Theatre Review: Accidental Death of an Anarchist

Poster for Accidental Death of an Anarchist. A white man in a suit falls through the air grinning at us all.

This play is exhausting. It is an absolutely relentless comedy. I don't mean a few scattered laughs, I mean a full-on assault on your comedy nerves. It starts as a high-energy farce and escalates and escalates and escalates until you can't trust your senses any more. If you're unfamiliar with the plot - as I […]

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Theatre Review: Bleak Expectations

Poster for Bleak Expectations.

It's always slightly weird when entertainment transfers from one medium to another. The actors on stage never look like the characters you imagined when you read the book. A prog-rock concept album loses its grandeur when transferred to 27 part Netflix series. And the subversive intent of the comic book is neutered to make a […]

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M*A*S*H - War Is Heaven

DVD cover art for MASH. A bunch of solider sit around.

I finished watching Frasier over lockdown - the miserable tale of a self-destructive incel - and decided to continue watching old American sitcoms. I thought Cheers was a hellish dystopia populated with malicious tormentors. So now on to M*A*S*H. It's hailed as a masterpiece of comedy. But, really, it's an exercise in military propaganda. The […]

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Review: Rachel Bloom "Death, Let Me Do My Special"

Cartoon showing a stand up comedian casting a shadow of the grim reaper.

I've never heard such whooping and hollering from a Bloomsbury Theatre audience. When Rachel Bloom prances on to the stage it is like seeing a revivalist preacher work the faithful. It would have been so easy for Bloom to rest on her laurels and give a "best of Bloom" revue - the crowd would have […]

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Cheers is Hell

Logo for the TV series Cheers.

After spending 2020 watching every episode of Frasier, we thought we'd binge watch its predecessor sitcom "Cheers". It's a tough watch. It obeys all the familiar tropes of a sitcom - a static location, characters drawn in broad strokes, and whacky banter. On paper, it's great. But on screen... Look, let's get this out of […]

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What was the best era for British comedy and why?

Richie and Eddie from bottom. They are a right pair of bastards.

(This was written in response to a Reddit question. Lots of people seemed to like my answer, so I thought I'd re-blog it. I think the asker was expecting answers like "1980s - Young Ones, Red Dwarf, etc" - but I decided to answer it in a slightly different way.) When you were about 14. […]

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Movie Review: Palm Springs

Two people sat on pool floats, drinking beer.

When carefree Nyles and reluctant maid of honour Sarah have a chance encounter at a Palm Springs wedding, things get complicated as they are unable to escape the venue, themselves, or each other. It's almost impossible to review this movie without giving away the twists and turns that it takes. Just know that it is […]

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The Evolution of Reg

Scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian. The People's Front of Judea sit on the steps, arguing.

In today's edition of "All My Faves Are Problematic..." I was re-watching Life of Brian for the umpteenth time, when I suddenly felt uncomfortable. You can probably recite this scene from memory: REG: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can't have babies?! FRANCIS: It is symbolic of our […]

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Book Review - This Is Going To Hurt

A doctor's white coat hangs on the wall. A red pen in the pocket is leaking.

​Welcome to 97-hour weeks. Welcome to life and death decisions. Welcome to a constant tsunami of bodily fluids. Welcome to earning less than the hospital parking meter. Wave goodbye to your friends and relationships...Welcome to the life of a junior doctor.

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Is rehearsed comedy "real"?

Average comedian Stewart Lee giving a lecture.

In 2012 I think I saw the comedian Richard Herring 6 times. I saw him in a mixture of his own shows, gigging with other comedians, and on game shows. He's great - a brilliant wordsmith, and frighteningly clever - but after watching him half a dozen times, the cracks began to show. What seemed […]

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