Review 2018: Best Comedy Gigs 2018

It's not easy to pick out the best gigs from the ones I've seen this year. I've probably seen around 250 comedy shows in 2018. Although just to reassure you that I'm not completely consumed by comedy five nights a week, around 100 of those were in August in Edinburgh. So here's my personal favourites.

1. James Acaster, Vaudeville Theatre, WC2 – the closest a comedy set can come to perfection. Acaster has always been the ulitmate crafter of stories but this time he got personal.

2. Natalie Palamides, The Pleasance, Edinburgh – award-winning American took on toxic masculinity while dressed as a man, complete with prosthetic genitals, in Nate.

3. Alfie Brown, Monkey Barrel, Edinburgh - notes on his separation from Jessie Cave, plus painfully honest thoughts about sex and life in general

4. Jessie Cave, The Stand, Edinburgh – queen of oversharing discussed life after separation from fellow comic Alfie Brown

5. Maria Bamford, Leicester Square Theatre, WC2 – US comic brilliantly laid bare her life and her mind on this rare UK visit.

6. Nish Kumar, Soho Theatre, W1 – like his chum James Acaster The Mash Report anchor put together an immaculate set, although the agenda here was political rather than personal.

7. Rose Matafeo, The Pleasance, Edinburgh – A justifed winner of the Edinbugh Comedy Award with this honest take on adolescent obsession

8. Katherine Ryan, Edinburgh Playhouse – a stand-up at the top of her game. Her gig at the Edinburgh Playhouse was a stand-out highlight of the Fringe month.

9. Dylan Moran, Eventim Apollo – the Irishman no longer drinks but nothing else has changed, he is still a comic grump par excellence.

10. Ciaran Dowd: Don Rodolfo, The Pleasance, Edinburgh – the most playfully stupid show of the Edinburgh Fringe, this swashbuckling spoof justly won the Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer prize.

11. Bridget Christie, Leicester Square Theatre, WC2 – nobody can fuse silliness with righteous anger quite as well as Bridget Christie.

12. Mat Ewins, Just The Tonic @ Mash House, Edinburgh – Absolutely bonkers multi-media genius.

13. Chris Rock, 02 Arena – back on form with his latest show tackling issues as wide-ranging as gun control and porn addiction.

14. Flight of the Conchords, 02 Arena – the return of the Kiwi duo was one of the most eagerly awaited shows – even more eagerly awaited when it was postponed after Bret injured his arm, Well worth the wait though.



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