Comedy Shows Not To Miss

The latest reviews from the Arts Desk of comedy shows up and down the country, reveal some gems and a few disappointments.

‘The Pajama Men’ provided one of the former. This surrealistic comedy was performed by the American comedy duo of Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen, in their pyjamas. They are equally skilled in physical, verbal and vocal comedy, creating a roster of madcap grotesque characters who in their current show, In the Middle of No One, run amok in a maternity ward before veering off into another galaxy.

Ismene Brown, on the other hand, could not recommend ‘The Flying Karamazov Brothers’ quite so heartily. Disappointed, Brown felt after seeing other comedy shows that there were other comedians who did this sort of thing a lot better.


TV pro Derren Brown delivered a more all-round entertaining show at the Shaftesbury Theatre, according to Veronica Lee. The show ‘Svengali’ was a showcase of Brown’s talents as an illusionist, a mentalist and even a sceptic. His mind-bending routines may have been done many times before, but Brown manages to reinvent them and add his own personal stamp, impressing the room with his powers of deduction and suggestion, and, despite explaining what he’s doing, successfully bamboozling his audience. The second half of the show ramped up the complexity – employing a doll with supposed supernatural powers that Lee found less creepy than intended – to build to a thrilling and brain-teasing climax.

Over at the vast O2 Arena, however, Leehad only a tepid response to the efforts of feted New York stand-up and star of his own hugely successful sitcom, Jerry Seinfeld. Lee was disappointed that Seinfeld failed to deliver the goods, even after a 13 year break from appearing in comedy shows in this country and ticket prices at a whopping £300. Unfortunately, Lee thought that there was little connection and dialogue with the audience. Disappointingly, a lot of the jokes were old or United States-based and drew little response although his patter on being a new husband and father in later life were very funny and perceptive.

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