WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT ABI – PRESS QUOTES AND INTERVIEWS
LATEST INTERVIEWS AND PRESS!
August 2017 – Review of ANGLICHANKA (directed by Martin Oakley) in Broadway Baby here
“Roberts tells her stories with honesty and a lot of pleasure in sharing with the audience, and of course – they are hilarious. She tells us of her host family, with is token babooshka, drinking vodka, studying under a famous professor, gay rights, and how Moscow was a very different place in the 90s. Her performance singing a Marge Simpson impression opera piece is oddly just as fantastic as her operatic rendition of Chicago’s All That Jazz, which is sung entirely in Russian. Throughout all the joyful stories we are treated to, Roberts speaks with such passion and wonder at all the threads that have woven through her life that roots her to Russia, and what has brought her to stand-up comedy. It’s a delightful look at life’s ironies and synchronicity
Roberts’ references the extreme laws and social politics of Russia today and compares it to her time there in the 90s. The audience are just as enchanted by her experiences there as Roberts herself, so it is devastating when we learn she had to flee to England during the 1993 constitutional crisis. It was refreshing to see a stand-up comedian who can make us laugh but also keep us so immersed in her story and the people she knew that we leave feeling quite inspired and emotionally moved”.
August 2017 – Review Of ANGLICHANKA (directed by Martin Oakley) in Mumble International Comedy here.
“..had us laughing even before we took our seats…a unique brand of comedic dialogue…an evening perfectly structured between uproarious hilarity and poignant moments where Abi seemed almost moved to tears at a particular recollection, then would straight away have us bursting out in fits of laughter as she cracked another joke…she offered us insights into the impact of the choices we make, how important gratitude was and what experience teaches us. Her enthusiasm never faltered as she instantly responded to the reaction of the audience, always ready with a quick one-liner…an approach which was at the same time electric, edgy and deeply touching…she shared these feelings with us and laid out before us a cunning and passionate blending of character and cultural nuances.
It takes courage for a stand-up comic to open themselves to possible ridicule and rejection and be the butt of their own jokes – not always guaranteed to work. It was an exhilarating experience to watch Abi Roberts navigate these dangerous waters and deftly keep turning the wheel to even more absurd and intense extremes. In fact, Abi plainly revelled in it, winning us over from the start as a warm, welcoming and completely genuine host, inviting us to laugh AT her and WITH her in an evening of non-stop fast moving comedy that is well worth a visit. Just don’t blink or you’ll miss a joke!”
August 2017: Two of Abi’s jokes are in the all-time “100 of the best ever jokes and one-liners from the Edinburgh Fringe” in the Independent AND The Scotsman! See them here: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/culture/100-best-jokes-one-liners-edinburgh-fringe/ and
Interview with WONDERFUL WOMEN Blog HERE
Review of Bearcat Comedy Club, May 2017 HERE
Derby Evening Telegraph feature on ANGLICHANKA (directed by Martin Oakley), ahead of 13 May preview at Derby Comedy Festival:
Abi on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live talking about comedy, Russia and her nomination for BEST COMEDY SHOW! Listen here
Reviews from Edinburgh Fringe 2016 and tour 2017 – Abi Roberts: Anglichanka (directed by Martin Oakley)
★★★★★ Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
★★★★★ Edinburgh Fringe Review
★★★★★ Swindon Evening News
★★★★ Broadway Baby
★★★★ The List
★★★★ Mumble Comedy
★★★★ Three Weeks
★★★★ The Wee Review
★★★★ Scottish Broadcasting Company
★★★★ EFR Late
★★★★ TV Bomb Edinburgh
★★★★ Edinburgh Evening News
Abi talking to the BBC’s Claire Cavanagh about her forthcoming Bath Comedy Festival debut HERE
Abi on BBC TV Scotland’s Timeline show talking about Russia, similarities with the Scots and Russian humour (17mins and 30 secs in) HERE.
Abi on BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth Show talking about Glasgow Comedy Festival, Russia and comedy (CLIP) Listen HERE
Full Reviews and links to Abi’s 2016 Edinburgh Fringe show ANGLICHANKA(directed by Martin Oakley):
EDINBURGH FESTIVALS MAGAZINE
★★★★★ Read the full Edinburgh Festivals Magazine review here
“Abi Roberts presents her incredible stand-up show, Anglichanka (the Russian word for Englishwoman) with unstoppable charisma, dominating the stage all through the hour.
