Always Be Comedy (2 shows): The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2018
Mervyn Stutter’s Pick of the Fringe: Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, 2018
Headliners Comedy 16th Birthday: George IV pub, Chiswick, London, 2018
Always Be Comedy (3 shows): The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2019
Ivo Graham: The Game of Life: Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, 2019
Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards Gala: Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, 2019
Always Be Comedy: The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2020
Always Be Comedy Online (2 shows): Online: 2020
The Greenwich Comedy Festival 2020: Greenwich Park, London, 2020
In February 2018, Ivo Graham appeared at Always Be Comedy. After meeting Graham at previous gigs and watching from the front row, he was introduced on stage by regular MC James Gill after Gill had attempted a successful stage dive that warmed up an excited audience. When Graham walked on stage in a relaxed yet confident manner, he said that his act may not be as exciting as what had just happened and if he isn’t funny then at least he can be polite. He then shook my hand and said, ‘Hello Richard!’ This got a big laugh and the audience were on his side. I thought this was a great opening because the crowd knew exactly the sort of comedian they were going to get, and Graham built up the set with some great stories and jokes about social awkwardness.
I saw Graham again play the club in July 2018 this time with his new Edinburgh Fringe preview show. This was the most confident I have seen him perform – the posh, nerdy angst was still intact and at times inspired inviting the audience in to listen to stories on many diverse themes before savage killer punchlines were delivered resulting in big laughs, Graham delivered a bright preview hour and on the strength of this, he deserves a successful Edinburgh Fringe.
I was delighted to see Graham on the bill for Mervyn Stutter’s Pick of the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival in August 2018. Promoting his show Motion Sickness, Graham talked about engagement and imminent fatherhood with such witty insights that I noticed that the audience were recommending him to others after the showcase. I then saw him on the bill at Headliners Comedy 16th Birthday night. He was first guest comic on stage once again effortlessly taking control of the audience with a blisteringly funny set.
To kick off the new year, Graham was the first act I saw live in January 2019 where more humorous stories developed about impending fatherhood. He played Always Be Comedy again in June 2019 previewing his new Edinburgh show in June 2019.
I went to see his new show The Game of Life at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2019. The Eton and Oxford educated comic and new dad described his concerns about the run-of-the-mill complications of life which demonstrated superb thoughful comedy, reserving his most spiteful criticism and self-depreciation for himself as being ‘weak and pathetic’. The jokes and stories were first rate, extremely funny and creatied constant belly laughs from the full audience.
The show deservedly earned Graham a nomination in Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards and I saw him again as a guest at the Awards Gala show featuring the rest of the nominees and Mark Watson as compere.
Graham headlined Always Be Comedy in London when I went in October 2019 and again in February 2020 performing new material. Again, he was hysterically funny with his blistering set and was fearless with part of the crowd. To answer back to any crowd is daunting, to create comedy from it is special. It’s the sign of a great comedian.
In June and August 2020, Graham appeared for Always Be Comedy Online. Delivering his routine virtually did not seem to phase him as he brilliantly and hilariously constructed stories of coping in lockdown during the Coronavirus worldwide outbreak as well as reciting his old school diaries with wit and flair.
Graham was hilarious as he appeared for a show at the Greenwich Comedy Festival, the socially distanced outdoor concert that I saw in September 2020. The comedian gets more confident and funnier every time I see him live and watching him develop into a top-flight comedian has been an absolute pleasure to watch.