Saturday 22nd September

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EdinburghFringeProgramme2018

The Edinburgh Fringe: Ten To See

With just over one week left of the world’s greatest arts festival, Ian Cater lists his top ten comedy shows to see if you’re lucky enough to be north of the border before the Edinburgh Fringe comes to a close on 27th August.  And if you can’t make it up there, continue to follow What’s On London on Facebook and Twitter for news of when these fantastic shows are heading here. 

gs_gary_starr_micf18Garry Starr Performs Everything (right).  Occasionally a show has people almost soiling themselves with laughter from start to finish and this spoof whirlwind theatre lesson is one such daft, chaotic and immensely talented production.  Damien Warren-Smith’s actor-who-knows-best rattles through every theatrical form in various states of undress in a manner that’s equal parts hilarious and unpredictable.  Every day from 20.10 at Underbelly Cowgate, with an extra show at 22.50 on 21st August (tickets here).

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Category: Comedy
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Jordan Brookes: Bleed, Edinburgh preview

In the second of our Edinburgh previews, Ian Cater speaks to unconventional stand-up Jordan Brookes about Bleed, perhaps the most eagerly anticipated show at this year’s Fringe.

Few comedians have as big a buzz around them right now as Jordan Brookes.  The 32-year-old heads north on the wave of a soaring reputation amongst critics and fellow comics, evidenced by last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination and Chortle gong for the 2018 Comedian’s Comedian.  As a further mark of progress, Brookes has gone from beginning his last run at a remote Free Fringe venue to a primetime slot at Pleasance Courtyard – still perceived as the Edinburgh gold standard.

The plaudits and upgrades stem from the unfeigned, unflinching and unconventional style of comedy that stands him apart.  “Oh Christ,” Brookes groans.  “Why the hell did you have to say that?  Now they’ll expect too much.”

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Category: Comedy
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Kiri Pritchard-McLean: Appropriate Adult review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer and Reviewer

Pritchard-McLean uses this hilarious, frank and thoughtful show to deliver an important call to arms.

Kiri Pritchard-McLean is a creative whirlwind, the driving force behind the brilliant Gein’s Family Giftshop, All Killa No Filla podcast, Amusical cabaret events and Suspiciously Cheap Comedy nights.  And in her second hour-long solo show, she proves herself to be an extremely impressive stand-up, as adept at handling heavy subject matters as she is unleashing punchy lines laced with Northern mischief.

Appropriate Adult deals with Pritchard-McLean’s rocky 2017 that “changed everything” when she split from her partner and had to shelve plans to adopt and start a family.  Understandably, she was hit hard by the break-up and initially unsure whether to discuss it onstage.  But, having chosen to do so, Pritchard-McLean handles it thoughtfully and without malice, concluding each display of vulnerability with a killer line.

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Category: Comedy

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.

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Category: Comedy
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Gein’s Family Giftshop: Volume 3 review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Gein’s Family Giftshop continue to push boundaries with a hilarious set of darkly puerile perfection.

With many sketch show rivals absent from this year’s Fringe, this was a great opportunity for Gein’s Family Giftshop to consolidate their place at the top table of their genre.  And despite missing a third of their performers due to a last-minute drop-out, Kath Hughes, Edward Easton and director Kiri Pritchard-McLean seized the chance with all six hands, delivering in Volume 3 a dark, chaotic and hilarious show that fuses the clever and puerile to perfection.

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Category: Comedy