‘Tis the season for solo pantos: Cinderella and co are going it alone

From Polly Lister playing a dozen characters in Scarborough’s Snow Queen to Tom Binns’s solitary Buttons, one is fun for 2020’s pantomimes‘The length of each act should be the length of a child’s bladder,” Polly Lister laughs. “You never want it to spi…

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Panto in a pandemic: honks not hisses and an unprecedented cow

This season, pantomimes are shifting from the theatre to drive-ins and online. Two shows will still make a song and dance about itIain Lauchlan has been putting on panto in Coventry for almost 30 years. Whenever he starts rehearsals, the writer, direct…

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Panto in a pandemic: honks not hisses and an unprecedented cow

This season, pantomimes are shifting from the theatre to drive-ins and online. Two shows will still make a song and dance about itIain Lauchlan has been putting on panto in Coventry for almost 30 years. Whenever he starts rehearsals, the writer, direct…

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‘I feel joy’: how Bisha K Ali went from struggling standup to Marvel maestro

She was living on beans. Now she’s in LA writing Ms Marvel, the eagerly awaited TV series starring MCU’s first Muslim superhero. The writer talks about joyriding premiers and how to silence trollsBefore she became a Marvel screenwriter, Bisha K Ali was…

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Rock on, Bobby: Bobby Ball – a life in pictures

Entertainer Bobby Ball has died aged 76 after testing positive for Covid. One half of TV’s hugely successful comedy act Cannon and Ball, he was a mainstay on British televisions for much of the 1980s. He went on to act in comedies including Not Going O…

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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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‘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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Nimax to reopen six West End venues with social distancing

Adam Kay to launch series as theatres plan to host smaller audiences and run at a lossCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageNimax Theatres will reopen all six of its West End venues from October for a season of socially distanced …

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Our culture has lost its appetite for risk and making people feel uncomfortable | Kenan Malik

The debate about the BBC reveals that even when it comes to comedy we are stuck in echo chambers‘A real comedian – that’s a daring man,” Eddie Waters, an old standup turned evening class tutor, tells a group of would-be comics in Trevor Griffiths’s bri…

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