machynlleth comedy festival

Best shows to see at Machynlleth Comedy Festival


Despite being almost unpronounceable to anyone without a GCSE in Welsh Machynlleth Comedy Festival has emerged a highlight of the summer comedy calendar.

Taking place each May Bank Holiday in the little town of Machynlleth in the centre of Wales, the Festival has attracted some big names over the years (Stewart Lee, Jon Richardson, Josie Long etc) and encouraged experimentation and new comedy experiences in venues including sweet shops and sheds.

It’s an approach that has gained praise from acts, audiences and critics as a comedy festival that cares about comedy.

As the organisers (including comic Henry Widdicombe) say on their website: ‘When we first talked about starting Machynlleth Comedy Festival above of all we wanted to create somewhere where people came to have fun, and get away from it all

‘It was all about taking a different approach with an aim of creating a spirit of experimentation and intimacy.’ Continue reading

dave leicester comedy festival

Best shows at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival


When it comes to comedy festivals in the UK the Edinburgh Fringe has reigned supreme for decades.

In recent years a spritely, young challenger has emerged in the midlands of England in the form of Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival.

Previously best known for Gary Lineker’s face and that amazing physics-defying lift in the university, Leicester is emerging as a genuine hub for showcasing new and exciting comedy talent, as well as more experienced faces, in the bleakest of months.

Want some proof? Well here’s 11 of the best shows to see at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival from Feb 7th to Feb 23rd. Continue reading

the colonel weirdos

Weirdos presents: The Colonel

weirdos the colonel

An anarchic comedy pantomime about love, war, and chicken. . . lots of chicken. 

A poor Kentucky boy tries to make it in a dark world that won’t accept him and he holds with him a secret that challenges him at every-step.

From the people who bought you the sell-out smash hit of 2012 – Weirdos Comedy Club – comes a new original production about one of history’s most famous men.

It promises to be bigger, funnier, louder and crazier – a show definitely not to be missed.

It stars a whole heap of London’s up and coming alternative comedy scene including: Ali Brice, Ben Target, Matthew Highton, Beth Vyse, Marny Godden, Pat Cahill, Joz Norris, Stuart Laws, Gareth Morinan, Joe Davies, John Kearns, Karl Schultz, Liberty Hodes, Mark Stephenson, Mark Dean Quinn, Chris Boyd, Tom Meek, Jack De’ath, Adam Larter and many more.

The show runs for 4 days in December, Mon 16th, Tues 17th, Wed 18th, Fri 20th at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club

All money raised goes to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Buy your ticket for The Colonel

The Colonel was written by Adam Larter and Matthew Highton, based on an idea by Matthew Highton.

Directed by Adam Larter and Matthew Highton

Produced by Luke Chaproniere and Zoe Waterman.

Props by Emily O’Mara

Some quotes:

Timeout Best themed nights in London

Chortle Award for Innovation Nominee 2013

“They’re endlessly creative, fun and take risks. Great things surely lie ahead for one or some of this lot.” 2012

NOTE: BGWMC is open later on all days for after show drinking BUT Friday’s show will include entry to the official afterparty downstairs. AWESOME!!

NOTE NOTE: The venue is 18+ no kids, sorry.

NOTE NOTE NOTE: This will be fun!

Nish Kumar

Nish Kumar: Five things that go through a comedian’s mind before a gig

Set to appear on the next series of the Stewart Lee curated Alternative Comedy Experience and with a run of his acclaimed Fringe show about to begin at Soho Theatre in London, Nish Kumar is one of the UK’s brightest stand-up prospects.

But what goes through his mind before talking to a bunch of strangers?

See Nish Kumar in Nish Kumar Is A Comedian at Soho Theatre, London, from Dec 9 to Dec 21

Al Murray is at Chortle's comedy book festival

Comedy nights in London this week (Nov 22 2013)

Al Murray is at Chortle's comedy book festival

Thursday November 21

Marcel Lucont’s Cabaret Fantastique at Comedy Cafe Theatre

Ever suave and scornful, Marce Lucont presents an evening of alternative comedy and cabaret acts featuring Arthur Smith, Felicity Ward, Johnny and the Baptists, Le Foulard and The Lounge Room Confabulators.

Friday November 22

The Joe Wilkinson Experience at Invisible Dot

Never disappointing, this week’s lineup features Tom Rosenthal, Colin Hoult and Fosters Newcomer Winner John Kearns.

