We’ve combed the listings to find the funniest things happening over the next fortnight this side of just staying in, firing up YouTube and watching this classic clip over and over again for two weeks.
It’s not so much that Amstell’s choices of subject matter (life, love, death) which are particularly shocking, but it’s the thoughtful frankness and with which he explores them which really sets him apart, demonstrating a real evolution beyond the panel show host persona he’s best known for. His previous shows ‘Do Nothing’ and ‘Numb’ were deservedly lauded, and while this is still a work in progress (so don’t expect a polished product!), it’s always fascinating to see these shows develop in their infant stages.
It’s hard to explain this show particularly succinctly, but we’ll try. Morpugo spent the best part of a year fishing out obscure records from charity shops to form his own surreal edition of Desert Island Discs, and extrapolates fantastical backstories for each. It’s extremely high concept, multi-character, multi-media stuff, but most importantly: it’s piss funny, as its Best Show nomination at last year’s Fringe attests.
Hidden deep beneath Waterloo station, the excellent Vault Festival’s entire programme is worth seeing, but The Sad Faces especially so. The sketch trio promise The Definitive Adaptation of the (maybe, possibly, slightly fictional) JR Chapterhouse’s ‘devastatingly heartbreaking’ World War One novel ‘The Dawn Chorus’, sure to jerk a million tears.
The Weirdos are one of very few genuinely exciting comedy collectives performing in the UK right now and are the set to catch if you have a keen interest in seeing the next generation of huge comics before everyone else has heard of them. A Harry Potter themed parody cabaret could easily be cause for groans in lesser hands, but the group’s ridiculous ambition and capacity for surprise makes any subject they turn their hand to worth seeing.
Finally, a show featuring the opportunity to see two of today’s finest talents for the bargain basement price of a tenner. You’ll recognise Kevin Eldon from literally almost every good cult comedy on telly and Tim Key as the man who has almost single-handedly made comedy poets A Thing.
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