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  • 01/08/13--17:51: Opinion: Small is Beautiful
  • It started, appropriately enough, as a joke. In autumn 2007 I was writing a review for the Evening Standard and I moaned about how difficult it was becoming to find a parking space in the centre of London. I concluded by suggesting that soon the closest space I might get would be outside my house in South London. A few days later I received a cheeky email from promoter Tom Searle, the bowl-haired whizzkid behind an organisation called Laughter in Odd Places.


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    When the fifth Chortle Award winner was announced last night and Pappy's won best Character or Sketch Act I received a sharp nudge in the ribs from my partner as she said "you know the results already don't you." I explained that I had been on the panel that chose the nominees, so they were educated, informed guesses, but the winners were chosen by readers of Chortle so ultimately any nominated name could have come out of Chortlemeister Steve Bennett's hat.


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    This is my review of Pappy's that ran during the Edinburgh Festival last August. I was on the Foster's Award Panel and I really thought they had a chance of winning it. Their shows had always been huge fun but this one upped the ante, adding an emotional kick to the giggles. They are also very nice down-to-earth people, though that did not have any bearing on the result.


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  • 07/16/13--02:36: TV Review: Badults, BBC3
  • There is a lot riding on Pappy's new BBC3 sitcom Badults. The much-loved sketch combo has already had two tries at transferring their lunatic stage sensibility, doing a pair of C4 Comedy Lab pilots, so is Badults third time lucky? It certainly comes when their confidence is riding high. Last year's Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated Fringe show, Last Show Ever, was their best live show to date.


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  • 01/13/14--02:19: Opinion: What's In A Name?
  • Hold the flipping front page. Comedy sketch group Lebensmüde has changed its name to Lazy Susan. I don't know exactly why. Maybe they were worried people would think they were German. Maybe they got fed up with Google searches for them taking people to history articles about Lebensraum instead. Maybe they were concerned about newspapers missing out the umlaut above the u. Anyway, here's hoping they thrive under their new name.


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    Simon Amstell is the latest big name to be added to the line-up of the Latitude Festival, which takes place in Henham Park, Suffolk from July 17 - 20. The comedian has been working on new material at the Invisible Dot club in London in recent weeks so this may be the first major public outing for his latest show, which, among other things, may discuss the controversy he briefly became involved in when he made a remark about apartheid on BBC Radio shortly after the death of Nelson Mandela. 


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    Well, of course I don't hate sketch comedy. But, heck, it’s a crowded market out there, I’ve got to get you to click on the link somehow. So now I’ve got your attention I’ll explain and expand. Sketch comedy is probably my least favourite form of comedy. When I go to gigs I prefer stand-up. When I’m watching TV I prefer a sitcom. I’ll frequently watch sketches on YouTube, but the quality is so inconsistent my laptop is invariably in danger of being lobbed out of the window before you can say "buffering".


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  • 06/02/14--11:50: TV Review: Badults, BBC3
  • There hasn't been a huge fanfare to mark the return of Badults for a second series, which is maybe understandable. The first series had mixed reviews, so maybe BBC3 wants this run to grow via word-of-mouth. I’m not about to stick my neck out and say that the first episode is going to convert any doubters, but it most definitely should put to bed any erroneous suggestions previously bandied about on social media that Badults is down there with Mrs Brown’s Boys and The Wright Way.

    Tags: 


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    Pappy’s in split shock?! Not as far as I know, but if it gets you reading this preview I’m not complaining. Matthew Crosby’s solo show is actually his third show without the rest of Pappy’s. I’ve always warmed to his personality – nerdy, neurotic but also very smart in a cool way. He has been a schoolteacher in the past and he can win over a crowd with his sharp wits in much the same way that I bet he used to win over his pupils.


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    Whether you are in a band or a sketch group when members start doing solo shows it can mean various things. Maybe their egos are too big contain as part of an ensemble. Maybe they just want to flex their creative muscles on their own for a while. Maybe this is a hint that the group is about to go their separate ways. Or maybe, in the case of Pappy’s, they just couldn’t be arsed to do a brand new show for this year’s Fringe, so Matthew Crosby and Tom Parry are doing solo shows instead.

