Category: Review

Comedians · Speakers · Celebrities · Entertainers

George Best A Memoir (Review)

Michael Parkinson was friends with George Best (1946-2005) for over 30 years, if anyway could shed light on this genesis of a footballer surely, he could. Yet throughout the book (George Best: A memoir) it contains memories as the title suggests, but does not shed any new light on this complex but highly charismatic footballer.…
Read more

Jasper & Alistair Web Banner

Jasper Carrott & Alistair McGowan: On Tour

Jasper Carrott & Alistair McGowan, the bacon and eggs pairing, are a surprising mixture of comedy talent touring the country together with their different but complementary styles of stand up. McGowan’s well observed impressions drive his act forward, one after the other, some nicely catching the ear, especially those where other impressionists haven’t yet trodden…
Read more

Kevin Keegan: My Life in Football (Review)

It’s more than 40 years since Kevin Keegan was the face of Brut, Pirelli slippers, Smith’s crisps and the Green Cross Code. He possessed the most famous autograph in football. Kevin was England’s golden boy. The best player in the country. At a time of under achievement for the nation at international level. He followed…
Read more

Streetcar named desire

A Streetcar for the Modern Age

Richard Inverne vigorously approves of Chelsea Walker’s new production of the Tennessee Williams classic, currently running at NST City, Southampton. In a 1975 interview with New York Times columnist Robert Berqvist*, Williams insisted that his plays contained ‘very little’ autobiographical content, although John Lahr’s excellent 2014 biography of the writer, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of…
Read more

Larry Dean Fandan

Larry Dean: Fandan

Larry Dean is currently touring the country in his show ‘Fandan’ containing all the comic talent now associated with this growing Scottish performer. He walks to the stage without pretension, no bottled beer in hand (like others), immediately displaying his down to earth credentials in a Glaswegian accent, with rapid fire delivery only stopping half…
Read more

Imperium: the RSC’s imperious view of Cicero’s Rome

In 2014, Mike Poulton adapted Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall novels for the Royal Shakespeare Company. The result was a huge success, garnering such plaudits as ‘As in Mantel’s book, you feel this is history made manifest’ (Michael Billington, The Guardian) and ‘an adaptation that knows exactly when to speak and when to stay silent and…
Read more

Delegates Held Hostage by 4 Speakers

The Gatwick Diamond Speakers Conference provided its members with a group of diverse, interesting and thought-provoking guest speakers (Luise Usiskin, Tori James, Dr.James Bellini & Kirk Kinnell) at South Lodge, Hotel tackling a number of interesting subjects. The team met as a panel to discuss delegates questions, with the conference hosted by BBC reporter /…
Read more

Alan Ayckbourn: ‘How the other half Loves’

‘How the other half Loves’ explores the different social attitudes to supposed infidelity. This, six hander play (three couples), set in the 1960’s, contains all the hallmarks of strong comic plotting with moments of extreme farce. Originally written by Alan Ayckbourn in 1970, being his second work, much waited for after the success of his…
Read more

Life & Chimes: The Pompey Story

The Chime’s of Pompey rang out to all Portsmouth fans to come to the Kings Theatre to watch a potted amusing, informative theatrical history of their football club. This highly entertaining show was introduced by BT Sports commentator Ian Darke with the help of Peter Brackley bringing his now famous caretaker character back on stage…
Read more

Sunday Night At…

NOT Sunday Night at the London Palladium! But Sunday Night at the Theatre Royal Brighton with all the glamour, glitz and talent associated with the London Theatre, along with the variety talent which had many switching on their TV sets in the 50’s and 60’s, but now making their way to Brighton for the same…
Read more

Brian Conley

Hire a Hero – Gala Charity night

You’ve fought in the Falklands, completed trips to Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, perhaps seen awful things that many of us in our life will fortunately never see. Yet what does one do when leaving the service? How does one cope adjusting to what most of us consider everyday life? The yearly average net outflow from…
Read more

