Sunday 26th September

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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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Russell Howard: Round The World review

Rating:

Last week, Russell Howard beat the record held by Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow by performing for ten consecutive nights at a packed Royal Albert Hall.  Before Howard’s Round The World Tour moved on to the rest of the UK and Ireland, Ian Cater reviewed what turned out to be ‘a very entertaining and uplifting evening’.

Russell Howard is quite rightly one of Britain’s most successful comedians, using his ‘everyman’ likability and unashamed positivity to pack arenas like this one night after night.  But that success has come at a cost.  In recent years, some have become snide about his act – not least Stewart Lee, whose on-stage comedy policeman lays charge after charge at Howard’s door in his current Content Provider show.

Some of that may be justified: by taking the big bucks on offer from first the BBC and now Sky, and having the nerve to promulgate upbeat messages, Howard’s opened himself up to a slice of the cynicism his own brand of comedy usually avoids.  However, a lot of it is unfair, especially when he delivers such a well-balanced set as this, shining a light on British society’s problems but refusing to wallow in them.

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Category: Comedy
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Nick Helm – All Killer

By Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Nick Helm is everywhere right now and everywhere should be grateful.  A third run of the comedian’s hit BBC Three series Uncle has been commissioned.  The short film Elephant – which Helm directed, co-wrote and co-starred in with Esther Smith – was nominated for a BAFTA.  And his second studio album, Nick Helm Is F*cking Amazing, is released next month.

To celebrate the album launch, Helm is performing a show called All Killer Some Filler at the O2 Forum Kentish Town on 14 April 2016.  It will feature all of his musical hits and is billed as the “greatest live event ever attempted”.

What’s On London will be covering the show and reviewing the album that’s released on the same day.  In the build-up, Ian Cater met this multi-talented artist to discuss the roots of his success and what fans can hope for in the future.

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Category: Comedy