We love a bit of musical comedy here at Time Out. From Bill Bailey's orchestral deconstructions, to Doc Brown's super-sharp raps about tea-making, via the Brett Domino Trio's awkward covers of Justin Timberlake hits.
The good news is, musical comedians are always popping up on the London comedy circuit, and plenty perform their own solo shows. The list below shows the next ten comedy gigs in London featuring a musical comic.
Upcoming musical comedy shows in London
‘It’s going quite well,’ says Bill Bailey, 30 minutes into his new show. ‘I think I’ll do my joke.’ Yep, Bailey is on typically bewildered form in ‘Limboland’, which has landed in the West End for a Christmas run after a year of touring. The closest the 51-year-old comic gets to a one-liner is a lengthy, meandering gag that starts ‘Lionel Richie walks into a bar…’ But quickfire jokes aren’t Bailey’s style, of course, and his trademark fanciful musings and musical deconstructions are out in force. ‘We’re in a strange time of extremes,’ he explains at the top of the show, before launching into a wonderfully playful routine about the post-election political landscape and the Labour Party’s current ‘experimental album’. As the show title suggests, Bailey feels caught in the middle; the long-time lefty’s not quite sure what to think or who to believe in. From there, the grumblingly upbeat comic moves into jokes about typical British feelings or trying to explain Skype to his octogenarian father; and in the second half, there are more long-form stories as he explores what it actually means to be ‘happy’. It’s Bailey’s beautiful turns of phrase and imaginative similes that bring each tale to life. There’s a whimsical poetry to every sentence; each observation is filtered through his fluffy brain like he’s in one long, extended daydream. But it’s when he gets behind an instrument that the musically-dexterous comic is at his best. Remixes of iPhone ringtones, German death metal cRead more
'Showstopper!" will transfer to the Lyric Theatre for a series of 10 Monday performances between February and July in 2016. This review is of the 2015 run. I’ve always thought of improv as a thing Americans are into in lieu of actual comedy. But the heartwarming success story that is Adam Meggido and Dylan Emery’s ‘Showstopper! The Improvised Musical’ is as British as an argument over how to pronounce the word ‘scone’.Partly that’s to do with show’s current framing device, whereby the avuncular Emery very reservedly takes audience suggestions on what sort of musical his crack troops are going to whip up that evening (politely batting away the less, er, family-friendly ideas). But I think the greatest thing about ‘Showstopper!’ –which arrives at the West End after eight years of cult success – is that at heart it’s a bit crap… and that’s the fun of it. At the performance I attended, the phenomenally skilled performers on stage knocked up a musical about Northern Irish fairies (‘Puck Off!’). In many ways, it was atrocious, incoherent nonsense. But that’s what’s so funny, really, watching them muddle through the ludicrous task set for them, occasionally absolutely flooring you with a song pastiche so perfect it’s no wonder the programme has a section devoted to conspiracy theories about it all being a set-up. The cast gamely knocked out a ‘Stomp’ style number (which they’d be well within their rights to have refused, ‘Stomp’ not even being a musical), a Gilbert & Sullivan patRead more
Matt Tedford's cross-dressing version of the Iron lady was a huge hit at the Edinburgh Fringe. Watch as Mags gets lost in London's notoriously saucy Soho on the eve of the vote for Section 28, and accidentally becomes a cabaret sensation. It's a riotous romp.Read more
The Bonzos have been around in various forms since the early ’60s, but properly started to gain a following in 1968 when they appeared weekly on ITV’s ‘Do Not Adjust Your Set’. They mix psychedelic pop, rock and trad jazz, but they’re best known for their daft, surreal humour. Don’t be surpised if some special guest vocalists join the party tonight as the Bonzos celebrate 50 years, with original members Neil Innes, Rodney Slater, Sam Spoons, Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell and Bob Kerr back together on stage for this massive birthday gig. Support comes from Innes’s Beatles parodists The Rutles.Read more