The Joke

Dates and Times

Tue 17 May – Sat 4 June at 7pm

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Ticket information


Book Tickets

by Will Adamsdale with Brian Logan and Lloyd Hutchinson

Produced by Fuel

An Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman got trapped in a joke.
‘How do we get out?’ said the Enlishman
‘Just stop telling it’ said the Irishman
‘But we’re too far in!’ said the Scotsman

The Joke is a new play from Edinburgh comedy award winner Will Adamsdale – and company – exploring jokes and why we tell them, countries and why we need (and despair of) them, and life and why we bother. And tic tacs.

Dialogue Club will be held on Tue 31 May straight after the show. Please email to reserve a place!


“A terrific conceit, and there’s plenty of fun to be had along the way… deliciously clever and funny” The Guardian

“[A] deceptively simple concept…  draws out philosophy, drama, and plenty of humour… Watching this trio as they clown, rant, improvise and stomp all over a very small stage is a treat… Their timing is exquisite… From an unfunny joke, they spin out an evening of hilarity and theatrical sophistication that make the boundaries between comedy and theatre seem entirely irrelevant” Londonist ★★★★

“There’s great fun in the way it all unfolds” Chortle

“Adamsdale’s performance of his freewheeling absurdist comedy confirms that his charm and rapport with the audience is just as impressive as it was more than 10 years ago when he first made waves at the Edinburgh Fringe” Hackney Gazette ★★★★

“The superb, high-energy performers work tremendously well together … and are nicely contrasted” What’s On Stage

“Comedy-theatre hybrid with existential predilections, and Will Adamsdale in fine form at the helm” The Stage

“A sharp comedy-theatre hybrid … Humour with bite” Plays To See ★★★★

“[A] tongue-in-cheek combination of a gag, a prank on everyone, and a poignant piece of expressionist theatre about life” The Upcoming ★★★★

“The Joke is smart. The script feels genuinely spontaneous and the humour is sharp” Broadway Baby ★★★★

“Awakes sympathy along with laughter. [The Joke] well earns its enthusiastic applause” British Theatre Guide 


“One punter tweeted after Saturday’s show that it was the funniest thing he’d seen onstage since Bottom Live – incongruous, yes, but to a die-hard Rik Mayall fan like me, very much a name-check to be savoured” – Brian Logan on week one of The Joke tour. Read more here

“Audiences seem to be having a ball: they’re also using words like “poignant” and “thought-provoking” about the show, which is music to our ears – because, while we want it to be funny, we don’t want it to be just funny” – Brian Logan’s second blog from on the road. Read more here

“A member of our Holsworthy audience announced to us in the bar afterwards, as if he expected it to start a fight, that he would vote ‘remain’ in the referendum. He misjudged us, of course: metropolitan arts professionals to a tee, we’re all solidly pro-EU.” – week three on tour with The Joke. Read more here.

“Laugh-out-loud funny and it makes you think – what more could you want?… Leaves the audience in fits of laughter” North West, May 2016

“Gorgeously original, very funny, finally touching. Love it!” ★ ★ ★ ★ The Times (for Will Adamsdale’s Victorian In The Wall)

“It is not often that theatrical absurdism is coupled with such palpable warmth of heart, and I recommend this beguilingly original show highly” ★ ★ ★ ★ Telegraph (for Will Adamsdale’s Victorian In The Wall)

Directing support from Joe Hill-Gibbins.
Commissioned by Unity Theatre. Funded by Arts Council England.

Catch The Joke in a double bill with any other show on the same evening. Two shows for just £16!

About the artist

Will Adamsdale is an award-winning performer and deviser. He has collaborated with Fuel on five projects: Jackson’s Way, The Receipt (a collaboration with sonic artist Chris Branch), The Human Computer, The Summer House (a collaboration with Neil Haigh, Matthew Steer and John Wright) and The Victorian in the Wall.
@FuelTheatre | #TheJoke

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