This week sees the long-awaited London run of Katy Brand‘s critically acclaimed I Was a Teenage Christian at the Soho Theatre, with shows every night from Monday 23rd to Saturday 28th January.
But this is just the start of a long run of comedy across this Winter and early Spring for the prestigious central London venue, which is retaining its status as The Velvet Onion’s favourite comedy venue by programming a whole host of great shows in the coming weeks and months.
Some of these we’ve already told you about, such as runs for Adam Kay and Colin Hoult, but there are so many fantastic shows getting an airing soon that we thought it was high time we rounded them up. Basically, if there was an Annual Pass for the venue, you’d be rinsing it this year…
Katy Brand: I Was a Teenage Christian
Monday 23rd to Saturday 28th January – BUY TICKETS
For those who missed it in Edinburgh, Katy’s return to the Fringe for the first time in over a decade was a starkly confessional show, in which she explained ‘what a dick’ she was as a God-bothering teenage Evangelist. As we explained in our post-script review of the Fringe, the humour “came from the absurdity of her real experiences, and Brand’s charming acceptance that she’d made a series of terrible mistakes. That these mistakes only got worse until she made the inevitable decision to get out of an insane situation was something a lot of audience members could easily identify with, and the sheer chaos that unfolded around her was understandably hilarious in retrospect.”
Angelos and Barry: The New Power Generation
Monday 6th to Saturday 18th February (except 12th) – BUY TICKETS
Are you lost? Is your soul knackered? Are you disillusioned with the current state of things? If you answered yes to one of these, then The New Power Generation may be the show for you. Fresh from their acclaimed UK tour last Autumn, Dan Skinner and Alex Lowe return as burger van owner Angelos Epithemou and pensioner turned guru Barry from Watford, to transform your lives with the healing power of meditation, a heavy dose of slapstick, a sprinkling of downright filth and a phenomenal amount of absolute nonsense. It’s hard not to love it.
Tony Law: A Law Undo His-elf What Welcome
Friday 24th and Saturday 25th February – BUY TICKETS
Following a smash hit run at Leicester Square Theatre last year, not to mention a sell out Edinburgh Fringe run and a UK tour, Tony Law is back in London with one last run for his latest show, before his mindpixies get to work on a new show for 2017. A Law Undo His-elf What Welcome is more of what Tony does best, and will delight fans of his uniquely offbeat, non-sequitur comedy. As his own blurb puts it: Without a hint of a joke, this powerful show has achieved a sort of comedy which aims at making no sense at all and yet, and yet, and yet it means everything. You will barf wonder.
Rachel Parris: Best Laid Plans
Monday 6th to Wednesday 8th March – BUY TICKETS
You may not yet know the name, but with appearances in The IT Crowd, Murder in Successville, James Wren’s forthcoming Godless and current BBC Two hit Revolting behind her, not to mention her impeccable improv skills on display in Austentatious, Rachel Parris is definitely one to watch. The newest addition to our velvety family is touring the UK this spring, and part of that involves a run at The Soho Theatre with her show Best Laid Plans. Expect deliciously witty musical comedy about not having it all.
Sarah Kendall: Shaken
Friday 10th to Tuesday 14th March (except 12th) – BUY TICKETS
We don’t bandy these terms about lightly – but after a sell out Edinburgh Fringe run last year – we proclaimed that Shaken was Kendall “firing on all cylinders with arguably her finest work yet.” Tapping into a theme of isolated youth that so many of us face in our early lives, this tale of one-up-man-ship expand time and time again towards a deeply rewarding and surprisingly emotional climax. This is probably your last chance to see Shaken – so get in while you still can.
Colin Hoult: Anna Mann: A Sketch Show for Depressives
Monday 12th to Wednesday 15th March – BUY TICKETS
Focused around Colin Hoult‘s good friend – the beloved spinster Y-list actress Anna Mann – A Sketch Show for Depressives finds Anna and her accomplices set about to help you put down your black dog at last or at least chuck him a bone, via the gift of character within theatre. It’s a suitably madcap hour which, as we summarised post-Fringe, was “a treat that’s miles ahead of the pack”, with a phenomenal gag rate and some deliciously naughty interactions with the audience and Anna’s co-stars. A recent commission for Sky Arts may make 2017 the year of Anna Mann – so get in and see her while you can.
Adam Kay: Fingering A Minor on the Piano
Monday 3rd to Saturday 15th April (except 9th) – BUY TICKETS
Another show with rave reviews at the Fringe last year, the admittedly clever title may do Adam Kay a great disservice, but it does at least ensure that only people with strong stomachs come to this one. Which is perhaps for the best, as the show couples Adam’s darkly humorous re-imaginings of modern day pop and rock classics with a deeply confessional look back on his former life as an obstetrician and gynaecologist, and as we put it in our review last year, “the gags are both savagely witty and wittily savage”, with a stark and deeply moving climax that, we added, was “a testament to the brilliance of Adam’s show”. Don’t miss this one.
Lou Sanders: What’s That Lady Doing?
Wednesday 12th to Saturday 15th April – BUY TICKETS
Now, look. TVO saw Lou Sanders show at the Fringe last year. We reviewed it, and proclaimed “there’s something really refreshing about watching an off-kilter comic waving around shonkily made props, singing daft little songs, and failing to put on a pair of tights. The Boosh – or perhaps more specifically, the early works of Julian Barratt – echoe through Sanders stand-up, keeping her audience simultaneously in on the joke, yet slightly on edge in mild fear of what delicious oddity will pop out of her head next. The result feels very special, indeed.” But let’s face it – Lou Sanders is a force to be reckoned with, and there’s no guarantee that any two shows will be the same. Expect flights of fancy like you’ve never seen before. Unless you’ve seen Lou before. In which case, they’ll be similar.
Jonny & The Baptists: Eat the Poor
Monday 8th to Wednesday 10th May – BUY TICKETS
Slap bang in the middle, we hope, of a mammoth UK tour for these two wonderful fellas, Jonny & The Baptists bring their 2016 Edinburgh show Eat the Poor to London at last. An extension of their previous endeavours, the show saw the duo – Jonny Donahoe and Paddy Gervers – fuse their sociopolitical comedic protest songs and biting commentary on the ridiculousness of British life today, with an odd twist into a dystopian alternate-reality future. With its Les Mis inspired mini-revolution and some truly disgusting cake based antics from Donahoe, the show allows the pair to shine brighter than ever before.