Friday November 22 to November 29

Chortle Comedy Book Festival at Ealing Town Hall

A huge range of comedy names from John Lloyd to Al Murray discuss their written outpourings.

Saturday November 23

Soho Comedy at The Empire, Leicester Square

With ‘camply refined’ (The Independent) Tom Allen, character comedian Will Franken, and ‘dry, offbeat nonsense’ (Chortle) from Benny Boot.

Sunday November 24

No Pressure to Be Funny at Soho Theatre

If you’re bored of seeing comedians suffer under the competitive strain to get a word in edgeways on panel shows, then come along to ‘No Pressure to Be Funny’; just funny, informed and sharp conversation. Presented by James O’Brien and featuring guests Miranda Sawyer (journalist and broadcaster), The Bugle’s Andy Zaltzman, Nick Doody (news editor of Index on Censorship) and Padraig Reidy (former deputy editor of New Humanist).

Weirdos Comedy Club at the Lion, Stoke Newington

Adam Larter and co present the greatest alternative night in London.

Monday November 25 to Saturday November 30

Alex Horne Lies at Soho Theatre

The spectacularly insightful and funny Alex Horne promises to come clean about his lying past (or is that a lie?) in his sell-out Fringe show now brought to Soho Theatre.

Wednesday November 27

Angel Comedy

Likely to be a very lovely and funny night of stand up, featuring Tom Craine (of excellent sketch group Jigsaw) and Holly Walsh, and many more besides.

Matt Forde’s Political Party at St James Theatre

Matt Forde interviews Labour MP Stella Creasy in his inimitable style; doubtlessly a very entertaining and interesting night.

Top comedy albums on Spotify: Part 4

Top comedy albums on Spotify: Part 4

Some more recommendations for great comedy albums on Spotify. This selection is compiled by Imogen Sebba of JokeBack Mountain.


Amateur Transplants – In Theatre

Amateur Transplants In Theatre

From 2009, this catches the Amateur Transplants duo after they were riding high on the success of London Underground and before they went their separate ways, with Adam Kay going on to pursue a solo comedy career and Suman Biswas carrying on anaesthatising people. Every punchline is ingenious yet frustratingly simple: you’ll be racing to figure out every pun before they get there first. Warning: in some cases, this is a lot easier if you’re a qualified medical professional. In others, you may find yourself wishing you never have to set foot in a hospital and deal with a doctor ever again.

Tim Minchin – Ready For This

Tim Minchin Ready for this

One of the best musical comedians around, this is the major album from the red-headed pile of opinions that is Tim Minchin. His rhymes and lyrics are just as playful as his use of the technical sound effects in this show – and it’s worth pointing out what a brilliant composer he is as well. A song like ‘The Good Book’ is as musically outstanding as it is hilarious and thought-provoking, and if you don’t cry a little bit at ‘White Wine In The Sun’, there’s a chance you may not have a soul. This album will either make you roar with laughter or reconsider your entire world view without you entirely realising it. Possibly both at once.

Eddie Izzard – Live From Wembley

Eddie-Izzard-Live-from-WembleyWhatever you do, do not lose concentration for even a second during this set. However intently you listen you probably won’t manage to spot how he manages to segue from beheading chickens to the Greek myths. It’s surreal but so self-assured, I was almost convinced that it was in fact possible to die by falling in a lump of gangrene. Izzard inhabits so completely every character’s voice that he introduces during his stand-up that you could at any moment be listening to Susan the Siren or the superhero Captain Transvestite. Hard work? You bet, but so worth it.

Sammy J – Skinny Man, Modern World

sammy_j_skinny_man_modern_world‘By the end of this song I will be dead’. So opens Sammy J’s album: it’s not true, thankfully, but a hell of a lot of equally unexpected stuff goes down in this album, including a song that makes the word ‘moist’ sound more disturbing than the word ‘fuck’, the reliving of 1999’s heady schooldays, and an epic love tale featuring an ugly mermaid. Observational, anecdotal and bizarre in equal measure with a varied, beautiful score, this is top quality comedy and only ever enhanced by music and rhymes. And I’d defy anyone to get to the end of the album and not be completely taken with this Skinny Man.

