After a sell-out, five-star run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Alison Thea-Skot brings her surreal, joyous and unhinged character comedy show to Brighton. Featured on BBC Radio 4, she can also be found performing with Chortle Award winners Austentatious. She’s also a critically acclaimed actress and writer, working extensively from Shakespeare’s Globe to the BBC’s Basil Brush, as well as being nominated for Best Actress at The British Independent Film Festival for her role in the short film Desire. Hang out with Celine Dion; join the Heartbreak Club and end on a finale from The Woman with Feet for Hands. This exhilarating show coaxes you into a world where ultimately you become the hero.
Presented by Zoe Lyons, undisputedly Hove’s funniest lady, this monthly comedy show is THE place to see the UK’s rising talent. Taking on headlining duties, Angela Barnes will be turning self-deprecation into an art form, that’s not to say she’s uncomfortable in herself, but she’s simply overflowing with honesty. Joining her is Sofie Hagen, another fine comedian who’s learnt to embrace all her quirks. After smashing it at the Comedy Festival and winning best newcomer in Edinburgh, she’ll be taking us through another candid sashay through her life experiences. Completing the line-up is Sarah Keyworth, who’s armed with canny one-liners, offbeat family anecdotes and some very personal confessions.
A fanatical cook with an anarchic approach to making meals, George Egg found himself dissatisfied with the quality of hotel room service while touring the comedy clubs of the world. So he took matters into his own hands. Pushing the boundaries of what can be cooked using just the contents of a standard hotel room, George Egg returns with a new brace of ways to annoy housekeeping staff. So get ready to learn you too can prepare an entire three-course meal using the iron, a tiny-sized kettle and some random objects. A surreal and absurd mix of stand-up comedy and striking innovation, this is an unforgettable demonstration of extreme multitasking.
Nominated for Best Show at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, Joanna Neary’s latest work heads to Hove. The much-loved Celia, housewife and host, returns on tour with her Toxborough Village Hall Chat Show. It’s a strange world, full of middle-English politeness and ridiculous topical interests. Everything is in aid of the animal hospital, for a kitten that needs an iron lung. Inspired and beautifully executed, the show provides plenty of topical talks, showbiz exclusives and celebrity interviews. There are also a local locksmith’s bawdy confessions, a recipe for air soup and a photograph of a conker. With live music from Centre-Parting Martin, why would you stay at home watching television?
Warm, funny, full of delightful stories and as much fun as you can get from two wheels, Hodgson recounts his childhood fascination with Lance Armstrong. It’s a heartfelt and hilarious story of growing up, betrayal by professional athletes, and redemption. Nominated for Best Show at the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards in 2015, he enjoyed a sell-out four-week run in London’s West End last autumn. Starring in BBC2’s Making Dad’s Army last Christmas, Hodgson has also appeared in BBC2’s Count Arthur Strong and the film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. Now he takes his touching and ingeniously constructed comedy show around the UK, examining teenage cycling, sullied dreams and migrating from the north.
Here’s another Edinburgh comedy preview, there’s a lot of them about. But you might want to book straight away for this lady. Chatty, easy-going and seriously witty, Ms Porter is ready to once again draw you into her world. It’s a strangely charming place, lit by positivity and packed with experiences we can all relate to. She’s been to the festival for over a decade now, and you’ll struggle to find a more comfortable performer. She’s the master of the tightly woven anecdote, with material that is keen-eyed and heart-warmingly inclusive. Of course her world-view is slightly obscured by the cloud of fairy dust perpetually surrounding her, but who couldn’t fall slightly in love with someone this uplifting?
Sarah Millican is daring to venture outside, so you’d best bring a cardie. She might look your sensible auntie, but she’s not afraid to pop out an anal sex gag if she fancies it (the joke, not the act!). So get ready for very graphic exploration of what it is to be a woman of a certain age. Her warm-hearted ‘mumsy’ persona stands at odds with her double-entendre laden material. But no one this charming could be found too offensive, no matter how vivid the mental pictures she shares. Her main selling point is she’s just like the slightly inappropriate best friend we all wish we had – loud, indiscrete and obsessed by bodily functions.
Ready to make your Thursday sparkle here is Carly Smallman. Relatable and instantly likeable, she twists the seemingly normal into comic gold. Joining her is the rather fine and occasionally relentless Jack Heal, who offers us some devastatingly original and very clever wordplay. Phil Cooper, along with his occasionally surreal observations, will be taking everyone with us on a scathing tour of modern day society. Completing the line-up is the ever-reliable Lloyd Langford takes on headlining duties tonight. We know he’s not really that grumpy, but that won’t stop him humorously taking umbrage at everything… It’s all kept moving by your incomparable MC, Mr Stephen Grant!
Star of Derek, Life’s Too Short, and Murder in Successville, Colin Hoult unleashes his favourite creation. Ms Anna Mann is a siren of stage and screen and has appeared in such classics as Who’s for Turkish Delight?, A Bowl For My Bottom and Rogue Baker. Come see her waffle on about her glorious life so far, music, dance and laughter. Then we can all have a fun chat and solve the world’s problems together. Keep an eye out for special guests. A once-gorgeous star of stage and screen, Mann unloads her life experiences whether you want her to or not. This is an eccentric, hilarious and often overwhelmingly vivid exercise in great character comedy.
Although Edinburgh might drag all the comedy talent away during August, it does mean there’s a rich preview season in Brighton & Hove during the run-up. Christian Talbot has admitted in the past that he’s crap at being Irish. He’s past that now surely, but he’ll still be punctuating his gentle self-deprecation style with some wondrously clever one-liners. He is perhaps the only professional archaeologist performing stand-up in the UK. Paul Duncan McGarrity has the dubious honour of digging up nearly 2,500 skeletons on the London Crossrail development by day and making rooms full of people laugh by night. Originally a member of critically acclaimed improv group Deadman In A Box, he blends a sense of history with a keen comic edge.
There’s some festival happening up in Northland during August, so two of the UK’s brightest comedy talents are previewing their Fringe shows this month. Winner of the 2013 BBC Radio New Comedy Award, Steve Bugeja is one of the standout new acts of the past few years. He’s had plenty of odd social nightmares, as well as a knack for detailed comedy, so let him share with you. Stand-up comedian, actor and writer, Tiff Stevenson’s thought-provoking and engaging style has seen her consistently play to packed audiences. Full of cynicism and brash as they come, she’s one of the most brutally hilarious comics on the scene right now.
It’s another Edinburgh preview, this time from a comedian whose shows are as fast-paced as they are hilarious. So there’ll be little pausing for breath or reflection here. Packed with euphoric and frenetic energy, the gags come fast and often. The whole affair might be intense, but Nichol’s perfect sense of comic timing shines through during every moment of his routine. He’s on a one-man mission to ensure his audiences have a good time, often throwing in random facets to his shows to ensure it will be unlike anything you’ve experienced before. It’s high-energy and high impact stand-up from one of Canada’s biggest talents. Not recommended for the slothful or slow of thinking!