Comedy Genius at Showroom, Sheffield

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

Comedy Genius at Showroom Workstation, City Centre 3 November — 18 December 2018 Tickets from £6.8 — Book now

With the nights drawing in, a chill in the air and festive stresses looming, we could all probably do with a bit of a laugh. Handily, the British Film Institute have launched a nationwide celebration of comedy onscreen titled, Comedy Genius. There are events happening all over the country, but for their part, Sheffield’s Showroom have decided to present a mammoth two-month season of comedies, which run the gamut from silent classics to contemporary gross-out gases. They say variety is the spice of life, and by zeroing in on a few exciting sub-genres and movements, this four-strand season manages to be wide-ranging and yet focussed at the same time. Best of all? These are some very, very funny films.

First up, Showroom invite you into the haze of the stoner comedy. From the Judd Apatow stable, James Franco and Seth Rogan join Craig Robinson, Danny McBride and Amber Heard in marijuana-fuelled murder-mystery, Pineapple Express on Tuesday 3rd October. There’s a rare opportunity to catch seminal Ice Cube-scripted Friday, starring Cube himself alongside Chris Tucker on Saturday 3rd November. Meanwhile, the stand also provides outings for Richard Linklater’s endlessly quotable last-day-of-school film, Dazed and Confused (Wednesday 7th November), and Harold and Kumar Get the Munchies (Saturday 10th November) — the red-eyed cult comedy that helped to launch John Cho and Kal Penn, and reintroduced us to Neil Patrick Harris.

For the second strand, the season goes local with a series of modern Brit flicks with edge. Everybody’s new Star Wars favourite, John Boyega drew a lot of attention with his role in Joe Cornish’s 2011 bravura aliens vs. teens, action-comedy Attack the Block which screens on Tuesday 13th November. Moving from South London to the fields of the North, Showroom follow Cornish’s mash-up with Ben Wheatley’s own pitch-black genre hybrid, Sightseers (Saturday 17th November), in which a caravanning trip turns into a murder spree. On Tuesday 20th November, four wannabe terrorists bring the unlikely laughs in Sheffield-set Four Lion, while there’s a culture clash in a Q&A screening of Gone Too Far! (Saturday 24th November), in which London teenager Yemi’s big brother comes to live with him from Nigeria.

Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday

Next, Showroom celebrate women in comedy with a couple of female ensemble pieces which deserve wider appreciation: Girls Trip (Tuesday 27th November) and 9 to 5 (Saturday 1st September.) Released last year, Girls Trip was a critical and commercial success, praised for its emphatic raunch and empathic, lived-in relationships. Starring Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and Regina Hall as four lifelong friends who come together to relive their wild days over one New Orleans weekend — this one is destined for cult status. It’s a status that Colin Higgins 1980 film, 9 to 5 has already attained, of course, and fans won’t want to miss this rare big screen opportunity to catch Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton as co-workers looking to exact revenge on their belligerent, sexist boss.

For their last three screenings, the season goes back to slapstick, with three films which hark back to the silent era. With 1953’s gentle, elegant Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (Tuesday 11th December), French comedy genius Jacques Tati looked back to Chaplin and Keaton, while anticipating Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean as his lovably awkward protagonist causes havoc in a small seaside resort. Penultimately, another performer-director finds inspiration from the classics, as Charles Lane reimagines Chaplin’s The Kid with his acclaimed 1989 comedy, Sidewalk Stories on Sunday 16th December. That’s before Showroom shine a spotlight on trailblazing silent film comedian, Mabel Normand. The director/actress appeared in 167 shorts and 23 features, but is often overlooked today; the Comedy Genius season concludes by reaching into by showcasing four of her short films.

Comedy Genius at Showroom Workstation, City Centre 3 November — 18 December 2018 Tickets from £6.8 Book now

Where to go near Comedy Genius at Showroom, Sheffield

Site Gallery, Sheffield
City Centre
Gallery
Site Gallery Sheffield

Specialising in moving image, new media and performance, and offering a busy events programme, a visit to Site in Sheffield is not to be missed.

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Music venue
The Leadmill

Situated in a former flour mill to the south east of the city centre, The Leadmill is Sheffield’s longest running music venue.

The Rutland Arms pub in Sheffield
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Bar or Pub
Rutland Arms

A great pub situated in an early 20th century brick and bright yellow building on the corner of Furnival Street and Brown Street.

The Sheffield Tap
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Bar or Pub
The Sheffield Tap

With a wide range of craft beers and its very own on-site microbrewery, Sheffield Tap is uniquely housed within a restored railway station.

Street Food Chef
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Street Food Chef

An award-winning Mexican cantina serving speedy and fiercely tasty food – a healthy fast food alternative for the people of Sheffield.

Tamper Sellers Wheel, Sheffield
City Centre
Café or Coffee Shop
Tamper Sellers Wheel

Excellent coffee, including its own blend, and hearty, relaxed food make this one of Sheffield’s best casual eateries.

Sheffield
Event venue
Sidney and Matilda

Sidney and Matilda, a former paper factory, is now one of Sheffields’s most exciting gig venues and art spaces.

Graves Gallery
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Gallery
Graves Gallery

Graves Gallery is home to Sheffield’s visual art collection, with a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions arranged across eight galleries.

Sheffield
Restaurant
Oisoi

A high-quality pan-Asian restaurant in Sheffield’s city centre, Oisoi is worth a visit to the Steel City right now.

Birdhouse Tea Bar & Kitchen
City Centre
Café or Coffee Shop
Birdhouse Tea Bar & Kitchen

Birdhouse Tea Bar & Kitchen is a family-run tea bar serving breakfast, brunch and wood-fired pizzas alongside an extensive drinks menu, which includes creative brews and tea cocktails.

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