The Yes Queens review – digital crowd pipe in impro oxygen

Battersea Arts Centre, London, and online Audience participation at arm’s length via screen happily injects some welcome randomness into this six-person improvised sketch showHow do you do impro without an audience? That Covid has made life unforgiving…

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Choirs and comedians among recipients of £76m Covid arts aid

Almost 600 cultural groups across England to benefit from latest funding roundComedy clubs, circuses, choirs and theatres across England are in line to receive a share of £76m of government funding for the cultural sector.The Military Wives Choirs, Som…

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‘We have £52 left’: the dire future for England’s small arts organisations

This week, the UK government announced £257m in emergency arts funding – we hear from some of those who missed out, complaining of baffling applications and a lack of guidanceOf course it was disappointing not to be successful in this round of the cult…

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‘This room’s not ready for me’: improv as a BAME comic

I’ve worked as the only person of colour on improv nights for years and found problems – and potential. Now diverse groups are finding laughs a more inclusive wayIn improv, when one comic decides another performer’s scene has run its course, they dart …

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Don’t mock the pasties!: Inside Cornwall’s standup scene

In the UK’s most southwesterly county a burgeoning standup scene thrives everywhere from remote village halls and old bakeries to the cliffside Minack theatre A cliff edge, an old bakery or the space next to the tea-hatch in a village hall aren’t stand…

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Angela Barnes: ‘My perm looked like Little Bo Peep crossed with Margaret Thatcher’

The award-winning standup on the things that make her laugh the mostVictoria Wood when I was 14. I couldn’t believe this one person could have so many people in the palm of their hand. Related: The Guide: Staying In – sign up for our home entertainmen…

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‘Like being in a speakeasy during Prohibition’ – standups on their first gigs since lockdown

Bridget Christie was a bag of nerves, Suzi Ruffell played Covid for laughs and Stephen K Amos was so rusty he needed a clipboard … top comics on the thrill of returningLockdown was the longest I’ve not gigged since I started in comedy. I realised how…

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From standup to stanzas: Frank Skinner’s terrific guide to poetry

The comedian’s new podcast is bursting with enthusiasm for poems. If standup forces him to be funny, here he forces himself to be true‘Phwooar – Ginsy Ginsy Ginsy, I love you so much!” You won’t find that in FR Leavis. The “Ginsy” in question is beat p…

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Rage, white supremacy and roses: the art that sums up the Trump era

CocoRosie’s call to arms, a mauling from Michelle Wolf, Arthur Jafa’s white supremacy montage and Melania Trump’s gardening … Guardian writers pick the moments that encapsulate Trump’s reign Since he’s a former real-estate tycoon, it seems fitting that…

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Flamboyant drag on a laptop? It cramps cabaret’s style

Britain’s Got Talent star Myra Dubois turns agony aunt in a show that might raise the roof in a theatre – but not onlineMyra Dubois was a staple of the cabaret scene for years before Simon Cowell came calling. Duetting with Amanda Holden, and cracking …

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