Comedy

Fans of investigative journalism should avoid Channel 4’s How’d You Get So Rich?

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Fans of tough investigative journalism should probably avoid Channel 4’s How’d You Get So Rich? Presenter Katherine Ryan’s main tactic…

Perhaps I’m not ‘post-feminist’ enough to comprehend this ‘rape revenge comedy’: Elle reviewed

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Elle has been described as ‘a rape revenge comedy’, which seems unlikely, and also as ‘post-feminist’, which is likely as,…

A provincial library is pure Alan Bennett territory

25 February 2017 9:00 am

This book kept reminding me of Robin Williams in One Hour Photo. Just as his character spied on customers’ private…

Sheila Reida (Gloria), Keziah Joseph (Hope) and Rachel Davies (Maureen) in Sandi Toksvig’s Silver Linings Photo by Mark Douet

Though dissatisfying it doesn’t deserve a monstering: Sandi Toksvig’s Silver Lining reviewed

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Sandi Toksvig’s new play opens in a Gravesend care home where five grannies and a temporary nurse are threatened by…

First Love: a hilarious send-up of chick lit

11 February 2017 9:00 am

If ever there was a book for our uncaring, unsharing times, it is Gwendoline Riley’s First Love, in which Neve,…

A memorable evening, though not one I’d want to repeat: Le grand macabre reviewed

21 January 2017 9:00 am

The Barbican website warns us that Ligeti’s opera Le grand macabre ‘contains very strong language and adult themes’. The strong…

‘Real Housewives of Isis’ is dark and courageous – but the rest of Revolting is lamentable

21 January 2017 9:00 am

Revolting (Tuesdays) is the BBC2 comedy series that spawned the now-infamous sketch ‘Real Housewives of Isis’. It has been watched…

A three-hour bum-number by a German gas bag: Schiller’s Mary Stuart at the Almeida reviewed

14 January 2017 9:00 am

God, what a dusty old chatterbox Schiller is. Like Bernard Shaw, he can’t put a character on stage without churning…

Unprecedentedly odd: BBC1’s The Entire Universe reviewed

31 December 2016 9:00 am

As you’ve probably noticed, TV critics spend a lot of their time trying to identify which other programmes the one…

A treat to hum along to but don't ask me what it's about: Bowie's Lazarus reviewed

19 November 2016 9:00 am

One of David Bowie’s last works, Lazarus, is a musical based on Walter Tevis’s novel The Man Who Fell to…

Stanley Gibbons – the womanising stamp-collector

19 November 2016 9:00 am

If I tell you that on Monday there was an hour-long documentary about the history of stamp-collecting, then you probably…

Snarly rather than menacing: Glenda Jackson as King Lear

Glenda Jackson’s King Lear shows that men play unhinged warlords better than women

12 November 2016 9:00 am

Dynastic affairs and international relations were once a seamless continuum. Royal weddings accompanied peace treaties. An heirless realm was vulnerable…

Jamali Maddix, Viceland’s answer to Louis Theroux

Vice TV is a con

8 October 2016 9:00 am

For all its much-vaunted rebel soul, Viceland is just BBC2 in disguise, says Neil Armstrong

Nostalgic, compulsive, edge-of-seat entertainment: Netflix’s Stranger Things reviewed

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Stranger Things is the most delightful, gripping, charming, nostalgic, compulsive, edge-of-seat entertainment I’ve had in ages. Like a lot of…

Crowd-bewitching magic from Kathryn Hunter: Young Vic’s The Emperor reviewed

24 September 2016 9:00 am

The Emperor seems like a worthy lesson in Ethiopian history. Haile Selassie’s final days are recounted by a retinue of…

Clearly intended as an Important Piece of TV – but is it?: C4’s National Treasure reviewed

24 September 2016 9:00 am

The closing credits of National Treasure (Channel 4, Tuesday) contain the usual disclaimer that any resemblance between its characters and…

Lizzie Roper as Else and Simon Day as Alf Garnett in ‘Till Death Us Do Part’

Watching old, unPC sitcoms should be part of the national curriculum

3 September 2016 9:00 am

I think I might be turning into Alf Garnett. When I was growing up I saw him as an obnoxious,…

Too much of a good thing? Ricky Gervais in ‘David Brent: Life on the Road’

Some comedies should never be resurrected – this is one of them: David Brent – Life on the Road reviewed

20 August 2016 9:00 am

I should probably nail my colours to the mast and state that The Office is possibly my favourite TV sitcom…

Nietzsche, Lembit Opik, the NHS and taxes: Edinburgh Festival Fringe roundup

20 August 2016 9:00 am

Dominic Frisby is an actor best known for voicing the booking.com adverts (‘Booking dot com, booking dot yeah’). Voiceover specialists…

A filthy Noël Coward, snotty Frog, mad Swede and Maggie: Edinburgh Festival Fringe roundup

13 August 2016 9:00 am

Plus: Geoff Norcott, a refreshingly brilliant new comedic voice, whose ascent Beeb censorship will impede. See him live at the Underbelly

‘Funny is now dangerous’: Michael Heath’s Desert Island Discs reviewed

13 August 2016 9:00 am

‘I’m off now,’ says Michael Heath, signing off from his selection of Desert Island Discs on Radio 4, ‘to go…

Absolutely Fabulous was too spiteful to be funny. It invited us to laugh at female failure

25 June 2016 8:00 am

Absolutely Fabulous, which is about to make its cinema debut, is a comedy about women being useless. I watched it…

A side order of extra Marmite comes in the considerable silhouette of Russell Crowe as Jackson Healy

Russell Crowe knows how to wear a pair of inverted commas: The Nice Guys reviewed

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Regular filmgoers must be losing count of the Rabelaisian revelries they’ve been invited to of late. You may recognise the…

Isn’t it puke-inducing being lectured about poverty by millionaire comics?

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Going Forward (BBC4, Thursdays) is a BBC comedy about the continuing adventures of Kim Wilde, the fat, cynical but lovable…

James Delingpole is loving Ben Elton's new Shakespeare sitcom

14 May 2016 9:00 am

There’s no way of saying this without shredding the last vestiges of my critical credibility, but this new Ben Elton…