Tuesday 24th June – Saturday 28th June, 7:15pm at Soho Theatre, £20 (17.50)
Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model returns to Soho Theatre for 5 performances only, following it’s sell-out run here in 2013!
WINNER: FRINGE REVIEW OUTSTANDINGTHEATRE AWARD 2013
WINNER: ARCHES BRICK AWARD 2013
‘Hilarious, heartbreaking, troubling and inspirational. Kick-ass in all the right ways.’★★★★★ Time Out
‘Bold, brave and very brilliant; don’t miss.’★★★★★ Independent
‘A work of almost staggering warmth and fragility.’ ★★★★★ Scotsman
In an audacious, provocative protest against flagrant global attempts to sexualise and commodify childhood for profit, award-winning artist Bryony Kimmings and her niece Taylor, nine, decided to play the global tween machine at its own game by inventing dinosaur-loving, bike riding, tuna pasta-eating, alternative pop star Catherine Bennett.
This show tackles the issues at the very core of their plight head on. In typically screwball and humorous fashion, Kimmings, creator of acclaimed shows Sex Idiot and 7 Day Drunk, begs the question, what does it really take to be a Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model for a child of the 21st century?
For ages 16+
Running time: Approx 60 minutes
Production photos: Jassy Earl www.pleasance.co.uk/pictureshow
CITY OF LONDON FESTIVAL
BOWLER HAT COMEDY LISTINGS
Bowler Hat, Paternoster Square, City of London
Box Office: 0845 120 7502 www.colf.org
Monday 23 June 7.30pm
Hats Off! Highlights
To celebrate the opening of our exciting new venue, the Bowler Hat, come and join us for an evening of circus, comedy, cabaret and dance, featuring preview performances from Acrometria, Rhythm Town, Silver Lining, Judy & Liza and guest compere Rob Deering.
Monday 23 June 9.30pm
Armstrong & Stilgoe
Comedian, TV presenter and baritone Alexander Armstrong joins the stage with dazzling jazz pianist and singer Joe Stilgoe. Their one-off sell-out cabaret in 2013 received rapturous praise; whether you are a Pointless fan, comedy fan or music fan, there’ll be something to entertain everyone when they are reunited under the Bowler Hat.
Tuesday 24 June 9.30pm
Jenny Eclair has been a stand-up comic for donkey’s years. She was the first woman to win the coveted Perrier Award and hasn’t stopped banging on about it ever since. Here she is, louder than ever, taking the Bowler Hat by storm with her new show Eclairious.
Wednesday 25 June 9.30pm
An Ungrateful Woman
Bridget Christie does not wear her feminism lightly. She wears it heavily, like a suit of armour. Enjoy an evening of talk about Michael Gove and violations of human rights.
‘One of the finest comedians around’ ***** Independent
Thursday 26 June 9.30pm X
Tim Fitzhigham & Duncan Walsh Atkins
Flanders & Swann
Lifelong fans around the world and the uninitiated alike have delighted in seeing Tim, Duncan and the Hippo breathe new life into Flanders & Swann’s wonderful witty songs including: The Hippopotamus, The Gas Man Cometh and The Gnu.
‘Muddy marvellous’ Evening Standard
Friday 27 June 9.30pm
Stupidly ambitious, logistically problematic, potentially disastrous – this is the show Alex Horne has wanted to make for a decade; he is Monsieur Butterfly.
‘A terrific, high-concept comedy show, intricately constructed and forever whipping the rug out from under us’ The Guardian
Saturday 28 June 9.30pm
Lord of the Dance Settee
After covering weighty issues like death, love, religion and spam javelins, ‘The King of Edinburgh’ (List) is in a frivolous mood with this show about daftness, whether the term cool comedian is an oxymoron, bouncing joyously on the sofa and how Herring’s whole career is a failed attempt to top a piece of visual slapstick comedy he came up with at 16. Can he revisit the joke thirty years on or will it smash his old bones? ‘Dependably funny’ (Chortle.co.uk). ‘A new Richard Herring show is a never-ending cause for delight’ (List).
Tuesday 1 July 9.30pm
The Noise Next Door
Comedy Lock In
Comedy improv quintet The Noise Next Door transform audience suggestions into fantastically funny scenes and songs in the blink of an eye.
‘Hilarious… a superior kind of chaos’ ****Daily Telegraph
Wednesday 2 July 9.30pm
Satirist For Hire
Acclaimed comedian and writer Andy Zaltzman brings his unique take on current affairs to the Bowler Hat. Andy is best known for appearing on BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show and Armando Iannucci’s Charm Offensive.
‘Probably the best satirical comic we’ve produced in the last two decades. Intelligent, biting and silly’ Time Out
Thursday 3 July 9.30pm
Julie Madly Deeply
This charming yet cheeky cabaret takes an engaging look at the fame and fandom surrounding Dame Julie Andrews, performed by Fascinating Aida star Sarah-Louise Young, one of London’s top cabaret performers.
