Saturday 23rd October

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Daniel Kitson: Something Other Than Everything review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Kitson’s new show at Camden’s Roundhouse is brilliant, hilariously and thoughtfully addressing the paradox of modern life that we’re both always, and never, alone.

In his fascinating book, How I Escaped My Certain Fate, Stewart Lee lists Daniel Kitson as one of a handful of comedians “whose talents far outstripped mine, who produced work I never thought I’d be capable of in my life”.  So when Kitson drops a new show, the comedy world takes note – this time with entirely good reason.  Because Something Other Than Everything is extremely ambitious, consistently hilarious and utterly brilliant – a tough ask of a two-hour uninterrupted show, and frankly a dangerous one given its full-bladdered 9pm start time.

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Category: Comedy
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Heroes: Jimmy Wales Meets Stewart Lee

Last Wednesday, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales interviewed British stand-up, writer and director Stewart Lee in a fascinating conversation hosted by The School of Life.  The event was the latest in the organisation’s ‘Heroes’ series, in which leading cultural figures get to question someone they admire from a different industry – a format giving fascinating insights into both interviewer and interviewee.

Ian Cater was there for What’s On London to hear what Wales could draw from one of Britain’s greatest living comedians and contrarians.

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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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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
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