Luisa Omielan

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Perth Concert Hall
28th October 2017

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There’s been a change to Luisa Omielan’s comedy routine lately. This was a very different show to the riotous celebration of being a real woman that got 47 million hits on YouTube (just type in “thigh gap joke”) and a TV special on the Beeb last May. Instead, a no-frills Luisa, alone on stage, draws her audience around her and shares her recent experience of her mother’s sharp decline and death after being diagnosed with stage 4 stomach and bowel cancer. And the audience laughed and wept and laughed every step of the journey with her.

The show is at the same time a wistfully funny tribute to a remarkable, strong and huge-hearted mother and a catalogue of medical care blunders and hands-tied-behind-backs bureaucratic buffoonery that Omielan recounts with still raw and righteous anger. It’s also a plea for a more compassionate approach to end-of-life care.

Luisa is at her funniest when celebrating the embarrassing stuff of our shared experience that the rest of us don’t have the nerve to say out loud. Now, she’s just as punchy, just as daring and delivers with an honesty and directness that may leave you uncomfortably watching a woman unravel emotionally one moment and laughing lustily at a fart joke the next.

Most of us will be affected by cancer, directly or indirectly. Not everyone will have an opportunity to tell their story of its effect on their lives. Luisa’s keenly honest comedy is a powerful advocate for a more humane, compassionate treatment for those facing the diagnosis of a terminal illness. Proceeds from her shows are going to Helena’s Hospice Foundation, which Luisa has founded in remembrance of her mother, with the aim of enriching hospice care for the terminally ill.

Don’t expect viral-worthy aphorisms for the twitterverse here. This kind of “real-life comedy” may be too much “real-life” for some. But, if you stay with Luisa as she tells her story, be comforted by this reminder that there are everyday heroes out there, and thank basic human goodness that Luisa has a chance to let us laugh, cry and shout about it.

Reviewer : Mark Mackenzie

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Mark Nelson at the Drygate

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Mark Nelson’s mix of dark humour, cutting observations and superb one-liners, all supported by a very confident and perfectly paced delivery, is on the menu for comedy fans in Glasgow as he headlines Gilded Balloon Comedy at Drygate this Friday 03 November 2017. The solidly consistent stand-up, will be joined on stage by Funmbi Omatayo, the Harrods porter turned Hackney gag merchant, and Scotland’s newest and hottest comedy talent from the East End of Glasgow, Jamie Dalgleish.  Jojo Sutherland, the charismatic comic with a commanding stage persona, will compere the evening, keeping both comedian and audience in check.

Mark Nelson is not afraid of creating a stir.  With his brilliantly dark material, delivered with unapologetic confidence, he pushes the comedy boundaries of taste. His likeable, quietly-spoken and laid-back style belys the stronger content that has his audiences laughing at things they know they really shouldn’t be laughing at.  Although his stand-up is certainly not for the easily offended, the material is intelligent, well conceived and cleverly crafted, often weaving in political observations and sharp lines regarding social issues.

Funmbi Omotay delivers gently paced stories and anecdotes with warm confidence that has resulted in a number of awards in his short comedy career.  He is creating a bit of a comedy storm with tales of living in Hackney, his Nigerian roots and his hilarious day-to-day observations.  When he was uprooted from his native Hackney to Lagos at the age of 10, he felt like a fish out of water.  But after assimilating into life in Nigeria the family returned when he was a teenager.  The unsettling experience of trying to fit in across two continents has given the 35-year-old a unique insight on emigration and immigration, perfect material for his stand-up routines.

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Jamie Dalgleish

Jamie Dalgleish, a natural born storyteller oozing with Glasgow charm, is a comedian steeped in the more colourful parts of the city of his upbringing.  He brings cheek and charm to accounts of entrepreneurial ingenuity in Glasgow’s East End.   Many of his routines revolve around closeted, culturally impoverished aspects of Glaswegian life meeting the wider, more cosmopolitan world – from International Politics to fake Lacoste Trackies!  As the self confessed drunken philosopher plays with class stereotypes he has a wry eye for cultural absurdity and invariably makes himself the butt of the joke. Jojo Sutherland is in as much demand for her compere abilities as she is for her comedy routine. Her natural stage presence alongside her “healthy neglect” approach to life and parenting forms the backbone to her material.  This is interspersed with everyday grievances and motherly advice.  It is a comedy journey through life’s ups and downs and twists and turns.


