14 Norfolk comedy events that will have you laughing into the Christmas season

Dawn French will perform at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on November 29-30.

Dawn French will perform at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on November 29-30.

Forget the 12 days of Christmas, as we head into December SIMON PARKIN offers 12 nights of comedy that will have us laughing all the way up to the season of good cheer.

• James Acaster

Norwich Playhouse, November 27, 8pm, £13 (£11 cons), 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk James Acaster (pictured) has scored an incredible three successive nominations for the main Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award, with Prompt in 2012, Lawnmower in 2013 and this year for his latest show, Recognise and tonight he brings it our way for a much anticipated date at Norwich Playhouse. The show sees the Kettering-born comic outing himself as an undercover cop called Pat Springleaf working as a stand-up comedian to infiltrate a gang dealing drugs to comedians - all delivered with his trademark deadpan earnestness.

• Red Card Comedy Club

Carrow Road, Norwich, November 27, 8.45pm, £12, 0844 8261902, www.redcardcomedyclub.com Another Red Card bill full of comedic talent. Duncan Oakley mixes a deft blend of stupidity and truly impressive musicianship with good natured banter. Stand-up, metalhead, amateur occultist and musician Andrew O'Neil also happens to be the second best known cross-dresser in comedy (after Eddie Izzard). Marcus Birdman's thoughtful, heartfelt, mature comedy, performed with great energy and dynamism that earned him critical acclaim at this years Edinburgh Fringe. MC for the night is upcoming stand-up Fin Taylor.

• Dawn French

Cambridge Corn Exchange, November 29-30, 7.30pm, £42-£37.50, 01223 357851, www.cornex.co.uk

Award-winning actor, best-selling novelist and all round very funny lady with her first ever solo show based on her life and career, called 30 Million Minutes, consisting of various delights and riches, with the odd irksome tribulation thrown in. It deals with some very dark moments, including her father's tragic suicide when she was just 19. To balance these deep, dark sections, there is light relief in the shape of chart-topping hits from the relevant decade, with Dawn in karaoke mode. Comedy gold…

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• Mark Thomas

Norwich Playhouse, November 28-29, 8pm, £15 (£10 cons), 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk

Ten years ago an activist friend of Mark Thomas was exposed as a spy for BAE Systems infiltrating the movement. Now he wants to find him and has some questions to ask. His latest show Cuckooed picks up from where the award winning Bravo Figaro left off in style using interviews from friends, colleagues, activists and journalists to examine the impact of betrayal. It is a personal and timely tale that tries to unearth what it means to be spied upon by a corporation under the sanction of the state. As usual plenty of laughs, some weird characters and a documentary style.

• Corn Hall Comedy Club

Diss Corn Hall, November 28, 8pm, £9 adv/£10 door, 01379 652241, www.disscornhall.co.uk

The Diss comedy night returns with a treat in the shape of multi award-winning avant-garde comedy god Simon Munnery (pictured) who made a name for himself in the comedy world with bizarre and eccentric creations like Alan Parker: Urban Warrior and The League against Tedium. The Perrier Award nominee and Sony Radio Award winner's appearances are always full of daring and imaginative comedy. He is joined on the bill by fresh-faced stand-up Matt Richardson, adept at boiled-down anecdotes and stripping stories down to their funny core for maximum laughs. Compere is rapidfire gag merchant Tony Cowards.

• Robert Newman

Junction, Clifton Road, Cambridge, December 1-2, 8pm, £13.50 (£11 student), 01223 511511, www.junction.co.uk

Still known for the Mary Whitehouse Experience and as one half of Newman and Baddiel, Robert Newman has taken a fascinating path through literature and political comedy since those heady days in the 1990s. His first post Newman and Baddiel show History of Oil was a mixture of stand-up, sketches and filmed inserts, giving an original take on the last 150 years of our history and its links to oil dependency. In his latest, New Theory of Evolution, his first full show in seven years, he takes a typically offbeat look at Darwin, Dawkins and argues that DNA is not destiny.

• Hal Cruttenden

Norwich Playhouse, December 2, 8pm, £14 (£12 cons), 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk

Following stand out performances on Live At The Apollo, Let's Dance For Comic Relief, The Royal Variety Performance and Mock The Week, Hal Cruttenden has build a loyal following. he is back again with his show Tough Luvvie. Footballers, Facebook and food are just three of the subjects he devours in a mix of camp and straight, warm and catty humour. It was a sell-out at Norwich Playhouse back in February - and subsequently transferred to the Soho Theatre, London.

• Marcus Brigstocke

Norwich Playhouse, December 3-4, 8pm, £15, 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk The popular Radio 4 (and just about every TV panel show going) comedian's latest show is all about his favourite subject: himself. Well, as a podium dancer, oil rig worker, food addict, musical theatre enthusiast, posh, eco-hypocrite, ex-Goth, muppet fan, award winning comedian and chief beverages operator at the Little Chef, he's got a lot to talk about. Of course, such introspection risks looking like vanity; but fear not, he's far too good a comedian for that. This is a show that reflects us all to a greater or lesser extent rather than an ego trip.

• Jason Byrne

Norwich Playhouse, December 5-6, 8pm, £17.50 (£15 cons), 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk

What can you expect from a Jason Byrne Show? It comes down to a spin of the wheel. It's not only the content of the comedian's upcoming shows at Norwich Playhouse that has yet to be decided – he can't even tell you what the show is called yet. He has taken the novel step of letting the audience name the show. The best name will win £500, there is a leader board on stage each night and by the end of the tour the show will have a name - thanks to us. In addition the subjects will be decided by a wheel of fortune. It means that every show is different.

• Ken Webster

St George's Theatre, Great Yarmouth, December 6, 7.30pm, £13, 01493 331484, www.stgeorgestheatre.com

Back by popular demand, comedy hypnotist Ken Webster returns to the St George's Theatre with his show that is a cross between Derren Brown and Chubby Brown, guaranteed to have your sides aching with laughing and a chance to see your friends as you have never seen them before.

• Sara Pascoe

Norwich Playhouse, December 10, 8pm, £12, 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk

Fresh from her nomination for the Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award 2014, Sara shares her romantic history, existential theory and cultural insights. Your brain can recall being a child, while your body remembers being a monkey. Everything that has happened shapes who we are today…

• Susan Calman

Norwich Playhouse, December 12-13, 8pm, £14 (£12 cons), 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk

Award-winning Scottish comedian Susan Calman arrives on her first ever UK tour. If you've seen her before (on Have I Got News For You, for example), her show Lady Like will be a reassuring couple of hours spent with the woman her neighbours call 'the mad cat lady'.

• Fat Cat Comedy Club

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, December 14, 8pm, £12, 01284 758000, www.theapex.co.uk

Pre-Christmas edition of Bury's monthly comedy night features Adam Bloom, long-time favourite inventive comedians, Lloyd Griffith, who took his debut solo show to Edinburgh this year to rave reviews, and Norwich panto star and comic Andre Vincent.

• Christmas Comedy

Loddon Mill, Bridge Street, Loddon, December 19, £15.50 (£10 online), 01508 521800, www.loddonmillarts.co.uk

Get into the Christmas spirit at Loddon Mill Arts' night of festive comedy with some fantastic award winning stand-up talent including Johnny Kats, Zahra Barri, Paul Ricketts and headlined by the superb Tim Clark. Book now, it sells out fast.

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