‘Dame Julie, you suspect, would approve. This is an evening that ends in triumph, not in tears.’ **** The Times
Friday 4 July 9.30pm
Winner of five major comedy awards. 24-hour-show luminary. Novelist. Watson (host of BBC’s We Need Answers, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Mock The Week regular and star of cult Radio 4 series Mark Watson Makes The World Substantially Better) comes to the Bowler Hat.
‘The highest achiever the Edinburgh Festival has seen this decade. A huge comic presence’ The Times
Saturday 5 July 9.30pm
What is it with us and smallness? We Brits love it – being tiny but fierce, close but distant. Russell Kane, the winner of the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award 2010, who has firmly established himself as one the best comics in the UK today, returns with a blisteringly big-small show. Kane’s fast-paced comedy ejaculates thoughts about smallness; on keeping things small when life gets big.
‘If he keeps making shows this smart, and this funny, he’s going to be very big indeed. **** The Telegraph
Thursday 10 July 9.30pm
Amateur Transplants: Adam Kay’s Smutty Songs
Adam Kay’s cutting-edge, darkly humorous re-imaginings of pop and rock classics, including the iconic London Underground Song, have gained him three number one albums in the iTunes comedy charts and over 20 million hits on YouTube.
‘Fast-paced, filthy and incredibly funny’ ***** ThreeWeeks
Friday 11 July 9.30pm
One-man pop-rock stand-up legend Rob Deering brings his brand new show to his home town, cramming more charm, laughs and tunes into one Bowler Hat than you’d think possible.
‘An evening in his company is nothing less than a joy’ Independent on Sunday
‘brilliant musical comedian’ Time Out
Saturday 12 July 9.30pm
The Weird Way Round
Doc Brown, famed for his collaboration with Ricky Gervais on YouTube hit Equality Street, is appearing in the Bowler Hat fresh from a sell-out UK tour, with his tongue-in-cheek take on hip-hop culture.
‘A seamless mix of truly inspired hip-hop and stand-up. He’s a total star… an utter joy’ Time Out
Monday 14 July 9.30pm
Glam Role Model
The fresh, dangerously fierce, pop-culture-obsessed Katherine Ryan is fast becoming a recognisable face on British TV, with appearances on Mock the Week, QI, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Live at the Apollo. The feisty Canadian will bring her innovative, original comedy to the City, in a show that explores the murky world of glamour modelling.
‘Warped wit…striking presence…killer lines…calm confidence’ Scotsman
Wednesday 16 July 9.30pm Bowler Hat Theatre, Paternoster Square EC4M 7DX
The Only Way Is Downton
Written and performed by Luke Kempner
As celebrities start appearing at the Abbey, cultures clash and eras hilariously collide in this brilliant parody, which takes in many popular TV shows and familiar modern voices to help the cast of Downton save the estate from financial ruin – again!
‘A fine impressionist, giving a splendid display of Downtonry.’ Stephen Fry
Wednesday 18th June at Bar FM, London, 8pm
Star of BBC3′s Badults as well as being nominated twice for Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards ‘Best Show’.
Sophie Hagen + Damien Slash + Archie Maddocks + Massive Dad + Darren Walsh + Tom Davis
THE DONNY DONKINS ‘AS (hopefully soon to be) SEEN ON TV!’ SHOW
Donny Donkins – a young, deluded, fame-hungry comic on the edge of a nervous breakdown – is a character created by actor, writer, stand up and charactercomedian Barry Castagnola. Donny appeared in Barry’s critically acclaimed show Where’s Barry? at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe (and subsequently at The Soho Theatre). LEICESTER SQUARE THEATRE – LOUNGE
Barry was the creator and one-third of the award-winning spoof eco-warrior dance collective Cyderdelic(‘Fantastically innovative and astonishingly funny’ ***** The List) who, as well as two hit Edinburgh shows and regular appearances on The 11 O’Clock show, had their own BBC3 series. He has appeared in and written for numerous TV programmes, most recently as a castmember of the Channel 4 comedy Eye Spyand Dom Joly’s Fool Britannia. He had a role in the recent Feature film Nina Forever, he is the host of the topical podcast The Proper Gander, a regular co-host of The Rhod Gilbert Radio Show and he was also a contributing writer, and appeared in, Greg Davies’s recent sitcom Man Down.
