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Museum Comedy Experience

15 Apr

© VisitLondon & Dave Brown

Fancy touring around a top London museum with a group of comedians and a few other likeminded individuals? Although it might sound like the stuff of fantasy, the ‘Roving Comedy Tour of The British Museum’ is actually happening in real life – and you can be part of it!

The activity has been organised and will be curated by Carl Arnheiter and Dave Hill of Fancy Meeting You Here, a roving comedy show that takes audiences on a tour of cultural landmarks.

Aside from the fact that it sounds brilliantly bonkers, our reason for writing about it here is that it features two TVO-connected comedy folk, in the shape of the very fabulous Tom Meeten and Harry Deansway. Also involved are John Kearns, Maeve Higgins and Lars Berrum. And what’s more it’s FREE!

It takes place on Friday 25th April and runs from 6.30/7-11.30pm. If you’re interested in participating, email the organiser at fmyhcomedy@gmail.com to make a reservation. And for more information take a look at this.  Awesome stuff!

Bachman To Feature In Scandinavian Film

14 Apr

James Bachman will be appearing in a new Norwegian feature film by director Jan Vardoen, called ‘Heart of Lightness’.

The movie is an adaption of Henrik Ibsen’s ‘Lady From The Sea’. It follows the story of a group of British actors, who arrive in the Arctic Circle to perform in a film adaptation of the play; however, they have never been to Norway before and have no idea that the sun won’t set for the next month. Bachman plays the part of Max Buchanan.

The film will receive its World Premiere at the Colosseum Kino in Oslo on 28th May 2014, and will open throughout Norway 30th May. For information about international screenings please check out your local cinema listings. In the meantime, here’s the trailer to whet your appetite:

For updates on the Heart of Lightness, including photos and interviews with the cast and crew, take a look at the film’s Facebook page.

Lucy & Rufus In Pond

12 Apr

Pond is a new Comedy Blap from Channel 4 starring Lucy Montgomery and Rufus Jones, written by Will Smith and directed by Gareth Tunley.

Described as “an alarmingly accurate insight into the TV industry”, it is a sitcom set in the treacherous world of modern television commissioning, a world filled with bullshitters and arse-kissers.

You can watch the full 10 minute show right here:

 

Three Cornettos To Go, Please…

9 Apr
© Big Talk

© Big Talk

This week marks the tenth anniversary of Shaun of the Dead being released in UK cinemas, and to celebrate, director Edgar Wright has made the scripts to all three parts of his Three Cornettos Trilogy available to download for free.

Each film in the series - Shaun…, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End - has links back to TVO, as Wright and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are frequent collaborators with our regulars, and are always in our peripheral vision being amazing.

Shaun of the Dead was the world’s first rom-zom-com, and starred Pegg & Frost alongside Kate Ashfield, Dylan Moran, Lucy Davies, Penelope Wilton, Dylan Moran and Peter Serafinowicz.  It also featured cameos from Spaced veterans Jessica Hynes, Michael Smiley and Paul Kaye: the latter pair playing zombies, with Smiley in his Spaced attire.

Hot Fuzz followed in 2007, and alongside Pegg & Frost were Timothy Dalton, Edward Woodward, Jim Broadbent, Olivia Coleman, Rafe Spall, Paddy Considine, Adam Buxton and two TVO regulars: Kevin Eldon and Alice Lowe.

Lowe – whose film Sightseers had Wright on board as executive producer – also cameoed in last year’s The World’s End, which again featured Michael Smiley, alongside Reece Shearsmith, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsdan, Rosamund Pike, Pierce Brosnan and our very own Steve Oram.

All three have rightly taken their place in the pantheon of legendary British cinema, and now you can download the scripts for each film as interactive PDFs containing stills, storyboards and video clips… completely free!

© Big Talk

© Big Talk

© Big Talk

© Big Talk

© Big Talk

© Big Talk

But hurry, these may not be around forever.  Pick them up via Edgar’s official website over yonder now!

All three films are also available on dvd and blu-ray from The Velvet Onion Amazon UK and US stores.

Bafta Bonanza

8 Apr

© Channel 4

The Bafta nominations are out, and there are many TVO connections to be found.

