Comedy Prom. Tim Minchin. Copyright: BBC.

Comedy Prom

Press Clippings

I must confess that classical music is not my forte, but a special prom hosted by Tim Minchin has made what is mostly an alien world watchable.

This TV version is an edited down version of the original that went out on BBC Radio 3. Seeing as how this was originally a radio programme some of the choice of acts may seem odd: The Boy with Tape on His Face, for example, as his comedy is almost entirely visual. It's quite a shame, really, as he was one of the funniest acts on the night, with his mime versions of "Lady in Red" and the William Tell overture.

There are some other odd choices of performers, such as the puppets from Mongrels performing one of their songs from their TV show, "Middle Class is Magical". This was definitely a highlight in the show, though - not only was the song pretty appropriate, but this must be the first time that BBC Three and Radio 3 have joined forces - which is slightly worrying. (I always thought that was a sign of the apocalypse.)

There were also other highlights, such as Doc Brown rapping about Sir David Attenborough; a battle between the conductor and the pianist about whether to play Greig or Tchaikovsky's piano concerto; beat-boxer Beardyman performing some musical material you don't associate with the Proms; and Kit and the Widow (Kit Hesketh-Harvey and Richard Sisson) with Sue Perkins and soprano Susan Bullock singing Flanders and Swann's "Hippopotamus Song".

Minchin did well as host - while performing some of his own hits - and was probably the most entertaining of the acts on offer. I for one hope that the Comedy Proms return next year.

Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 29th August 2011

Purists might blanch at the idea of this first ever Comedy Prom, but it makes for a raucous and unpredictable evening. Ivory-tinkling Australian comic Tim Minchin curates and hosts, introducing turns from Maestro winner Sue Perkins, the animal puppets from BBC Three's Mongrels, cabaret duo Kit and the Widow, rapper Doc Brown, soprano Susan Bullock and pianist Danny Driver.

The Telegraph, 26th August 2011