Going it alone

Montreal's solo series a success

Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival has vowed to bring back more full-length solo shows next year.

The event has traditionally centred on short stand-up sets, with only the occasional full-length show from a single performer.

But this year it introduced a Flying Solo season of one-man shows from Stewart Lee, Phil Nichol, Demetri Martin, Tim Minchin and a handful of others.

Hollywood trade magazine Variety says the idea ‘was a hit that will come back next year, with Demetri Martin drawing attention’.

Festival boss Bruce Hills also wants to expand the Comedia section, which showcases comic movies.

‘We'll continue to do the shorts that we're doing, but we'll also have a much bigger feature film event,’ he told Variety. ‘We can be a great event to service the world of comedy film, because comedy films are not usually given their due in national film events. We'd like to salute them, rather than putting them on the bottom of the totem pole.’

Sell-out shows at this year’s event included John Cleese's two galas as well as Bill Cosby’s two performances; and the most talked-about show was burlesque cabaret La Clique, called Just for Laughs' ‘best-reviewed show ever’.


Published: 30 Jul 2006

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