To begin with; The IT Crowd has 4 nominations, with Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson nominated for Best Male/Female Performance in a Comedy Programme, and Best Situation Comedy, where it shares the nomination with Toast of London and The Count Arthur Strong Television Programme.

Richard III: The King in the Car Park, featuring Simon Farnaby, is nominated for Best Factual Programme.

There are also nominations for Rory Kinnear (Count Arthur Strong), and Doon Mackichan (Toast of London), for other roles.

In the Single Drama category, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror: Be Right Back, featuring Claire Keelan (Nathan Barley) and Mark Gatiss’s An Adventure in Space and Time, featuring Reece Shearsmith,  are both nominated.

A full list of nominations is here, where you can also vote for the Radio Times Audience Award.

Kevin’s Busy Schedule

6 Apr

© London is Funny

We all know that Kevin Eldon is a busy man, with appearances on many TV and radio shows, but you can also see him live in a number of shows in the next couple of months.

On 17th April you can see him at Mostly Comedy at the Market Theatre in Hitchin, where he will be joined by Bec Hill and Doggett & Ephgrave. The show starts at 9.15pm, tickets are £10.45 and can be bought in advance here, where you can also get more information about the venue etc.

Stand up for Shelter is on 7th May at the Wyndham Theatre. It’s a special comedy night to raise money for the charity. As well as Mr Eldon the participants include Stewart Lee, Richard Herring, Zoe Lyons, Sean Hughes and Miles Jupp. For tickets (from £15.00) and further information about the show and Shelter, click here.

We told you last week about Experiments at The Invisible Dot, a new night that “brings together a gaggle of established performers come together to joyously experiment”. Hot Brew are there on 13th April and Kevin Eldon on 18th May.

Tickets for each show cost £8 and the gigs start at 7pm. For more information and to book tickets visit The Invisible Dot’s website.

And if that isn’t enough opportunity to see Kevin Eldon live, he will be joining Shambles Presents: The Norwegians of Comedy at Aces & Eights Saloon Bar on 22/23 May, for two nights only. Lars and Martin will also be joined by  Tony Law, Paul Currie and a Special Guest Comedian.

Tickets are £8.00 (a bargain!) and the show starts at 7.30pm. More information can be found here.

TVO Radio

6 Apr
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

A couple of TVO favourites have been on BBC Radio 4 this week.

First off, Katy Brand was a guest on The News Quiz on Friday, with Sandi Toksvig. The topical news quiz takes a satirical look at the latest news. You can catch-up on the show on BBC iPlayer.

On Saturday, Tony Law was a guest of Clive Anderson on Loose Ends, joining Jo Whiley, Paul McGann, Scarlet Page and Danny Wallace. You can also catch Loose Ends on BBC iPlayer,

Tony appears at 35 minutes, talking about his childhood in Canada and how he didn’t start his comedy career until he came to London.

Experiment At The Invisisble Dot

5 Apr

© The Invisible Dot

Strap in, because there’s going to be a wave of TVO-connected artists appearing at The Invisible Dot over he next few months!

 ‘Experiments’ is a new series of monthly  shows that sees a collection of established performers come together to comedically experiment.

Here’s the confirmed line-up for reach show so far, with ‘our lot’ helpfully highlighted in bold type:

13 April: LUCY BEAUMONT, DAVID MILLS, BENJAMIN PARTRIDGE, HOT BREW & more
18 May: WHELAN, DAVID REED, LYNDSAY SHARMAN, KEVIN ELDON, MATTHEW CROSBY & more
15 June: BRIDGET CHRISTIE, PAT CAHILL, HARRY DEANSWAY, ELLIE WHITE, LOLLY ADEFOPE, & more.

Although, strictly speaking, Harry Deansway isn’t one of ours, he’s a top bloke and has hosted a myriad of comedy nights for TVO folk over the years – so do check him out!

Tickets for each show cost £8 and the gigs start at 7pm. For more information and to book tickets visit The Invisible Dot’s website.

Check out Hot Brew’s appearance at TVO Live (they are awesome. Fact):

Darkplace Live!

