Preview: The Week Ahead June 10 - 16

joel dommett

Bloody Americans, coming over here and entertaining our comedy fans…  Last week Judah Friedlander made his London debut and was a bit of a disappointment. There should be no such problems with Aziz Ansari, who comes to the Hammersmith Apollo this Saturday. Ansari has appeared in London before – at the Soho Theatre in 2011 – and delivers the kind of pithy, observational set we have come to expect from seeming Americans on TV. Slick, assured and packed with punchlines.

Since his last visit Ansari is a much bigger star thanks to playing bumptious fool Tom Haverford in Parks & Recreation. Hence his leap from the Soho Theatre to Hammersmith. He is young, good looking and going places. Catch him at this one-off – next time he comes to the UK he could be playing an even bigger venue.

Maybe in three years time Joel Dommett will have graduated to Hammersmith from the Soho Theatre where he is appearing this week from tonight. Dommett has all the makings of a star. Like Ansari he has also mixed stand-up with acting. I first saw him playing a kind of skinny jeaned Simon Amstell-lite TV presenter in Popatron, a Junior Larry Sanders Show set in the world of youth TV.

Dommett has a nicely playful, slightly fey, winning stage persona, with material drawing heavily on his childhood in a West Country village where he briefly harboured ambitions to be a hardcore rapper. Schooldays and nostalgia feature heavily, with tales of playground politics, young love and bullying lending his style an Adrian Mole-ish feel. It is still relatively early days for Dommett but if he doesn't become a big name – either in stand-up or as a sitcom star – I'll eat my ticket for his show.


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