Backstage: Jim Tavare All-Star Comedy Benefit Night

Over 500 people packed into the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury avenue, to enjoy a comedy show that only comes around once in a lifetime. There seemed more stars than the night sky. All giving their time free to support their colleague Jim Tavare who had been through an horrendous car accident and now faced with medical…
Read more

Make an impression

How to make an impression

Nowadays, a comedy impressionist is a rare sight on stage. This artform has been left behind with flared trousers and the eighties word processor. Comedians are now more observational, chatty, satirical and find no room for impressionism within their acts. A vocal jamboree of celebrity characters is seen as ‘old hat’ and been overtaken by…
Read more

Best of British Farce

Out of Order: Best of British Farce

Farce is never an easy form of theatre to succeed in. Yet Ray Cooney has made it his lifetimes ambition and work to create some of our best loved and well written farces. ‘Out of Order’ is not one of Cooney’s best (even though it won an Laurence Oliver award for Best Comedy 1991) but…
Read more

‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

Following it’s humble beginning at the Old Red Lion, Islington (2012) ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ is drawing strong audiences in its West End run. It further gained attention after appearing on the Royal Variety Show and has since gone from strength to strength. This is the play that turns slapstick comedy into an intelligent,…
Read more

Hyundai: Would you go this far to protect your daughter?

The 2017 Hyundai ads typically portray a real life scenarios, with humour at the forefront of the campaign. The comedic approach is to relate to experiences we have all shared at some time in our lives. The 2016 super bowl ad ‘first dates’ is no different. It was noted as one of the best ads…
Read more

John Hartson: St Davids Day Lunch

John Hartson: Big Heart & Balls

What better way to celebrate St. David’s day than in the company of Welsh footballing legend John Hartson who joined a lunch on behalf of the Sussex cricket Foundation to celebrate the occasion. The former footballer, now turned television soccer pundit on BBC and BT Sports, addressed a keen audience on his career and life.…
Read more

Hollywood: How to survive the end of the world

In the weekend of the Oscars, millions are glued to their screens awaiting the much-coveted awards. Once a film becomes popular, the genre is often copied by others. In recent years, the human race has become more enamoured with the idea of the end of the world. With people insisting they have seen intelligent life,…
Read more

‘The Goldstone Days’ – 20 years on

Brighton & Hove Albion are sitting at the top of the championship, expectation around the city is cautiously positive. The Seagulls have knocked on the door of promotion (through the play off’s) three times in the last five years. Last year success seemed finally on the way, yet more heartache. This season confidence is high…
Read more

Horses laugh hysterically at bad car parking

Laughter is infectious. Even more so when the laughter is coming from a group of animated horses. These horses are the stars of a new Volkswagen commercial advertising the trailer assist feature of the new Tiguan car. The hilarious Volkswagen advert was published onto their YouTube channel on the 12th October and now has over…
Read more

The RSC’s high-tech ‘The Tempest’. Does it work ?

Did the RSC’s high-tech The Tempest work with or against Shakespeare’s dark, enigmatic comedy? The Tempest apparently premiered with a performance at Whitehall Palace in 1611, performed by the King’s Men before King James I and his court. Whilst we do not know much about this occasion, we can assume that His Majesty was pleased…
Read more

A German company, a Frenchman and 50 Scots

At the end of a conference it is refreshing for delegates to look forward to the evening dinner and entertainment. At this event a German company, with a subsidiary in Britain organised a French comedian to entertain it’s 90% male UK workforce containing an abundance of Scotsmen, Irish and a some English, all in relaxed…
Read more

Ian Wright

Ian Wright – ‘A life in Football’ Review

Ex footballer Ian Wright plots his rise from a South London Council Estate to Summariser on ‘Match of the Day’ in his new autobiography ‘A life in Football’. He lifts the lid on his career, personal life in a very honest and self-critical publication. From Sunday morning football to Arsenal legend, from professional footballer on…
Read more

Henry Blofeld

‘Rogues on the Road’ Cricketing Masterclass

Observing Ian Botham coming towards you in a very aggressive mood at an airport, is not a pretty site on tour, but this was one of many stories told by darling cricket commentator Henry Blofeld in a short tour of shows with his old BBC Test Match special (TMS) producer Peter Baxter who joined in…
Read more

French Beaujolais meets English Humour

The first bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau were gently mixed with some comedy, light music and Camembert cheese at the county ground on Thursday 17th November. This being the first day of the season for such a celebrated French wine, much loved around the world, particularly in its home country where corks were pulled in great…
Read more

Sign of the times? Or just sad?