4 Apr
© Grimmfest

© Grimmfest

The lovely people over at Den of Geek have compiled a ‘where are they now’ about the cast of Darkplace to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show. You can catch up here.
Of course if you are a regular TVO reader, none of it will come as a surprise to you, as we give you regular updates on what the cast are up to these days.

Fans of Darkplace (and who isn’t?), who can get to Manchester, can treat themselves to a live screening of all 6 episodes followed by a Q&A session with Matt Holness and Alice Lowe! The event is on Sunday May 18th from 3pm to 10pm at Gorilla, Manchester.

Tickets are on sale NOW from Grimmfest, where you can also get more details of the event.

Get It Seen

1 Apr

No, that title isn’t just an instruction from us… it’s also the name of a new underground film festival taking place at legendary venue The Hen & Chickens Theatre in Islington this month.

© Hen & Chickens

The venue, which has been a spiritual home for TVO regulars for almost two decades – from The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi to recent shows like the magnificent Kill Phil, has gathered together some of the finest low-budget features and shorts of recent years to come out of the London comedy scene, to show from today through to April 26th,

This includes Peacock Season on April 1st, 4th & 11th.  This legendary film about the Edinburgh Fringe shot at the festival features a top-notch cast including Justin EdwardsPaul FootRichard Glover, Nina Conti, Rhys Darby, Richard Herring, Reece Shearsmith, Isy Suttie, Glenn Wool and co-writer James Wren.

Other TVO connected films on offer include Phil Whelan‘s slapstick farce Clowntime Is OverStephen Evans‘ nostalgic short The Notorious Bruiser Brothers Revisitedand a chance to see the star-studded Bob Pipe masterpiece The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains on a big screen!

© Bob Pipe

There’s loads more on offer too: we particularly recommend Adriel Leff’s brilliant mockumentary Bloody Lip! To see the full list of shows, and to pick up tickets, visit the festival’s Facebook page now!

Chop Socky Chooks: Voices From TVO

18 Mar

If voicing animated characters is the new cool, then Paul Kaye and Shelley Longworth are some distance beyond the hipster zone.

Their voices are a regular fixture in all round weird TV show Chop Socky Chooks, a British/Canadian animated series co-produced by Aardman Animations. It currently airs on The Cartoon Network in the UK, and was a firm favourite of this writer’s kids between the ages of 6 and 8 years old. Although it’s been on our TV screens for a few years, it’s only now that we’ve spotted the involvement of two TVO folk. So worth flagging, we reckon!

Kaye plays the part of the villain, Dr. Wasabi, ruler of Wasabi World and  the main antagonist of the show. Longworth plays the part of Chick P, the leader of the good guys. Dr. Wasabi destroyed her home to build Wasabi World, so she’s not his biggest fan.

Take a look at the episodes below to see the characters in action – and rediscover your inner (pretty tripped out) child:


The North East Jester

14 Mar

© Southbank

Tony Law will be performing at Jesterval, a comedy festival taking place in Gateshead in June.

Jesterval will be staged at Baltic Square at Gateshead Quays, and will run from Friday 6th June through to Saturday 14th June. As well as stand up performances for the grown ups, the festival promises something for  kids too. To see the full line up click here.

Tony Law will be performing at 9.15pm on Tuesday 10th June, and tickets for his show cost £8. Tickets for all acts can be purchased here.

There are still a few performance slots waiting to be filled, so if we hear of any other TVO artists heading up to the north east to participate in the festival, we’ll be sure to let you know.

 

 

The Ghoul’s Cast Begins To Form

11 Mar

As filming continues apace on Gareth Tunley‘s directorial film debut, The Ghoul, a few more exciting cast details have emerged.

© Gareth Tunley

© Gareth Tunley

The film, which is written and directed by Ealing Live veteran Tunley, features Tom Meeten alongside Alice Lowe, who was revealed to be part of the cast last month.

© Gareth Tunley

© Gareth Tunley

Since filming began, it’s been revealed that they will be joined by a cavalcade of talented TVO regulars, with Rufus Jones, Rachel Stubbings, Waen Shepherd and Paul Kaye all shooting scenes for the picture in the last few days.

