Fancy a laugh? Eight of the region’s comedy highlights over the next two weeks

Mark Dolan Mark Dolan

Thursday, July 24, 2014
3:28 PM

Summer, sunshine and sizzling stand-up. This week offers another extravaganza of great comedy across the region. SIMON PARKIN picks some shows guaranteed to provide the laughs from comedy origami to Edinburgh previews.

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Rich HallRich Hall

Laugh In The Park

Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, July 24-27, 8pm, £17.50 July 25/26, £15 July 24/27, 0844 8261902, redcardcomedyclub.com
Organised by Norfolk’s Red Card Comedy Club, this four night festival returns to Chapelfield Gardens with a line-up bursting with top stand-up talent. Tonight has Mock The Week regular Ian Stone, bon-viveur Marcel Lucont, Red Card favourite John Mann, plus a special TV star name currently under wraps. Tomorrow Paul Chowdhry returns, together with Barry Castagnola, musical comedy duo Jollyboat and Mark Dolan as MC. On Saturday there will be Rob Beckett, Kate Lucas, recently crowned Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year for 2014, Colin Cole and that man again Mark Dolan. Meanwhile on Sunday it is the turn of Jeff Innocent, Mike Gunn, Canadian comic Pete Johansson and Steve Meo to bring out the laughs.

Corn Hall Comedy Club

Tania EdwardsTania Edwards

Diss Corn Hall, July 25, 8pm, £9 adv/£10 door, 01379 652241, www.disscornhall.co.uk
The Diss comedy night returns for a summer date with a reputation as the placer to spot future big names. Comics who’ve previously performed are regularly popping up on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and Edinburgh Comedy Festival Live. This month they have charming northerner Craig Murray who is currently one of the hottest rising talents on the circuit. With a charismatic, confrontational style, he is currently recognisable to many as the face of a series of comedy adverts for Plusnet. Following a widely-acclaimed Fringe run and a sold out London transfer, Liam Williams has just finished his debut national tour. Meanwhile compere for the night Tania Edwards is a comic and writer for shows such as Mock the Week and The Unbelievable Truth.

Stand-Up Night

The Feathers Hotel, Holt, July 24, 9pm, £16 (£5 cons), 01263 711284, 
www.holtfestival.org

A night of upcoming comic talent live on stage. Only 21 and been dubbed one of Scotland’s hottest newcomers after his performance Iain Stirling is one to watch. Vikki Stone is a multi-talented comedian, actress, singer and musician and the winner of The Soho Theatre One Night Stand-Up Award. Somalian born comedian, actor and writer Prince Abdi has become a regular on the UK comedy circuit. Apart from being the only Somalian stand-up in the country, he is probably the only one to have had trials for Millwall. MC for the night is John Hastings, winner of the Montreal Comedy Festival’s Home-Grown comedy competition.

Sizzling Comedy

Loddon Mill, Bridge Street, Loddon, July 25, £12 (£10.50 online), 
01508 521800, www.loddonmillarts.co.uk
Loddon Mill’s comedy nights are always hugely popular and this is last one in the season — complete with summer barbecue. It sees the return of one of their favourite headliners Martin Davis who goes where mere joke-tellers fear to tread with his characteristic kamikaze bravado (“Go on, heckle me”). He will be joined by Radio 2 newcomer, Kenyan stand-up Njambi McGrath, who will be previewing parts of her forthcoming Edinburgh Fringe show, and Garrett Millerick, a regular face at The Schadenfreude Caberet club in London and whose storytelling style is based in his theatrical background. The evening is to be hosted by the loveable Geordie giant Luke Benson, who has been Hackney Empire New Act of the Year, Leicester Square New Act of the Year and Leicester Mercury New Comedian of the Year (twice).

Rich Hall’s Hoedown

Theatre in the Woods, Holt, July 25, 9pm, £17 (£5 cons), 01263 711284, www.holtfestival.org

Rich Hall, the grouchy, deadpan, comic genius quit his job as a hurricane namer for the US Meteorological Service two decades ago and hasn’t looked back. Rich Hall’s Hoedown started life as a drinkin’ dancin’ and comedy spectacular with various random guests (including Phill Jupitus, Barry Cryer and Tony Law), an onstage bar, and often an onstage audience. The show has since slimmed down to feature Rich, the band and a set full of Rich’s comedy songs. Join him and his virtuoso musical mates for a late-night mash-up. Tremendous fun.

Ennio Marchetto

Norwich Playhouse, July 28, 8pm, £16 (£14 cons), 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk
A one-man living cartoon, award-winning Italian Ennio Marchetto transforms the art of origami into comedy magic. In lightening fast succession and using nothing but paper, he morphs into a virtual constellation of stars that literally unfold from one to another in exaggerated costumes. Accompanied by a non-stop music soundtrack, this Olivier award-nominated and wildly entertaining show sees Ennio magically morphs into parodies of up to 70 personalities including Gaga, Obama, Bono, Beyonce and the Queen. No celebrity is safe and he will be unveiling lots of new creations ahead of Edinbrugh Fringe next month.

Howard Read: Stand Up Animator
St George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, July 29, 8pm, £10, 01493 331484, www.stgeorgestheatre.com
Multi award-winning comedian and animator Howard Read is one of the most original comedians and the first to ever use animation in his shows. He is best known as the other half of the animated six-year-old virtual stand-up comic Little Howard, has performed in front of (and insulted) The Queen, been nominated for The Perrier Award. Here he leaves kids’ stuff behind with the very best of his animated comedy for adults.

Milton Jones

Norwich Arts Centre, July 30, 8pm, £12, 
01603 660352, www.norwichartscentre.co.uk
Milton Jones’ bemused and slightly surreal world had long made him a popular comedian with Radio 4 listeners and on the comedy club circuit but since his increased television appearances, he seems to have made the jump to wider recognition and we just can’t get enough of him. The former Perrier Best Newcomer and Perrier Nominee is back in Norwich for this relatively low-key ‘work in progress’ date of his latest show ...and the Temple of Daft. Loud shirts, messed up hair and the chance to hear lots of brilliant new jokes you’ll hear before anyone else, up close and personal.

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