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”

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

The Horne Section
Round the Horn(e): The Horne Section head to Coventry on their UK tour

Musical comedy powerhouse the Horne Section are set to embark on their biggest UK tour to date this spring. The acclaimed sextet, led by stand-up Alex Horne, have thrilled audiences over the past decade, at the Edinburgh Fringe and with their eponymous Radio 4 show, not to mention a star-studded TV special filmed at the London Palladium and broadcast on Dave last year.

Their mammoth 36-date tour visits Coventry on Thursday 9th May for an evening at Warwick Arts Centre, with other Midlands dates including Nottingham Playhouse on 18th April, Dudley Town Hall on 2nd May, Leamington’s Spa Centre on 7th October and Northampton Deco on 18th October.

Read a syndicated interview with Alex Horne – creator and co-host of the BAFTA- and Emmy-nominated Taskmaster, also broadcast on Dave – below for an insight into what the tour has in store for audiences, as well as more about how the Horne Section were formed, what makes them tick, and all that jazz.

Continue reading “Preview: The Horne Section @ Warwick Arts Centre, 9th May 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”

Sara Pascoe @ Warwick Arts Centre, 7th October 2018

Sara Pascoe
Sara Pascoe: Animal

Sara Pascoe‘s latest show, LadsLadsLads, was unapologetically about the aftermath of a break-up. Originally performed at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe, where Pascoe and John Robins both delivered their own shows about the break-up of their relationship, it was much more personal than previous outings but hugely enjoyable, showcasing all of the elements which have made her voice so distinctive – intelligent, often dark, and very open.

There was an intimacy and candidness about LadsLadsLads which was quite a rare feat in a theatre of this size – covering topics such as relationships, sex and family, Pascoe revealed aspects of her life and flaws with a level of vulnerability which isn’t all that common even in stand-up, and imbued these vignettes with layers of great jokes which peeked out of the darkness. Continue reading “Sara Pascoe @ Warwick Arts Centre, 7th October 2018”

Review: Richard Herring @ Warwick Arts Centre, 3rd June 2018

richardherring16
Richard Herring: Life begins at 50?

Does life begin at 50? Celebrated stand-up Richard Herring has been pondering this while on tour with his latest show, Oh Frig I’m 50, which ended with this date at Warwick Arts Centre. A sequel of sorts to his show titled Oh Fuck I’m 40, this new offering detailed how the biggest events during the past decade or so have shaped his life now, with the most momentous changes including him getting married and starting a family.

It’s a commonly held view in certain circles that those things can often lead to diminishing returns in the quality of a comic’s output, and while that may have been true in some examples Herring’s recent work has long proved its folly. The first half here was slightly more uneven, with keen observational material not always landing, but glimpses of his recognisable style, though a stronger second half of the show really took proceedings to a higher level. Continue reading “Review: Richard Herring @ Warwick Arts Centre, 3rd June 2018”

Review: Daniel Kitson @ The Y, 14th December 2017

Daniel Kitson
Daniel Kitson: A Show For Christmas

There’s something particularly magical and evocative about stories set at Christmas. Whether it’s the work of Charles Dickens, the ghost stories of M.R. James, Doctor Who‘s festive outings, or anything in between – the snow, Christmas trees and spirit of giving help to conjure vivid ideas of late December and all the joys (and, in the case of James, fears) that come with it.

These seasonal ingredients, along with Santa Claus, were firmly in place in Daniel Kitson‘s A Show For Christmas, though this elegantly crafted story wasn’t quite as traditional as you might imagine. Kitson, who has long cemented his place as perhaps the most revered stand-up and storyteller on the British circuit, first performed the show during a run at Battersea Arts Centre in December 2014, and has since taken it Stateside for a run in New York, but this month marks the first time he’s toured it around the UK, including a stop at Leicester’s Y Theatre. Continue reading “Review: Daniel Kitson @ The Y, 14th December 2017”

Preview: Mark Thomas @ MAC, 28th February to 3rd March 2018

Mark Thomas
Showtime from the frontline. Photo by Lesley Martin.

Mark Thomas returns to Birmingham’s MAC in February with a new show about his experiences in Palestine. Setting out to run a comedy club in a refugee camp in the city of Jenin for two nights, Showtime From the Frontline will trace what happened when he tried to do so.

This isn’t the first time the celebrated stand-up and activist has performed a show about a trip to the region, with 2011’s Extreme Rambling – Walking the Wall detailing his own story of visiting the West Bank. This time around he’s joined by Faisal Abualheja and Alaa Shehada, two actors and aspiring stand-ups from Jenin, and you can expect a funny and fascinating evening in the company of one of the UK’s finest storytellers and performers.

Showtime From the Frontline is at MAC in Birmingham each evening from Wednesday 28th February to Saturday 3rd March 2018. Tickets are available from the venue website.

 

Review: No Such Thing As a Fish @ Warwick Arts Centre, 2nd December 2017

No Such Thing As a Fish
Quite interesting: The QI elves host the No Such Thing As a Fish podcast

First broadcast in 2003, QI has become something of an institution. The BBC panel show which shines a spotlight on comedians’ knowledge and ignorance has been running since then with Stephen Fry and now Sandi Toksvig at the helm – along with creator and producer John Lloyd – but it’s behind the scenes where a lot of the (Quite) interesting action happens.

Writers and researchers on the hit TV show, the line-up of Dan Schreiber, James Harkin, Andrew Hunter Murray and Anna Ptaszynski joined together to create the podcast No Such Thing As a Thing, which acts as a sort of spin-off from, and logical extension of, the parent show. With more than 190 episodes under their collective belts, the podcast is fast becoming a staple of the burgeoning comedy podcast scene in the UK, which seems to be undergoing another boom lately. Continue reading “Review: No Such Thing As a Fish @ Warwick Arts Centre, 2nd December 2017”