The show follows her move from studying at Swansea University to studying opera in 90’s Soviet Russia until the 1993 military coup. Roberts presents her tale without ever faltering and provides a wide range of very insightful observations from her time in Russia.
With true talent, Roberts merges her tale with her boisterous, laugh-out-loud humour that never once fails to gain laughs from the audience. Roberts was also incredibly keen to engage with the room – not just the front row but the whole audience. It was a nice touch to an already faultless show. Incorporating segments of opera singing and Russian dancing with her comedy, as well as a re-enactment of a scene from the Chicago stage show, Roberts has pieced together an entertaining and one-of-a-kind stand-up show.”
EDINBURGH FRINGE REVIEW
★★★★★ Read the full Edinburgh Fringe Review here
“…it is clear we are in for a high-energy, entertaining performance…..she is hilarious, thought-provoking and a joy to watch….during the show, it becomes clear that wonderful comedic writing is not the only treat in store…. she returned to Russia this year performing in English and Russian – the first UK comic to do so. Roberts’s relationship with Russia on a personal level raises many interesting insights within the piece, such as acceptance (or lack thereof) and censorship in post-Soviet Russia. It also demonstrates how comedy can be used to great effect – Roberts’s biting commentary is so subtly embedded in her script that it is never forced, but none the less challenging….intelligent, self-effacing and deeply personal comedy: absolutely not to be missed.”
SWINDON EVENING NEWS
★★★★★ Read the full review here
“Comedian Abi Roberts burst on to the stage like a breath of fresh air with her new show Anglichanka (means Englishwoman in Russian); which was about living in the former Soviet Union in the 90s and returning after 18 years as the first UK comic to perform in English and Russian. Having seen a lot of stand-up over the years, I had never come across Abi before so I wasn’t sure what to expect – but I can say with absolute confidence that I will make sure I see her again now that I have witnessed first-hand how absolutely hilarious she is.
This woman is belly-achingly funny; she is clever, witty, different and moreish. The way she tells the crowd her life story is so interesting that your attention is not allowed to drift for a second, and the pace of her tales made her totally addictive. Throughout this show, we really got a snapshot of what living in Russia must be like; we heard about the kindness of these people, the coldness of the climate and the vodka-infused lifestyle!
The performance was an education and Abi proved that nothing you do in life is a waste. Her mother wanted her to be a professional opera singer (Abi trained at the famous Moscow Conservatory), so she uses some of her singing in this current production.
Abi is comedy gold and the people of Swindon would be wise to catch her when she’s next in town. Her dance moves and vocals when it comes to her Russian version of the musical ‘Chicago’ is now forever embedded in my memory. A 10 out of 10 evening that felt over too soon. ★★★★★“
★★★★ Read the full Three Weeks review here
“…huge stage presence, commanding the room from the moment she steps on stage. A wonderful blend of funny stories and audience interaction, we are whisked to post-Cold War Russia to learn of Roberts’ struggle to assimilate as an Anglichanka (English woman). A fantastic storyteller who has led a fascinating life, you’ll leave Roberts’ risqué comedy having not only laughed, but also gained an insight into Russian culture and customs. Definitely a show for those looking for a scoop of wanderlust to go with their stand-up.”
EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS AND FIFE FREE PRESS
★★★★ Read the full review here
“Her Russian adventure is a great story – and one told with great style. She packs a lot into this one-hour show, which spans almost 20 years…. she bursts into song and boy she can sing! She recounts her days living with a Russian family and she brings it altogether with an upbeat finale which makes this, ultimately, a feel good hour of comedy.Roberts is warm and engaging on stage – she has oodles of charisma – and her Russian adventure has to be unique; it’s certainly going down well with audiences at the Voodoo Rooms.”
★★★★ Read the Twittique here
“Brash, silly & delightfully vulgar tells the story of her journey to Moscow & sings some kick-ass opera. 4/5″
★★★★Read the full EFR Late review here
“…we join a sizeable queue. Fast forward an hour and a half, I am sitting in a café pondering over what I have just seen. Yes, I have decided, the wet walk was fully justified and the crowd of keen faces makes sense….. all the enthusiasm and perfect timing of the first UK comic stand up in English and Russian, Roberts embarks upon a hilarious tale with sustained energy which cannot fail to delight. Robert’s incorporating of impressions, one liners and ad-lib is superb. Only when the hour was up do I realize I had not peeled my eyes from the glowing performance. Roberts entrances the audience in a way I have seen few times before….she is a a fireball of energy who ignites the audience in a heat of giggles and claps…..with a naturalness and honesty which twisted, and turned via intelligent reference to Russian history throughout. A comedian who doubles up as an opera singer is a stage presence to be reckoned with. It is boundless, yet so honest. With a finale to end all finales, an hour spent in the Voodoo Rooms may just be your ticket to brighten up the dreary, drizzle this Fringe.
