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NextUp showcases homegrown comics with summer double-bill

Staff Reporter

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As comedy fans flock to Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August to see up-and-coming comics and brand new ideas, NextUp is showcasing British stand-up with a summer double-bill of homegrown talent.

The subscription video-on-demand platform specialises exclusively in stand-up comedy specials, with an ever growing line-up of shows from the UK and further afield. This week sees the arrival of Helen Duff’s latest show, How Deep Is Your Duff.

An alumni of French master clown Phillipe Gaulier, Duff started her comedy career in 2014. She is a professionally trained actress and comedian and holds a BA Hons in Acting from LAMDA. Her first solo show, Vanity Bites Back, which explored issues of mental health, earned Duff a Fringe First nomination and then went on to be selected for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival and Perth Fringe World. The show was then taken on a regional theatre tour of the UK, receiving 5-star reviews across the board. Her 2017 special, How Deep Is Your Duff, reached the finals of the Amused Moose New Act category.

The show, about love and all the different forms in which it happens, touches on relationships, menstruation, and why she is no longer a sperm.  NextUp founder Sarah Henley says: “The team are thrilled to have Helen join the NextUp catalogue. Helen is not only an incredible comic but works internationally with Clowns Without Borders to bringing joy to all – we are super happy to share her cheeky charm with our members.” She joins other recent new arrival Matthew Highton, whose latest show, Insufficient Memory, dropped this month. Known for his surreal story-telling, Highton has worked as a solo act, and as part of the Weirdos comedy collective. He debuted at Edinburgh in 2010 and has taken several shows to the Fringe since.

Insufficient Memory stems from the central notion that we are all subject to change and circumstance, also drawing on his Grandmother’s diagnosis of dementia, her illness being the impetus and inspiration behind the show.

Joy, reflection, tragedy and some surrealism all feature in this relaxed, conversational piece focused on giving voice to and celebrating those small moments and memories that make us all who we are.

Sarah Henley, co-founder says: “This is a heartbreaking and beautiful show, filled with joy and pathos. The team at NextUp have loved Matt’s work since we first discovered him 10 years ago and we’re so happy to have filmed this particularly poignant one for our members to enjoy.”

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