All stories by Brian Logan on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Penn & Teller's smug shtick and Sadowitz's twisted tricks: magicians conjuring with comedy by Brian Logan

The American duo’s slick act shimmers with Vegas-style glitz, while the Scottish standup’s sleight of hand is as flabbergasting as his vicious jokes The classic magician image, we are to…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:36AM
Monday, June 26, 2017

Steven Wright, master of meh: 'This is just how I talk. It accidentally went well with the jokes' by Brian Logan

The big-haired, sleepy-eyed standup is an Oscar-winner, one of America’s best-loved comedians and ‘a car that has no gears’. Now, his deadpan style has won him a perfect role in The Em…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:42AM
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Deconstructing Jimmy Carr is no joke by Brian Logan

When critics analyse a standup routine it's considered pedantic and joyless – what's wrong with being serious about comedy?Theatre critics are seldom called pedants for analysing how a sta…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:33AM

Jimmy Carr's 'greatest hits': 15 years of thuggish jokes and tawdry stereotypes by Brian Logan

In a long-running tour, the supercilious standup brings back old gags, leaving a bad smell – and a loveless worldview – in his wake‘I’m jealous of bands,” Jimmy Carr told the NME w…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:36AM
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The must-see standup of summer 2017: Daniel Kitson, Sara Pascoe, Rob Delaney and more by Brian Logan

The star of Catastrophe brings carnality, the elusive Kitson attempts to ‘alter language’, Sara Pascoe goes dating, while Hannah Gadsby goes out with a bangPenn and TellerLas Vegas’s l…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:33AM
Sunday, June 11, 2017

Meet black comedy's trailblazers by Brian Logan

The black comedy circuit is booming, with packed crowds and a host of stars. So why aren't there more on TV or at mainstream venues? Brian Logan talks to performers about cowardly producers,…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:24PM

Gina Yashere, Pleasance, Edinburgh by Brian Logan

Pleasance, EdinburghAt certain phrases, the heart sinks. "We all love that celebrity stuff, don't we?" says jolly Gina Yashere. Er, no, we don't. How rude Anne Robinson is, how great it woul…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:24PM
Friday, June 9, 2017

Comedians for Corbyn? They were keeping shtoom – or serenading Farage by Brian Logan

Standup is supposedly a leftie haven. But from what I saw this week, the scene offered little support for the Labour leader – and, despite some droll insights, a lack of real debateWhere w…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:24AM
Thursday, June 8, 2017

Laugh a minute: Edinburgh festival's 2017 comedy lineup by Brian Logan

Sara Pascoe looks at life after a breakup, Trygve Wakenshaw brings his baby on stage, and Alexei Sayle, Ruby Wax and talkshow king Craig Ferguson all return to the fringe this yearIn recent …

Linked From The Guardian at 10:48AM
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Aparna Nancherla review – shy standup shares disastrous dating stories by Brian Logan

Soho theatre, LondonThe self-deprecating US comedian delivers a set littered with droll remarks about life in New York but the show is hamstrung by her uneaseFrom Master of None to Inside Am…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:04PM

Freak out! Reggie Watts on jamming with James Corden and tackling Trump with improv by Brian Logan

The freestyle standup and bandleader on The Late Late Show is in London for a gig and has no idea what he’ll perform. Improv, he says, can free the mind – and maybe silliness can help sa…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:54AM
Friday, June 2, 2017

Arrest that comedian! How satire could swing the UK election by Brian Logan

From disrupting dam-building to toppling dictators, comedy has shown itself to be a global force for good. Here’s what ‘laughtivism’ could do for British politicsAt a protest to mark t…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:36AM
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Stuart Goldsmith review – ticklish tales from the frontlines of fatherhood by Brian Logan

Soho theatre, LondonThe standup takes on relationships and parenthood with eloquence and wit, but he plays it too safeIn Edinburgh this August, Stuart Goldsmith will perform the world’s fi…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:33PM
Sunday, May 28, 2017

Count Strong Arthur, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh by Brian Logan

Gilded Balloon, EdinburghLast year, he failed to deliver a lecture on "Egyptologics". This year, it's the story of the Bible that Count Arthur Strong is finding frustratingly difficult to te…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:54PM

Count Arthur Strong review – blissfully, brilliantly bewildered by Brian Logan

London PalladiumThe malapropisms and garbled logic, plus a near-fatal encounter with Benedict Cumberbatch’s name, make Steve Delaney’s comedy character a giddying delightNot the least of…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:12AM
Friday, May 19, 2017

