David Brent on stage at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London

Comedy review: David Brent with Foregone Conclusion induces full-body cringe

It's good, if uncomfortable, to have him back

Stand-up review: Russell Brand (Symphony hall, Birmingham)

What is it? The comedian/actor/presenter/writer/troublemaker returns to the stage for his Messiah Complex stand-up tour.

Russell Brand is on his Messiah Complex tour

Comedy review: Russell Brand, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

The comedian is on his Messiah Complex world tour

Comedy review: Joe Lycett: If Joe Lycett Then You Should Have Put A Ring On It

Last year a frivolous, flawed, but loveable debut hour show, Some Lycett Hot, secured 24-year-old Joe Lycett a nomination for the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Lycett's follow up show again brings the big puns out, but suffers from its unashamedly effete approach.

Daniel Kitson now commands an impassioned following around the world

Comedy review: Daniel Kitson, Tree, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

When Daniel Kitson gave the Latitude Festival audience a tantalising glimpse of his new show this summer it was still very much a sapling. Two months later and Tree has put on branches and leaves, emerging into the gloom of a drizzly autumnal Manchester night as a mighty oak.

Edinburgh 2013: John Robins: Where Is My Mind?

A former flatmate of a clutch of successful Bristol-based comics that included Russell Howard and Jon Richardson, John Robins could be the next of his peer group to go on to greater things.

Nick Helm pays homage to Evel Knievel in his brilliant Edinburgh show

Edinburgh Festival 2013 comedy review: Nick Helm strips down physically and emotionally

Comedian thoroughly earning his award nomination

Nick Helm - 'One Man Mega Myth'

Edinburgh 2013: Nick Helm and John Kearns tackle failed machismo for laughs

Nick Helm: One Man Mega Myth

John Kearns: Sight Gags for Perverts

Brett Goldstein

Edinburgh 2013: Brett Goldstein: Contains Scenes of an Adult Nature

Based on his last two solo shows, you might say that the comedy actor Brett Goldstein (known for his part in Ricky Gervais' sitcom 'Derek') is preoccupied with sex. But when he has spent his formative years running his father's strip club in Marbella (the subject of his debut show) and then escaped that by going to a drama school where the company is particularly lascivious, you can hardly blame him.

Max and Ivan: The Reunion

Edinburgh 2013: Max and Ivan: The Reunion - Ingeniously plotted and zingily executed

Sketch shows take one of two forms - a high-speed rattle through random gags or a narrative arc structured around more-or-less random gags. The latter can be tortuous, if not nonsensical but like Pappy's last year, Max and Ivan have hit upon the perfect vehicle for their sketch story this year. Their school reunion rom-com has plot and heart enough to stand alone but leaves space for plenty of playful messing around, too.

Ivo Graham

Edinburgh 2013: Ivo Graham: Binoculars - A very convincing set from this erudite comedian

Having won the So You Think You Are Funny award in 2009, at just 18 years old, Ivo Graham had previously seemed to me to be a vanilla poshboy comic. His debut show proves the contrary.

Edinburgh 2013: Tig Notaro - It may be her Fringe debut, but this is a comedy masterclass

Almost exactly a year ago, the American comedian Tig Notaro walked out onto the stage at LA's Largo Theatre and announced that she had breast cancer. The ensuing set went viral and topped the Billboard comedy chart thanks largely to Louis CK who declared it to be one of a handful of "truly masterful performances" he had seen in his 27 years of comedy.

Edinburgh 2013: Liam Williams - A comedian of existential introspection

If the hero of John Osborne's Look Back In Anger, Jimmy Porter, had ever performed stand-up, he'd look and sound a bit like Liam Williams. Similarly deracinated and disillusioned, Williams sets out to extricate himself from the restrictions of a lower middle class upbringing and thereby express his dissatisfaction with the world as a whole.

Red Bastard, the provocative creation of the American clown Eric Davis.

Edinburgh 2013: Red Bastard - The so-called Marmite of comedy actually tastes quite mild

For a buzz show deemed to be Marmite, I'm surprised to feel almost ambivalent about Red Bastard, the provocative creation of the American clown Eric Davis.

Howling woof: Terence Blacker

Edinburgh 2013: Terence Blacker's My Village and Other Aliens is an accomplished Fringe debut

For a writer to share his or her problems with writer's block is, says Terence Blacker, like bleeding into shark-infested waters. He has taken the plunge nonetheless and in this, an accomplished Fringe debut inspired by his struggles with ideas and wrangles with publishers, the risk pays off.

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