Paul B Edwards
Paul F Taylor
Paul Harry Allen
Paul T Eyres
Peter Buckley Hill
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Piff The Magic Dragon
Priorite A Gauche
More Phil Kay videos
|At the GI festival|
|Phil Kay: Comedy Health and Safety Video FULL VERSION|
|On The Glass House|
|Phil Kay - Psychic?|
Phil Kay burst on to the comedy circuit in 1989, when he won the new act contest So You Think You're Funny in only its second year.
His unpredictable, freestyle approach won him a Perrier nomination in 1993 and the award for best stand-up at the 1994 British Comedy Awards, and he was given his own Channel 4 show, Phil Kay Feels..., in 1997, which was recorded in front of a live audience to try to capture his manic energy
However, the showcase failed to make him a star and, aside from the occasional panel game appearance, his career is now limited mainly to shows at Edinburgh and other festivals.
He has recently started hosting kids’ shows on the festival scene, where his silly style has proved popular with the younger audience.
Here for The Crack
The Crack is the more chilled-out cousin of cabaret sensation La Clique, trading some of its stablemate’s elegant, vibrant sleaze for a more artful, if sometimes less thrilling, line-up.
PVC-clad sword-swallower Miss Behave hosts this six-night run in the South Bank’s Udderbelly, with the help of frequent inserts from Doctor Stewart’s staccato dance vignettes, perfectly lip-synched to mashed-up club tracks.
All live shows involve some level of conspiracy between audience and performer, but it’s crucial to a decadent underground cabaret such as this, requiring both sides to believe they are part of an almost illicit happening.
Some acts are better at building this relationship than others, but following the opening routine by Kalki Hula Girl, Phil Kay created a lovely rapport, thanks to his improvised ten-minute song about people who catch his eye in the audience. As someone who regularly talks for hours at a time – not always advisedly – this slot was barely enough to let him hit his stride, but his benign playfulness worked as an impeccable icebreaker.
A more mellow musical offering came from Earl Okin, who might not look the part as a self-proclaimed sex symbol with his squat frame, distinctively outdated dress sense, and scouring-pad hair. But close your eyes and you could almost be listening to a vintage scratched 78, with his sultry lisp and mellifluous voice. The way he rolls his consonants sounds like creaking wood – and the audience (which tonight included one Eddie Izzard, incidentally) was suitably appreciative when he produced the brass section to his bluesy numbers My Room and Bessie using his mouth alone.
Dutch clown Mr Jones was something of a disappointment. In baggy checked suit and carrying an outsized suitcase full of props he proceeded to go through every staple of the street performer’s act, pulling out juggling clubs, a lasso, a whip and diablo in a deliberately desperate attempt to win our attention. His shtick is that he’s a bit of a rubbish entertainer, far too willing to please – but there’s a fine line between faking that and coming across as the real thing; and in his overlong set, Mr Jones fell the wrong side of it. You’d be better off in Covent Garden.
Jon Hicks initially appeared to be another slow-burning act; coming on in paint-splattered decorator’s suit, and attending to some silent comedy business at a snail’s pace. But when the soundtrack kicked in, his true talent emerged as he started chucking paint at the 6ft canvas behind him. He’s a speed artist, and created a mighty impressive portrait in just a few minutes, with a sort of ‘can you guess what it is yet’ tease as the image gradually formed. Eat your heart out, Rolf Harris.
Nina Conti was a crowd favourite with her polished post-postmodern ventriloquism, cleverly deconstructing the deconstructions and with an ambitious, funny and very impressive finale – as seen in her last Edinburgh show – more than excusing any of the obvious-but-effective ‘hand up the backside’ jokes. She is a consummate entertainer, with some brains behind the banter, almost guaranteed to go down well in any room.
She was followed by Andrew Lawrence, who quickly divided the room. He began with a rather odd description of a lump of snot that had lodged up his nostril, delivered without his usual fierce intensity. The site of a strange, whiney man discussing his mucus unsurprisingly failed to catch the attention – so when a heckler interjected, it was hard to predict on whose side the audience would fall.
But by the pure force of his diatribe, Lawrence won at least a narrow majority of the crowd, to enable him to continue with his planned routine: a savagely aggressive rant he imagines giving to the petty traffic cop who once pulled him over on the outskirts of Leicester.