Luisa Omielan: destiny's comic by Brian Logan

Luisa Omielan is aiming to be as big in standup as the inspiration for her show, Beyoncé, is in pop"You're going to think I'm a dick," says Luisa Omielan, "but I've always wanted …

Linked From The Guardian at 09:12PM

Luisa Omielan – review by Brian Logan

Soho theatre, LondonLuisa Omielan secured a best newcomer nomination at last year's Edinburgh comedy awards for a show on the Free Fringe, far from the festival's main stages. I doubt she'll…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:05PM
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

That's not magic: Penn, Teller and Derren Brown reveal all (or do they?) by Brian Logan

In tune with our sceptical times, magicians debunk the supernatural. But are they really as rationalist as they claim?Richard Dawkins may or may not approve, but I was reading my daughter a …

Linked From The Guardian at 11:48PM
Monday, May 15, 2017

Where are all the right-wing comedians when you need them? by Brian Logan

As Radio 4 seems unable to find enough comics to offset its left-wing output, Comic Relief says sorry for offence caused by Frankie Boyle at Russell Brand's Give It Up eventChristmas comes e…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:33AM

A right laugh: Geoff Norcott, the standup who turned Tory by Brian Logan

He’s a likable performer capitalising on the idea that most of his fellow comedians are lefties. So is Norcott’s show Conswervative more wind-up than battle cry?“Have I got any Tories …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:12AM
Thursday, May 11, 2017

Spencer Jones review – clowning comic revels in goofy self-delight by Brian Logan

Soho theatre, London Ludicrous tights, crude puppetry and dialogues with a chattering toilet brush make Jones’s alter ego The Herbert irresistibly daft We should probably forgive Spencer J…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:05AM
Monday, May 8, 2017

Reginald D Hunter review – ranting and spanking as comic hunts for controversy by Brian Logan

Orchard, DartfordThe standup considers kinky sex, politics and Angela Merkel’s alter ego but his new touring show is seldom strikingYou might have heard I’m controversial, Reginald D Hun…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:12AM
Friday, April 28, 2017

Hysterical Woman: the standup show blasting sexism in comedy by Brian Logan

Fed up with heckles, hostility and predatory promoters, Kiri Pritchard-McLean set out to detail the industry’s misogyny in a raucous, revelatory performanceAre women funny? At a time when …

Linked From The Guardian at 06:54AM
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sarah & Duck’s Big Top Birthday review – sleepily surreal CBeebies knees-up by Brian Logan

Polka, London The dotty TV duo and their friend Scarf Lady become puppets in a touring stage show that should satisfy ardent fans aged three to sixSome swoon at the gentle dottiness of CBeeb…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:06AM

Sophie Willan review – tales of neglect and addiction told with good cheer by Brian Logan

Soho theatre, LondonFlashes of tenacious positivity illuminate a gleeful set that ranges over Willan’s troubled early years in care, from teenage delinquency to a run-in with SantaRebellio…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:54AM
Friday, April 21, 2017

Reginald D Hunter review – charisma and curveballs from self-mythologising standup by Brian Logan

Richmond theatreHunter’s mercurial logic takes him into territory other comics don’t occupy … but sometimes leads him astrayReginald D Hunter begins with an apology to audiences who kn…

Linked From The Guardian at 10:18AM
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Joel Dommett review – I'm a Celebrity star's goofy comedy gets big laughs by Brian Logan

South Hill Park, BracknellSkype sex and confetti cannons are harnessed to full effect by a likable performer who breathes new life into a time-honoured persona‘Who here saw me on I’m a C…

Linked From The Guardian at 09:02AM
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

TJ & Dave review – wizards of improv conjure a comedy gem by Brian Logan

Soho theatre, London The Chicago pair show they are masters of their art with an off-the-cuff performance that is as poignant and sharply observed as any scripted showMost writers and comics…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:02AM
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Adam Kay review – ex-doctor dispenses mirth and strong medicine by Brian Logan

Soho theatre, LondonAs well as diagnosing the entertaining eccentricities of patients, musical comic Kay issues an electrifying clarion call on behalf of NHS staffMusical comic Adam Kay is a…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:36AM
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Massive Dad review – sketch trio sling gags from unexpected angles by Brian Logan

Pleasance, LondonThis lovably stupid group breathe fresh air into traditional material – even the throwaway jokes are hilariousI’m all for the shock of the new – but sometimes the old,…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:42AM
Monday, April 3, 2017

Dave Chappelle review – an outrageous white-knuckle ride by Brian Logan

Hammersmith Apollo, LondonChappelle kicks off with gleeful, scorching indelicacy, but his cock-of-the-walk comedy doesn’t always match his considerable charisma You’d think it was a rock…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:24PM