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School Of Comedy (Your Mother Wouldn't Like It)
Scott Clarkson: What Gets Me Is...
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Sex and Violence: Free
Seymour Mace: Where's Batman? My Life As A Failed Superhero
Sh*tty Deal Puppet Theatre Company's Complete History of Oppressed People Everywhere!
Shappi Khorsandi: Carry On Shappi
Shelley Cooper: Reality Cheque
Simon Amstell: No Self
Simon Brodkin: One Man Comedy Club
Simon Munnery: Annual General Meeting 2007
Sista She And The House Of The Holy Bootay
Skinner and Bell: Where Are Dave And Dave?
Slippery Soapbox: Spotbanded Skat
So You Think You're Funny? 2007 final
So You Think You're Funny? 2007 heats
Something About Sara
Sound Of Music Drag Show
Special Reserve 
Spinistry of Moonerism
Stan Stanley: Collywobbles
Stand Late Club
Stand Up For Animals
Stand Up For Freedom 2007
Steel & Simon Show
Stef's Sidesplitting Hypnosis
Stephen Carlin: Armchair Renaissance Man
Stephen De Martin is Poofloose
Stephen Grant: Taken For Granted
Stephen K Amos: More Of Me
Stephen K Amos: Weekend Talk Show
Stephen Long Is Not A Mind Reader
Steve Day: Deafy's Island Discs
Steve Hughes: Heavy Metal Comedy
Steve Williams: Binge Thinking
Steven Young: Battling Katrina And Other Nasty Water Nymphs
Stevie & Evie's Midnight Muck
Stewart Lee: 41st Best Stand-Up Ever
Storytellers' Club at the Establishment
Stuart Goldsmith and Jimmy McGhie
Stuckey & Murray's Mythical Fornication
Suitcase Royale: Chronicles Of A Sleepless Moon
Sunshine Variety Couch
Super Great Comedy Good Show
Sally-Anne Hayward: Is He Funny?
Is He Funny? is the story of Sally’s life as a comedian’s daughter. Her father has been a successful stand up comic for 50 years. His work dates back to Dean Martin’s Laugh In, Candid Camera and Sunday Night at the London Palladium. He worked as the warm up artist for, among others, Bob Monkhouse, Parkinson and Steptoe and Son.
Now a comedian herself, Sally has often been described as posh and middle class, yet her life has been spent sitting in run-down dressing rooms waiting for her dad to finish his ‘set’. When told what his job is, Sally is always confronted with the question, ‘Is he funny?’ And then ‘Is he famous?’ At last Sally has a serious go at answering these questions. The result is funny, sad, uplifting, and lasts an hour
Sally-Anne Hayward is following in her father’s footsteps, well sort of. He was – still is – a comic of the old-school, telling jokes about fellas who walk into pubs or visit their doctor with unlikely ailments; while she works the modern circuit, hoping people will laugh at her own failings and insecurities.
For her debut solo show, Hayward Jr shares some affectionate observations of her family life, where Russ Abbott, Keith Harris and the Krankies would be regular house guests. Roger De Courcey Is My Godfather could have been an alternative, truthful title.
But it’s something of a missed opportunity. There’s no grand idea behind the banter; no conclusions about how comedy or society has changed; no real personal insight into the lot of a comedian or their stay-at-home loved ones. Nothing really to tie the show up into a satisfying whole.
Hayward, though, is delightful company, friendly and modestly vivacious. She works hard at getting people to like her, even at the expense of a couple of more harder-edged jokes that she undersells, seemingly out of fear we might think less of her. The effort is unnecessary, as she’s charismatic and naturally likeable.
She interacts easily with the audience – a polite, small room holding no fear after honing her skills as a regular compere at Bristol’s often-raucous Jesters club. Chatting to a grandfather in the room, she gets into a digression on coprophilia – an unlikely subject given the warm-hearted theme of the show – that proves as good, and sometimes better, than the anecdotes she’d prepared.
She doesn’t just coast by on charm, mind, there are gags here, too, some of which are deceptively sharp. But a world away from the sort her dad, Squire Ronnie Hayward, tells. In the tough world of showbusiness, he’s been relatively successful, appearing on Seaside Special, Sunday Night At The London Palladium and enjoying a long career on the cruise ships, but never becoming famous. The samples his daughter gives of his work are a mix of hoary favourites and smarter gags that have weathered the effects of time remarkably well. This show won’t last as long, it’s rather too lightweight for that.
Is He Funny? Well, yes he is. Is She? Yes again, and instinctively, perhaps genetically, so. But she needs a stronger focus and bigger ideas to convert that into an hour that carries more weight than simply being an enjoyable chat.
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
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