stewart lee

Review: Russell Brand, Birmingham Symphony Hall

It's been business as usual for Russell Brand in the last few weeks. A kerfuffle on Newsnight where Jeremy Paxman called the guest editor of The New Statesman "trivial" and had a go at him for telling people not to vote has been followed by a rant from Quentin Letts in the Mail putting the boot into him. As someone said on Twitter, Brand must be doing something right if the Mail has decided to take a pop at him. he is now in the middle of his Messiah Complex tour, which I saw on the opening night in Birmingham last month.

Preview: November Comedy Guide

Oct 29 - Nov 1  David Baddiel - South Bank Centre, SE1. Fame: Not The Musical comes to London.

Oct 29 - Nov 10 Andrew Maxwell - Soho Theatre, W1. Impish Irishman's new show, Banana Kingdom. 

News: Alternative Comedy Experience New Series/DVD

The second series of Comedy Central's Alternative Comedy Experience is due to start in February 2014 but before then a DVD of the first series is to be released on November 18. This is the same day many of the big name live DVDs, including those from Adam Hills and Sean Lock, are released.

Review: Resofit, Bloomsbury Theatre

A London traffic snarl-up-from-hell did its best to ruin my fun last night. Closures around Hyde Park meant I missed the first two acts at the annual benefit for engagingly experimental radio station Resonance FM. I've investigated on your behalf and discovered that Robert Newman did a slightly overlong bit about evolution, presumably something from his solo show, reviewed here.

Preview: The Week Ahead Sept 9 - 15

Suddenly after the summer slumber in London the next seven days feel like a properly exciting week for going out to comedy.

Opinion: Another Reason to Love Russell Brand

When you invite Russell Brand onstage at an awards bash you don't know quite what you are going to get. So, paradoxically, the GQ Awards should not really have been surprised earlier this week when Brand referred to the sponsors' past when he said: “If anyone knows a bit about history and fashion, you know it was Hugo Boss who made uniforms for the Nazis. But they looked f***ing amazing.” 

Opinion: A Star Rating Is Born

"Three stars but it read like a Five." Well, that's it. I'm joining the star brigade. When the Edinburgh Fringe kicks off I'll be reviewing as many shows as I can while retaining my sanity and will be giving each of them a star-rating out of five as all major comedy coverage now does.

Interview: Josie Long

Josie Long (pictures by Idil Sukan at Draw HQ) was one of my favourite comedians even before she co-founded Arts Emergency to help students study arts degrees. I don't always agree with her but I admire the way that she throws herself headlong into everything she does, whether it is her pursuit of social justice or her hobby of outdoor swimming.

Preview: Warm Ups are Comedy's True Hot Tickets

I'm usually reluctant to give the opposition the oxygen of publicity, but this week Time Out's comedy section has done a nice round-up of the Edinburgh Fringe's work-in-progress shows coming up in London. I'd been working on a similar piece myself to launch BTJ's new Preview Section and will be posting Preview of the Day tweets to highlight the shows you really must see

Opinion: Bragging Rights & Superstore Superstars

I enjoyed Billy Bragg's latest album Tooth & Nail when it came out earlier this year and now, thanks to Johnny Vegas, Kevin Eldon, Stewart Lee, Ross Noble, Ricky Grover, Phill Jupitus, Neil Morrissey and Samuel West I've been enjoying the track Handyman Blues again. In case you haven't heard, Johnny Vegas directed the other names mentioned plus the Barking Bard in the video for the song.

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