The British Are Coming, The British Are Coming – Get Ready to Laugh
Three stellar comedians from the UK will have New York City audiences in stitches thanks to the new “Crossing the Pond” comedy festival taking place this winter and spring at Town Hall. The British standup stars will take the stage in January, February and June.
Netflix and BBC star Romesh Ranganathan led off this weekend with his uproarious brand of misanthropic comedic commentary, leaving no stone unturned. Romesh’s jibes ranged from a prepared, yet flawlessly delivered routine to spontaneous digressions keyed off of interactions from the audience. The title of his memoir, “Straight Outta Crawley: The Memoirs of a Distinctly Average Human Being” hinted at what was to come in his monologue.
No subject is taboo for Mr. Ranganathan. His Sri Lankan-British background is fodder for a “fish out of water” dialogue, repeatedly self-deprecating, noting his brown skin as a contrast to those he grew up with. A discussion about bathroom hygiene was far more ribald than that sounds – I’ll leave it to your imagination. He, at times, skewered his British counterparts, detailing the differences between their responses and the American reaction to his shows. As he strode across the stage, changing gears and tempos, talking intermittently about his wife, his kids, the world, his love of hip hop music, and his own appearance in contrast to those around him, he would pause to seemingly take a breath, regroup, and “read” those sitting in the front row.
Hilarious, risqué and a pure treat on an unusually balmy Saturday night in New York City, the show was a marvel reminding us to take a look at the pandemic that we have survived and turn it into memories that could be tinged with laughter. It would be a pleasure to welcome Romesh back for more comedic skewering. If you missed him in person, you can get a sense of his brand of humor by googlinge his appearances on James Corden’s Late Late Show and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. His standup special “The Cynic” is available on Netflix.
On February 3, Joanne McNally brings her “Prosecco Express” routine to Town Hall. With appearances on the BBC Festival of Funny, Comedy Central and others, the comedienne has a brand of comedy that can only be labelled “joyously nuts.” Audiences in Ireland and the UK also know her for her stand-up show The Wine Tamer presented at major venues including the London Palladium and Vicar Street in Dublin. For more of her humor, you can list to her podcast “My Therapist Ghosted Me.” Her shows with insightful titles such as “Baby Hater” and “Bite Me” have been viewed on Comedy Central as well.
The final performance in the series, BAFTA-winning comedian Alan Carr makes his US debut on Friday, June 2. He is known to audiences in the UK form his 16 series of Channel 4’s Chatty Man and has been a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Carr also has a popular podcast, “Life’s a Beach” so you can have a taste of his routines prior to the US show.
Tickets for all shows are available at www.thetownhall.org in Manhattan. The festival is in conjunction with Off the Kerb Productions, representing the finest in comedy in the UK.
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