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Character comedy: ones to watch

Sick of stand-up? London’s character comedy circuit has never been better. We profile four rising stars who aren’t always themselves

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Ali Brice
© Ellen Montoya

Ali Brice


Who? Brice is part of the Weirdos Comedy collective (he played the lead in their alternative panto, ‘The Colonel’). He’s just finished an Edinburgh Fringe run of his solo show, ‘Eric Meat Wants to Go Shopping’.

So who is Eric Meat? Brice’s recurring character: a lonely man who falls for a checkout girl and tries to communicate with her by talking to a candle. It’s as strange as it sounds.

Any other characters? Of course. Brice also plays Nigel Buchanan, the unhinged father of ‘Art Attack’ host Neil, and a creepy version of Phil Collins. Specifically, Collins from the ‘No Jacket Required’ album cover.

See a full list of Ali Brice’s gigs

Beth Vyse
© Idil Sukan Draw HQ

Beth Vyse


And who’s this? Like Brice, Vyse is a member of the Weirdos Comedy crew (they don’t all have rhyming surnames, though), and possibly the maddest of the lot. Her shows are absolute mayhem.

In a good way? Oh, definitely. Allow yourself to be swept up in her strangeness and you’ll have a blast.

What can we expect? In her latest show she plays Olive Hands, the leopard-print-donning presenter of ITV9’s daytime talk show ‘Get Up with Hands!’ When the TV show’s about to be axed, Hands spends a chaotic hour trying to save it, using audience members as stand-in guests.

See a full list of Beth Vyse’s gigs

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Joseph Morpurgo
© Mark Dawson Photography

Joseph Morpurgo


Who is he? A tirelessly inventive character act and member of Jane Austen-themed improv troupe Ausentatious.

Is his solo stuff in a Regency style too? Nah, Morpurgo’s character comedy is more up-to-date. His first solo show, ‘Truthmouth’, was about a cutting-edge verbatim theatre company and was crammed full of pop-culture references. His latest effort, ‘Odessa’, is more ambitious.

Ambitious? How so? He’s taken some grainy 1980s news footage about a chemical fire in Odessa, Texas and ingeniously brings to life the subjects of the story, stringing together a ‘Twin Peaks’ style narrative.

See a full list of Joseph Morpurgo’s gigs

Charles Booth

Charles Booth


Who’s this one? A London-based actor-comedian who recently trained at the Second City improv school in Toronto. That’s where Mike Myers and John Candy kickstarted their careers.

What’s he like? Booth’s a deft performer and totally inhabits each of his creations. The script is sharp, but it’s his smartly understated performance that makes each character funny.

Like who? A sozzled Jesus at the Last Supper, a flustered mother giving delicate parental advice, a smooth R&B star’s appeal to his drug-taking brother… Booth’s acting range is mightily impressive.

See a full list of Charles Booth’s gigs

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