After Hours: Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh, 2010
Josh Widdicombe: What Do I Do Now… Brighton Dome, Brighton, 2016
Always Be Comedy: The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2016
99 Club Comedy: Leicester Square, London, 2017
Always Be Comedy (3 shows): The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2017
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
Always Be Comedy: The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2020
Always Be Comedy Online: Online: 2021
Always Be Comedy: The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2021
Always Be Comedy (4 shows): The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2022
Always Be Comedy: Sambrook’s Brewery, Wandsworth, 2022
Ivo Graham: My Future, My Clutter: Soho Theatre, London, 2022
Always Be Comedy: The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2023
I have been watching Ivo Graham on stage since 2010. He was one of the politest comedians and had a charismatically, awkward style as was witnessed when he performed the guest spot on Josh Widdicombe’s tour of 2016. Producing longer sets for Always Be Comedy and the 99 Comedy Club in 2016 and 2017, his material grew funnier as he talked about his nerdiness, privileged background and social clumsiness.
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 faze 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.
The comedian was hilarious when he appeared as a guest for a show at the Greenwich Comedy Festival, the socially distanced outdoor concert that I saw in September 2020 and when I saw him perform at a socially distanced gig for Always Be Comedy in December 2020, some of the set involved me laughing at him and reducing me to even more hysterics.
Graham performed at Always Be Comedy Online in March 2021 with a brilliant set about living in lockdown with friends and fatherhood. His delivery of a story was pitch perfect and so funny.
It was wonderful to see Graham return to live stand-up comedy in July 2021 and then again in February and April 2022. He performed new material for Always Be Comedy and was hilarious talking about his life experiences during the pandemic lockdown and discovering the new online word game Wordle.
In August 2022 when I attended the Edinburgh Fringe, each day, I wore several T-Shirts that were inspired by the fringe and this blog. Graham made a point of tracking me down and met during my week’s stay and on my last day to give me a specially designed T-Shirt with the slogan ‘Richard Says Laugh’ on the front. It was a wonderfully kind gesture and when he performed at Always Be Comedy’s new venue at Sambrook’s Brewery in Wandsworth in September 2022, with me in the front row wearing the T Shirt, to have almost an entire set dedicated to one man, his amazing laugh and now infamous T-Shirt was a complete joy to watch.
In November 2022, I saw Graham’s full solo show, My Future, My Clutter at the Soho Theatre in London. The show was an examination of the last three years of his life featuring patenting and stalling his career during the pandemic. His delivery was pitch-perfect, and he was an absolute joy to watch. He also performed a wonderful twenty-minute set for Always Be Comedy in December 2022 and again in March 2023.
Graham gets more confident and funnier every time I see him live. He is a very intelligent, warm, funny man and seeing him develop into a top-flight comedian over the years has been an absolute pleasure to watch.