For more information go to Gilded Balloon website: http://www.gildedballoon.co.uk

Twitter – @Gildedballoon

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Gildedballoon

Funny Women 2017

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Funny Women Awards Heats Start – New Record Set!

Entering their fifteenth year, the Funny Women Awards have received a record number of applicants (the Stage Award alone has had over 400), with the closing date for entries on Saturday, September 30th. The search for the next female comedy icon (previous winners and finalists have included Katherine Ryan, Zoe Lyons, Jayde Adams, Desiree Burch, Harriet Braine, Sara Pascoe, Sarah Millican and Susan Calman) will start on Sunday 1st October in London. The heats will also visit Exeter, Dublin, Manchester, Perth (Scotland) and Wolverhampton, with the last heat taking place in Brighton on November 25th. The charity final will be held in March 2018 at the illustrious Lyric Theatre in London.

This year Funny Women will have a new charity partner, UN Women National Committee UK, and, inspired by UN Women’s renowned HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality, the six 2017 Stage Award finalists will be mentored by six well-known male comedians. This follows 2016’s successful pairing of the finalists with celebrity female comedians, including Sara Pascoe, Ellie Taylor, Jan Ravens, Zoe Lyons, Tiffany Stevenson and Shazia Mirza.

Laura Haynes, Chair, UN Women National Committee UK said: ”We are delighted to confirm the Funny Women Awards as one of our signature events for HeForShe London Arts Week 2018 in support of UN Women. We know that the only way to achieve real change is to influence culture. The arts guide and reflect culture by helping people to re-think established norms and explore challenging topics in a thoughtful way. And laughter, when shared, can help to unite people. As well as making us laugh, the Funny Women Awards will be helping to open minds and encourage action.”

In addition to the Stage Award result, the winners of the Comedy Writing Award, the Comedy Shorts (film) Award, the Audience Favourite Award and the Best Show Award (for full-length shows during 2017) will be announced on the night of the final. More information about the Funny Women Awards can be found here:

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Funny Women founder, Lynne Parker said: “I am immensely proud that the charity final of the 2017 Funny Women Awards will be a signature event during UN Women’s HeForShe Arts week next year. We will be supporting the movement throughout the awards heats over the next two months with collections, and by encouraging more men to advocate for women in comedy.”

“We have received a record number of entries this year across all four categories and over 400 women are signed up to compete in live heats for the coveted Stage Award.”

“Women have such a strong and important voice in the comedy industry and so many of today’s big names have taken part in the awards at the beginning of their careers. I am excited to see who comes next!”


HEATS 

London

Sunday, 1st October – Phoenix Artist Club 

Sunday 8th October – The Bill Murray

Saturday 4th November – The Bill Murray

Sunday 5th November – Phoenix Artist Club

Wednesday 8th November – The Betsey Trotwood

Friday 10th November – Hoxton Hall

Wednesday 15th November – The Betsey Trotwood

Sunday 19th November – Phoenix Artist Club

Wednesday 22nd November – The Betsey Trotwood

West Country 

Saturday 14th October – Phoenix, Exeter

Ireland 

Tuesday 17th October – Chaplins Comedy Club, Dublin

Wednesday 18th October – Chaplins Comedy Club, Dublin

 

North West – Manchester Women in Comedy Festival 

Friday 20th October – Tribeca, Manchester

Monday 23rd October – Tribeca, Manchester

Wednesday 25th October – Tribeca, Manchester

Thursday 26th October – Tribeca, Manchester

Friday 27th October – Tribeca, Manchester

Scotland Heat

Sunday 29th October – Perth Concert Hall, WOW Perth

Midlands Heat 

Wednesday 1st November – Funny Things, Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton

South East Heat

Saturday 25th November – Komedia

 

Susie Steed: Money Walks – The Unofficial Story of Capitalism

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Heroes @ Bob’s BlundaBus
Aug 25-27 (15:00)

‘What a wonderful way to spend my last afternoon at the Fringe,‘ thought I as Ms. Susie Steed was leading myself & a few other fans of either her, or her subject, through the streets of Edinburgh, in the rare unwindy sunshine that occasionally strikes the city. Her subject is finance, & the history of money, for Susie is an economist & the imperial & financial city that is the Scottish capital seems the perfect place to conduct her ‘Money Walks’ comedy lectures.