The Chamber of Commerce produced their second Business Leaders Conference with a nicely diversified team of speakers, each addressing different issues in the world of commerce, keeping their audience informed and entertained. The event was compered by Laurence Elphick who as well as being a Chamber board member, has just been made managing director of…
Read more

Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards

The Eagle has Landed !

Britain’s first and last ski jumper, landed softly in a room full of Sussex Business people, ready to hear a story which was, moving, endearing and profound. This was the second in a series of Business conferences organised by the Chamber of Commerce with a number of interesting speakers each with their own distinct personal…
Read more

Want a revolution? Let me finish my tea first

‘Want a revolution?’ she said. ‘Well okay, but let me finish my tea first,’ was the flippant reply to the attendant checking my entrance ticket, to a new and explosive exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum celebrating the culture change and movements of the 60’s entitled ‘You say You want a Revolution? Records and…
Read more

Sinitta Wins! Despite Taxi Driver & Shepherd’s Pie

The Event The Ivy restaurant and club played host to another charity quiz night for members with friends, bathed in an exciting atmosphere of expectation and nostalgia. The quiz was put together by Andrew Wilson who is fast becoming known as a master of Ivy quiz nights. His skills at modern day DJing at the…
Read more

‘Game of Thrones’ Craster Holds Court

Welsh actor, Robert Pugh joined a business lunch to discuss his substantial career as an actor. Not necessarily a household name but a performer who has worked with the best and continued to work. He is known to all ‘Game of Thrones’ fans as ‘Craster’ the evil one. Bob mentioned recently ‘Kids come up to…
Read more

Making Brighton’s i360 ‘A-Pier’

Brighton’s new i360 has been controversial in its conception and now completed, forms a strong feature on the seafront landscape. Most are in positive mood for this new £46 million tourist attraction housed in front of the old West Pier which closed in 1975. The crumbling, rusting iron work of the famous pier has become…
Read more

Scottish comics win Edinburgh comedy award 2016

Richard Gadd’s show ‘Monkey See Monkey Do’ won the coveted 2016 Edinburgh comedy award, past winners include Frank Skinner, Jeremy Hardy and Al Murray. This time however there was a darker side to the comedy as Gadd’s show was centred around his own personal difficulties getting over a sexual assault he experienced four years ago.…
Read more

Arthur Smith

Arthur Smith: My name is Daphne Fairfax

Having over five hundred autobiographies on my office shelf of various sports stars, showbusiness personalities in particular comedians and the odd politician, there is always some book I come across which for some reason has passed me by. One such publication was Arthur Smith’s entitled ‘My name is Daphne Fairfax’ (2009) in reference to a…
Read more

shakespeare

5 Ways to Enjoy Comedy by Shakespeare and His Mates

Richard Inverne visits Straford-upon-Avon in search of some Shakespearean Comedy. 1) The First Way The FIRST way to enjoy a Shakespeare comedy… is the play has to be put on! What might seem obvious simply wasn’t the case on Tuesday 19 July when arriving in Stratford-upon-Avon for a handful of plays, including three comedies and…
Read more

Arsenal’s Parlour Games

‘The Romford Pele’ better known as former footballer Ray Parlour ‘rabona-ed’ an audience of sports fans at Sussex Cricket club with highly amusing anecdotes from a playing career with Arsenal lasting 12 years (1992-2004). Appearing in 333 games for the club and winning three Premier League titles (1997-98, 2001-02, 2003-04), four FA Cup wins (1993,…
Read more

Caprice Bourret

Caprice does the business!