Also on board is comedy legend Geoffrey McGivern, who is perhaps best known as the original Ford Prefect in the radio version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, but has also appeared in shows as prestigious as Blackadder The Third, 15 Stories High, Peep Show and A Bit Of Fry And Laurie.

© Andy Hollingworth

© Andy Hollingworth

His TVO connections are sound, too.  McGivern appeared alongside Waen Shepherd and Stephen Evans in Hypderdrive, as well as a regular role in Lab Rats alongside Dan Tetsell and Chris Addison.  Geoffrey was also involved in the first series of Big Train alongside Kevin Eldon, and more recently turned up as a useless lawyer in Sharon Horgan’s Dead Boss (alongside Aisling Bea), and cameoed in Holy Flying Circus alongside Rufus Jones. Wowsa.

So if you’re not excited about The Ghoul yet, you really, REALLY should be. We can’t wait to see the results, and of course, we’ll keep you updated as and when we can. Stay peeled…

Onion Land Catch Up

11 Mar

The past week has seen a smattering of TVO regulars make appearances across television and radio we didn’t have chance to warn you about ahead of transmission, plus a couple of shows you should already be watching have been airing too.

As such, we thought it prudent to give you a quick catch-up, starting with the incredibly popular detective comedy drama Jonathan Creek. The show, starring Alan Davies as the titular sleuth, returned for it’s fifth series recently, with Davies now accompanied by his new co-star (and comedy legend) Sarah Alexander.

© BBC

Episode two, The Sinner And The Sandman, featured James Bachman as Rev Hugh Chater, whose vicarage is being plagued by tales of a strange hump-backed beast that has been seen prowling in the garden by night.  You can see the episode for yourselves via iPlayer now, and it’s also available to pre-order on dvd now via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store for release next week!

Elsewhere, another veteran of Ealing Live cropped up on topical discussion show Loose Ends on Radio Four.  The show’s usual presenter, Clive Anderson, was absent, but in his place were Nikki Bedi and Emma Freud – who pronounced over a panel of very talented women.

© BBC

Film director Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham), actress Imelda Staunton (Pyschoville) and artist Victoria Melody joined our very own Katy Brand on the panel. Brand was discussing her long awaited crowd-sourced novel, Brenda Monk Is Funny, which can still be ordered over yonder. If you want to jump straight to Katy, you can find her 39 minutes, 40 seconds in on iPlayer now.

Sticking with the Beeb for a moment, let’s not forget that Inside No. 9 - the latest stroke of genius from Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton – is almost at an end, with Episode Six airing this Wednesday (12th March).  Previous episodes – including appearances by Katherine Parkinson and Julia Davies amongst others, can be seen again via iPlayer now.

© BBC / Des Willie

© BBC / Des Willie

Inside No. 9 is also available on dvd as of next Monday, with pre-orders possible now via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store.  Shearsmith & Pemberton are also undertaking a dvd signing at HMV Oxford Street on March 20th, so if you want a chance to tell them how great the show is, and get a squiggle on your box, that’s as good a time as any.

That’s not the only BBC2 comedy of the moment to have TVO connections. The glorious Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle returned recently, and the inimitable comic genius is regularly grilled each week by Chris Morris in-between chunks of his stand-up routines.  Regular collaborators Kevin Eldon and Paul Putner are also involved, appearing in sketches at the end of every episode.

© BBC / Colin Hutton

© BBC / Colin Hutton

The first two – focusing on Shillbottle and a certain “political” party – are available to watch on iPlayer now, and we’ll keep you posted on an eventual dvd release.

Finally, for now, whilst we recently bid goodbye to House Of Fools, The Life Of Rock and The Midnight Beast, there are two other very fine shows featuring TVO regulars still underway on Sky channels.

© Baby Cow

© Baby Cow

Moone Boy is currently airing on Sky One, and features co-creator/writer Chris O’Dowd as the imaginary friend of a young boy in early 90s Ireland. A delightful little gem, this show has quite rightly won almost every award thrown at it, and if you can’t catch up via Sky Go, you can at least pre-order the dvd release, due out on March 31st.