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IMG_20170824_151554981.jpgAs we are led place to pretty place, we become steeped in the iconography of money, especially that of Britannia, who has been transmorphed over the ages from coin to coin & onto the notes of our island, whose helmet Susie dons as she leads us about the place, her umbrella being waved about as if she were some holiday rep in Benidorm. Most of what she says is interesting, rather than funny, but she is a the master of digress & can burst the semi-seriousness in a Thalian flash. Alas, she is a little too soft-spoken to compete with the street-sounds of the Scottish capital, but apparently Susie will be returning next year with the same or a similar project, & will have her tweaks ready to turn.

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IMG_20170824_160709061.jpgDespite the audible quietness, Susie’s message, intelligence, storytelling & humour simply boom out into the aether; spending an hour in her company is a charming alternative to doing just about anything else during the Fringe. ‘We’re not here to talk about the dog,’ she tells us as we enter Greyfriars Kirk, – one of the quieter spots on the tour – ‘we’re here to talk about insurance,’ & by the end of the walk, I noticed just about everyone involved was waiting politely to speak to Susie, so cleverly – & wittily – had she piqued us all.

Reviewer : Damo

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Being HUEman Being

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Just The Tonic @ Caves
25th August

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Leaving the wonderful land of Oz for the competitive streets of Edinburgh’s Fringe, Luke Nowell brought his hilarious show, Being Hueman Being, for all our pleasure. With so much comedy at the Fringe this year, laughs have to be earned, and this show certainly does just that. Bouncing onto the stage like a 70s Space Hopper, dressed in an all-in-one grey & tight latex suit (with red shorts), the audience erupted. Being HUEman is a clever & funny take on what it means to be Human, and the many avenues we travel along to find perfection. Taking things back to the basics and using slap-stick comedy, Luke injects body and facial miming to elaborate his many characters, & with simple stage accessories he creates a world full of fun and humorous sketches. Through movement and gesture the show slides along with ease, delivering side splitting-moments of genius. Pulling the crowd into his imaginary world of art and using them like bate in a trap, he pounces like a Elephant in musk, knocking down everything in his way to get to the sacred place of love.

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Turning one member of the audience into a living sperm, they then proceed to chase an egg in a race to be the fertilizer king, a very human thing! Pouring from his suitcase were sketches about dating, boob size, men’s muscles, a woman’s need to look good and not forgetting the perfection of art. As Luke conducts us like an orchestra maestro, his character comedy acting is a breath of fresh air. Touching on our everyday hang-ups he gives you food for thought & a a feelgood experience which throws up hysterical moments using only bananas, balls, dolls and moustaches. Think of old school comedy capers, add in great acting with a twist of human nature, and you have Being HUEman’s cocktail of chuckles, gimmicks, tear-jerkers and howling laughter. Luke has devised a great comedy sketch show that is rare these days, and allows us to sit back have fun and to take stock of our lives. Who we are and what we become are strong messages throughout this excellent and brilliant show in every way.

Reviewed by Raymondo

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Tales from a Tampon

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Laughing Horse @ 48 Below
Aug 25-27 (20:45)

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At first glance, a comedian trussed up as a tampon seems like a gimmick, perhaps it is, but its one that really makes perfect sense. The woman behind the mask, Sarah Morgan-Paul, is actually here on a mission to teach us about the history of that ‘little cotton-bud,’ tho in the process manages to pull off some good ol’ fashioned northern humour as she does so. Sarah heralds from Leeds, where a blossoming comedy scene inspired her to quit her corporate job & follow her natural instincts – she is a performer & has the ability to see the comedy in life & also to translate it into laughs for a watching audience.

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The theme of her first Fringe show, then, is the tampon & the inner workings of the lady garden, although she does manage to slip in some conventional comedy here & there. In Sarah’s world, men have jingly-jangly bits, Skippy The Kangaroo is still fuckin’ hilarious & the magical properties of the female period are described as a ‘Menstrual Paul Daniels.‘ Yes, its all good, Sarah Morgan-Paul is smart & despite being dressed like a tampon, has got style, trust me! As she bounces & banters beautifully through her material we’re all on her side & loving the ride. Tales From A Tampon is a history lesson that is properly funny & you can’t just help falling for the cute little face that bobbles out from her sensational Tampon costume.

Reviewed by Damo

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