THE WEE REVIEW/TV BOMB
★★★★ Read the full TV Bomb Edinburgh review here
“Don’t be fooled by the lovely looks of Abi. She marches into the room, turning everybody’s heads. The minute she is on the stage, you know you will remember the stories she has for a long time. Not only does she put her experiences through the prism of comedy, but Abi also teaches you a thing or two about the Russians. Abi is not a comedian who performs and leaves. She will make you laugh and sing and shout in different languages. Her interaction with the audience creates a bond”.
★★★★ Read the full audience review on Edinburgh List here
“This was a really really good show, packed with jokes and a bit of opera! Thoroughly enjoyable romp with some serious political messages too. I have never seen a show finale quite like it!”
★★★★ read the full review here
“We are welcomed in, in Russian (!), by a hefty lady in a fur hat, though it’s a sunny day and it’s pretty hot in the packed upstairs room at the Brewhouse. What’s going on? But after some thumping music and more of the Russian lady chanting loudly along with it, she rips off the hat and admits that no, she’s Abi and she’s British. The show is then a riotous trip down memory lane as she recounts her experiences as a teenage student in Swansea University and the Moscow Conservatoire, where she learned how to be an opera singer at the insistence of her overbearing mum. What? Yes. It’s an action-packed story, involving lots of oddball Russian characters, how to sing American musicals in Russian; how to behave as a Russian comedy audience, oh, and even a military coup. Roberts is a feisty and ebullient performer and the story never flags in a roller-coaster ride of comedic skill that has its audience hooting along in English and in Russian right through to the suitably over-the-top Slavonic musical finale. A smart, funny, and highly original show. Spasiba bolshoi, Abi.”
EALING GAZETTE (REVIEW OF BEARCAT COMEDY CLUB MAY 2017)
“.. it was for the effervescent, nay firecracker of a comedienne in Ms Abi Roberts, that caused me to beat a path to the door of the Bearcat Comedy Club– to catch a lady who must surely be a star in the making, if ever this comic’s daughter saw one. It was her show last year at the Bearcat’s sister venue in my local St. Margaret’s, Twickenham where I first witnessed the jiggling, bouncing Abi burst on to the stage, with a slick of red lippie and her shock of blonde hair. I was hooked.
She has a deceptively easy way with her, seamlessly engaging her audience, drawing them to her and from the off, it’s clear she will please. It works – and it has the ladies in hysterics – I’m not quite sure the fellas knew what hit ‘em but boy were they laughing along with us, as Abi gave a vigorous and eye-wateringly funny demonstration of some of her exploits. A perfect blend of the risqué whilst teetering on the edge and still not managing to offend anyone – no cheap laughs here or gags at someone else’s expense. Instead this was a pitch-perfect performance from a deceptively clever woman who knows her comedy. At a Friday night Bearcat, Abi Roberts brought the house down with her reminiscences of a not-so-distant youth and yes, even Mr Bobby Davro could be seen chuckling heartily, appreciating her comic observation and razor-like wit. He may have been the sell-out act they came to see but this night Abi Roberts shone. It is surely her time – and even Davro, with his years of comedic experience had the good grace to recognise her achievement, bringing her on at the end commending her to the audience – their rousing cheer said it all. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Abi Roberts. Catch her now, before she is filling the Hammersmith Apollo, where she surely deserves to be…Nostrovia!!”
