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Mike Birbiglia: The New One

  • Comedy, Stand-up
  • Recommended
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Time Out says

US storytelling comedians Birbigs is on superb form in his latest, narrative-driven show

Massachusetts-born comic Mike Birbiglia is a big fan of our city. He’s no stranger to it, either. Last year the 39-year-old stand-up screened his indie movie ‘Don’t Think Twice’ at the London Film Festival, and he’s performed his last two solo shows in our capital.

‘I feel like going on a 20 minute walk in London is to visit the greatest museum in the world,’ he tells me ahead of his next visit. ‘The city itself is a showstopper. And then the audiences, I find, are very hip to the kind of shows I do, which are Edinburgh Festival-type shows; narrative arcs, some quiet moments, personal.  

Birbiglia has gained a large, loyal fanbase for his long-form storytelling shows, in which he’s incredibly candid about personal aspects of his life. ‘In some ways, I feel like all we – comedians – have to offer audiences is ourselves,’ he explains. ‘There are so many TV shows and movies and things, so I think when people go to see a live performer they want to connect with that person. I try to do that. Sometimes it works.’ 

So, after covering relationship woes and his occasionally life-threatening sleepwalking condition in his solo shows, what does ‘The New One’ hold? Well, it’s a secret. ‘I’ve been going out of my way to say almost nothing about this show,’ says Birbiglia. ‘With my favourite movies, the greatest gift I can give people is to tell them to not watch a trailer, don’t read a review, just go see it. I feel that way about this show.’ Ben Williams

Written by
Ben Williams

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