“I was fully aware that Barry Castagnola was an extremely funny comedy actor who makes clever use of AV to enhance his performance…There can be no doubt in my mind that this is the best show I have seen him perform” ONE 4 REVIEW *****
“Brilliant character-driven show…bold with some amazing observations and some really funny moments…Donny offers a show that really stands out” THE NEW CURRENT ****
“This show is a true car-crash of a classic, a madcap dash through the world of dodgy TV, drivenfuriously by Castagnola’s relentlessly funny Donny Donkins…the audience was often in stitches.” MUMBLE COMEDY ****
‘Amazingly brilliant’ ANONYMOUS ******
‘You’d be bonkers to miss it. Really crazy. Maim for a ticket’ DONNY DONKINS
‘A hugely entertaining show…great creations, sharp in-jokes…silly fun. If you’ve seen just one too many lacklustre comedy shows, this is the antidote.’ CHORTLE ****
‘This is in many ways the perfect Edinburgh show. A satire on stand up, comedy agents and much more it is also hysterically funny, fast paced and full of energy’ GQ Top 10 Essential Edinburgh
‘The use of film is brilliant and innovative… A confrontational, energetic and fantastic piece of character comedy’ THREE WEEKS ****
Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th June, 7pm £8
Making his London debut US comic Michael Che, who recently was brought on as a full time writer of NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’, comes to the capital for 6 nights from 27th May – 1st June to the Soho Theatre Cabaret Space. This comes after a hugely successful Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, that led to sold out shows and critical acclaim.
Critics and audiences agree both sides of the pond that NY-based writer and stand-up comedian Michael Che is a star on the rise and a shooting star at that. This year he has already been named as one of Rolling Stone’s ‘50 Funniest People in 2013’, Buzzfeed’s ‘50 Hottest Men in Comedy’ and Variety’s ‘Top 10 Comics To Watch.’
Michael Che made his Edinburgh Festival debut in 2013 with ‘Michael Che – Cartoon Violence’. His comedy uses humour to identify humanity in the most controversial actions. Whether it is a story about his friend “Homeless Dave,” or tackling relationship issues and why “like” is better than “love”: “People kill their loved ones all the time. Nobody ever kills people they like, though. Nobody’s watching you sleep through your bedroom window because you’re ‘pretty cool.’” Che’s act also digs deeper than the seemingly common topics he addresses by providing keen, yet jovial insight into larger issues like race relations, gay marriage and world hunger.
A native of lower Manhattan, Che applies street culture to world issues with a delivery that The New York Times describes as “a reflective, laid-back stage presence with jokes that draw as much from his city upbringing…as from blunt, insightful points that bring the abstract into focus.”
In March this year, Che was brought on as a writer for two instalments of NBC’s iconic Saturday Night Live, which led to him being a permanent recruit on the main writing team. His romantic comedy parody “She’s Got a D!%k,” starring that week’s host Justin Timberlake, was a highlight of the March 9th episode. Che appears weekly on Vh1’s Best Week Ever and was featured on John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show on Comedy Central, Money from Strangers on MTV and as a recurring contestant on IFC’s comedy game show Bunk. 2013 also saw him perform at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Comedy Central’s South Beach Comedy Festival, The Moontower Comedy Festival, and Bonnaroo.
At the end of last year Che made his Late Night television debut performing stand-up on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman. Also in 2012, he created, wrote and starred in the original web series “The Realest Candidate” on Broadway Video’s YouTube channel, The Above Average Network. Che was crowned the winner of the New York’s Funniest Stand-Up competition at the 2012 New York Comedy Festival, and both Time-Out NY and Comedy Central have listed him as one of their “Comics To Watch.” He headlines comedy clubs and colleges nationally and internationally.
‘American comedy’s next best thing’ INDEPENDENT
‘Don’t be surprised if Michael Che ends up being one of America’s top comedians…his best material insightful, obtuse and damn funny…he will sure be a force to be reckoned with’ CHORTLE (Steve Bennett)
‘…one of the brightest names on the New York Scene’ OBSERVER (Stephanie Merritt)
‘…distinctive voice and raw talent’ SCOTSMAN (Jay Richardson)
‘…tough, young, sharp comic’ THE LIST
‘…an exciting talent’ EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS
‘…Che is a natural comedian, brimming with wit, sarcasm and an undeniable stage presence’ EDINBURGH FESTIVAL MAG
‘…this man is blessed with being naturally funny as well as funny on stage’ BROADWAY BABY
‘…he has confidence beyond his years and the jokes to back it up’ TIME OUT
‘…surprisingly insightful comedy’ GUARDIAN GUIDE
Tuesday 27th May – Sunday 1st June at 7:30pm.
SOHO THEATRE, LONDON
Age Restriction: 16 +
3rd June 2014, 9pm, Udderbelly Festival
For one night only, Four Screws Loose perform their smash-hit show, Screwtopia! A comedy show like no other, with full-on musical numbers, spontaneous dance breaks and outlandish sketches that have earned the boys unanimous rave reviews. An unforgettable re-enactment of Titanic made entirely from mashed-up song lyrics and a supermarket extravaganza set to the score of Les Misérables are just some of the treats in store in what is the Screws’ most ambitious and titillating show to date. New Act of the Year finalists 2013, as seen on BBC’s Swashbuckle and in Monty Python’s hit West End show, Spamalot.
