Acceptable in the Eighties

Stewart Lee curates nostalgic line-up

Stewart Lee is curating a show aimed at capturing the spirit of the early years of alternative comedy.

At Last The 1981 Show will feature acts such as The Oblivion Boys, The Greatest Show On Legs, Alexei Sayle, Kevin MacAleer and Chris Lynam.

Lee said: ‘At Last The 1981 Show presents acts who were part of the  burgeoning new comedy scene, just before alternative comedy  took off in 1982.

‘Some [of them] you might  have seen in that comedic Indian summer – some  famous, some infamous, some unfamous – all  massively significant.’

He is curating the show with Paul Jackson, who in 1981 was a year away from producing The Young Ones. Also taking part is Nigel Planer as both Neil The Folk Singer – the character immortalised in that sitcom – and luvvie actor Nicholas Craig.

The line-up also includes Arthur Smith, Norman Lovett, Andrew Bailey, Arnold Brown, and Frank Chickens, the avant garde Japanese performance group who were nominated for the Perrier award in 1984, and were last year crowned Foster's Edinburgh Comedy God, after Lee backed the campaign.

In 1981, the Perrier was handed out for the first time (to a Cambridge Footlights team that included Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie) and the Comedy Store, which had been open for two years, was still operating from a Soho strip club,. Jongleurs was still two years away.

The gig takes place at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank at 7.30pm on Sunday May 29.

Meanwhile, the second series of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle has been given a BBC2 slot on Wednesdays at 11.20pm, starting May 4.

Published: 8 Apr 2011

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.