Comedy

Ricky Gervais is an achingly conventional Millennial posing as a naughty maverick

11 June 2022 9:00 am

Just how edgy and dangerous is Ricky Gervais? There is no one more edgy and dangerous, we learn from no…

Ricky Gervais is guilty of blasphemy

28 May 2022 2:00 am

I have long thought that if Life of Brian came out today, it wouldn’t be Christians kicking up a fuss…

Boldly and brilliantly unoriginal: Kermode and Mayo’s Take reviewed

21 May 2022 9:00 am

Last April Fools’ Day, Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo wound up their award-winning film review show on BBC Radio 5…

The chief characteristic so far has been nervousness: Chivalry reviewed

23 April 2022 9:00 am

Chivalry – written by and starring Sarah Solemani and Steve Coogan – is a comedy drama about post-#MeToo Hollywood life.…

Mismatched from the start: One Day I Shall Astonish the World, by Nina Stibbe, reviewed

16 April 2022 9:00 am

First the bad news: Nina Stibbe’s new novel does not feature Lizzie Vogel, the engaging narrator of the trilogy that…

Fun, good-natured and schmaltzy: Phantom of the Open reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Phantom of the Open is a comedy-drama telling a true story that would have to be true as no one…

Perfection: The Duke reviewed

26 February 2022 9:00 am

The Duke is an old-fashioned British comedy caper that is plainly lovely and a joy. Based on a true story,…

May put you off Chaplin for ever: The Real Charlie Chaplin reviewed

19 February 2022 9:00 am

Charlie Chaplin is one of the most famous movie stars ever and is certainly the most famous movie star with…

All a bit Blackadder: Hamlet, at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, reviewed

19 February 2022 9:00 am

Never Not Once has a cold and forbidding title but it starts as an amusing tale set in an LA…

Sick jokes: why medics need gallows humour

19 February 2022 9:00 am

Medics need black humour

The medical equivalent of The Responder: BBC1's This is Going to Hurt reviewed

12 February 2022 9:00 am

According to the makers, This is Going to Hurt is intended as ‘a love letter to the national health service’.…

In defence of bad jokes

12 February 2022 9:00 am

I was once at a terrific Shabbat dinner where late in the evening one of the other guests suddenly said:…

At last, a literary sexy novel: Love Marriage, by Monica Ali, reviewed

5 February 2022 9:00 am

At last, and finally: literary sex is back. The Bad Sex Prize has a lot to answer for in British…

A cut above TV's usual #MeToo fare: BBC1's Rules of the Game reviewed

15 January 2022 9:00 am

As you may have noticed, it’s something of a golden age for TV shows about how invisible middle-aged women are…

It's too late to save comedy from 'cancel culture'

23 December 2021 1:45 am

Will comedy become the latest victim of ‘cancel culture’? Dame Maureen Lipman fears as much. ‘Cancel culture, this cancelling, this…

Radio 4's Moominland Midwinter restores Moomintroll's innocence

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Moomins do not like winter. In one of Tove Jansson’s stories, Moomin’s Winter Follies, young Moomintroll bumps his head when…

Guilt-free hilarity: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Charing Cross Theatre reviewed

27 November 2021 9:00 am

World-class sex bomb Janie Dee stars in a fabulously silly revival of the American comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha…

The unseen Victoria Wood

13 November 2021 9:00 am

For a few years now I have been living with Victoria Wood. That sounds all wrong, obviously, and yet no…

An affectionate exercise in comic sabotage: Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of) reviewed

13 November 2021 9:00 am

Let’s be honest. Jane Austen is popular because War and Peace doesn’t fit inside a handbag. Austen’s best-loved novel, Pride…

This is how G&S should be staged: ENO's HMS Pinafore reviewed

6 November 2021 9:00 am

Until 1881, HMS Pinafore was the second-longest-running show in West End history. Within a year of its première it had…

My advice to Dave Chappelle

23 October 2021 9:00 am

I’m accustomed to a sense of urgency in relation to Netflix offerings because the streaming service often buys short-term rights…

A highly polished exercise in treading water: Season 3 of Succession reviewed

23 October 2021 9:00 am

At one point in an early Simpsons, Homer comes across an old issue of TV Guide, and finds the listing…

Jennifer Saunders is brilliant: Blithe Spirit at the Harold Pinter Theatre reviewed

25 September 2021 9:00 am

Blithe Spirit is a comedy with the plot of a horror story. Charles, a middle-aged novelist, lives happily with his…

Somewhere between eye-opening and jaw-dropping: Sky's Hawking – Can You Hear Me? reviewed

25 September 2021 9:00 am

It is, of course, not unknown for a man to become famous with the support of his family — and,…

Sexist, classist and pro-global warming: Frozen, at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, reviewed

18 September 2021 9:00 am

Frozen the musical declares war on woke politics. The 2013 Disney movie has been turned into a song-and-dance show that…