‘Very funny… impossible not to be impressed’
‘The boyband of comedy… Leaves other comedy troupes sucking up their exhaust fumes’
★★★★ The Herald
‘Rousing, fun, fast-paced and energetic… the most invigorating show you are likely to encounter’
Life-champions and all round winners Cahill, Kearns, Stephenson and Target are splitting an hour down the middle (twice) and preparing something ruddy well worth watching. Can’t say too much here, but it involves lots of laughing (audience) and a great deal of mutual support (everyone). This promises to be exquisite, so hurry up and swipe right (book tickets please).
Kearns: Foster’s Comedy Award Best Newcomer 2013
Cahill: New Act of the Year, Chortle Best Newcomer, BBC New Comedy Award (Finalist)
Stephenson: Chortle Best Newcomer (Nominated)
Target: Foster’s Comedy Award Best Newcomer (Nominated)
The Show: Four (above) doing bespoke material and taking the audience by the scruff of the neck (metaphorically).
A Monster Comedy production.
For ages 16+
Running time: Approx 60 mins
Friday 25th April 2014
The Bloomsbury Theatre at 8pm
Sell Out Grand Final 2009/10/11/12/13
FEATURING HEADLINE SETS FROM:
LORETTA MAINE – ‘A searing talent’ – Scotsman
JAY FOREMAN – ‘Sharp and sophisticated’ – Chortle
ROGUE 5 - ‘These cheeky lads beat hundreds of stand-up comedians to scoop inaugural comedy gong.’ – The Sun
LAURENCE OWEN - “Incredibly amusing and way too good. Great stuff.’ – Mitch Benn
BOB & JIM - ‘Charming buffoonery that is impossible to resist’ – The List
DAVID ELMS - ‘Silly, fun, ridiculous, surprising and inventive’ Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
CRIBB & MORGAN – ‘Awesome’! – Avin a Larf
STEVE BENNETT - ‘Eminently likeable, Bennett’s effervescent, but not irritating, good natured and inherently funny – a winning combination.’ – Chortle
MCs HORSE & LOUIS - ‘Wryly funny songs and quirky lines…a smartness to the writing and a downplayed elegance to their performance.’ – Chortle
Now in it’s sixth year, the The WeGotTickets Musical Comedy Awards has grown in stature to become an annual fixture in the comedy calendar and the place to see the UK’s finest up and coming musical comedians alongside some of the best established acts of the genre on the circuit. Read the review of last year’s sold out Final from the Evening Standard’s Bruce Dessau.
Over the years the MCA has provided a launch pad to superstar acts like Frisky and Mannish (2009 Finalists), Abandoman (2010 winners) and Jay Foreman (Best Newcomer 2009 and has toured with Dave Gorman) and created a thriving independent platform to celebrate the artform that is musical comedy. The competition has also played host to stars of the genre such as David O’ Doherty, Mitch Benn, Bo Burnham, Pippa Evans, Isy Suttie and many more.
The Final of the 2014 WeGotTickets MCA will see five finalists who have progressed through a series of heats in London (visit www.wegottickets.com/musicalcomedyawards to find out more about the heats) battle it out at the Bloomsbury Theatre on April 25th to win the musical comedy crown of this prestigious competition.
Competing in this year’s Final are 5 brilliant acts:
David Elms is a hugely exciting comedy performer and writer. Chortle Student finalist and winner of Edinburgh University Comedian of the Year, David has performed his comedic songs and stand up comedy sets at festivals and venues across the UK, including the Latitude Festival, Bloomsbury Theatre and Leicester Square Theatre. His broadcaster credits include BBC Comedy Presents, the BBC 3 Edinburgh Marathon Show and various sketch roles for the Sam & Steve’s Silent Sketch Show pilot. David is the creator and host of Time Out Critic’s Choice London stand up night – Dave Has Mates and is a highly skilled comedy improviser, performing regularly with the acclaimed group The Improverts.
BOB & JIM
Bob and Jim have been performing together as Bob and Jim for many years. They have produced three acclaimed Edinburgh shows and were MCA finalists in 2012.
‘This offbeat duo’s updated take on vaudeville is a delight. I laughed like a loon!’ (Fringe Guru). ‘Laid-back and on-point’ (Three Weeks), these ‘old pros’ (Chortle) deliver ‘charming buffoonery that is impossible to resist’ (The List). With their ‘superb comic timing’ (Funny Women) this ‘hilarious duo’ (Broadway Baby) dole out ‘proper belly laughs and a real sense of fun’ (British Comedy Guide). ‘Watch out for these lads’ (The Scotsman).
CRIBB & MORGAN
Cribb and Morgan is made up of human man Dave Cribb and conference planner Simon Morgan. They’ve known each other since school, although that realistically has very little bearing on their output. Over the last six months, they have amassed a number of non-viral hits, including Please Don’t Tell Me What Happened In Breaking Bad and 2013: The Newsical, for which they received some praise from at least three people they hadn’t previously met. They are currently putting the finishing touches to a very droll review of the London 2012 Olympics, and are hoping they haven’t missed the window. They’re pretty sure it’s still topical though, so it’s all fine.
