In 2014, I moved from reviewing comedy to PRing comedy. Below is a quick rundown for the comedy PR projects I’ve handled in the last four years. I’ve not yet hyperlinked reviews, but you can look up shows via British Comedy Guide https://www.comedy.co.uk/fringe/
Richard Gadd’s runs at the Soho Theatre in April and December 2014. Richard’s show ‘Cheese and Crack Whores’ sold so well that the run was extended. He was reviewed in The Guardian and featured on Chortle’s Correspondents section, where his piece was voted the best that month (April 2014). Richard then returned to Soho Theatre with his latest full-length show, ‘Breaking Gadd’. The show was featured across numerous websites including Chortle, the British Comedy Guide, The Velvet Onion, Laugh Out London. Meanwhile, The Guardian, Moustache Comedy and West End Wilma reviewed and the Observer subsequently named Richard as one to watch in 2015.
Sajeela Kershi’s ‘Immigrant Diaries’ at Brighton Fringe and London’s Southbank. For her May 2014 shows, Sajeela appeared on BBC Sussex, Juice FM and was featured in Asian Culture Vulture and in Broadway Baby. She was also reviewed in the Brighton Argus and Broadway Baby. Her ITV London News slot, with co-star Shobu Kapoor, in advance of her Southbank show, topped off a great run during which Sajeela attracted a lot of interest from audiences, promoters and press.
Dave Griffiths’s Brighton Fringe run, May 2014. Dave’s short Brighton Fringe run was featured on Juice FM and in the Brighton Argus, both as a feature and a review. His show, ‘C U In Court’, attracted a lot of interest on social media and the run sold very well. He subsequently appeared in the Evening Standard.
At the Edinburgh Fringe, many of my clients enjoyed their first national newspaper exposure and a high degree of attention from reviewers across the board. Rebecca Humphries (Dizney Rascal) and Anna Emerson (An Evening With Patti DuPont) received a particularly high level of exposure and both transferred from Edinburgh to London. Among other breakthroughs was a successful Picturehouse Cinemas event for ‘Who Ya Gonna Call?’, the Ghostbusters musical – the idea for which came out of a PR seminar. Lizzie Bates‘ one-night only run of Reprobates (Etcetera Theatre, Camden, November 2014) saw her featured in the Evening Standard and on Bruce Dessau’s Beyond the Joke website.
Among my acts was a return for the hugely successful Spencer Jones whose show ‘Spencer Jones is The Herbert in “Proper Job”’ received numerous rave reviews, most notably 5 stars in The Times, appeared on BBC’s The Next Big Thing and enjoyed a residency at Soho Theatre.
Geoff Norcott also enjoyed a great Fringe, with a 4-star review in The Telegraph among a number of great notices. Geoff also had good coverage in The Daily Express and The New Statesman and signed to the Troika talent agency not long after the festival.
Steve Hall cemented his renown with a clutch of excellent reviews, ditto Sajeela Kershi‘s acclaimed show Immigrant Diaries, which has just been featured in The Independent on Sunday and will also be featured on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4. Other Fringe 2015 highlights included Kelly Kingham and Aatif Nawaz dominating the ‘Best Jokes of the Fringe’ sections of various national newspapers and other journals, and Colin Leggo‘s big feature spread in The Daily Mail.
A bumper year with a few more acts and the profiles of returning acts growing quickly. Laura Lexx enjoyed a flurry of 4-star reviews and her achievements were underlines with a finalist spot in the Amused Moose Awards.
Olaf Falafel’s debut was very warmly received too and he featured prominently across the national newspaper feature son ‘Jokes of the Fringe’.
Abi Roberts’s show ‘Anglichanka’ garnered a good crop of reviews, including two 5-stars, and was featured in The Guardian, The Herald and The Skinny. A tour of ‘Anglichanka’ followed soon after.
US comedian Liz Miele received some nice 4-star reviews and was signed by a major promoter at the end of the festival.
Celebrated financial writer and comedian, Dominic Frisby was reviewed comprehensively and enjoyed some great feedback and was also featured in The Guardian, The Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Pierre Novellie started to cement his growing popularity with a 4-star review in The Times as well 5-stars in Three Weeks and other 4-star reviews in The Skinny and Shortcom. Pierre was also featured in The Guardian, The Herald and The Skinny.
Geoff Norcott built on the previous year with 4-star reviews, in The List, Fest, Spiked and Broadway Baby and he featured on The Today Programme, BBC Edinburgh Nights with Kirsty Wark and in Indy Voices, the iPaper and The Times.
