Comedy

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…

The political power of Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown

11 September 2021 9:00 am

There is a rather sweet moment in the middle of each Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown show where, after some magnificently obscene…

How we killed comedy theatre: Nigel Planer interviewed

28 August 2021 9:00 am

Lloyd Evans talks to Nigel Planer about the death of comedy theatre — and how he’s trying to revive it

Sinatra, Bacon and a YouTube star: Edinburgh Fringe Festival round-up

14 August 2021 9:00 am

Sinatra: Raw (Pleasance, until 15 August) takes us inside the mind of the 20th century’s greatest crooner. The performer, Richard…

Why do I find sketch shows – even the better ones – so embarrassing and charmless?

14 August 2021 9:00 am

On sketch shows, the wisdom once was that you needed a punchline. That is, a slightly hammy, summative sign-off to…

Quietly devastating: Nowhere Special reviewed

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Not one, but two British films this week, one that’s only being screened at the cinema (if you’re brave enough)…

What a comic treat: The Game of Love and Chance at the Arcola reviewed

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Lady Sylvia is a gorgeous aristocrat whose hand is sought by the charming Dorante whom she has never met. To…

Is Jed Mercurio bored with Line of Duty?

27 March 2021 9:00 am

When a drama begins with news of a ‘Chis handler’ receiving ‘intel graded A1 on the matrix’ that causes a…

The rise of the super pessimist

25 January 2021 5:00 pm

Covid isn’t the only thing to have developed a dangerous strain in the UK; pessimism has also mutated and is…

Actors will be in trouble if the Bridge Theatre's latest experiment catches on

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Flight has been hailed as a new form of dramatic presentation — prefab theatre. It’s great to look at. A…

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…