Deadpan musical comedy “genius” (BroadwayBaby) Laurence Owen has sung troublesome songs of sex and bad manners on the comedy and cabaret circuits since 2011. Backed by a rowdy clatter of guitar, Laurence’s bookish storytelling style and dark, spiky observations come with all the blood and thunder of Scott Walker, but through the eyes of someone who might once have captained the school chess club. Laurence has looked down on audiences at the likes of Madame Jojo’s, Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Mitch Benn’s Distraction Club, The Double R Club, Cafe De Paris, Soho Theatre, Leicester Square Theatre, Bush Hall, The Aeronaut and more. He is also an award-winning film and theatre composer.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you crossed a boy band with talent? ROGUE 5, that’s what! A comedy boy band consisting of Romeo, Winston and Keef. Five normal guys who will blow your mind, then blow your money… Don’t think of them as a boy band though, think of them as… Nah, they’re definitely a boy band and they’re probably not that different. But don’t hold that against them just because you’re jealous! Front man, Romeo will bring you into their world of pop stardom and the band hood rat, Winston will bring you into his world of casual drug use. Ignore Keef though, he’s not important. You never know, they may even make a second album. (Probably not).
Headlining the 2014 Final are three incredible acts:
Pippa Evan’s sexy and psychotic comedy creation, Loretta Maine, headlines the WGT MCA Final with songs to sing, tales to tell and bitter pain to unleash.
Trailer trash gone trashier, neurotic American singer-songwriter Loretta first made an appearance in Pippa Evans and Other Lonely People at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The show was a smash hit and nominated for the if.comedy Best Newcomer Award with The Scotsman recognising Pippa as a “searing talent”.
Now Loretta brings her set of “delightfully deranged” (Metro,UK) songs from her new album ‘Bipolar’ to the Bloomsbury, where her hilarious jilted rage will resound with anyone who’s agonised over love, loss and the urge to wreak violent revenge.
“Comic talent and musical genius…catchy tunes, brilliant lyrics and gleeful cynicism.” Edinburgh Evening News
“A fantastic wreck of a human being and a great comedy conception.” Chortle (UK)
Jay Foreman is a musical comedian, writer, presenter and actor. He’s had 3 critically acclaimed sell out Edinburgh Fringe runs, won the 2009 Musical Comedy Award for Best Newcomer and was named BBC New Talent Pick of the Fringe. In 2011-2012 he supported Dave Gorman’s sold out 100 plus date tour, playing venues including the legendary Hammersmith Apollo. His self-made documentaries about the London transport system, Unfinished London 1 and 2, have had over 150,000 YouTube views.
“Sharp and sophisticated… classy and funny ★★★★” (Steve Bennett, Chortle)
The evening will be hosted by 2010 MCA Runners Up, the brilliant Horse & Louis.
“Wryly funny songs and quirky lines…a smartness to the writing and a downplayed elegance to their performance. Watch them grow.” Steve Bennett, Chortle
The evening will be hosted by 2010 MCA Runners Up, the brilliant HORSE & LOUIS!
“Wryly funny songs and quirky lines…a smartness to the writing and a downplayed elegance to their performance. Watch them grow.” Steve Bennett, Chortle
Don’t miss this annual celebration of the UK’s best musical comedy!
“As the Musical Comedy Awards demonstrate, the genre is currently bursting with talent” Time Out
“Fast becoming one of the biggest nights in the UK comedy calendar.” ComComedy
Tickets: £15, £12. UCL £10.
(booking fee £2.50 per transaction)
Wednesday 21st May and Thursday 22nd May
Soho Theatre, 9pm (£10)
Ian Smith (BBC2 sitcom Popatron, Sky’s Officially Special, BBC Three at the Fringe and BBC3′s Sweat the Small Stuff) is an award-winning comedian. This is his critically acclaimed debut hour about that tricky and restrictive theme, anything. Come and find out why, amongst other things, Ian’s school asked him to send a video speech to the kids and then rejected it for being too offensive. Bring an extra pair of socks, the ones you’re wearing will get blown off (by the comedy).
***** Three Weeks
**** Broadway Baby
**** Edinburgh Festivals
**** Informed Edinburgh
**** The New Current
“Hilarious” – Metro
“A highly enjoyable show, not to be missed” – Three Weeks
“The hour goes by in a whirlwind of hysterical laughter” – Broadway Baby
“A solid hour of deft, well-executed comedy” – One4Review
“An excellent performance, timed beautifully to keep you laughing from start to
finish” – Punchline Blog
“His stories are loaded with beautifully absurd imagery… An hour of finely tuned comedy” – The New Current
“A quite brilliant hour of comedy, and one that will surely elevate him to Fringe favourite status” – Edinburgh Festivals
“The amazement here is that Ian is not a bigger name in comedy filling up larger venues, though this only seems a matter of time” – Informed Edinburgh
This interview was originally broadcast in June 2013.
