Archive for the ‘Comedy’ Category


Chortle’s Fast Fringe

Monday, 18 June, 2012

Leicester Square Theatre, Tues 26th June

28 of the best comedy and variety acts heading to Edinburgh perform extracts of their festival shows on one amazing – if ridiculously busy – bill.

With  Rhys Darby, Nina Conti, Boy With Tape On His Face, Thomas Nelstrop, Late Night Gimp Fight, Dana Alexander, Hal Cruttenden, The Beta Males, Pete Johansson, Eddie Lizzard, The Noise Next Door, John Robins, Chris Dugdale, Luke Benson, Sean McLoughlin, Wes Zaharuk,  Jim Campbell, Up & Over It, Jonny & The Baptists,  Danny McLoughlin, Catriona Knox, Paul F Taylor,  Chris Stokes, David Trent, Funk Rocket 5000, Liam Mullone, Adam Hess,  Four Screws Loose and MC Susan Calman.


Sluts at the Finborough

Friday, 18 May, 2012

World premiere for American Playwright, Joshua Conkel

As part of the Finborough Theatre’s Summer Season, acclaimed US playwright Joshua Conkel makes his UK debut with the world premiere of the darkly comic The Sluts of Sutton Drive.

Everybody wants a piece of Stephanie Schwartz. Her son’s demanding nuggets, her boyfriend wants her to wax and her best friend’s taking her to a stripping class. Now there’s a rapist on Sutton Drive, an obscene caller invading her home and a portal to hell beneath her sofa. How far must she go to make it all stop? And how far is too far?

This black comedy is by Joshua Conkel, “the most important queer playwright of his generation”


The Pirate Project. Lucy Foster with Improbable, at the Oval House next week.

Thursday, 10 May, 2012

Fanciful stagings of the escapades of Anne Bonny, Mary Read, and Ching Shih – swashbuckling female pirates of the past – combine with intimate stories of personal piracy in the performers’ own lives. See these bloodthirsty damsels out-sail, out-think, and out-fight every man on the high seas.

How did they do it? How does a slip of a girl subdue a ship of salty sea dogs? Could she still do it today? Has her 21st century counterpart got the guts to stick a dagger between her teeth, fire a broadside and make off with the booty?

In The Pirate Project three women set sail in search of their inner pirate. Expect sword fights, theatrical storms, cross dressing, and a certain amount of swagger.

Tue 15 May – Sat 2 Jun, 7:45pm


Comedy Academy Opens for Edinburgh Hopefuls

Friday, 27 April, 2012

Applications are open for the second annual Fringe Comedy Academy.

The Fringe Comedy Academy is a ten-week course run in conjunction with The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, The Stand Comedy Club, Virgin Money and the Mike Westcott Memorial Fund.

Over the course of the ten weeks, 16 young people will be schooled in comedy before unleashing their skills at a special graduation show at the Stand Comedy Club during the Fringe.

Last year’s comedy tutors included comedy stalwarts Fred Macaulay, Raymond Mearns, Bob Doolally creator Paul Sneddon and top comedy writers from behind the scenes of the hit panel shows, Mock the Week and 8 Out Of 10 Cats.

The course is co-orientated by Edinburgh comedian Susan Morrison.

Anyone who would like to take part can apply by going to


Female Comedian of the Year. Open for Entries

Tuesday, 24 April, 2012

Funny’s Funny, an organisation run by comedians to support fair treatment within the comedy industry announces its second Female Comedian of the Year competition, which opens for entries on April 23rd.

Plans for 2012 include a full run of Funny’s Funny shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, workshops for participants to develop their skills, and competition showcases across the UK and in Ireland. The grand final will be held in July in London.

Last year’s Female Comedian of the Year competition had 250 entrants and ran 21 showcases nationwide, with the involvement of several independent promoters and comedy clubs. The grand final crowned Harriet Kemsley as its winner. This year’s event is expected to be bigger.

All female comedians, regardless of experience, can enter the competition via


Birmingham: Upstairs Improv launches April 26th

Tuesday, 10 April, 2012

Upstairs Improv has announced the first of its nights of spontaneous comedy at the Old Joint Stock Theatre, on Thursday April 26th.

Upstairs Improv - it may not be for everyone

Two homegrown Brummie Teams – The Unsuggestibles and Scene Machine – and two out-of-town contenders – WOW Impro from Bedworth and Nottingham’s MissImp – battle it out in a 4-way competition.

Who will rise to undertake the most outlandish challenges? Who will prove to be the Ninjas of Spontaneity? Who will garnish the coveted Golden Globes of Making-It-Up-On-The-Spot? Organisers promise that laughter will gush forth, tears will be precipitated, and silliness generated by the bushel. Not for the congenitally glum.

Upstairs at the Old Joint Stock Theatre, April 26th, 8pm.

Special introductory offer – all tickets just £5.00


Highlights of the Pleasance Spring Season

Wednesday, 28 March, 2012

The Pleasance in Islington has announced its Spring Season. These are some of the shows.

