Upcoming events from Local Listers
Missed Edinburgh? No problem. This six-week Waterloo-based arts festival returns to the atmospheric Vaults with a jam-packed line-up of music, theatre, comedy, club nights and more. Theatre highlights include an immersive production of 'The Great Gatsby', new play 'A Hundred Different Words For Love' by James Rowland, and gothic comedy 'We Are Bronte'. This year, the ever-expanding Vault Festival will also be hosting shows in Morley College and Network Theatre. Dates, times and prices vary: see our Vault Festival Guide for full info, plus our recommendations on what to see.
Improv gets a bad rap in this country, but anyone who dismisses the genre clearly hasn't seen Austentatious. This highly impressive troupe perform a completely improvised Jane Austen novel, complete with period dress and cello accompaniment, with marvellous results. Made up of Andrew Murray, Amy Cooke-Hodgson, Joseph Morpurgo, Cariad Lloyd, Graham Dickson and Rachel Parris, they're all hugely talented performers, able to keep the gag rate high and the made-up story rolicking along. Tremendous fun.
Hyperactive comedy superstar Russell Howard is embarking on his biggest ever world tour – inventively titled 'Round the World' – taking in the US, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. And for his London stint, the Bristolian arena-filler is playing a whopping ten-night run at the Royal Albert Hall. It's not till 2017, but buy tickets soon, is our advice. Plus, wherever possible, Howard will be performing 'in the round'. The former 'Mock The Week' regular is one of the friendliest comics around, moving from topic to topic with effortless ease, and loves to examine life's simple pleasures, tell stories about his mad mum and basically fool around like a cheeky teenager. Unless you've been living in a wifi-free cave, you'll know that his self-titled series 'Russell Howard's Good News' is wildly popular, pulling in millions of viewers and constantly ranking as the most watched programme on the BBC iPlayer. His new Comedy Central offering, 'Russell Howard's Stand Up Central', has been a huge hit, too. But Howard's most at home live on stage. He's a fast-talking charmer, and always a huge amount of fun. Read our interview with Russell Howard
Can you believe Al Murray has now spent 20 years as one of the finest comedy character creations in the country, the Pub Landlord? After battling Farage in South Thanet, Murray's headlng to the Royal Albert Hall with his new show, 'Let's Go Backwards Together'. The Pub Landlord's a national treasure, and one never short of an opinion of topical issues, so expect some gags on the Brexit fall-out. And remember, punters: please take your glasses back to the bar…
'Master of the Macabre' comes to Hoxton Hall in Spring 2017. This review is from the 2015 run. There’s a layer of cobwebs and mystery hanging over Benedict Barber, the Master of the Macabre, a spooky magician supposedly plucked from the obscurity of Covent Garden and prodded into the spotlights by his ‘magical consultant’ Chris Dugdale. Truthfully, there’s a lot more mischief to this evening of seasonal magic than meets the eye, as an experienced team builds a truly theatrical mixture of twisty plotting and illusion. The first half is an enjoyably kitsch bout of card magic and conjuring, with our host spicing up a fairly run of the mill set of tricks with the addition of spiders (both plastic and skin-crawlingly real), bridges to the recently deceased and vanishing eyeballs that explode in a cloud of misty tendrils. Barber’s patter is sharp and fluid, his command of the room impressive even as he lays the Gothic on thick. His set treads the line between the cosily camp and the genuinely creepy with skill, as he lays a trail of breadcrumbs to a spectacular and unsettling denouement. The second act is where it all kicks off, as ‘Master of the Macabre’ reveals itself as a plucky successor to fellow magician Andy Nyman’s long-running ‘Ghost Stories’. If it never quite builds to those box office-busting chills, it’s still a cracking Halloween night out, and a cunning repackaging of an already successful magical brand.