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    Following yesterday's interview with Pappy's lynchpin Tom Parry, today we are gently probing the tiniest (in height) member of Pappy's, Matthew Crosby, whose solo show is at Just The Tonic's Mash House from August 6 - 30, tickets


    0 0
  • 01/08/13--17:51: Opinion: Small is Beautiful
  • It started, appropriately enough, as a joke. In autumn 2007 I was writing a review for the Evening Standard and I moaned about how difficult it was becoming to find a parking space in the centre of London. I concluded by suggesting that soon the closest space I might get would be outside my house in South London. A few days later I received a cheeky email from promoter Tom Searle, the bowl-haired whizzkid behind an organisation called Laughter in Odd Places.


    0 0

    When the fifth Chortle Award winner was announced last night and Pappy's won best Character or Sketch Act I received a sharp nudge in the ribs from my partner as she said "you know the results already don't you." I explained that I had been on the panel that chose the nominees, so they were educated, informed guesses, but the winners were chosen by readers of Chortle so ultimately any nominated name could have come out of Chortlemeister Steve Bennett's hat.


    0 0

    This is my review of Pappy's that ran during the Edinburgh Festival last August. I was on the Foster's Award Panel and I really thought they had a chance of winning it. Their shows had always been huge fun but this one upped the ante, adding an emotional kick to the giggles. They are also very nice down-to-earth people, though that did not have any bearing on the result.


    0 0
  • 07/16/13--02:36: TV Review: Badults, BBC3
  • There is a lot riding on Pappy's new BBC3 sitcom Badults. The much-loved sketch combo has already had two tries at transferring their lunatic stage sensibility, doing a pair of C4 Comedy Lab pilots, so is Badults third time lucky? It certainly comes when their confidence is riding high. Last year's Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated Fringe show, Last Show Ever, was their best live show to date.


    0 0
  • 01/13/14--02:19: Opinion: What's In A Name?
  • Hold the flipping front page. Comedy sketch group Lebensmüde has changed its name to Lazy Susan. I don't know exactly why. Maybe they were worried people would think they were German. Maybe they got fed up with Google searches for them taking people to history articles about Lebensraum instead. Maybe they were concerned about newspapers missing out the umlaut above the u. Anyway, here's hoping they thrive under their new name.


    0 0

    Simon Amstell is the latest big name to be added to the line-up of the Latitude Festival, which takes place in Henham Park, Suffolk from July 17 - 20. The comedian has been working on new material at the Invisible Dot club in London in recent weeks so this may be the first major public outing for his latest show, which, among other things, may discuss the controversy he briefly became involved in when he made a remark about apartheid on BBC Radio shortly after the death of Nelson Mandela. 


    0 0

    Well, of course I don't hate sketch comedy. But, heck, it’s a crowded market out there, I’ve got to get you to click on the link somehow. So now I’ve got your attention I’ll explain and expand. Sketch comedy is probably my least favourite form of comedy. When I go to gigs I prefer stand-up. When I’m watching TV I prefer a sitcom. I’ll frequently watch sketches on YouTube, but the quality is so inconsistent my laptop is invariably in danger of being lobbed out of the window before you can say "buffering".


    0 0
  • 06/02/14--11:50: TV Review: Badults, BBC3
  • There hasn't been a huge fanfare to mark the return of Badults for a second series, which is maybe understandable. The first series had mixed reviews, so maybe BBC3 wants this run to grow via word-of-mouth. I’m not about to stick my neck out and say that the first episode is going to convert any doubters, but it most definitely should put to bed any erroneous suggestions previously bandied about on social media that Badults is down there with Mrs Brown’s Boys and The Wright Way.

    Tags: 


    0 0

    Pappy’s in split shock?! Not as far as I know, but if it gets you reading this preview I’m not complaining. Matthew Crosby’s solo show is actually his third show without the rest of Pappy’s. I’ve always warmed to his personality – nerdy, neurotic but also very smart in a cool way. He has been a schoolteacher in the past and he can win over a crowd with his sharp wits in much the same way that I bet he used to win over his pupils.


(Page 1) | 2 | newer