The night of the show I was at the back with a grimace that performers reserve for other performers. Bill started his set with some jokes, which seemed standard, about the fairground, then talked of drugs and cigarettes. If I thought a joke was OK I would nod approval, but not one twitch of joy entered my face. I scowled in the darkness at a man who should have been a comedic comrade. And then Bill told a joke that caught me, and I laughed so hard with delight, clapped my hands and became a fan. In truth, in the space of one gag I had become more than a fan – I had become a zealot. … [Read more...] about The best show I’ve ever seen at Edinburgh: performers and theatre-makers on their festival highlights
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The city also boasts the world’s longest covered walkway, winding 3.8km up to the hilltop San Luca basilica. The locals built the portico to protect an icon of the Madonna that is carried into town each year in thanks for saving them from famine in 1433. We take a cheat’s mini train up then walk down. … [Read more...] about Look beyond the same old city breaks — try visiting these unusual European metropolises instead
Sounds a chore? Oh no it isn’t. I can scarcely remember a more electrifying hour of comedy than Cold Lasagne’s second half. It opens with Acaster’s hilarious dissection of being dumped by his girlfriend in favour of Rowan Atkinson (or as Acaster prefers it: Mr Bean). It’s a to-die-for premise from which our host wrings every drop of indignity. But even that pales next to the section about his agent breaking up with him after an ill-judged remark on Saturday morning telly. It’s one of those routines, of which Stewart Lee is a master, that makes you laugh out loud while marvelling at how Acaster is achieving his comic effects. The conceit – he’s telling the whole traumatic story from his agent’s point of view – is audacious and richly funny. And the emotional complexity, given the light the story shines on Acaster’s wellbeing, is breathtaking. … [Read more...] about From Brexit to breakups, James Acaster is an audacious king of comedy
Lily, from Lewes, and George, from Hastings, are hardly strangers to Arundel, which also boasts a Roman Catholic cathedral and is just miles from the 17th century stately home of Goodwood, owned by the Duke of Richmond … [Read more...] about ‘Trolls’ deluge couple with poison pen letters accusing them of attracting ‘scantily-clad maskless chavs’ to pretty Sussex town by opening cake shop
59-year-old former teacher from CorkServed as cabinet minister in previous governmentsCriticised for perceived "dithering" or indecisiveness Lauded for rebuilding the Fianna Fail party over past decadeFitness fanatic and Gaelic football fanMicheal (pronounced Mee-hawl) Martin was born in Cork on 1 August 1960, son of bus driver and boxer Paddy "The Champ" Martin and Eileen Lana Corbett. He was the third of five children, with a twin brother Padraig, as well as two sisters and another brother. They were raised in a modest house on O'Connell Avenue, in the mostly working-class area of Turner's Cross. … [Read more...] about Micheal Martin: Ireland elects a new leader – who is he and why will he only get two years?