@ Backyard Comedy – Bethnal Green | Thurs 1st – Sunday 4th May
Bigger. Bolder. Brighter….
‘Discovery of the Year 2013’ THE INDEPENDENT
Following on from last year’s sell out run and to critical acclaim, London SketchFest returns bigger and even better going from 3 to a 4 day event from Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th May. A fast-paced, jam-packed selection of the wildest and original sketch comedy where the unexpected should always be expected.
Established in 2013 as an alternative to the more mainstream comedy Festivals, SketchFest’s aim is to provide a platform for unknown comedy talents to showcase their worth in front of a panel of industry judges. As well as new talent, the festival boasts feature shows of established acts, variety shows and for the first time, screens for video sketch comedy groups. Celebrating live, scripted comedy the festival shines a spotlight on the best and most exciting comedy acts, handpicked each year for your viewing pleasure.
Taking over for their second year the newly refurbished The Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green and produced by the non-profit organization, The Laughing Guild, the festival includes rising stars in the sketch world, many of whom are returning from successes last year. Highlights will include last year’s winners of London SketchFest The Pin and runners up Thunderbards, and the first group to do a transatlantic sketch circuit; Foil, Arms & Hog as well as TV’s Pappy’s. With more acts still being confirmed, festival-goers can already count on seeing an impressive lineup.
“…plenty of positives and reasons why SketchFest should become a regular fixture…it would be great for a venture like this to be part of raising the standards of sketch . SketchFest wins a battle for comic hearts and minds” THE STAGE
“Weird, wide-ranging and whimsical, SketchFest reinvigorates a sketch scene increasingly overshadowed by all-conquering stand-up megastars. That can only be a good thing” THE TELEGRAPH
“Perfect for the YouTube generation.” EVENING STANDARD “The inaugural London SketchFest threw up some pretty special talent – comedians who will be having a big impact very soon, if there’s any justice”
Confirmed acts include:
Max and Ivan
Foil, Arms & Hog
The Real MacGuffins
Shirley & Shirley
Festival tickets = £55 Day tickets = £23 Show tickets = £13
All tickets are purchased on the website, using the festival’s e-commerce system. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Confirmed shows: THURSDAY 1ST MAY
8pm – Pappy’s (special opening show – Best Of Pappy’s Live)
FRIDAY 2ND MAY
7pm – Shirley & Shirley (variety show with female character/sketch comedians)
7pm – Competition Show 1 (Rat + Short & Curly + Mugging Chickens + Guilt & Shame) 9pm – Foil, Arms & Hog + BEASTS
SATURDAY 3RD MAY
7pm – Competition Show 2 (Heffernan & Fletcher + Charles Booth + The Awkward Silence + In Cahoots)
9pm – Casual Violence (their show House of Nostril)
9pm – The Real MacGuffins + Matt Lacey
SUNDAY 4TH MAY
5pm – The Pin + Thünderbards
7pm – Competition Show 3 (Mixed Doubles + Adam Drake + Gein’s Family Giftshop + zazU) 9pm – Max and Ivan (their show The Reunion)
10pm – Awards Ceremony/Closing Party
INFO ON ACTS:
PAPPY’S – Britain’s most beloved live sketch group, Pappy’s is a British three-man comedy act, composed of comedians Ben Clark, Matthew Crosby and Tom Parry. Performing together for the best part of a decade, they have been nominated twice for Best Show at the Edinburgh Festival in 2007 and 2012; won the Chortle Award for Best Sketch Performers twice in 2008 and 2013; and their hit podcast, Flatshare Slamdown, won a Loaded Lafta Award in 2012. In early 2010, Pappy’s also became the first British act to perform at San Francisco SketchFest. They have been seen in their own studio sitcom, Badults on BBC3 and individually they have been seen on 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Miranda, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Phoneshop, Meet The Parents, Animal Antics and Watson & Oliver. A distinctive sketch group with no recurring characters, plenty fourth-wall-breaking and a propensity to launch into raucous sing-alongs.
‘One of the finest sketch troupes of the last decade’ ★★★★★ (Guardian)
‘The sheer joy with which these men deliver their skits and lines makes Pappy’s irresistible’ ★★★★★ (Metro) ‘A beautifully constructed pyramid of lunacy in which physical and verbal gags fly around at a dizzying pace’ ★★★★★ (Chortle)
FOIL, ARMS & HOG – Ireland’s top sketch comedy group Foil, Arms and Hog are a rising star on the UK sketch comedy circuit. Lively, energetic and mischievous, Sean Finegan (Foil), Conor McKenna (Arms) and Sean Flanagan (Hog) know how to charm and entertain a crowd. The show is a fast paced mish-mash of sketch comedy performed with a stand-up flair, with music, improvisation and audience interaction. They arrive in London on the back of a World tour including Chicago, San Francisco, LA and Adelaide bringing their unique blend of sketch comedy to the SketchFest stage.