Whilst it hasn’t yet won any awards, it would be criminal if the critically acclaimed Doll And Em doesn’t pick some up before the year is out.

© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD / HBO

© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD / HBO

Currently airing on Sky Atlantic, the show features Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer as hyper-exaggerated versions of themselves, and features cameo appearances from big name Hollywood stars as well as Tom Meeten, Laura Patch and Noel Fielding.

Again, the show is available on Sky Go, but there’s sadly no sign of a dvd release yet. It’s due to air on HBO shortly, so perhaps we’ll hear more then. Stay peeled… and if you see any shows with our regulars we miss, do get in touch so we can spread the word!

Digital Field

7 Mar

© Rook Films Ltd

The soundtrack to A Field In England is to be released digitally later this month.

The film, directed by Ben Wheatley and starring Michael Smiley, Richard Glover, Julian Barratt and Reece Shearsmith as part of its small ensemble cast – was released in cinemas, on television, on demand and via physical media last Summer.

Scored by Jim Williams, who was also responsible for the Sightseers score previously, the soundtrack has already seen release as limited edition vinyl and cassette editions, but until now the only track available digitally was the Glover-sung Baloo My Boy, which was released for a limited time only via The Velvet Onion at Christmas.

The fifteen track album is available for pre-order via Amazon UK for just £7.49, and at this moment in time, it seems they’re the only place “stocking” it for its March 24th release date, so get in whilst you can! We’re crossing everything that the equally non-digital Sightseers score follows suit.

If you don’t yet own the film, you can pick it up on dvd and blu-ray via our store now.

Sky Arts Presents Kevin Eldon

5 Mar
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

Playhouse Presents..., the series of one-off comedies and dramas on Sky Arts is returning for 2014.

The channel has announced the series line-up, which includes Damned, a comedy written by Jo Brand and Morwenna Banks, set in a social services department and starring Ms Brand and Kevin Eldon, to be broadcast on 1st May.

The series will also feature the UK TV debut of Friends star Matthew Perry alongside Tim Key in The Dog Thrower, to be shown on 12th June.

Previous series of Playhouse Presents have featured many TVO favourites, including the debut short film from Matt Holness: A Gun for George, and Paul Kaye starring with Kylie Minogue in Hey Diddly Dee.

The last series also led to a full series of Psychobitches, featuring Katy Brand, Sharon Horgan and Julia Davis.

To read more about all the drama’s in the series pop over to the British Comedy Guide.

Paddingtease

5 Mar

© Studio Canal

The teaser trailer for Paul King‘s second feature film, Paddington, has been released.

Based on the ever popular books by Michael Bond, the long-gestating film tells the tale of an impeccably polite, marmalade loving bear from Peru who arrives at Paddington station and is taken in by the Brown family.

It features Colin Firth as the voice of the titular fuzzy one, alongside an interstellar who’s-who of British acting talent.

Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters and Peter Capaldi head up the cast, which also features Nicole Kidman and a couple of TVO regulars in cameo roles.

Rufus Jones and James Bachman are set to appear as dastardly geographers, and we wouldn’t put it past King sneaking in a few other recurring collaborators too.

Produced by the man behind the Harry Potter franchise, David Heyman, you can expect this one to go intersellar on release in November.  The first teaser, can, as promised, be seen below.

Lucy & Tony Sail International Waters

5 Mar

Transatlantic comedy podcast International Waters offered its latest edition over the weekend, featuring TVO regulars Lucy Montgomery and Tony Way.

© Pett Productions

The pair – who have appeared in a number of projects together, including TittybangbangMongrelsDoug The Bounty Hunter and recently, The Life Of Rock With Brian Pern, joined host Dave Holmes and US comedians Derek Miller and Zabeth Russell, for the pop culture knowledge quiz.

Part panel show, part pub quiz night, the show has previously featured Katy Brand and James Bachman, and regularly pits two Brits against two Yanks for good measure.

You can hear Tony & Lucy chat about topics as diverse as the UK floods and Brian Pern over yonder now.

TVO Exclusive: Noel Fielding Ticket Pre-Sale!

4 Mar

The Velvet Onion is proud to offer you an exclusive ticket pre-sale for An Evening With Noel Fielding.

