Sunday 19th November

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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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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
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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.

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Category: Comedy
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Rhys James: “Who wants to hear the political opinions of a 25-year-old who’s never experienced anything?”

Tomorrow night, Rhys James brings his latest show – Forgives – to Soho Theatre for five nights.  The young stand-up, labelled ‘one to watch’ for a while and now featuring regularly on comedy vehicles like Mock The Week, delivers an impressive show full of great jokes, call-backs and over-privileged angst.  Ahead of the Soho run, Ian Cater caught up with him to discuss Russell Brand, poetry and raccoons.

Rhys James is unexpectedly enjoyable to interview.  At least as funny as he seems on-stage, he’s also relaxed, open and self-aware.  In short, a little different to the young man I saw performing Forgives at the Edinburgh Fringe last year.

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Category: Comedy
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Sofie Hagen: Shimmer Shatter, until 17th December 2016 at Soho Theatre

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Danish comedian Sofie Hagen is performing her latest show, Shimmer Shatter, at Soho Theatre until 17th December 2016.  Daniel Brodie went along to review the show on behalf of What’s On London and was impressed with her assured performance.  Hagen delivers a compelling show – belying her inexperience – peppered with gut-busting laughs and contrasting moments of heartfelt discussion.

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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
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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
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Nazeem Hussain: Hussain In The Membrane review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

An entertaining, if slightly unoriginal, take on life as a Western Muslim by a likeable, relaxed comedian. 

Together with depression and Brexit, Islam – more precisely, Islamophobia – is one of stand-up comedy’s hottest topics right now.  The likes of Shazia Mirza and Tez Ilyas already riff on this theme to distinction.  Now Nazeem Hussain, an Australian of Sri Lankan heritage, is trying to show he’s a worthy addition to this group.

Hussain’s built a strong reputation Down Under for his witty observations on life as a Muslim in Melbourne: through stand-up, as part of double-act Fear of a Brown Planet; on TV with his own comedy sketch show, Legally Brown; and as a popular radio host on Triple J.  And it’s easy to see why.  He’s an engaging, natural performer who largely – but not completely – steers clear of the over-done ‘I get a seat on a train by holding a rucksack and the Koran’ brand of jokes.

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Category: Comedy