Paul B Edwards
Paul F Taylor
Paul Harry Allen
Paul T Eyres
Peter Buckley Hill
Peter von Natzmer
Piff The Magic Dragon
Priorite A Gauche
As Loretta Maine
More Pippa Evans videos
|Isn't Love A Funny Thing|
|Mt Love Is Like A Box|
|Middle class lady|
|NIVEA Funny Women Awards 2008|
Pippa Evans studied drama and theatre arts at Birmingham university, before turning to stand-up and improv. She was chosen by the Pleasance Edinburgh to perform in The 2006 Comedy Reserve, was runner-up in the 2008 Hackney Empire new act final, and a finalist in Funny Women the same year. She has been a regular improv performer with Improvedy and The Scratch Players.
She made her Edinburgh debut in 2008 with Pippa Evans And Other Lonely People, which was nominated for the if.comedy best newcomer prize.
No Pressure to Be Funny
How astute of them to put the ethos of the show in the title. Not every moment of No Pressure To Be Funny is indeed funny, but this topical panel-show format now entering its third year, still offers plenty of laughs.
The premise is that panelists – tonight Phill Jupitus, Andrew Maxwell, Wayne Deakin and journalist Miranda Sawyer – are given the latitude to talk around the subject, to go in depth if they need to without the need to land a gag every 20 seconds.
But being (mostly) comedians, they can’t help but crack wise, and there are very few moments when they plunge into any great depth – though they do lob in ideas that go beyond the superficial personal jibes against politicians that tend to be bread-and-butter of shows like this.
Indeed, in a reversal of many talk shows, one of the longest periods without a laugh is when host James O’Brien – a host on London phone-in radio station LBC – delivers a rather pained and obvious opening monologue. But not to worry, he comes alive with the cut-and-thrust of the discussion, just like his panelists.
Similarly comedian co-creator Alistair Barrie’s opening chunk, called Devil’s Advocate, is more a set-up for the topics to come, rather than being particularly chuckle-worthy in its own right. But then some of his topics, such as the fatal protests in Egypt, were never going to be the stuff of comedy.
Topics on the main menu today include the promised EU referendum, horse DNA in beefburgers, and the HS2 rail line. But adherence to the story in hand isn’t mandatory, and digressions that include Jupitus reminiscing about gigging in rural Ireland, or a conversation about squirrel syphilis, all go into the mix.
Unlike ‘straight’ political panel shows, there’s no need for balance, so the tone is of the broad centre-left consensus – only two people in the whole audience would identify themselves as eurosceptics, for example. But the plus side is that the discussions don’t become a left-right shouting match; which means fringe, or even dubious, ideas are allowed to ferment, in the hope of a joke coming at the end of it. And, indeed, several great mini-routines do emerge from the discussion.
There are also some set pieces. Nick Revell, who devised the format with Barrie, opens the second half with a strong piece of witty, polemical stand-up about the Gerard Scarfe Sunday Times cartoon labelled anti-Semitic because it stood against the Israeli state’s behaviour. And Pippa Evans’s psychotic alter-ego Loretta Maine expertly screeched a couple of amusing numbers in the name of variety, which might not have been in the news, but were topical ‘because it’s about what I’m feeling now’.
Of tonight’s team, Maxwell – a regular on Irish TV’s The Panel – was in his element; while Jupitus took the approach of making a quip for every occasion in the hope that some would stick, as indeed they did. As the non-comic Sawyer held her own; but Deakin, about to return to his native Australia, didn’t seem to be on top of the UK news brief enough to do more than lob in the odd gag, even if they were decent.
Despite its aim to be different, No Pressure To Be Funny – which is also aired as a podcast – is still rather like any other topical comedy panel show, and you can imagine producers, if they were so inclined, chopping the two-hour show into a jaunty half-hour in the mould of The News Quiz or Have I Got News For You. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, however, and this is still an entertaining evening out that sets its sights higher than the easy joke, and consequently generates some strong laughs from the interactions between smart comic minds.
|Date of live review: Monday 4th Feb, '13|
Review by Steve Bennett
Wednesday 8th Aug, '12- Just The Tonic at The Caves
Friday 20th Aug, '10-
Monday 29th Mar, '10- Charing Cross Theatre
Pippa Evans: Your Evening's Entertainment - Fringe 2009
Friday 21st Aug, '09-
Thursday 24th Jul, '08-
Show - Misc live shows - Saturday 0th Jun, '08-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2008 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2008 -
Talented, clever, daft, and very very funny. Just don't sit in the front row!
I laughed till my kidneys hurt. Great writing in the gags, fantastic catchy tunes. An awesome performer. Big things are ahead...
Loretta Maine - some interesting songs/gags but very little in the way of comedic talent here. Strikes me a "vector" comedian - someone itching to get out of live comedy into a TV career where no doubt she will become a presenter or actor of some kind. That American accent is also a little ahem.....dodgy. Would like to see her do stand-up instead of a character though I am not sure she could stretch that far...
Brilliant. saw her music hall gig at the canal cafe recently and she held it together seamlessly. All she needs is the right vehicle and she'll do well. one to watch, in every way.
It was a good hour overall - as with all musical comedy a few songs that should have just stopped with the first punchline. Lorretta Maine was the highlight but the thread of Julie trying to keep her meat sponsor just about worked. When it worked it was hilarious - the rest of the time it was good enough to make you want to wait for the next killer song / line. Meat bingo might catch on too
We saw her do a set at the 99 club in Islington and thought she was excellent – really loved her songs - they were hilarious – completely fooled everyone that she was an American! Following week heard her on ‘4 stands up’ on Radio Four! Again really good.
Dreadful; her "Loretta Maine" character simply isn't good enough to be heard in public - dreadfully unfunny and poorly written songs, duff guitar playing, and this has all been done before and so much better. One of those people who became a comic because it was what they were least bad at. Avoid.
I have seen Pippa Evans twice now and both times she has been brilliant. The first time was at the Proud gallery where she more than held her own amongst the likes of Daniel Kitson and Tim Minchin. I also went to see her at the Soho theatre doing her Edinburgh show. Again she was fantastic - totally brought the house down and the audience loved it. Brilliant stuff!!
Reduced Edinburgh Fringe Impro Show
Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Pippa Evans And Other Lonely People
Reduced Edinburgh Fringe Impro Show 
Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Pippa Evans: Your Evening's Entertainment
Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Loretta Maine: I’m Not Drunk I Just Need To Talk To You
Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Loretta Maine: Bipolar
Edinburgh Fringe 2013
Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans: Wonder & Joy
Misc live shows
Funny Women final 2008