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Soho Theatre

  • Theatre
  • Soho
  • Recommended
  1. Soho Theatre entrance (Heloise Bergman / Time Out)
    Heloise Bergman / Time Out
  2. Soho Theatre sign (Andrew Brackenbury / Time Out)
    Andrew Brackenbury / Time Out
  3. Soho Theatre performace (Andrew Brackenbury / Time Out
    Andrew Brackenbury / Time Out

  4. Soho Theatre performace (Heloise Bergman / Time Out)
    Heloise Bergman / Time Out
  5. Soho Theatre exterior (Heloise Bergman  / Time Out)
    Heloise Bergman / Time Out

Time Out says

This neon-lit Soho venue is a megastore for the best comedy and fringe shows in town

Its cool blue neon lights, front-of-house café and occasional late-night shows may blend it into the Soho landscape, but since taking up residence on Dean Street in 2000 Soho Theatre has made quite a name for itself.

Across three studio spaces, it puts on an eclectic line-up of work from some of the biggest names in comedy, spoken word, and cabaret, and hosts at least six different shows a night. If ever there were a place in London to get a year-round taste of the Edinburgh Fringe it's here, with its eclectic programming, late shows and ever-buzzing bar. Just don't expect to find deep-fried haggis on the menu - teas, coffees, and wine are the order of the day at Soho Theatre's chic cafe/bar, which is reliably packed out after 6pm.

It has to be said that Soho excels in almost every area apart from the production of good in-house theatre shows, something it's consistently struggled with (though it has many fine co-productions). But this barely impacts on anybody's good time, and it's hard to hold it against the most fun theatre in central London.


21 Dean St
Tube: Tottenham Court Rd
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What’s on

Kate Berlant: Kate

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stand-up

If the Cockney accent Kate Berlant attempts during her one-woman show weren’t so charmingly terrible – even she corpses during the Dick van Dyke-worthy display – you might assume she was British, purely due to how good she is at taking the piss; out of herself, out of her peers and out of the sacred ‘industry’. Even the good-natured crowd comes in for a brutal drubbing, whooping with masochistic delight when she mocks them.  Known for her surrealist take on comedy, and – as the show wryly points out – her uncanny resemblance to Kathryn Hahn, the California-born Berlant has been a mainstay of LA’s alternative comedy scene and a screen fixture for a decade. You’ll see her stealing scenes in everything from ‘High Maintenance’ and ‘Search Party’ to ‘The Good Place’, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ and the recent ‘A League of Their Own’ remake, as well as fronting the wellness industry-taunting podcast Poog with fellow comedian Jacqueline Novak. But finally the limelight is all hers – and hers to skewer with impunity. Part comedy, part theatre and part performance art, ‘Kate’ – which has Netflix’s golden boy Bo Burnham in the director’s chair – is perhaps less absurd than her straight-up stand-up, but no less engaging. It ruthlessly mocks the sacred art of the stage and the deep narcissism of those who choose to parade themselves in front of others for affirmation. Smug Hollywood stars need not apply.  As meta as theatre gets, ‘Kate’ begins as we enter, with Berlant sitting outsid

Laura Ramoso: Frances

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Stand-up

‘Can TikTok comedians cut it live?’. A question we’re condemned to be reading think pieces about for years to come, as a generation that found fame on the social media platform tries to hack it in clubs. One of the first out of the traps with a full show is Toronto-based TikToker Laura Ramoso, who has racked up tens of millions of views for her online skits, and now turning her hand to more conventional IRL comedy with her debut hour ‘Frances’. There is, undeniably, a strange vibe at points: a skit about her stern German mother feels extra to the show, but is greeted with roars of approving recognition from the outset. Obviously her TikTok success hasn’t turned her into an arena-size superstar, but it’s clearly acquired her some fans. The substance of ‘Frances’ revolves around the eponymous character, a scatty young woman who was unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend Frank a couple of months back – something she sings about at length, in a wildly offkey voice. And she has news: she’s been thrown into a tizz by Frank unexpectedly phoning and asking if they can meet up. Six foot one and with enough energy to power a small country, Ramoso plays both Frances and Frank in a series of skits that build towards their meeting. If it feels a little rooted in a North American perspective on dating, there’s some very funny stuff in there, not least her co-opting of a couple of audience members as the couple’s respective best friends, and a loopy attempt to do an impression of the manager