21st March – 8th April
A twisted celebration of what it means to be an American citizen, Assassins brings to life the men and women who have attempted or succeeded in assassinating American Presidents, from Lincoln to Ronald Reagan, and asks what made them believe that murder might be the only option to settle a variety of obscure motives.

Humphrey Ker’s Family Variety Half-Hour
30th March & 19th April
A brand new show of sketch, song and character comedy, from Fosters Comedy Award Best Newcomer: Humphrey Ker and special guests.

Matilda, Mike & Dan
3rd April – 7th April
A dark new comedy from Professional Help Productions that explores friendship, love, sex and power, and what happens when the rules of the games we play, change. Written by Rebecca Windsor and Directed by Antony Law, ‘Matilda, Mike & Dan’ follows the relationship of two men and the effects a woman and a take away can have in just one night.

The Overcoat
17th April – 28th April
After finding himself in financial dire straits, a sympathetic but inconspicuous bank clerk, believes his happiness lies in a brand new overcoat. This fateful decision sparks a journey through the jungle of modern work life and global economy meeting larger-than-life characters along the way; eventually questioning his own existence.

More at



BALL & Other Funny Stories About Cancer

Wednesday, 7 March, 2012

Thurs 15 March and Sun 18 March at Camden People’s Theatre – Part of the Sprint Festival

Cancer – The Trilogy, performed as one for the first time

In 2001, at the age of 20 New York born Brian Lobel was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Almost immediately he began to write BALL, which became the first part of a trilogy in which he discusses thoughts, ideas and stories inspired by his experiences as a cancer survivor.

Unexpected, quirky and provocative, BALL & Other Funny Stories About Cancer is a unique performance about illness and the way all our bodies change over time.

For the first time this trilogy about his experiences with, and beyond, cancer will be performed together. BALL & Other Funny Stories About Cancer challenges the well known stories of cancer survivors and the canonisation of cancer martyrs that have come before – sometimes it seems that merely surviving the illness isn’t enough, you’ve got to win the Tour de France too!

Each of the three performances has toured independently throughout the world to theatres, cabarets, medical schools and galleries. In presenting the three shows as one Brian explains that surviving cancer is only half the battle, it’s what comes next that is the hardest part.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to perform a self-exam.

More on Ball and the Sprint Festival at


Scooter Thomas Makes It To The Top Of The World 8th Feb – 3rd Mar 2012

Monday, 27 February, 2012

Coupled each night with a brand new piece of writing, at the New Diorama

Scooter Thomas (played by Gordon McBryde) may not have been a perfect individual, and while it isn’t always good manners to speak ill of the dead, Peter Parnell’s imaginative and unusual script gives Scooter Thomas the opportunity to learn from his mistakes. The audiences at the New Diorama are gathered to watch a play, but also  to mourn the loss of someone’s dear friend Scooter Thomas, a misguided waif, whose only route to happiness was to shoot Puffins, tend sheep in Yugoslavia, or failing that, to fall off some mountain in California and die.

Scooter and his best friend Dennis go back over the years to see if Scooter ever did make it to the top of the world.

“Peter Parnell’s undiscovered masterpiece is an energetic and honest two-hander, which shows us that even after death it’s still not too late to learn something about yourself, or the value of having and being a good friend.”

Audiences will also each night be treated to a short preview of new writing as part of All The Pigs First-Time-Writer’s Initiative, whose goal is to find artists who have never written for the stage.

more at


Sprint, and after, at Camden People’s Theatre

Friday, 17 February, 2012

CPT announces its Spring season

Starting with the 15th annual Sprint Festival of live art, Camden People’s Theatre (CPT) are launching their spring season of new and experimental theatre, music, poetry, interactive performances, media and puppetry.

Sprint Festival highlights include Your Last Breath by Curious Directive, A Score for Audience and Performer by Greg McLaren, and Avon Calling, a piece by The Other Way Works performed to groups of ten in audience members’ own houses.

After Sprint, Stillpoint Theatre will present Triptych: Three Attempts at Love, written and performed by award-winning performer Rachel Blackman, which includes her Edinburgh Fringe 2011 show Steal Compass, Drive North, Disappear.

Resuscitate Theatre, the company behind 2011’s A Clockwork Orange, present the Greek play The Bacchae; and Amy Lamé teams up with Time Out Performer of the Year 2010 Scottee to bring Unhappy Birthday. The season ends on a high with Fuel Theatre’s Knight Watch: South’Story.

SPRINT FESTIVAL 2012 – Highlights
9 to 31 March | 7.30pm & 9pm | £10 (£8 concs) unless otherwise stated

Your Last Breath by Curious Directive

This Fringe First Winner 2011 brings a science-theatre piece unraveling the landscapes of the heart and our own personal geographies.

Perle by Dancing Brick

Work-in-progress performances of a new show in which theatre maker Thomas Eccleshare and world-famous illustrator Serge Seidlitz create a live comic-strip based on one of the oldest poems in the English language, Pearl.

A Score for Audience and Performer by Greg McLaren

A group of three, fifteen-minute performances / interactions passing oblique comment on the current social situation in England