Katherine Ryan and Friends: Just For Laughs festival at the O2 review

But my god, how my mind has changed.

On Thursday evening (March 2) my friend and I headed to Indigo at the O2 to watch ‘Katherine Ryan and Friends’.

The show, part of the four-day comedy festival Just For Laughs, was headlined by the Canadian comedian herself, Katherine Ryan.


Just For Laughs has been launching and championing top comedic talent for almost 40 years – from Jerry Seinfeld to Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer to Ali Wong, the company is an international powerhouse in the creation of multiplatform comedic content.

Running until March 5, festival goers are able to experience a variety of shows, including a chance to see Ryan Reynolds, Graham Norton, Reggie Watts, Danny Beard, The Receipts Podcast, Jayde Adams, and even Basil Brush.

Our show for the evening – Katherine Ryan and Friends – featured some upcoming comedy legends, including Darren Harriott, Kerry Godliman and Ed Gamble.


I have always enjoyed watching Katherine Ryan on the TV, especially when she would banter back and forth with Jimmy Carr on 8 out of 10 cats, but my love grew for her when I watched The Duchess on Netflix.

When I saw she was performing at the Just For Laughs festival, I thought this would be my one chance to get “stuck-in” and see if she was as funny in person as she is on the TV.

And I can confirm she most definitely is.

We took to our seats just after 9pm, eagerly waiting for the show to start.

Alike her character in The Duchess, Katherine is a fashionable icon, and she took to the stage at 9.30pm sharp, wearing a lilac sequinned suit, cuffed with purple feathers.


“I need that outfit”, I said to my friend as we watched her enthusiastically open the show and introduce the “friends” for the evening.

Katherines jokes were witty and quick, and she often made references to her home life, including past relationships and her daughter.


The audience seemed to lap it all up, as there was a constant overflow of laughs throughout each performance.

Darren Harriott had a relaxed stage manner and lit up the room with each punchline, and he definitely told jokes like the true pro he is.


Between each act, Katherine would pop in to make sure the audience were still oozing over the previous jokes and would then continue to say even more wittier things – it was a great way to break up the performers.

English actress and comedian, Kerry Godliman, was my personal favourite.


Not only was she absolutely hysterical, but she had a down-to-earth kind of personality which shined through, and her body language on stage was perfect for each story she was telling.

The last ‘friend’ to take to the stage was Ed Gamble – his jokes were both robust and piercingly funny, and the audience were quite literally howling at every word he said, including me.


After laughing so hard I quite literally cried, the show soon came to an end and we left the premises, discussing about the witty things said from each performer.

The Just For Laughs festival was a great Thursday treat, and I can’t wait to return next year.

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