My name is Simon Harper. I'm a freelance journalist specialising in writing about music and comedy. My work has been published by the Birmingham Post, Arena, Bearded, the BBC and Channel 4, among others. I have also written for BBC Radio 4 Extra's Newsjack, as well as co-writing and -hosting the Comedy Fix podcast.
I've been writing about comedy in Coventry, Birmingham and the West Midlands as Who's Laughing Now? since 2008. Here you'll find reviews, previews, interviews and other stuff about live comedy in the area.
Richard Herring is a stand-up veteran and also something of a workhorse these days. His disparate stream of podcasts and stage output in recent years has been an impressive example of productivity, not content to restrict himself to one new show every year and instead churning out hours upon hours of free entertainment for fans.
If politicised stand-up and comic activism are what you like, you’ll be glad to know Mark Thomas is returning to Coventry later this month with this current show, Trespass. In a similar vein to his previous offering 100 Acts of Minor Dissent, Thomas brings his melange of comedy, journalism and “rabble rousing” (so say the Metropolitan Police) to Warwick Arts Centre on Friday 18th March.
Having also dabbled in theatrical and storytelling works in recent years, Trespass sees Thomas return to fertile ground – campaigning to give ordinary people a voice, and sticking it to the establishment. A veteran of stage, TV and radio, the stand-up’s credentials are well-known and this is sure to be an evening of investigative journalism and revolutionary mirth.
Nature or nurture? You might think you know who you are, and why, but veteran stand-up Mark Steel‘s latest show proved it might not be as clear-cut as you thought. The Radio 4 favourite and cricket fan grew up in Swanley, in Kent, knowing he was adopted, and in Who Do I Think I Am? he told the tale of how he found out the strange truth about his mother and father.
Bridget Christie is one of British comedy’s most distinctive and important voices, so the publication of her debut tome, titled A Book For Her, was bound to garner lots of attention. And with good reason – the 2013 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner has forged a reputation for combining satire and surrealism in order to discuss difficult subjects and big themes, including feminism and FGM.
After hugely successful runs of A Bic For Her and An Ungrateful Woman, she’s embarking on a tour and book signing, with visits to Coventry and Birmingham as part of her nationwide jaunt. It’s a great opportunity to see one of the UK’s finest, and most challenging, stand-ups melding intelligent comedy and silliness better than almost anyone on the circuit. Continue reading “Preview: Q&A with Bridget Christie”
Acclaimed stand-up and podcasting king Richard Herring returns to the West Midlands next month as part of his first tour since becoming a father. His latest show, Happy Now?, sees him exploring what it means to be happy and asking whether we can ever be truly content.
Herring has often employed such personal subject matter in his past shows to great effect, with The Headmaster’s Son, What Is Love Anyway? and We’re All Going to Die being among his finest outings.
The Just the Tonic comedy club returns to Birmingham on Thursday 18th February for a much-anticipated night, with headliner Johnny Vegas. St Helens’ finest comedy export will be top of the bill at 6 On Broad Street, hot on the heels of the promoters’ Birmingham launch which was hosted by Ross Noble. With a regular roster of big names at venues across the UK, Just the Tonic looks set to be a huge addition to Birmingham’s stand-up scene.