The must-see standup of summer 2017: Daniel Kitson, Sara Pascoe, Rob Delaney and more

The star of Catastrophe brings carnality, the elusive Kitson attempts to ‘alter language’, Sara Pascoe goes dating, while Hannah Gadsby goes out with a bang

• Summer arts preview 2017: Television | Pop | Film

Penn and Teller

Las Vegas’s loss is Britain’s gain, as the veteran magic double-act return for UK tour. Publicity has focused on Penn Jillette’s relationship with the US president, with whom he worked on Celebrity Apprentice in 2012. “We wish we could make Trump disappear,” ran the headlines. That’s not, unfortunately, the prospectus for their new show, which should feature the usual impressive combination of jazzy set pieces hyped by Penn and tender conjuring vignettes by Teller.
• At Hammersmith Apollo, London, 20-25 June. Box office: 0844-249 4300.

Rob Delaney

When he first gigged in the UK, the American comic Rob Delaney was mainly famous for being funny on Twitter. Two years ago, cresting Channel 4’s hit show Catastrophe, he delivered a depraved (his word) standup show entitled Meat. This summer, that carnival of carnality is back.
• At Leicester Square theatre, London, 5-15 July. Box office: 020-7734 2222.


Katherine Ryan is appearing at the Latitude and Stand Up in the Wyldes festivals.
Katherine Ryan is appearing at the Latitude and Stand Up in the Wyldes festivals. Photograph: Richard Saker/The Observer

Now firmly established as a big event in the comedy calendar, the Suffolk summer festival beloved by the artier crowd returns with a killer standup programme, including Mock the Week host and science-geek headliner Dara Ó Briain, waspish Canadian import Katherine Ryan, haiku comic and hipsters’ favourite Tim Key, and Simon Amstell, whose recent Carnage mockumentary set tongues wagging.
• At Henham Park, Southwold, 13-16 July.

Bourgeois and Maurice

The musical comedy duo (AKA Liv Morris and George Heyworth) are reflecting on 10 years at the forefront of camp-and-fabulous satirical cabaret. This summer, they’re staging Style Over Substance: A 10-Year Restrospective, promising to “look back over a decade of social change” via their best-loved songs.
• At Soho theatre, London, 15-26 August. Box office: 020-7478 0100.

Daniel Kitson
Daniel Kitson Photograph: Gavin Osborn

Daniel Kitson

A new Daniel Kitson show is always an event; a new standup act (he’s more of a solo theatre man now) even more so. His latest, Something Other Than Everything, is his first big London run for four years and presumably includes his excellent “effective altruism” material piloted at last year’s Edinburgh fringe. It promises to “alter the function of language and invent a new form of standup”. Can’t wait.
• At Roundhouse, London, 12-29 July. Box office: 0300-6789 222. Then at Royal Exchange, Manchester, 31 August-19 September. Box office: 0161-833 9833.

Sam Simmons

When a critic said that Sam Simmons could read the phone book and be funny, the comic responded in true absurdist fashion, making that challenge the basis of his new show, A-K. Reviews from his native Australia suggest another cracking set from the 2015 Edinburgh champ, also featuring berserk anti-comedy and material about his new baby. It is in London for a fortnight before a run in Edinburgh.
• At Soho theatre, London, 25 July-5 August. Box office: 020-7478 0100. Then at Assembly George Square Studios, Edinburgh, 11-27 August. Box office: 0131-226 0000.

Sara Pascoe

The erudite and inquisitive Pascoe – current guest star on Frankie Boyle’s latest TV vehicle New World Order – can be seen around the UK (Cardiff, Gateshead, Cambridge) as she whips her Edinburgh show into shape. After missing last year’s festival to write the acclaimed book Animal, expectations are high for 2017’s offering, LadsLadsLads, which reportedly focuses on Pascoe’s return to dating after a breakup.
• At Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, 2-27 August. Box office: 0131-226 0000.

Stand Up in the Wyldes

Every corner of the UK has its own comedy festival, right? Well, not Cornwall – until now. Stand Up in the Wyldes launches in style with big hitters Bill Bailey, Katherine Ryan and Russell Kane, and ace up-and-comers such as Lolly Adefope. “As well as attracting huge stars,” say its curators, “we will showcase the massive wealth of comedy talent within the south-west.”
• At the Wyldes, near Bude, Cornwall, 25-27 August.

