Review: Lucy Porter @ Warwick Arts Centre, 1st March 2020

Lucy Porter
Lucy Porter: Very prepared

Be prepared. That’s the motto of the scouting movement, and also the title of the latest outing from stand-up Lucy Porter. With her children now taking their first steps along the path forged by Baden-Powell, Porter told us, she used this as a jumping-off point to reminisce about her own experiences in the Brownies and Guides, as well as what effect they had on the person she is today. Continue reading “Review: Lucy Porter @ Warwick Arts Centre, 1st March 2020”

Review: Josie Long @ Warwick Arts Centre, 23rd January 2020

Josie Long
Josie Long: Something better

What does it mean to bring a child into the world? Josie Long‘s latest offering, Tender, delved into this in a uniquely touching and comic way, despite a lack of surprising subject matter, with childbirth, motherhood and climate change as the foundations underpinning it.

It’s always been the treatment of such ideas which has distinguished Long from other performers; dealing with bigger themes which audiences can relate to, but using them to make something much smaller and more intimate, surrendering the macro in favour of the micro, and zooming in onto tiny moments or fragments of thoughts and feelings – both as part of her stand-up and in her storytelling/documentary series, Radio 4’s Short Cuts. Continue reading “Review: Josie Long @ Warwick Arts Centre, 23rd January 2020”

Review: Lou Sanders @ Warwick Arts Centre, 13th December 2019

Lou Sanders
Lou Sanders: Confessional comedy and chocolate milkshakes

Lou Sanders’ latest show, Say Hello to Your New Step-Mummy, examined a similar area to her 2018 outing, Shame Pig. After being the subject of online vitriol following her appearance on Taskmaster, Sanders has turned this into what is at times an insightful and empowering hour of comedy.

Tackling themes such as feminism, the female body and relationships, Sanders opened the show by admitting that we’d be hearing material which wouldn’t necessarily reflect on herself in a very flattering way. In a sense, that proved correct – much of this show centred on Sanders’ confessional instincts, not least in detailing her relationship history, but it was delivered with such charming, disarming honesty that made her excellent company and kept the audience on her side. Continue reading “Review: Lou Sanders @ Warwick Arts Centre, 13th December 2019”

Review: John-Luke Roberts @ Glee Club, 17th May 2019

John-Luke Roberts
John-Luke Roberts: absurd comedy and the avant-garde

As a founding member and co-host of the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society, John-Luke Roberts is no stranger to absurdist, experimental comedy. With his radio vehicle Spats, one-man plays and his well-received stand-up, as well as formerly being one half of sketch combo The Behemoth alongside Nadia Kamil, Roberts has always played fast and loose with convention, and his current show – with its MIA-referencing title, All I Wanna Do Is [FX: GUNSHOTS] With a [FX: GUN RELOADING] and a [FX: CASH REGISTER] and Perform Some Comedy – held plenty of surprises.

Despite the more avant-garde leanings of some of his output, there’s always been an acutely accessible streak to Roberts’ comedy, which was especially evident in the sitcom Bull, co-written with Gareth Gwynn, and also his use of clowning techniques on stage, fusing chiselled gags and non-sequiturs with anarchic energy. Continue reading “Review: John-Luke Roberts @ Glee Club, 17th May 2019”

Review: The Horne Section @ Warwick Arts Centre, 9th May 2019

The Horne Section
Round the Horn(e): The Horne Section and all that jazz

The Horne Section are an unusual live proposition, simultaneously all high-kicking big band extravaganza tempered by a slightly ungainly, ramshackle approach. Led by stand-up and creator of the hugely popular Taskmaster game show, Alex Horne, the six-piece outfit brought their current show to Coventry as part of their biggest tour to date.