Nick Helm – Hot ‘n’ Heavy

Nick Helm Hot N HeavyI defy you to find a sweatier, more gravelly-voiced man quoting lyrics from The Sound of Music. The ever-humble Helm’s album opens to chants of his own name. Does the man even know the meaning of the word ‘lull’? It’s doubtful. This is not one of for the faint of heart or ears – or even eyes, if you spend too long looking at the album. It’s an impressive album to say the least, and even more so when you consider that he does hour-long live shows with this much energy. Yikes.



See Spotify comedy recommendations: Part 1
See Spotify comedy recommendations: Part 2
See Spotify comedy recommendations: Part 3

Bo Burnham alienating his core fanbase like a pro

Comedy gigs in London this week (Nov 8 2013)

Bo Burnham alienating his core fanbase like a pro

Bo Burnham alienating his core fanbase like a pro

Friday November 8

#hookup Popcorn Comedy at Hackney Picturehouse
Richard Herring, Brett Goldstein and Mae Martin try to revive the world of dating back to its Cilla Black heights.

Bo Burnham: What at Leicester Square Theatre
An incredible show that blew everyone away at the Fringe this year; Bo combines musical comedy, stand up, theatricals and a healthy dose of cynicism to create an amazing show. SOLD OUT.

Friday November 8 – Saturday  November 9

Nick Helm: One Man Mega Myth at Bloomsbury Theatre
One of my favourite shows from the Fringe this year, Fosters Award nominee Nick Helm presents a high impact, incredibly funny show in a desperate bid to win the award this year.

Saturday November 9

Saturday Night Show at Invisible Dot
With Will Adamsdale, LOL favourite Simon Munnery and more

Top Value Comedy Night Out at Amused Moose Soho
With Stuart Goldsmith, Mark Dolan, Alistair Barrie, Nick Revell and Patrick Morris.

Angel Comedy at the Camden Head
Free comedy! With the great Nish Kumar, Barry Ferns, David Mills and many more…

Monday November 11

Voices in Your Head at Soho Theatre
Phill Jupitus, Kerry Howard and Greg McHugh go head to head against a disembodied voice, resulting in ‘comedy mayhem’.

Tuesday November 12 to Saturday November 16

Edward Aczel lives in a Meaningless Shed at Soho Theatre
‘Britain’s greatest anti-comic’ (Guardian) brings his Fringe show to London. Original and very funny.

Thursday November 14 Saturday November 23

Frank Skinner: Man in a Suit at Soho Theatre
Brand new show from Frank Skinner.

stewart lee laugh out london comedy night

Comedy gigs in London this week (Nov 1 2013)

Stewart Lee starts his mammoth Leicester Square run

Stewart Lee starts his mammoth Leicester Square run

The best comedy clubs in London this week as compiled by Lindsay Harrod.

Friday November 1 to Saturday 9

Liam Williams at Invisible Dot
Unbelievably funny newcomer winner Liam Williams brings his sell-out Fringe show to London, and you’ll regret not going while you have the chance!


Friday November 1

Laugh Out London at the Camden Head
Just £3 to see Edinburgh Fringe Best Newcomer nominees Thom Tuck and Ben Target, as well as Thom’s ACMS partner John-Luke Roberts.


Saturday November 2

Invisible Dot’s Saturday Night Show at Invisible Dot
With the ever-lovely Sara Pascoe, Ivo Graham and Colin Hoult


Monday November 4 to Saturday 9

James Acaster: Lawnmower at Soho Theatre
Nominated for the main Fosters’ prize, James Acaster is one of the strongest stand-ups around.


Monday November 4 to January 18, 2014

Stewart Lee: Much A-Stew About Nothing at Leicester Square Theatre
The legendary Stewart Lee presents a ‘stew’ of ideas in preparation for his 2014 TV series. Be the first to see new material that may never surface again!


Tuesday November 5

Stop Trying to Make Sketch Happen at Canal Cafe Theatre
Hosted by the lovely Sad Faces sketch trio, with a great group of guests including Fosters Award nominees Max + Ivan, Rory and Tim, LOL favourite Jessie Cave and Surname & Surname.

Bridget Christie: A Bic for Her at Soho Theatre
Fosters’ Award Winner Bridget Christie brings her sharply funny and proudly feminist show to the Soho Theatre. A must-see.


Wednesday November 7

Laugh Til It Hurts at Bloomsbury Theatre
Top-notch line up here in aid of Save the Children; Ray Peacock MC (of Peacock&Gamble), Adam Buxton, James Acaster, Matt Richardson, Joe Wilkinson, Keith Farnan and Holly Walsh.