Abi presents Sky TV’s (Channel 266, Sky Showbiz TV) Edinburgh Festival TV Live: watch here
BBC World Service – Abi’s interview with Matthew Bannister on BBC Radio’s Outlook
BBC Radio 4 – Abi on BBC Radio 4 talking about comedy, Russia and opera! BBC Radio 4
British Comedy Guide Interview on doing comedy in Russian – British Comedy Guide
Bruce Dessau’s Beyond The Joke Interview – “Rarely Asked Questions: Abi Roberts” here
★★★★★Review of Oxfam Comedy Gala at Leicester Square Theatre March 2016 here
Chortle on Abi’s trip to Russia here
Piece on ANGLICHANKA in Russia’s equivalent of The Times, Isvestia here (in Russian)
BBC Radio 4 Weekend – on going to Moscow to perform in Russian: BBC R4 Weekend
Russia Daily here
Gigglebeats – Abi Roberts in Russia here
South Wales Evening Post here
Interview with US Radio Station Wildfire Radio on the Crapulent show
Six Brilliant Comedians Everyone Will Be Talking About in Edinburgh – Aisling Bea, Abi Roberts, Bridget Christie, Lolly Adefope, Massive Dad
Interview with British Comedy Guide
Ealing Today – Review of Bearcat Comedy
Broadway Baby – “… Roberts is irresistibly charismatic and deliciously unruly. Personality radiates from her. Her ability to set a scene using her body as an instrument of comedy, is enrapturing…Roberts is loudly and instinctively funny”.
Chortle – www.chortle.co.uk
“Truly hysterical Abi Roberts has definitely got the moves. She does it all with genuine charm and character, with big laughs. Abi talks entertainingly, then takes apart Loose Women and she completely, superbly annihilates it. She uses her vocal skills to mock and her Jane McDonald impression is worth seeing alone. Likewise, her take on Celine Dion is brilliantly done – clever, funny and well performed. Roberts has an imposing range of talents, she gives a little song too and her impressions are, well, impressive. She really is more than just a stand-up. The audience was definitely left wanting more”.
GQ Magazine on MUSICAL CID – www.gq-magazine.co.uk
“…one of our top 20 newer stand-ups to see in 2015, Abi Roberts is brilliantly funny and charming. She’s a true comedy genius ★★★★★”
(on her show MUSICAL CID) “…and her show (MUSICAL CID) is also true genius. Juxtaposing big sing-alongs with comedians opening their hearts about their lives. This is a wonderfully unpredictable show. Take our word for it, anything can happen on MUSICAL CID!”
Comedy Central @ BabyBlue
“The audience really laughed a lot throughout and Abi delivered an excellently energetic and thoroughly engaging set. Each story she tells is so dynamic and over the top it can’t but capture the audience’s attention, and she got lots of big laughs. Great performance – big response!”
Gigglebeats – www.gigglebeats.co.uk
“★★★★★ This is Abi’s first solo stand-up hour in Edinburgh, three years into her comedy career and she is a rather magnificent blonde bundle of energy, making quite an entrance, literally rushing the stage. It’s funny, the audience laughed and she hadn’t said a word. A bit of banter with the jam packed audience later, it’s apparent that she’s funny, quick, a little risqué and can work a room. The good first impression continued as Abi started her set with a tight and very funny routine. The laughs continued and they laugh longer and louder. Abi’s take on sex from a woman’s point of view went down well with the audience and a family story that Abi returns to throughout her set provided more light and shade than is normally found on a comedy stage. It was personal and provided for a touching and unexpected turn of events. Abi’s voice filled the room, she’s a natural physical comedian and a great live act. She kept the audience laughing and with her throughout the hour. It’s fast-paced, high-octane comedy with brilliant routines…entertaining throughout and leaves everybody wanting more.”
Review, Black Diamond FM (Scotland) – TWERK IN PROGRESS, 2 August 2014:
“FIVE STARS★★★★★ Abi Roberts -Twerk In Progress gets a hugely deserved 5 stars. A tremendous amount of fun from start to finish, Abi is a ball of comedy energy from first to last and had a very large audience in laughter all the way. I was treated to an hour of some of the best comedy I have heard in a long time and it was a solid, funny piece of work with a bit of twerking thrown in for good measure. All in all a fantastically fun show. You can listen to Abi chatting with myself here: https://audioboo.fm/boos/2369055-abi-roberts-twerk-in-progress”
Review, MUSICAL CID – Edinburgh Reporter
“FIVE STARS★★★★★ “This is a great concept for a show. It is hosted by Abi Roberts (who is appearing in the brilliant Twerk in Progress at The Voodoo Rooms 4.50pm every day) and features a different comedy guest every day. Today’s guest was the fantastically funny Luisa Omielan who is starring in “Am I right ladies” at The Counting House 10.15pm. The format is pretty straightforward: the guest has chosen songs for different aspects of their life things like first kiss, a getting ready to go out song, funeral song etc. Luisa’s choices were decent enough and included Beyoncé (not a fan to be honest) Cher, Savage Garden and a few others. But the best part was the unrehearsed karaoke of Dead Ringer for Love with Abi as Meat Loaf and Luisa as Cher. The audience loved it! Throughout the show the chat between host and guest was very funny indeed. Daily guests will include Al Murray and Nathan Caton and the show runs until 24th August.”