That confluence of silliness and deft, fiendishly clever comedy has always been evident in Horne’s solo stand-up, marrying the unconventional and the curious to much more familiar backdrops, and the Horne Section – in their live shows, Radio 4 series and last year’s TV special broadcast on Dave – have taken that even further to concoct shows of joyful wonder which would nevertheless be difficult to explain to anyone who’s not already in on the joke. Continue reading “Review: The Horne Section @ Warwick Arts Centre, 9th May 2019”

Review: Lucy Porter @ Warwick Arts Centre, 10th February 2019

Lucy Porter
Lucy Porter: stand-up comedy with an eye on the past… and the future

As a well-established stand-up and familiar voice on Radio 4, Lucy Porter has a very clear idea of her target audience. By her own admission, Porter has leaned into those expectations to mine subjects for her shows – described, as recounted here, by one reviewer as “middle-aged, middle class and middle of the road,” Porter is taking that rather unhelpful assessment as a compliment, and so she should.

Pass It On, her current show, took her experience of menopause as its starting point and central thread, culminating in some deftly woven routines about the change in outlook and realisations which it has led to. Porter’s on-stage demeanour, as a warm and naturally funny performer, ensured that this kind of material was relatable to the audience, making herself the butt of many of these jokes and gleefully sharing embarrassing stories such as her trip to M&S to buy new pairs of jeans. Continue reading “Review: Lucy Porter @ Warwick Arts Centre, 10th February 2019”

Review: Nish Kumar @ Warwick Arts Centre, 25th January 2019

nishkumar
Nish Kumar: coruscating satire

Nish Kumar isn’t exactly a comic who’s keen to couch his opinions in non-committal language. In his latest show, It’s In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves, Kumar had some choice words to share with Britain, and he certainly wasn’t pulling any punches.

From his appearances hosting The Mash Report and guesting on hit podcast The Bugle, among other regular outings, Kumar has carved a niche for his angry, intelligent, satirical comedy, and in his stand-up that measured, articulate rage is channeled expertly, and perfectly fits the subject of his show. Continue reading “Review: Nish Kumar @ Warwick Arts Centre, 25th January 2019”

Review: Dave Gorman @ Warwick Arts Centre, 18th November 2018

Dave Gorman
Dave Gorman: Getting straight to the (Power)point

Dave Gorman‘s latest show, With Great PowerPoint Comes Great ResponsibilityPoint, highlighted the trajectory of his approach to comedy – or, in other words, was perhaps the most Dave Gorman-esque show he’s ever done. A logical conclusion following his many tours, radio and TV series, and especially his (now sadly ended) Dave series Modern Life is Goodish, it saw Gorman on fine form, with his usual tricks and tics in tow.

Nick Doody, a long-time Gorman acolyte and well-established stand-up, provided able support, delivering clever gags and witty satire mixed with some knowingly silly songs, including a paean to Batman which summed up what was an enjoyable set.
Continue reading “Review: Dave Gorman @ Warwick Arts Centre, 18th November 2018”

Review: Joe Lycett @ Warwick Arts Centre, 15th November 2018

Joe Lycett
Joe Lycett: He’s lost control again

With plenty of Midlands references thrown into a heady mix of cheekiness, witty anecdotes and sublime stand-up, the latest outing from Birmingham-based comic Joe Lycett was a confirmed hit. Continuing his run of pun-based show titles, I’m About to Lose Control and I Think Joe Lycett signalled Lycett is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Before that, though, was a set from support act Colin Hoult in the guise of his actress/starlet character, Anna Mann. Risque jokes abound, with a handful of inspired lines, but the overall impression was of the same type of gags being hammered into the ground, though it’s easy to imagine that this character would work better across a full-length show. Continue reading “Review: Joe Lycett @ Warwick Arts Centre, 15th November 2018”

Review: David O’Doherty @ Warwick Arts Centre, 10th November 2018

David O'Doherty
David O’Doherty: Pumping on your Casio

Especially since winning the Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2008 (then known as the if.comedy Award), David O’Doherty has been one of the most recognisable faces on the circuit. The Irish stand-up is regularly on tour in the UK and performing acclaimed shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, and his distinctive brand of comedy – complete with mini electronic keyboard – has won accolades and attention all around the world.

Nearing the end of his current tour, with a show optimistically titled YOU HAVE TO LAUGH, O’Doherty performed a winning combination of stand-up and songs at Warwick Arts Centre, with the result being a delightful two hours in the company of him and his toy instrument-driven tunes.

Continue reading “Review: David O’Doherty @ Warwick Arts Centre, 10th November 2018”