Six September comedy events in Norfolk that will keep a smile on your face

18:35 18 September 2014

Dawn French

Dawn French


The end of summer need not be a source of gloom. This week has plenty of comedy nights. Simon Parkin picks some to keep a smile on your face,

• Laughing Hare Comedy Club
Carnegie Room, Cage Lane, Thetford, September 19, £8 adv/£10 door, 01842 751975,
The Laughing Hare Comedy Club nights at the Carnegie Rooms in Thetford are always popular and this return for an autumn season is much anticipated with featuring performers Martin Fisher, James Dowdeswell, pictured, Spencer Brown and your compere for the evening Ben Van Der Velde. James Dowdeswell is an imaginative storytelling comedian who combines deft stand-up with daft stories. You may have seen him on Russell Howard’s Good News and Ricky Gervais’ Extras. Spencer Brown revels in inventive and daft wordplay that has won him many plaudits. He was a contributor to the TV shows Smack the Pony and Comedy Nation. Over the past five years Ben Van Der Velde has compered for top acts such as Omid Djalli, Reginald D Hunter, Andrew Maxwell and Sarah Millican and in 2012 hosted one of the Big Value Comedy Chowcase shows at the Edinburgh Festival. Also on the bill is local talent Martin Fisher.

• Bridge Over Troubled Lager
Norwich Playhouse, September 19, 8pm, £15 (£13 cons), 01603 598598,
After their hit dad-rock album Dark Side of the Moob, comedian, writer and beardy birdwatcher Rory McGrath and composer Philip Pope return to touring with an evening of sophisticated comedy and song. Expect wit, elegance and clever musical pastiche (but don’t worry there’s also silence and filth). This is the show where music and comedy meet, have a few drinks, fight, then stagger home singing hits from the 1960s. Something to offend everybody. With songs about tweeting, Eurovision, the C word and Cornish shipping disasters (funnier than it sounds).

• Bridget Christie
Norwich Playhouse, September 20, 8pm, £14 (£12 cons), 01603 598598,
Last year, Bridget Christie became only the third woman to win the Edinburgh Fringe’s top comedy award in 33 years. Amid ever-rumbling arguments over why women are less prominent in stand-up – and the arts in general – she is a leading light and is having a moment in 2014 having already scooped numerous awards. She has also enjoyed her own Radio 4 show Bridget Christie Minds the Gap, and appeared on the News Quiz, The Unbelievable Truth, Have I Got News For You, QI, and Channel 4’s Cardinal Burns. Best of all she is achieving this success without comprising. She does not wear her feminism lightly so as not to alienate anyone. She wears it heavily, like a suit of armour. This show will feature all the best bits from that award-winning 2013 show A Bic For Her, plus an hour of new material from her Edinburgh 2014 show. 

• Dawn French
Ipswich Regent, September 22-23, 7.30pm, £43-38, 01473 433100,
If you failed to get a like-gold-dust ticket for Dawn French’s date at the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange this week, fear not, at the time of going to press there were still some tickets left for these two dates down the A140. Amazingly given she was a regular at the Comedy Store back in its 1980s hey-days, this is actually the comedian’s first ever solo tour. The award-winning actor, best-selling novelist and all round very funny lady has written a show based on her life and career, called 30 Million Minutes that consists of various delights and riches, with the odd irksome tribulation thrown in, as Dawn takes audiences through the various lessons life has taught her, and the things she knows for sure. Reviews have been positive for a show in which she ponders on how to be a woman, daughter, sister and wife through stories of love and loss whilst exploring the body and recalling one particularly hilarious encounter with the Queen Mother.

• KL Comedy Club
King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, September 25, 8.45pm, £8.50, 01553 764864,
King’s Lynn Comedy Club’s autumn season kicks off with four very different comedians taking to the mic. Dynamic stand-up comedian Johnny Kats is a talented and energetic performer with an arsenal of impersonations. For over five years, he has been making audiences laugh worldwide including sold out shows at the prestigious Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Rhodi Rhys combines sharp wit and observation, with a natural geniality. His comedy CV is certainly diverse, ranging from commercial lecture tours of the Czech Republic to regular appearances for the British Embassy. Perhaps he just enjoys those Ferrero Rocher that the Ambassador’s spoil him with. A very unique performer, who excels in recounting his hilarious surreal observations, Paul F Taylor, pictured, is one of the most exciting comedians currently on the comedy circuit very much in demand. Very much in the mild of Lee Evans, Martin Davies skids and bounces across the stage, strung up and tugged around by unknown forces, firing off a relentless rapid-fire assault and kills 100% of all known hecklers stone dead. 

• Red Card Comedy Club
Carrow Road, Norwich, September 25, 8.45pm, £12, 0844 8261902,
Headline act at this month’s ever popular Red Card night is Geoff Norcott offering up an eclectic mix of smut, impressions and politics, all delivered with a confident smile and boundless energy. First impressions can be deceptive, and pocket-sized comedienne Angie McEvoy with her sweet smile conceals a wonderfully cynical view of the world. Her laid-back delivery hides a wicked incisiveness that can catch you off guard - as indeed it’s meant to. Nominated for the 2012 Chortle ‘Best Club Comic’ award and tour support for both Mickey Flanagan and Lucy Porter, Michael Fabbri (below) is a treat of a comic. With a dark and honest approach to some of life’s more touchy subjects, he manages to effortlessly slip between some harsh, controversial topics to light-hearted silliness to make for a refreshingly eclectic and brilliantly funny act. And MC for the night is Kevin Precious a former teacher (Head of Religious Studies, no less) so he will be used to keeping order as well as offering a laid-back comic style of his own.


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