What you can say of his act is that it brought a genuine frisson to the marquee, creating an atmosphere that could so easily have turned nasty. But as he demanded a standing ovation, the cheers outnumbered the jeers. Just about.
The best was saved to last, however, with the brilliantly ridiculous anarchy of Woody Bop Muddy; a barnstorming act who probably hasn’t been seen in the comedy clubs for a decade or more, although he does make occasional appearances on the outdoor festival circuit.
His bonkers Record Graveyard act is easy to describe, but hard to explain. He chucks around great handfuls of rice, then produces an Oxfam shop’s worth of cheesy, ancient LPs whose fate is decided by mob rule. Will these vinyl atrocities be destroyed by his golden hammer, or allowed to ascend into record heaven?
It’s a superbly daft act combining inspired madness, irrefutable high energy and liberating audience participation, sold with 100 per cent conviction. It’s a genuine joy to see him back.
To say he’s worth the £17 to £21 ticket price alone might be overstating the case, but he does provide a barnstorming finale to this eclectic variety line-up.
|Date of live review: Wednesday 17th Jun, '09|
Review by Steve Bennett
Wednesday 12th Oct, '11- Leicester Square Theatre
Tuesday 4th May, '10- Brighton Freerange
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2008 -
Show - Misc live shows -
Show - Misc live shows - Sunday 28th Jan, '07-
Thursday 1st Feb, '01-
Show - Melbourne 2006 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2001 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2001 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2002 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 -
Saw Phil Kay in Dundee, laughed heartily for the first ten minutes then the whole room was deadly silent for the rest of the 80 minute show. I wouldn't recommend him to anyone and feel let down by his poor and random performance. At one point he started talking about hs new girlfriend and there was potential for some comedy but instead it was like listening to a lovesick divorcee. On leaving I overheard many members of the audience discussing their disappointment.
Saw Phil a few days ago and he was incomparably brilliant. His stories were so much more than just comedy, they contained every human emotion, and the whole evening was totally life affirming (plus, the audience gave him a chance to settle into his stride, as is often not the case). No other comedian comes as close to perfection as Phil Kay on a good night.
I think he is brilliant, true stand up comedy...not scripted rubbish, but do agree that when he gets it wrong, he goes all the way. One thing that annoys me is when I come out having really enjoyed the show some knob who didnt get it moans and spoils it for us who actually liked it
Saw him on TV recently. He is the most brillant comedian I have ever had the good fortune to see.
I saw Phil Kay about 8 or 9 years ago at The Glee Club in Birmingham. It was one of the best stand-up shows I have ever seen. At one point he came down into the audience and mooned in front of my best friend's face. My friend responded quite funnily by slapping Phil's arse cheek! How it resonated. Phil also tried to climb up into the ceiling standing on top of an ironing board. The man is a gem.
Seen him a few times and each of them he bombed impressively! He didn't make me laugh once and for all those talking about Reading 2004, he was booed offstage - the only act of the festival
Absolutely awesome. Funny and moving at the same time. The best (act is two weak a word) i've seen in a long while.
I felt sorry for him when he had absolutely nothing to say. Very embarrassing
Edinburgh Fringe 2002
Phil Kay: Branding The Ass Of A Heckler
The Stonewall Gala
Edinburgh Fringe 2003
Edinburgh Fringe 2005
All In The Timing
Edinburgh Fringe 2006
Doing Nothing Greatly Benefits Creativity
Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Phil Kay 
Phil Kay: Justice
Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Phil Kay 
Phil Kay: Greatest Hits
Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Aaaaaaaaaarrghh! It's Bollock Relief
Phil Kay: Edinburgh
Phil Kay: London Aye!
Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Cammy And Phil's Late Night Nonsense
Phil Kay's Gimmeyourleftshoe
Phil Kay: In Tweed
Phil Kay: RadioFree
Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Phil Kay: Free Hash
Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Heroes of Alternative Fringe
Phil Kay 
Edinburgh Fringe 2013
Bookshop Midnight Mayhem
Phil Kay: Verbal Diary
Phil Kay: Give Me Your Left Shoe
Misc live shows
Malcolm Hardee Charity Cabaret 2007
Phil Kay: Feral Will
West End run