Mark Thomas: Showtime from the Frontline, Theatre Royal Stratford East

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by guest critic Joanna Trainor

Mark Thomas knows his audience. He starts the show with a dig at Quentin Lett’s racist review before calling audiences at the Royal Court “a bunch of Tory fuckers,” and the room’s already onside. It’s obvious that almost everyone at the Theatre Royal Stratford East has seen Thomas gig before. The whooping coming from the elderly gentleman sat next to me when he came on stage was particularly lovely.

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Ad Libido, VAULT Festival


by guest critic Amy Toledano

Part cabaret, part one woman show, part stand up, Ad Libido is the hilarious story of Fran Bushe and her journey to fixing sex. Completely honest, this show breaks the taboo around female sexuality and the way in which more often than not, it is swept under the rug and deemed unimportant.

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Nanette, Soho Theatre

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by guest critics Maeve Ryan & Mark Nilsson

The show opens with award-winning comedian Hannah Gadsby revealing that, actually, she plans to give up standup comedy. She confesses that she has spent her ten-year career doing the set up and punchline of jokes. Jokes, she says, are about tension: in the first part she creates the tension and in the second part she releases it, and then we laugh.

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The Coolest Kid in Competitive Chess, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by guest critic Jo Trainor

Is there a style of comedy that Steen Raskopoulos hasn’t mastered? Having found the Australian comedian as half of improvisation duo The Bear Pack, I knew how quick witted he is, and how absurd some of his characters are but it turns out he can throw all these skills together and create side-splitting sketches too.

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