Four interesting and varied speakers opened the first in a series of business seminars entitled grow, develop, discover and influence by Sussex Chamber of Commerce at the Jury’s Waterfront Hotel. The speakers were described by Chief Executive Ana Christie as ‘exceptional entrepreneurs’ who shared their own stories which ‘motivated’ and ‘inspired’ an audience of Sussex…
Read more

The Ivy – Charity Sports Quiz

Having attended a few meetings and late night dinners at The Ivy restaurant & club over the years, it was intriguing to be invited to a small intimate gathering of British Athletes for a sports quiz night event, raising funds for the Diana Award Charity which is a legacy to Princess Diana’s belief that young…
Read more

Lawrie McMenemy

Lawrie McMenemy ‘A Lifetime’s Obsession’ autobiography

Lawrie McMenemy was a man who came from the lower reaches of football to reach the very top. His personal journey is wonderfully told in ‘A Lifetime’s Obsession’ a well overdue autobiography. Saints fans will instinctively love this interesting and thoughtful book, but to enjoy it you don’t have to support Southampton football club who…
Read more

boxing

4 Boxing Champs, a Drunk and packet of Persil

Four former British World Champion Boxers Alan Minter, Colin McMillan, Charlie Magri and Dave Boy Green visited the Dagenham Roundhouse last Friday to talk about their successful careers alongside some excellent entertainment. The evening got off to a great start with comedian Colin Cole working the audience in preparation for singer Izzy Chase getting everyone…
Read more

St George’s Day Charity Lunch

St George’s Day Charity Lunch

The St. George’s Day Charity Luncheon is fast becoming a must, on the Brighton & Hove social scene. The one day of the year where a touch of nationalism can be greeted and respected, without turning into a Nuremberg rally. Hence the need for typical British humour, with the ability to laugh at ourselves and…
Read more

Micheal McIntrye Big show

It’s good to see Michael McIntyre getting back to what he does best – stand up. In his new prime Saturday night BBC TV show, his opening monologue showed what a master he is at taking a comic idea and running with it, building through comparisons and observations from one very small idea. This time,…
Read more

The Night Manager

This year started very well for BBC Drama department with an excellent adaptation of Tolstoy’s ‘War & Peace’ followed by the gripping nail biting thriller ‘The Night Manager’. Both epics show British TV drama is in a very good place. ‘The Night Manager’ was one of those don’t miss drama’s, firmly keeping everyone on the…
Read more

War & Peace

The moving and dramatic episodes of the BBC’s adaptation of ‘War and Peace’ dazzled viewers and critics alike with bloody battle scenes, futile gestures and moments of redemption – although some commentators found the heady mix disorientating. War and Peace is the “greatest TV costume drama of the past decade”, for Ben Lawrence in the…
Read more

Neil Laughton

The Ice Man cometh

Former Royal Marine Commando Neil Laughton, described his day job as business consultant & training executive, when delivering an informative and interesting talk on his career adventures to over 200 cricket lovers. Neil mentioned he couldn’t get into the school cricket team but managed while in the army to captain the British cricket side in…
Read more

Comedy Playhouse

Where have all the new sit-coms gone? With the BBC recently announcing remakes of classic TV comedy shows such as ‘Steptoe and Son’ and ‘Till Death Us Do Part’, ‘Are You Being Served?’, ‘Porridge’, ‘Up Pompeii’, ‘The Good Life’ and ‘Keeping Up Appearances including the re-development of the lost ‘Hancock Half Hour’ tapes, you wander…
Read more

Ford Unlearn campaign

Going to wash that car right out of my? The launch of the new Ford Unlearn campaign is interestingly creative as it is strategic. Those who have driven Escorts, Focus’s and Mondeo’s, should get a firm mind grip on the message. The communication is subtle if not obvious. Ford have built a firm reputation for…
Read more