PREVIEW: Camden Fringe – Comedy

Alongside a vibrant programme of theatre, the Camden Fringe has a range of comedy on offer to tickle your funny bone and get you chortling. From improv to character comedy, here’s a few highlights of the programme this year:

Let’s Revue… with Jacobs and James – Canal Café Theatre | 5-6 August

This vaudeville multi-instrumental comedy cabaret musical revue (yep, a lot going on there) is jokingly described by its two performers as “very self-involved” – meaning you get more of a personal insight into the act than other shows. Following a semi-fictionalised version of, in their own words, “how we met, fell in love, lost all of our money and wrote this show”, the 50-minute extravaganza is their second run of the show at the Camden Fringe having also performed at the Canal Café last year. Catch them on the 5 and 6 August (and they promised me they’ll be donning the amazing sequinned hats they were sporting at the press launch). More information here.

Townies – Hen and Chickens | 8-9 and 14 August

James Bone’s character comedy show consists of several vignettes set – and staged – in a pub. Consisting a new-age traveller who never really travels beyond his hometown, an old-school raver, two East End bouncers and a policeman-turned-private investigator. While some of the characters have had outings on his YouTube channel previously, this is his first full show at the Camden Fringe. See it at the Hen and Chickens in the first half of the Festival. More information here.

David Bright: The Keys To Success – Hen and Chickens | 11-13 August

You may have seen David Bright at the Camden Fringe before as a stand-up performer, but his new show does things a little differently, taking the form of a parody motivational speaker… who turns out to be not so motivational at all. Comprising audience participation, off-the-wall topics and the requisite speaker’s flip chart, this one-man show also comes to the Hen and Chickens in the second week of the Fringe. More information here.

Off the Cuff: Crime and Funishment – Camden Comedy Club | 19-22 August

If improv is more your scene, Off The Cuff are back for their third Camden Fringe with a brand new show. Crime and Funishment promises long-form improv in the guise of a TV-esque detective drama. Fresh from a successful Brighton Fringe, the troupe are, in their own words, “bouncing into Camden” on a high: “We’ve had really good experiences here the last two years”, they told me. “We’ve got in front of some new people – because we’re not based in London, we’re down in Brighton, it’s nice to come somewhere else and build up a new fan base.” You’ll no doubt become one such fan if you head along to the Camden Comedy Club and see them in all their inventive, raucous, glory. More information here.

Royal Hunter – Camden People’s Theatre | 21-26 August

Ellen Chivers’ one-woman comedy show sounds right up my street – a fictional account of the day that she achieved her life-long ambition and met Prince Harry through Tinder. “It was born while I was on tour last year”, Ellen told me. “I love the royal family. I’m a real royalist, which I know divides people. So my friend said if I was going to wrote my own show, I should make it about that because I’m so obsessed”. Fusing farcical comedy and contemporary references with a hint of sadness, the show promises to be an hour of fun modern comedy – and, Ellen tells us, it’s for Monarchists and Republicans alike.

As You (Might) Like It: Holiday Humour – Phoenix Artist Club | 22-23 August

Shook Up Shakespeare are back with another irreverent, exuberant take on a Shakespeare classic. This company, founded in 2015, have already been making a name for themselves around London and now they’re coming to the Camden Fringe with their version of As You Like It. The all-female cast take lots of different bits of Shakespearean texts, and bring them together under common themes. On the topic of being one of many all-female companies in the Camden Fringe programme, Shook Up Shakespeare’s artistic director Helen Watkinson told me: “For me it’s text-led. So rather than deciding it’s going to be an all-female company and trying to find a show to do for all women, I’m interested in putting Shakespeare’s female characters at the centre of the play and putting those women in dialogue with each other.” If that’s the kind of thing that floats your boat, you’ve only got two days to catch the show at the Phoenix Artist Club. More information here.

More for information and to buy tickets for these shows and the whole festival, visit the Camden Fringe website.

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