Comedy

A romcom with very little com: BBC1’s Black Narcissus reviewed

19 December 2020 9:00 am

In Black Narcissus, based on the novel by Rumer Godden, five nuns set off for a remote Himalayan palace in…

Deserves to be a permanent winter fixture: Potted Panto at the Garrick reviewed

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Potted Panto is a 70-minute parody presented by two burlesque comedians. Jeff is a tall, playful bungler and his colleague,…

Buttercup the cow was so convincing I felt quite moved: Jack and the Beanstalk reviewed

12 December 2020 9:00 am

This pantomime was filmed by ‘legendary Blue Peter presenter’ Peter Duncan in his back garden over the summer. It was…

How the green-ink brigade is destroying the arts

5 December 2020 9:00 am

I’m often asked why Channel 4 recently banned an episode of my show The IT Crowd because of ‘transphobia’. I…

trump presidency

The Trump presidency’s funniest moments

1 December 2020 4:46 am

Is it too early to wax nostalgic about the hilarity of the Trump years? Could Trump somehow — somehow —…

Who's laughing now? Cancel culture is killing comedy

17 November 2020 2:17 am

The BBC and Channel 4 are self-censoring their comedy output because they are so terrified of offending people. So says…

The Beeb could turn this script into TV gold: Howerd's End reviewed

7 November 2020 9:00 am

It’s touch and go whether the theatre will survive this latest assault. Some venues have pushed back their entire programme…

Has Spitting Image ever been funny?

31 October 2020 9:00 am

Thank you, Spitting Image, for the nostalgia trip! Your new series on BritBox has rekindled with almost Proustian fidelity those…

Enough plotlines to power several seasons of The West Wing: BBC1's Roadkill reviewed

24 October 2020 9:00 am

Like many a political thriller before it, BBC1’s Roadkill began with a politician emerging into the daylight to face a…

Funny, tender and properly horrible: Channel 4’s Adult Material reviewed

10 October 2020 9:00 am

A woman is eating a pie in her car as it gets an automatic wash. Careful to keep the pie…

The most important book on black Britishness has one flaw: its author was white

3 October 2020 9:00 am

Can people of one race really understand the experience of another? asks Colin Grant

Would be much better without Bill or Ted: Bill & Ted Face the Music reviewed

26 September 2020 9:00 am

I think I am supposed to say that Bill & Ted Face the Music, the third in a franchise about…

Edinburgh Festival is in ruins – but there's one gem amid the rubble

29 August 2020 9:00 am

The virus has broken Edinburgh. The shattered remnants of the festival are visible on the internet. Here’s what happened. The…

The New Normal Festival shows how theatre could return

15 August 2020 9:00 am

So the madness continues. Planes full of passengers are going everywhere. Theatres full of ghosts are going bust. My first…

Not even a genius could make Much Ado About Nothing funny

11 July 2020 9:00 am

The RSC’s 2014 version of Much Ado is breathtaking to look at. Sets, lighting and costumes are exquisitely done, even…

The bluff and bluster of Boris’s bland boy Brexiteers

4 July 2020 9:00 am

From the balcony where I take my daily exercise there is a view of the commercial centre of London that…

Not nul points but it’s no Spinal Tap: Eurovision Song Contest – The Story of Fire Saga reviewed

27 June 2020 9:00 am

This comedy stars Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as an Icelandic duo whose biggest dream is to represent their country…

Not merely funny but somehow also joyous: Sky One's Brassic reviewed

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Danny Brocklehurst, the scriptwriter for Sky One’s Brassic, used to work for Shameless in its glory days — although if…

Worth watching for the comments thread alone: NT's Twelfth Night livestream reviewed

2 May 2020 9:00 am

‘Enjoy world-class theatre online for free,’ announces the National Theatre. Every Thursday at 7 p.m. a play from the archive…

My quest for a universal cartoon

28 March 2020 9:00 am

The universal cartoon is a rare thing

You’ll keep saying ‘I’m sorry, did I hear that correctly?’: Fiasco reviewed

28 March 2020 9:00 am

Kevin Katke was quite a man. He had no military training, no political background and no espionage experience. Nonetheless, his…

Comedy gold: The Upstart Crow at the Gielgud Theatre reviewed

29 February 2020 9:00 am

A Moorish princess shipwrecked on the English coast disguises herself as a boy to protect her virtue. Arriving in London,…

Why on earth did I volunteer to do stand-up?

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

It was on my ‘bucket list’, but that doesn’t mean it was a sensible thing to do. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro…

We were highly amused: the Queen — and Mrs Thatcher — thought Ken Dodd tattyfilarious

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Doddy! Thou shouldst be living at this hour. England hath need of tickling sticks. So also hath the rest of…

Comedy in the era of Twitter outrage: An interview with Ricky Gervais

21 December 2019 9:00 am

There’s a moment in Ricky Gervais’s 2018 Netflix stand-up show Humanity when he talks about buying a first-class air ticket,…