Best of Brighton comedy shows – Jan/Feb 2020

HANNAH BRACKENBURY

Sun 12 Jan // Komedia

Join the award-winning musical comedy performer as she presents Victorious, a joyful and poignant musical tribute to the late, great comedy genius Victoria Wood. Winner of Best Show (Funny Women Awards 2019) and Best of the Festival (Brighton Fringe 2018), Brackenbury celebrates the life and work of the dearly missed British icon in an hilarious and uplifting performance that will kick off the Victorious 2020 Tour. The show is followed by an afterparty to officially launch the tour – with macaroons for everybody!

Image by Adam Gerrard

JOHN-LUKE ROBERTS

Fri 24 Jan // Komedia

This was one of the most talked about shows at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Roberts, a blue moustachioed comic-philosopher of unimaginable imagination, takes the crowd on a whirlwind tour of the absurd – with frequent references to the Spice Girls. The name of his show alone (All I Wanna Do Is [FX: GUNSHOTS] With a [FX: GUN RELOADING] and a [FX: CASH REGISTER] and Perform Some Comedy!) gives you a clue as to the madcap, hilarious nature of this not-to-be-missed show.

MILTON JONES

Weds 29 – Thurs 30 Jan // Theatre Royal Brighton

The extravagantly-shirted, Einstein coifed scholar of the absurd and master of the one-liner is back to tickle our funny bones, with his new show Milton: Impossible. As the wonderfully punned title suggests, the show submits that Jones is a former MI5 agent and sees him recall hilarious adventures of espionage in glorious daftness. Telling a one-hour narrative about spying mostly through one-liners is no mean feat. And his delivery, keeping the crowd engaged, is an example of mightily skilled buffoonery.

Image by Aemen Sukkar

MAX AND IVAN

Thurs 30 Jan // Komedia

Ivan got married this year, and Max was his best man. Their new show Commitment tells the hilarious true story of how Max tried to organise the greatest weekend of Ivan’s life, by reassembling his teenage band for one final gig. With ten years’ experience entertaining audiences, this creative and highlyoriginal sketch and character duo put on a masterclass in visual gags and comedic storytelling, including some ruthless character assassinations – of their younger selves.

DAVID BADDIEL

Fri 7 Feb // Assembly Hall, Worthing

Ahh, the internet… Full of scams, fake news, cookies, bots and trolls. (And some good stuff, I guess). Well, Baddiel is taking a stand. A frequent target of trolls, he defies the conventional wisdom that suggests: don’t reply, don’t engage. Instead, he replies, he engages – and then he destroys them. Thankfully, he is clever and funny enough to do just that, not only leaving his trolls red-faced, but making a unique stand-up show out of the process: Trolls: Not the Dolls.

THE TREASON SHOW

Fri 14 Feb // Ropetackle

Brighton favourite The Treason Show take their irreverent satire on the road to Shoreham this Valentine’s Day. A huge team of writers and a multi-talented pool of performers work to create an hilarious melange of topical comedy through sketch, song, silliness and savage satire. No one is safe from the worlds of politics, celebrity or sport. Something tells me Brexit might get a mention or two, along with the bumbling fools messing it all up…

RHOD GILBERT

Sun 16 Feb // Brighton Dome

Following huge demand, an extra date sees the spectacularly Welsh Rhod Gilbert return to Brighton with his show The Book of John. Ostensibly about how he met an “irritating twat” called John who ended up being his salvation, the show delves into a difficult time for the Gilbert, and deals with numerous sensitive issues. Insightful, animated, and uproariously funny, Gilbert delivers a blockbuster return to the stage after a six-year hiatus.

STEWART LEE

Tues 18– Fri 21 Feb // Brighton Dome

You wait three years for a Stewart Lee stand-up routine, then two come along at once. The simultaneous purveyor of the highly intellectual and satisfyingly juvenile returns with a double-bill of two hour-long sets, performed back to back. Tornado questions his place in the comedy world after Netflix mixes the show up with one of the Sharknado films, whereas Snowflake examines the seeping away of the liberal ideals he has championed for so long. It’s a long-awaited and triumphant return.

Image by Neil MacKenzie

JOSIE LONG

Sat 22 Feb // Pavilion Theatre, Worthing

The three-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee has had a baby. “I’m the only person this has ever happened to!” she jokes, perhaps doffing her cap to the notion of the new parent who talks of nothing but their new bundle of joy. She then does exactly that! Thankfully, in an entertaining and feelgood fashion. From childbirth and beforehand to choosing a name and everything after, this ode to new motherhood will have you laughing throughout and leaving uplifted.

Image by Giles Smith

ROB BECKETT

Sat 22 Feb // Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

The ever-likeable and ever-smiling Rob Beckett brings his infectious brand of upbeat tomfoolery to Eastbourne with his new show Wallop. Sticking firmly in the middle of the road, the show covers a range of topics from cookware and soft play to Greta Thunberg and fancying the drag queens from Kinky Boots. He’ll win new fans with some ferocious self-deprecation and has hit upon a deep seam of jokes in the comedy goldmine when discussing his inter-class marriage and posh in-laws.

JIMMY CARR

Sun 23 Feb // Brighton Dome

The Peter Pan of stand-up – thanks to his adventures with Captain Hook, (if Hook means ‘Botox’, and Captain means ‘injections of’) – has always found huge success in courting controversy and its attendant humour. His new show Terribly Funny is an open nod to such controversies, and the name is a clever double entendre; it is terribly funny and also talks about terrible things – funnily. This will certainly please his large fanbase – but perhaps not one to take your grandma to.

Thurs 27 Feb // Komedia

After a hugely successful 2019 Edinburgh Festival, McCaffrey returns with a properly funny stand-up show. He’s been struggling with being spied on by the Chinese through his new phone, married life, his honeymoon, idiotic self-help books and flammable oven gloves. He’s an absolute lemon. Appearing on major UK tours with Sean Lock and Kevin Bridges, he’s entertained more than half a million people in arenas and theatres to great critical acclaim. Now he’s hitting the road again with his hilarious new show Lemon.

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