We were able to break the news before anyone else, so it seems only right that we should be able to offer tickets before anyone else too! In fact, we’re pretty certain you’re not even reading this sentence, so we’ll leave all the important info below the jump – just click on the picture below to buy your tickets, and come back afterwards for some more info!

THE PRESALE IS NOW OVER. THANKS FOR TAKING PART & SEE YOU AT THE SHOWS!

Due to various technical reasons, Wolverhampton is not included in this presale. TVO would like to apologise for this issue, as we were unaware of the issues surrounding this date until shortly before publication. There appear to have similar problems with Dublin and Cambridge, which are unfortunately outside of our control. For more info on the pre-sale’s finer points, check out the T&C at the bottom of this post.

Our announcement of Noel Fielding‘s tour at the weekend caused something of a furore, so we’re sure that link above will not be available for very long. Please also take a look at the T&Cs at the bottom of this post!

If you’re coming to us after the event, don’t fret – there’s still a chance to buy tickets for the show.  General release for all the shows currently announced is at 9am on Friday 7th March.

Some of you may also have spotted that Ents24 are offering a pre-sale 48 hours before that, at 9am on Wednesday 5th March. And if you miss all of these, there’s a strong possibility more dates will be added, so keep your eyes peeled and come back here on a regular basis to find out more… first!

And if you’re one of the 0.02% of people reading this who have no idea what we’re going on about, check out our earlier post about Noel’s tour, which will also feature the marvelous Mike Fielding and Tom Meeten as support. 

Both Fieldings, alongside Meeten and Dolly Wells, will be returning to our screens in the second series of Luxury Comedy in late-Spring, and you can see a sneaky, spoiler-free picture below.

© Lauren Taylor / The Velvet Onion

© Lauren Taylor / The Velvet Onion

That image comes from TVO’s time on set, filming exclusive interviews, taking tons of behind the scenes photos, and planning more surprises along the way – all of which will be revealed when the show returns, so stay peeled.

For the current full list of tour dates, see below.

* With the exception of Wolverhampton tickets should be available for all venues, though Ticketmaster’s system does have a tendency to miss a few out so try hitting refresh if your chosen date is not there.  The best estimate we can give for Wolverhampton is that the pre-sale will be online before midday tomorrow. Apologies to anyone who was hoping to purchase tickets for this venue in the pre-sale this evening.
* Please note that this pre-sale is being handled by Ticketmaster on behalf of The Velvet Onion. Ticketmaster are liable for all purchases and their standard terms and conditions apply (click on link to view). The Velvet Onion cannot be held accountable for any issues with ticket purchases.
* All seats will be numbered so you will be able to see where they are located before you buy. The pre-sale guarantees earlier access to the seating available through Ticketmaster’s allocation, but this is not necessarily the best seats in the venue. You will be able to see what seating you are being offered for sale before you buy and make a choice.

Crackanother!

3 Mar

Anthology comedy Crackanory has been recommissioned for a second series, it has been revealed.

© Dave / UKTV

© Dave / UKTV

The show, which was made for and broadcast by UK freeview channel Dave, featured the cream of British comedy both involved with the short stories told across live action sequences or animation, and sat in a big ol’ Jackanory-esque chair telling the tales in the first place!

The likes of Harry Enfield, Charlie Higson, Sally Phillips, Rebecca Front, Jack Dee, Jessica Hynes, Hugh Dennis and Stephen Mangan were joined by TVO regulars Sharon HorganKevin EldonTom MeetenSteve OramAlex Kirk and John ‘Willie’ Hopkins on screen, whilst the score for the show was composed by Waen Shepherd and two episodes were directed by Gareth Tunley.

© John Willie Hopkins

Proving to be a huge ratings hit for the channel, with British Comedy Guide reporting that over half a million homes became regular views (up 82% on the channel’s average for the timeslot), it’s no surprise that the show is set to return in the Autumn.

The stars of series two have yet to be announced, but we’re holding out hope there’s still links back to Onion Land’s family of collaborators to make it a must-see.  In the meantime, Series One is being repeated from March 29th on Dave, so be ready!

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