‘It’s original, well-written and really, really funny’ (Kevin Bridges) ‘Fantastic and increasingly bizarre’ (Scotsman)
‘A powerhouse of sketch comedy’ ★★★★ (Chortle)
SHIRLEY & SHIRLEY – Slick, top-notch, comedy professionals Shirley & Shirley are an experienced duo so perfectly matched they share the same names, like Siamese twins of the comedic arts. Dazzling with inspired comic observation, top-class character creations, and wonderfully dark ideas, they filter the world through fabulously twisted minds, armed with infectious personalities and an array of colourful and distinctive characters. Created by writer/performers Joanna Carolan and Pascale Wilson, with writer/director Michael Pearce, they deliver a tour de force of comedy through a ‘mash-up’ of sketch, character and physical comedy that has stormed the live circuit, year after year. The BBC have already grabbed them and nailed their comic creativity to their on-line wall, and the small screen is just around the corner. Credits include filming sketches for Hat Trick Production’s youtube channel ‘Bad Teeth’ (2013), writing scripts for BBC Radio 4’s Sketchorama (2013) 5 sketches for BBC online (2009) and they are currently developing a TV sketch show. Joining the dynamic duo will be Gabby Best (winner of Funny Women Awards 2012) and her ingenious character invention, ‘Marijana’ the Croatian fitness instructor. Also on the bill will be TV’s rising starlet, Jessica Gunning (credits include Ghost in the Machine, Law & order and White Heat) with her ‘Wild Woman’ and other ridiculous laugh out loud sketches.
‘Tour de force of a comedy show’★★★★ (List)
‘These girls are going all the way’ ★★★★ (The Herald)
‘A master class for performers to study as how to really do sketch comedy justice’ ★★★★★ (One4Review)
CASUAL VIOLENCE – Expect award-winning tales of horror and heartbreak from Casual Violence, a five- man comedy troupe bewitched by a penchant for the macabre and a delight in despair. They bring to life weird, bleak and off-kilter sketch tragicomedy, uniquely designed to break your heart and split your sides at the same time. Delightfully odd, Casual Violence are perfect at forming addictive, lively and utterly ridiculous characters for sketch comedy that’s bleak, weird, sinister and silly. Returning to London SketchFest for the second time, they will be raising the game with a theatrical feast that promises to be darker and stranger than we’ve ever seen. This appearance follows their sell-out run at the Soho Theatre, join the double Malcolm Hardee Award nominated comedy group for House of Nostril - a critically acclaimed nightmare blend of sketch comedy, live music and pure evil. Telling the bizarre tale of the Nostril family and the various inhabitants of their large, Victorian mansion, expect voodoo dolls, chimney sweeps, dyslexia goblins and terrible parents together in the midst of a crazy scheme.
‘Casual Violence cannot be commended highly enough for making sketch comedy great again’★★★★★ (Three Weeks)
‘Dark, twisted and superb… I urge everyone to look out for them; your kidneys will hurt from
laughing’ ★★★★★ (The Skinny)
‘Superlative sketch comedy… not a second is allowed to pass without the boys finding a comedy moment… weird, macabre and hilarious’ ★★★★ (The List)
BEASTS – Enticed down from the mountains with the promise of raw meat, these savage creatures were washed, shaved and taught to use cutlery. Now, dressed like gentlemen and schooled in the twin arts of humour and needlework, BEASTS conspire to craft slick, hilarious and sublimely surprising sketches. Critically acclaimed and impeccably dressed BEASTS are Owen Roberts, James McNicholas and Ciarán Dowd. After a sell-out second Edinburgh show last year, these monstrously funny sketchmen are all set for a storming 2014, proving that you can mix style and substance with skill but that still won’t kill the beast within.
‘Hilariously funny – brought to mind early Pythons. Could this entertaining trio go all the way? This critic thinks so.’ (The Sunday Times)
‘A magnetic dynamic’★★★★ (Scotsgay)
‘Some of the most finely crafted comedy I’ve seen’ ★★★★★ (Broadway Baby)
THE REAL MACGUFFINS – have made a name for themselves as creators of irreverent, silly and always inventive sketches.Purveyors of wordplay, wit and physical comedy they’re comedians that go beyond the looking glass to find clever and imaginative sketches that delight both themselves and the audience. The minds of Dan March, Jim Millard and Matt Sheahan, bring to life highly energetic, interactive performances that tend to cause bouts of silliness erupting into something else completely. Get ready for a fun-packed fiesta-thon of the MacGuffins’ best-loved material. After comic turns in ‘The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff’ (BBC2), ‘Miranda’ (BBC1), ‘Lee Nelson’s Well Funny People’ (BBC3) and the BAFTA award-winning ‘Spy’ (SKY1) and forthcoming comedy feature film ‘Molly Moon The Incredible Hypnotist’ (starring Emily Watson, Ben Miller and Joan Collins). The Real MacGuffins have also written for ‘That Mitchell & Webb Sound’ (BBC Radio 4). Expect another joyous and “charmingly foolish” (Daily Telegraph) show as this dysfunctional sketch group teeter on the edge of chaos.
