Comedy

Dreams don’t have to make sense - but TV dramas do: Peter & Wendy reviewed

2 January 2016 9:00 am

On the face of it, ITV’s Peter & Wendy sounded like a perfect family offering for Boxing Day: an adaptation…

Tricycle’s Ben Hur is magnificent in its superficiality - a masterpiece of nothing

12 December 2015 9:00 am

It’s the target that makes the satire as well as the satirist. Is the subject powerful, active, relevant and menacing?…

Victorian music-hall comedy wasn’t funny. Why pretend it was?

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Let’s start this week with a joke: ‘You know Mrs Kelly? Do you know Mrs Kelly? Her husband’s that little…

Shakespeare at his freest and most exuberant: The Wars of the Roses reviewed

24 October 2015 9:00 am

The RSC’s The Wars of the Roses solves a peculiar literary problem. Shakespeare’s earliest history plays are entitled Henry VI…

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Manhattan

Woody Allen: a life of jazz, laughter, depression —and a few misdemeanours

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Woody Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg), the prolific, Oscar-winning auteur, New Orleans-style jazz clarinettist, doyen of New York delicatessen society,…

A gleeful vision of the future from Margaret Atwood

19 September 2015 8:00 am

What could happen in literature to a young couple — or a pair of young couples — who fall off…

Where comics find their Edinburgh comfort food

5 September 2015 9:00 am

Mum’s, or to use its full title, Mum’s Great Comfort Food, is a restaurant in Edinburgh designed to soothe itinerant…

Edinburgh Fringe highlights: world-class improv, Bible study and an hour with a gentle genius

29 August 2015 9:00 am

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical offers a brand new song-and-dance spectacular at every performance. It opens with a brilliantly chaotic piece…

Cherrelle Skeete as Katya and Royce Pierreson at Belyaev in ‘Three Days in the Country’

Feels like Chekhov scripted by a Chekhov app: Three Days in the Country at the Lyttleton reviewed

8 August 2015 9:00 am

Chekhov so dominates 19th-century Russian drama that Turgenev doesn’t get much of a look-in. His best known play, A Month…

She's Funny That Way isn't funny at all

27 June 2015 9:00 am

The writer and director Peter Bogdanovich has made three of my favourite films of all time (The Last Picture Show,…

Imagine if Are You Being Served? had starred Laurence Olivier: ITV’s Vicious reviewed

6 June 2015 9:00 am

Monday saw the return of possibly the weirdest TV series in living memory. Imagine a parallel universe in which Are…

Jackie Mason reveals the secret of stand-up: avoid fried food

16 May 2015 9:00 am

What does it take to be a stand-up comic? Jackie Mason has absolutely no idea

Top Five reviewed: Chris Rock hits rock bottom

9 May 2015 9:00 am

The oeuvre of Chris Rock may not be fully known in this parish. He was the African-American stand-up who made…

Taxi ride to the dark side: a thrilling blast of full-strength Irvine Welsh

11 April 2015 9:00 am

Irvine Welsh, I think it’s safe to say, is not a writer who’s mellowing with age. His latest book sees…

Miranda July may be a film director, performance artist, sculptor and designer — but she is no novelist

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Miranda July is a funny and brilliant film director, performance artist, sculptor and smartphone app designer. In 2005, she won…

The Voices review: a hateful, repellent, empty film

21 March 2015 9:00 am

The Voices is ‘a dark comedy about a serial killer’, which is not an overcrowded genre, and I think we…

The Heckler: how funny really was Spitting Image?

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Hold the front page! Spitting Image is back! Well, sort of. A new six-part series, from (some of) the team…

A tatty new theatre offers up a comic gem that’s sure to be snapped up by the BBC

14 February 2015 9:00 am

New venue. New enticement. In the undercroft of a vast but disregarded Bloomsbury church nestles the Museum of Comedy. The…

Radio 4’s War and Peace: almost as good as the book

24 January 2015 9:00 am

To have listened to Radio 4’s marathon ten-hour adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace as it was being broadcast on…

Chico, Harpo and Groucho Marx (left to right) enjoy a day at the races

What unites Churchill, Dali and T.S. Eliot? They all worshipped the Marx Brothers

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Ian Thomson celebrates the anarchic genius of Groucho and his brothers

Fortune tellers, pound shops and Orville: why I love Blackpool

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Fortune tellers, pound shops and Orville: it’s easy to take the piss out of Blackpool, but William Cook loves it

You shouldn’t watch Dapper Laughs. But you really shouldn’t let the likes of me stop you

15 November 2014 9:00 am

As you’ll know by now, I’m big on thinking the right things. Should a thought strike me that m’colleague Rod…

The subversive wonders of Kilkenomics – where economics meets stand-up

15 November 2014 9:00 am

‘What is a Minsky moment, anyway?’ asks Gerry Stembridge, an Irish satirist. ‘I’ve been reading about them in the papers…

The greatest sitcom that never was

8 November 2014 9:00 am

Funny Girl is the story of the early career of the vivacious, hilarious Sophie Straw, star of the much-loved BBC…

Rosamund Pike and family (L-R) Harriet Turnbull, Emilia Jones and Bobby Smalldridge

Outnumbered: The Movie (But Crap)

27 September 2014 9:00 am

What We Did On Our Holiday is written and directed by Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton, the pair who created…