Comedy shows to book ahead for

Katherine Ryan, Michael McIntyre and Greg Davies are heading out on the road

Phil Wang

A coming-of-age show for a comic who’s been threatening to deliver the goods for a while. Now 27, this ‘child of the empire’ (he was born in Malaysia) has turned in a mightily impressive show, Kinablu, that covers considerable ground. As well as some trivial material about the price of lube, there are stand-out routines on childhood memory, race, and his being a British patriot, as well as a cautious defence of that empire. It’s thoughtful, nuanced and never rammed down your throat. It all adds up to a quietly powerful show that’s packed with good gags. The UK tour runs from October 6 to March 11, 2018. Go here to book.

Michael McIntyre

The McIntyre juggernaut continues, with a ‘Big World Tour’ that takes him not only around the UK’s arenas, but to Hong Kong, South Africa, north America, Australia and, obviously, Norway. No seat will be left unsold (he’s flogged 1.5 million tickets in his career), but there are still some left for the UK dates, which run from March to November next year. In his absence, Micky Flanagan was the top-selling British comic of 2016, but McIntyre will no doubt reclaim his crown, and judging by his previous show, the terrific Happy Glorious in 2015, he’s still a comic at the top of his game.

John Robins

John Robins was the joint-winner of Best Show at this summer’s Edinburgh Festival – overdue recognition for a comic who deserves a bigger audience. Even before this year he had several joke-heavy, intelligent stand-up shows to his name, and his latest one is called The Darkness of Robins, which is touring the UK from January 2018. It grabbed a few headlines for being about his split from his ex-girlfriend and fellow comic Sara Pascoe, and is, by all accounts, as funny as it is emotionally wrought.

Katherine Ryan

Katherine Ryan and her quick, vicious tongue have been a favourite among TV bookers throughout the past few years. QI, Have I Got News For You, Taskmaster, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown – she appears regularly on them all. The good news for other comics fighting for those slots is that Ryan is about to begin her third UK tour, Glitter Room (October 6 to March 26, 2018). Early reports suggest that it’s a zero-bullshit take on being a single mother, plus a smattering of her trademark savage takes on pop culture figures.

Rich Hall’s Hoedown

With a voice that increasingly resembles a gurgling sinkhole, Rich Hall could barely be more suited to singing country songs about love and loss. In days gone by he’s performed musical comedy in the guise of Otis Lee Crenshaw, but now he’s playing it straight as just good old Rich. This gives him the room to give us a little bit of politics in-between songs – and while making jokes about Donald Trump feels a little easy, Hall can at least be relied upon to do it with wit and originality. So stetsons on for one of the most reliably enjoyable shows around. Rich Hall’s Hoedown is touring from October 3 to December 9.

Mae Martin

Another breakthrough show from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Martin is the archetypal cheerful Canadian, and has been doing stand-up for 17 years. She’s now 30. Yes, your maths is correct. The fact that she started performing in comedy clubs at such a young age is an indication her unusual childhood and just how much she has packed into those 30 years. It also points towards the theme of the show: addiction. Martin really is a highly skilled comedian, and Dope is memorable for its eyebrow-raising content as well as how laugh-out-loud funny it is. And with bucket loads of charm and vulnerability, Martin could become a force to be reckoned with. Dope is touring from October 10, with extra dates added at the Soho Theatre after its initial run there in September went down a storm.

Greg Davies

Comedy’s own man mountain has found the perfect vehicle for his commanding style in Taskmaster, which is about the only thing worth watching on Dave. As a live proposition he takes a similar teacherly tone, which makes his shows feel as much like a comedy show as a detention. He also has the touch of the Billy Connollys about him, in that he mainly deals in storytelling comedy and likes to laugh at his own jokes. His latest show, You Magnificent Beast, is his first since 2010’s Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog, and is on tour now until mid-December.


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