‘Incredibly silly and funny … these are three very talented performers whose comedy dynamic adds a nice extra layer to the show’ (Scotsman)
‘Brilliantly well-crafted’ ★★★★ (Chortle)
‘Fast-paced & witty…performed with great verve & warmth’ ★★★★ (Arts Desk)
MATT LACEY – Matt is an actor, writer and comedian. He has performed as an actor and comic all over the world from Tokyo to New York, via Edinburgh, Glastonbury and the Alps, as well as on the BBC, Channel 4 and Comedy Central. He is the author of ‘The Gap Yah Plannah’ (Fourth Estate, 2011), based on his award- winning YouTube sketch ‘Gap Yah’. His writing has appeared in Tatler, The Telegraph, Company, Vice and The Observer. His work has been described as “reminiscent of a young Bob Dylan” by the guy who hangs around outside his local Iceland. With two critically-acclaimed years of sketch shows under his belt with The Unexpected Items and double-act Mythbunking, and over seven million views on Youtube (search ‘Gap Yah’), award-winning actor and comedian Matt Lacey presents his debut solo show; a smorgasbord of comic characters with some satire, some silliness and some shouting (not too much, just in case you have sensitive ears).
‘Hilarious’ (The Guardian)
‘The most natural performer… a comedy sensation’ (The Times)
‘He’s certainly versatile. All of his creations are spot on and very funny’ ★★★★ (Chortle)
MAX AND IVAN – Multi award-winning comedy double act Max & Ivan debuted their unique brand of narrative sketch comedy in 2011, quickly establishing themselves as one of the finest sketch acts around. Winners of the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Panel Prize in 2011 and nominated for both the Barry Award for Most Outstanding Show and Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show in 2013, Ivan Gonzalez and Max Olesker are tipped for future stardom. They have compered at the Hammersmith Apollo, appeared at festivals across the globe including the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Latitude, Bestival and SXSW. They have appeared in Badults (BBC Three) and on Sketchorama (BBC Radio 4), and have written and starred in a series of sketches for BBC Comedy Online. Nominated for the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show and fresh from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival – and their Barry Award 2013 nomination, Max and Ivan’s The Reunion spins a bewitching sketch comedy tale of love, loss and shatterproof rulers. Directed by Tom Parry (Pappy’s).
‘Undeniably superstars of tomorrow. It feels like watching early Walliams and Lucas or Enfield and Whitehouse’ (GQ Magazine)
‘Tantamount to comedy perfection’ ★★★★★ (Fringe Review)
‘It’s impossible to stop beaming. A joyous hour’ ★★★★ (Independent)
Bards by name and bards by nature, the Thünderbards are storytellers who weave comic tapestries emanating from the depths of a little black book. A kaleidoscopic journey that seems to leap out from the page, they create witty, inventive and playful scenes as ludicrous as they are literal, in a free flowing stream of consciousness, full of physical comedy, character comedy and situational sketches. Glen Moore and Mathew Stevens’ fast-paced, joke-heavy, satirical style is uniquely whimsical and silly – a scholarly display of sketch comedy so good it doesn’t require a single blackout.
‘Without question, one of the funniest sketch acts on the Fringe’ (GQ Magazine)
‘Thunderbards impress with a fast paced mix of spiky one-liners and witty parody’ ★★★★ (The Telegraph)
‘Cerebral and quick witted….really impressive. A fantastic debut hour’ ★★★★ (The List)
THE PIN – Winners at the inaugural London SketchFest for ‘Best Sketch Show’, The Pin are a sketch act heavily tipped for future stardom by The Guardian. A couple of ex-Cambridge Footlighters, Alex Owen and Ben Ashenden create sharp and precise sketch comedy that tends to exceed expectations, giving them a reputation for ‘nailing it’. Under the hood everything is intricate and sophisticated, demonstrating talented- workmanship and when you put it into action, great comedy, that is smooth, clear and to the point.
‘The Pin are so good it might actually make you sick’ ★★★★★ (The Skinny)
‘The precision was astounding. Faultless comic timing’ ★★★★★ (Threeweeks)
‘The talented young double act who stole the show. This duo can go far’ ★★★★ (The Telegraph)
‘A joy to watch. It’s silly and whimsical, but ruthlessly comedic, such is the gag rate, and it’s performed in a no-frills style that suggests they’re super-confident in their writing’ ★★★★ (Londonisfunny.com)
Check out www.londonsketchfest.com for more info
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