Review, MUSICAL CID, 1 August 2014: One4Review:
“FOUR STARS ★★★★ Abi Roberts has a load of things going for her, a bubbly, infectious personality, a smiley demeanour good comedy skills and the concept of a show which is a very funny way to spend an hour. She bounds onto the stage, warms up the audience with some gentle getting to know you style of humour and explains that each day a different guest comedian will have the contents of their iPod investigated while in conversation with our amiable host. There was a feeling of watching two mates chatting over a drink, except the audience was privy to their conversations. Although the show ran for its full hour it seemed to me like it had barely started when it was over, always a good sign in my opinion. So for a different way to start the Fringe day, and learn some musical secrets along the way and even a touch of karaoke why not give it a try?”
Jo Caulfield on MUSICAL CID in Broadway Baby, July 2014
“I like the sound of Abi Roberts Musical CID (Gilded Balloon). It’s a comedy confessional show where Abi interviews guest comedians about their favourite songs and videos. It’s shows like this that make the Festival such an exciting playground for comics. They offer a real chance for comedians to come off-script and let the comedy go to places they didn’t expect” – Jo Caulfield on Abi and her show, MUSICAL CID.
Sarah Fisch, New Statesman (review of Michael McIntyre tour support)
“★★★★★ Dangerous and hilarious and the very opposite of consensus comedy…(Roberts) has raw but relatable originality and a preternatural comfort with herself onstage and is she is unstoppable. She bounds onstage, robust, already laughing, nimbus of blond hair aswirl, genuinely happy to be there – it’s the rest of life that’s almost unbearable – and takes down target after target, rapid-fire, infectious: the porn-like fantasy of the cooking show, the depredations of shape wear. She’s a master of self-deprecation but doesn’t hinge on it. She has a very graphic bit about her iPod being on shuffle, and she kills with it.”
“Raucous and incredibly funny“ – Daily Telegraph.
“Top-class comedy” – Oxford Mail and Times
INTERVIEWS – FULL VERSIONS
★★★★★ – Review – TWERK IN PROGRESS – Black Diamond
FM (Edinburgh) http://blackdiamondfm.com/festival-review/abi-roberts-twerk-progress-review
★★★★★ – Review – TWERK IN PROGRESS – Edinburgh Reporter www.theedinburghreporter.co.uk
★★★★ – Review – One For Review (Edinburgh), MUSICAL CID 1 August 2014: www.one4review.co.uk
GQ Magazine: ★★★★★Top 10 Stand-Ups To See: www.gq-magazine.co.uk
★★★★★ British Airways High Life Magazine September 2014 – Must-See New Comedy Shows
Interview – Black Diamond FM: Black Diamond FM Show Podcast
Interview – Yorkshire Drystone Radio: Drystone F
Gigglebeats Q&A – July 25th – www.gigglebeats.co.uk/2014/07/abi-roberts-qa/
Jo Caulfield on MUSICAL CID: www.broadwaybaby.com/jo_caulfield_festival_shows_im_going_to_see_part_1.php
Broadway Baby – Interview – July 2014: http://www.broadwaybaby.com/news/abi-roberts/134
The New Current – Interview – July 2014: http://www.thenewcurrent.co.uk/#!edfringe-abi-roberts/cpi4
The Independent – July 2013: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/want-a-laugh-wimmin-are-just-the-ticket-8734966.html
New Statesman Review – June 2013: http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2013/06/im-sick-hearing-female-comics-censoring-themselves-jokes-are-weapons-be-used-battle
Review – Stand-Up for Women With Michael McIntyre, Bloomsbury Theatre May 14th, 2013:http://www.comedychords.com/news/review-eaves-charity-stand-up-for-women/
Rob Heeney’s People With Stories Podcast: http://podbay.fm/show/581002236/e/1371672001?autostart=1
June 2013 – Interview with Guernsey GBG Magazine on the 2013 Guernsey Comedy Festival: http://goo.gl/d3Bix
Interview with comedy website, Gigglebeats – “10 Minutes With Abi Roberts” – February 2013: http://www.gigglebeats.co.uk/2013/02/10-minutes-with-abi-roberts/
Gigglebeats Review: January Blues Music Night, January 2013: http://www.gigglebeats.co.uk/2013/01/review-shake-off-the-january-blues-the-baltic-gateshead/