Saturday 27th February

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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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Alex Horne: “Mixing music and comedy was more fun than we were having individually, so we just carried on.”

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Alex Horne’s an unusual entertainer.  Unusual in his preference for somewhat unfashionable but quirkily effective pun-heavy material.  Unusual in drifting from stand-up in the face of consistently strong reviews.  And unusual in his current ability to get programme commissioners to climb over each other to turn his latest ideas into TV gold.

The band he formed eight years ago with two former school friends – The Horne Section – is one such success.  You might have seen them on various comedy panel shows (such as when they hosted Never Mind the Buzzcocks) or heard some of their three acclaimed Radio 4 series.  If not, the premise seems relatively simple but is extremely hard to get right.  The self-styled “mischievous melody makers” perform offbeat comedy songs without any set style, other than a penchant for wordplay and whimsy.  These samples from an episode of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown demonstrates this neatly, veering from hints of Flight of the Conchords in Seasons, to Vic and Bob in Lovely Day, and finally Chas & Dave in Chris Hoy Loves a Saveloy.

This show of variety helped The Horne Section gain a strong following, prompting a UK tour beginning this month.  It starts at the ideally-suited cabaret bar at Soho Theatre tomorrow, a venue they return to twice monthly up until December.  Given the band enjoy improvising with special guests, part of the thrill lies in the unexpected – not least on the opening night when Horne’s long-term collaborator, the unpredictable Tim Key, will team up with them.

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Category: Comedy
Tim Key

Tim Key. Arcola Theatre – Review


“What the f*** are we doing here?”

Tim Key’s opening question of the night, and to be fair to him, it’s not a bad one.

After all, it’s a Friday night and we’re all sat in a tent waiting for a poetry recital.   If you didn’t know any better, you might say we had too much time on our hands.   The reality of the situation, of course, is that it doesn’t get much better than watching this guy work a room (even if it is a Friday).

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Category: Comedy