickly exaggerating a host of physical, mental and professional flaws.  The point is: unless your spirit is particularly mean, Long will win you over, make you belly laugh and – at least in some small way – cause you to reflect on her left-wing beliefs, which form a significant part of the show.

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Category: Comedy
josie-long-2-please-credit-giles-smith

Josie Long: Something Better, 30th September – 15th October at Soho Theatre

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Tomorrow night, Josie Long starts a two-week run at Soho Theatre with her new stand-up show, Something Better.  Like much of her previous work, the show fuses Long’s endearingly honest anxieties with her hopes for the future, shaped by strong left-wing beliefs.  Her confidence in these beliefs has been tested by a difficult break-up and a crushingly disappointing Brexit vote.  Despite that, the message she wants to deliver is upbeat, funny and profound.  

Kindness and Exuberance.  Trying is Good.  All of the Planet’s Wonders.  Romance and Adventure.  You only need to take a cursory glance at Josie Long’s previous show titles to realise what sort of person she is: an optimist.  She’s no different in real life: talking with warmth and excitement, overflowing with passion and ideas about how to create ‘something better’.  And that’s precisely what Long has done in both a literal and figurative sense.

Continue reading »

Category: Comedy