Spencer Jones brought ‘Proper Job’ back to Edinburgh for a full run at The Underbelly while his new show, ‘Eggy Bagel’ reinforced his standing with a wealth of 4-star reviews including in the Evening Standard, The Scotsman and the iPaper, and there was a 4.5 review from Chortle.
Finally, Erich McElroy’s Electile Dysfunction clocked up some great notices in 5-stars in Broadway Baby and paved the way for a huge amount of coverage later in the year ahead of the US Election itself. Erich appeared numerous times on Sky and on various BBC current affairs programmes.
Before Edinburgh preparations started, Geoff Norcott’s show ‘Conswervative’ went on tour and, in the course of the campaign, he appeared on BBC One’s Question Time, BBC Two’s Daily Politics, Sky’s All Out Politics and BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show. Geoff subsequently appeared on BBC Two’s The Mash Report before his Edinburgh run of new show, ‘Right Leaning But Well Meaning’ (touring as ‘Traditionalism’ from February 2018). Geoff’s Edinburgh run was well received including 4-stars from the Mail on Sunday and a spread of other good reviews in the Evening Standard, The Sunday Times and the Daily Mail.
Pierre Novellie also enjoyed exposure on The Mash Report at the time of the Fringe, helping his buoyant year that included a 5-star review from Metro and 4’s from, among others, The Scotsman, The List and The Sunday Post. It was very exciting to have a lot of returning clients for Edinburgh year and some great, new faces.
The winner of the Funny Women Award 2016, Harriet Braine, was among the new faces. Harriet, making her Fringe debut, spent a lot of time in the BBC’s Edinburgh tent including appearances on The Radio 2 Arts Show with Jonathan Ross and The Janice Forsyth Show on BBC Radio Scotland. Harriet was also picked out by The Guardian as a must-see show.
US comedian and Fringe debutant Carmen Lynch enjoyed a number of Fringe ‘picks’ too, most notably in The Times and in Marie Claire. Carmen enjoyed full houses throughout her run and was picked up by a major promoter at the end of the festival. Fellow American, Sid Singh received some glowing notices for his show, ‘A Singh in the North’, most notably in The Scotsman.
Co-writer on Jonathan Pie, Andrew Doyle enjoyed a string of great reviews including a 5-stars in Broadway Baby and 4-stars in Chortle. Feature-wise, Andrew appeared in The Guardian, The Scotsman and the iPaper among others.
A fantastic year for Laura Lexx whose show, ‘Trying’, was rapturously received by the critics – notably in The Telegraph (★★★★) where Dominic Cavendish described it as ‘the birth of a bouncy, bubbly stand-up star’. More reviews and coverage (including features in The Express and iNews) can be seen here.
Alex Kealy went up another gear, impressing critics including Stephen Armstrong in The Sunday Times (★★★½) who called his show ‘storming’.
Olaf Falafel and Barry Ferns also enjoyed a number of great reviews including ★★★★ for Olaf from the Evening Standard and ★★★★ for Barry Ferns from The Scotsman, Fest and ★★★★½ from ShortCom.
Laura Lexx had another amazing year, with fantastic reviews including in The Sunday Times ★★★★ and the Telegraph ★★★★, among many others which can be viewed here. Laura has since appeared on Live at the Apollo, Roast Battle and Argumental.
Meanwhile, free speech comedian Konstantin Kisin‘s debut year made a splash, including ★★★★ in The Telegraph and attracting a lot of features, including in The Guardian, The Spectator, the i newspaper, The Telegraph and The Sunday Post – links to these can be found here.
Olaf Falafel won Dave’s Best Joke of the Fringe, which set him on a media whirl that left no stone unturned, across local and national radio and TV news and across tabloid and broadsheet newspapers. His tour of duty was quite a ride!
Finally, I PR’d a non-comedy project, and it was a big one – Iain Dale‘s All Talk. Iain, an LBC presenter and co-presenter of the ‘For The Many’ podcast, among many other hats, brought together an eye-watering line-up of politicians and journalists, including Nicola Sturgeon, Alan Johnson, Sadiq Khan, Anne Diamond, Kirsty Wark and Christiane Amanpour. Never off the front pages of the Scottish newspapers, the series of talks made a splash down south too, including coverage in The Guardian, The Express, The Sunday Times and The New Statesman.