Frankie Thompson and Liv Ello: Body Show

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Stand-up

This review is from the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe. There’s an elephant in the room I need to address first. ‘Body Show’… it gives Barbenheimer. As in, Frankie Thompson and Liv Ello’s show not only has a pink (Thompson) and black (Ello) aesthetic, but it literally features repeated atomic bomb references and a scene in which the pair pretend to be Barbie and Ken dolls and discuss each other’s lack of genitals. It’s also fairly obvious that this is a coincidence and the show should absolutely not be viewed as intentionally commenting on either film, but it’s so striking it feels odd not to mention it. But now I have and now we can hopefully move on! Thompson’s Ello-directed solo show ‘Catts’ was probably my favourite ‘comedy’ show at last year’s Fringe, and ‘Body Show’ is very much in its linage. Both explore its creators’ mental health issues, both heavily revolve around the performers lip-syncing to an often outlandishly funny visual mixtape of obscure excerpts of ancient adverts and factual shows. It begins with Thomas and Ello standing together as bride and groom behind a huge wedding cake. She doesn’t say a word but looks increasingly nauseous, slowly turning to anger. In the groom role, the non-binary Ello grins dumbly and occasionally spouts some inane tech bro nonsense. Then the cake splits open to reveal two screens and we’re away into the surreal, Adam Curtis-esque video rabbit holes that are the duo’s stock in trade. Loosely speaking, it’s a show about the pair’s difficu

Ahir Shah: Ends

  • Stand-up

Hugely acclaimed British Indian comic Shah headed up to the Edinburgh Fringe this year with a work-in-progress show entitled ‘Ends’ – three weeks later, the show’s status had been upgraded to finished and he’d taken home the top comedy award. The by all accounts tour de force of a show considers what his grandfather – who arrived in the UK in 1965 – would make of the UK today.

Ania Magliano: I Can’t Believe You’ve Done This

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Stand-up

This review is from the 2023 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Ania Magliano’s meteoric rise has been at least partly fuelled by the idea that she’s the #relatable Gen-Z next door.  And that’s not entirely unfair. Small and charming and only just born in the twentieth century, she has a personable, intimate drawl wherein literally everything she says sounds like she’s imparting some great gossip. As with last year’s smash show ‘Absolutely No Worries If Not’, the subject here is a series of almost wilfully humdrum anecdotes from her own live. But there’s something brilliantly twisted about the way she pushes it too far, spinning her affable storytelling into something altogether more caustic. ‘I Can’t Believe You’ve Done This’ is nominally based on the idea that the worst thing to have ever happened to Magliano in her entire life is a very bad haircut. It’s a joke based upon a deft piece of doublethink. Clearly the haircut bothered her enormously, enough to elicit a very funny, lavishly theatrical anecdote about the experience. But it can’t possibly be the worst thing that has ever happened to her – even though she protests that it absolutely, definitely via the funniest and least repeatable gag of the entire show. Magliano is #relatable, but it's her gift to be able to quite bleakly break that down as she goes on. She spins funny yarns about speed dating or boxing classes or being invited to a threesome and then pours a vat of acid over them, leaving the stories reduced to dark, twi

Boy Parts

  • Drama

In what is Soho Theatre’s biggest homegrown theatre show in aeons, Gill Greer adapts Eliza Clark’s satirical bestseller about Irina, a photographer who takes erotic photos of average-looking men. But when she’s offered an exhibition in a hip London gallery, questions start to be asked about what she’s doing – and why. Sara Joyce directs a cast that will be headed by Aimée Kelly as Irina.

Lorna Rose Treen: Skin Pigeon

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Character

This review is from the 2023 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It’s a testament to the almost fanatical self-belief that Redditch-raised comic Lorna Rose Treen pours into her character comedy that it looks for a while like she might actually be going to perform her entire debut Fringe show ‘Skin Pigeon’ in the persona of a nine-year-old Brownie with a weird voice.  In fact, the awkward bordering on sociopathic Brownie is the most frequently recurring character in ‘Skin Pigeon’. For reasons you won’t discover until the end, she lends the show its somewhat terrifying name. But she’s also just part of an eventual pantheon of characters that are united only by the outlandishness of Treen’s ideas and the almost absurd levels of conviction she invests in them. There’s an eccentric Kiwi netball teacher who sets the audience various extremely low-grade physical challenges. There’s Sally Rooney, debuting her extremely Sally Rooney-ish kids’ picturebook. There’s a dolphin looking at itself in a mirror. There’s an incredibly socially awkward woman who just… turns up in places. There is a cameo appearance that will blow your mind.  It is inventive as hell, with much of the joy coming from the simple fact Treen had any of these ideas in the first place. But it’s also the lack of smug fourth well breaking or explaining the overriding concept or even giving us a clue who the real Lorna Rose Treen is or what she sounds like until the very end. She attacks each of these ridiculous scenarios with the

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