The best shows at the Edinburgh festival 2018

Plan your schedule with our roundup of top shows, ordered by start time. This page will be updated daily throughout the festival Continue reading…

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The Muppets Take the O2 review – Kermit quips with Kylie in a riot of silliness

O2 Arena, London
The anarchic comedy crew’s first ever UK date offers warmth, wit and mischief in an irresistible cavalcade of songs, skits and incongruous celebs

The Muppets long since conquered TV and the movies, and there’s been talk of a stage musical since Disney bought the franchise more than a decade ago. It hasn’t materialised – but last autumn, the furry ensemble tipped up at the Hollywood Bowl with this variety spectacular, a scaled-up version of the 70s TV show that made their name. To those of us who grew up with The Muppet Show, it offers a dreamy hit of nostalgia. To anyone else, it must still be a winning – if sometimes arbitrary – cavalcade of songs, skits and incongruous celebs, all marshalled by Jim Henson’s endearingly anarchic sock-puppet-and-stuffed-toy crew.

The conceit is that the Muppets have arrived with 30 minutes of material, only to discover that the O2 expects two hours-plus. “So just … stre-e-e-etch,” stage manager Scooter instructs MC Kermit the Frog – offering a hostage to fortune should what follow feel thinly spread. Sometimes, it does. There are several non-sequitur sketches – such as the skulls and ghouls singing “The Boo Danube” – whose absence few would regret. But they add to the show’s bricolage character. Nothing hangs around too long; the show never drags.

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The Muppets Take the O2 review – Kermit quips with Kylie in a riot of silliness

O2 Arena, London
The anarchic comedy crew’s first ever UK date offers warmth, wit and mischief in an irresistible cavalcade of songs, skits and incongruous celebs

The Muppets long since conquered TV and the movies, and there’s been talk of a stage musical since Disney bought the franchise more than a decade ago. It hasn’t materialised – but last autumn, the furry ensemble tipped up at the Hollywood Bowl with this variety spectacular, a scaled-up version of the 70s TV show that made their name. To those of us who grew up with The Muppet Show, it offers a dreamy hit of nostalgia. To anyone else, it must still be a winning – if sometimes arbitrary – cavalcade of songs, skits and incongruous celebs, all marshalled by Jim Henson’s endearingly anarchic sock-puppet-and-stuffed-toy crew.

The conceit is that the Muppets have arrived with 30 minutes of material, only to discover that the O2 expects two hours-plus. “So just … stre-e-e-etch,” stage manager Scooter instructs MC Kermit the Frog – offering a hostage to fortune should what follow feel thinly spread. Sometimes, it does. There are several non-sequitur sketches – such as the skulls and ghouls singing “The Boo Danube” – whose absence few would regret. But they add to the show’s bricolage character. Nothing hangs around too long; the show never drags.

Continue reading…

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Review: Jeff Dunham, “Relative Disaster” on Netflix

No, you’re the puppet! Jeff Dunham is undoubtedly the biggest ventriloquist in the world. By fans. By tickets sold. Dunham set ratings records for Comedy Central, and landed his previous special in primetime for NBC in 2015. Now he’s on Netflix. Because everyone in the comedy game is on Netflix in 2017. His new special […]

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