Dane Baptiste

Dane Baptiste.
Dane Baptiste, who’s headed to the Pleasance Courtyard in Edinburgh. Photograph: -

Baptiste became one of comedy’s more interesting social commentators by stealth, with a debut that – in his downbeat way – posted forthright and funny opinions about race, money and culture. Since then, he’s announced his ambition to be Britain’s Chris Rock, and has launched his own sitcom, Sunny D, on BBC3. The new show G.O.D. (Gold. Oil. Drugs.) is “about our worldwide pursuit of wealth, power and pleasure”.
• At Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, 2-27 August. Box office: 0131-226 0000.

Hannah Gadsby

It’s not often you get to watch a comedian’s final show. But that’ is how the Australian comic Hannah Gadsby is billing Nanette, which won this year’s prestigious Barry award at the Melbourne comedy festival. The show explains why, detailing Gadsby’s lifelong experiences of homophobia, gender violence and power, how she cultivated humour as a response, and why that’s no longer enough. Reviewers raved.
• At Assembly George Square Studios, Edinburgh, 2-27 August. Box office: 0131-226 0000.


Brian Logan

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Laugh a minute: Edinburgh festival's 2017 comedy lineup
Sara Pascoe looks at life after a breakup, Trygve Wakenshaw brings his baby on stage, and Alexei Sayle, Ruby Wax and talkshow king Craig Ferguson all return to the fringe this year

Brian Logan

08, Jun, 2017 @2:28 PM

Article image
From scissor attacks to diabetes improv: comedians' weirdest gigs
Lucy Porter caused a breakup. Romesh Ranganathan did a diabetes panel show. And Clive Anderson was attacked with scissors. Comics relive their worst moments on stage

16, Aug, 2017 @10:00 AM

Article image
Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend
Plan your viewing with our list of essential shows, ordered by start time

Lyn Gardner, Brian Logan and Judith Mackrell

23, Aug, 2017 @7:28 AM

Article image
Sara Pascoe: And now for Nietzsche ...
Sara Pascoe is thriving at standup, but she'd rather be an 18th-century essayist. She talks to Brian Logan about politics, philosophy – and gigging with the RSC

Brian Logan

07, Aug, 2013 @5:41 PM

Article image
Daniel Kitson: the Salinger of standup

Daniel Kitson doesn't do tours, interviews, TV or DVDs. So how did a reclusive enigma become the most sought after standup of his generation? As the comic prepares to appear at Edinburgh, Brian Logan talks to his peers

Brian Logan

05, Aug, 2012 @5:30 PM

Article image
The 50 best comedians of the 21st century
From apocalyptic standup Frankie Boyle to the many hilarious faces of Tina Fey, Steve Coogan, Sharon Horgan and Kristen Wiig, we present the funniest people of the era

Hannah J Davies, Paul Fleckney, Harriet Gibsone, Brian Logan and Stuart Heritage

18, Sep, 2019 @2:45 PM

Article image
Fun factory: the finest comedy of summer 2016
David Baddiel airs his own family’s failings, Bridget Christie grapples with a Motörhead vibrator, there’s a raft of improv – and Mr Swallow recreates Houdini’s finest escape

Brian Logan

04, May, 2016 @6:00 AM

Article image
Sara Pascoe: LadsLadsLads review – breakup tales from a woman reborn
The whipsmart standup overthinks, overshares and delivers a winningly funny show that finds the humour in heartbreak

Brian Logan

05, Aug, 2017 @3:01 PM

Article image
Summer 2017's essential theatre: from the rise of Murdoch's Sun to Dylan's dustbowl blues
The Kids Company inquiry becomes a musical, Olivia Colman and Olivia Williams star as sisters, Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell hit the roof and rhinoceroses rampage through Edinburgh

Michael Billington

16, Jun, 2017 @5:00 AM

Article image
Edinburgh festival 2017: 10 shows to see
A puppet blockbuster, a Bigfoot opera and a Northern Soul dance marathon all feature in the lineup of the 70th Edinburgh festival

Chris Wiegand

04, Aug, 2017 @5:00 AM