Christmas comedy in London
'Tis the season to be jolly, so why not treat yourself to a festive-themed comedy gig?
Fri Dec 5 2014
London's comedy community love to embrace the festive season. Many regular comedy clubs offer Christmas party night packages – perfect for an office do – with food, stand-up and aftershow disco included. But if you're simply looking for a festive treat, London is overflowing with merry Christmas comedy gigs. Here are some recommendations.
Aren’t pantos for kids? Not this one. The Weirdos collective’s ambitious and downright mental annual pantos are fast becoming a festive comedy tradition.
What’s the story? All we know is it’s a fishy tale, set mostly underwater. Who knows, perhaps even a talking lobster might show up?
And who are these ‘Weirdos’? A large troupe of out-there comedians. There’s a cast of 25 in ‘A Christmas Tail’, including this year’s Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award winner John Kearns.
Are you going to make some sort of ‘baa humbug’ joke? Wouldn’t dream of it. But I will say that sketch trio Sheeps are offering a proper Yuletide treat, and it’s different every night.
How so? Each gig features a themed line-up of guests: Wednesday is variety night, Thursday showcases character comics and Saturday is for pure stand-up.
But how is it ‘festive’? Sheeps will be crowbarring any Christmassy tradition they can into the proceedings, including the vibe of a slightly awkward office party and vats of hot, hot wine.
You mean Professor Brian Cox. Ah, yes, apologies. The dreamy-eyed scientist teams up with comedy’s secular deity Robin Ince to host these big blow-out variety shows.
No mention of a miracle birth, then? Only if there’s new evidence to suggest it’s scientifically provable. But the hosts of the ‘Infinite Monkey Cage’ podcast will be introducing a bunch of special guests.
Ooh, like who? The line-up is a secret. But previous years have featured Geordie freewheeler Ross Noble, actual astronaut Chris Hadfield and star of ‘The Leveson Inquiry’, Hugh Grant.
Bit rude, eh? Get used to it. Helm’s hysterically OTT in-ya-face style will kick London hard in the baubles this Christmas. But behind the shouty bravado is a sensitive soul.
How sweet. Does he write poetry, too? How did you guess? Plus his gravelly voice perfectly lends itself to the hard-rock numbers he belts out.
Don’t I know him from somewhere? If you don’t recognise Helm from BBC Three’s ‘Uncle’ you’ll soon know him as the star of his own series on the same channel, being broadcast next year.
What gifts does Father Slutmas bring? Mainly Yuletide-themed throwaway poems. Oh, and sprouts, which he’ll try to lob into the gobs of audience members.
Any other festivities? Plenty, but it’s a loose affair. Key says he’s ‘working on getting some tinsel involved,’ and there may or may not be a Christmas tree on stage.
Sounds fun! How do I get tickets? Er, it’s mostly sold out. But an extra show, on December 17, is now on sale.
So we’ll get presents? Yes! If by ‘presents’ you mean ‘top comedians’.
So, no Santa? Oh, he’ll be there. Shambolic comedian Bob Slayer actually was Father Christmas last year at Bayswater’s Whiteleys shopping centre. He’s reprising his role here to introduce some comedy pals. Just don’t bring your kids.
Is it a rip off, like other Christmas grottos? Not at all. ’Tis the season of giving – entry’s free, just pay what you can on the way out.
AS the elusive US comedy heavyweight and ‘Chappelle’s Show’ star heads to London, we offer some essential viewing to get you pumped (or bring you up to speed)
- Rated as: 4/5
- Critics choice
This Aussie character comic takes aim at his audience, and he kills it.
- Soho Theatre 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE
- Fri Jul 3 - Sat Jul 11
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