Live picks: some fab comedy festivals, Minchin closes the London Underbelly and previews galore
Andrew Mickel2 July 2012
Our picks of the best comedy this week right here...
Monday 2 July
So the HOTTEST TICKET for tonight had been the Alternative Comedy Memorial Society as Judah Friedlander is there. But it's sold out. So dream on.
Instead, consider comedy in the dark at the Underbelly, which brings the unlikely pairing of Phil Nichol and Tom Allen together. Or there's the Miller in London Bridge, with Edinburgh previews from Richard Herring and Chris McCausland. We like the Miller. And not JUST because it's the nearest comedy venue to the office.
Alternatively head down to New Cross for up-and-coming (lion) Seann Walsh and Marlon Davis's Edinburgh previews for a fiver at the Amersham Arms. We like the Amersham Arms less, but that's only because we almost got into a fight las time we were there. Holly Walsh is MCing and she doesn't seem the sort to let that sort of thing happen on her watch.
Tuesday 3 July
Preview season continues apace, with the Camden Head bringing us political sort Nick Doody and Andrew O'Neill (for free – good grief preview season is wonderful), chatty man Joe Lycett at the Pleasance Islington (a fiver), the 'enthusiastic' Nick Helm at the Hen and Chickens (six pounds) and a work-in-progress show from the happy sketch chaps Pappy's at the Leicester Square Theatre for seven pounds.
Bored of previews? Then Tony Law's Shitbox has the nicely balanced line-up of Dr Brown, Josie Long and Trevor Lock on the bill at the Vandella. UNLIKELY EVENING SUGGESTION: go to the Polish restaurant five units to the left the Vandella first, and then take in the show. Congratulations! You have visited ALL the places that are worth going to in Shepherd's Bush.
Wednesday 4 July
Set List, the improvised stand-up show from 'across the pond', has show audience tapings tonight and tomorrow down in Brixton. Performers are due to include Frank Skinner, Judah Friedlander from off of 30 Rock, Rich Hall, Drew Carey, and Richard Herring, which is a surprising line-up if ever we heard one.
Alternate choice: Totally Tom and Daniel Simonsen at Deansways for a fiver.
Thursday 5 July
Monkey Toast, the improvised chat show we've imported from other places, is at the Pleasance tonight, with SSP favourites Humphrey Ker, Sara Pascoe, Cariad Lloyd and many many more. A bargain fiver.
The epically-lined-up Balham Comedy Festival kicks off at the Bedford, with Harry Hill doing two shows thanks to popular demand, Marcus Brigstocke, Stephen Frost Impro All Stars and Paul Chowdry.
The Revival Festival kicks off in Marylebone, with Essex's poet laureate (probably) Luke Wright, and book ahead for arch David Mills next Monday and a Helen Arney/Kate Smurthwaite/Gemma Arrowsmith triple-header next Thursday.
Big-name shows about town tonight too: Rhod Gilbert at the Hammersmith Apollo for three nights if you are rich; Nina Conti preview at the Canal Cafe Theatre if you are poor (six pounds).
Friday 6 July
Simon Munnery is previewing the next couple of nights at the Leicester Square Theatre, while The Comedy Zone and WitTank man Naz Osmanoglu are at the Pleasance; and the Balham Comedy Festival rumbles on with Ardal O'Hanlon, Al Murray and Tania Edwards.
Cracking line-up at Deansways too: Australian absurdist Sam Simmons is back in town, with American absurdist Rich Fulcher, British normalist Tom Allen, British troubadour Carly Smallman, British sort-of-naturally-absurd John Kearns, and the by-deduction-British Three Englishmen.
Saturday 7 July
Best bet is Live at the Chapel, with canny suit-wearer Mark Watson bringing Tom Basden, Arthur Smith, nice-to-look-at Danny Bhoy and Claudia O'Doherty.
Other choices: ahead of closing the Underbelly tomorrow, Tim Minchin is at Somerset House; the Balham Comedy Festival tonight has Milton Jones, Stephen K Amos and Diane Spencer; alternatively there's a Greg Davies work-in-progress at the Underbelly.
Sunday 8 July
Probably the most prestigious comedy line-up of any set of previews, An Actually Really Good Comedy Festival brings *takes a deep breath* Thom Tuck, Tony Law, Pappy's, Sara Pascoe, Michael Pascoe, Max and Ivan, James Acaster, Sheeps, Nish Kumar and many many others (18 acts in total) to the King's Cross Social Club. A twenty-pound bargain.
La Minchin is at the Underbelly tonight, closing the London leg of the cow (although the London Wonderground will be continuing just behind it with cabaret 'et al').
And the Balham Comedy Festival has Ed Byrne, Richard Herring and Alistair Barrie.
Your rating: None
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