Preview: Comedy nights to put smile on your face in April

We all like a laugh, right? No need to be down in the mouth in the next few weeks as a host of comedians head to the region. SIMON PARKIN previews who not to miss including Richard Herring, Andrew Maxwell and Alex Horne.


Norwich Playhouse, April 18/19, �15, 01603 598598,

Does anybody love anybody anyway? So asked insane, Welsh, poet philosopher Howard Jones in 1983. Finally someone dares answer.

Having sorted out religion with his show Christ on a Bike, politics and facial hair with Hitler Moustache and the problems with penises in Talking Cock, the star of the award-winning podcast As It Occurs To Me and Radio 4's Richard Herring's Objective arrives back for a two night run at Norwich Playhouse seeking to define and destroy love — before love destroys him (again).

Does Richard's dry-cleaner genuinely love him? How could a romantic gesture involving Ferrero Rochers get dangerously out of control?

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Seagull Theatre, Pakefield, Lowestoft, April 13, �10, 01502 589726,

Despite their still been a dearth of female comedians on the circuit, Jo Caulfield has long stood out as one of the most popular and successful female stand-ups.

The star of Radio 4's critically acclaimed It's That Jo, Caulfield Again' and Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow — and recently seen on Apprentice spin-off show You're Fired — is a regular in the region. Tonight she returns as part of a tour of her show Cruel to be Kind — subtitled 'the tour of towns I've heard of but never been to'.

It should be well worth the drive to Lowestoft for her razor-sharp observations and scandalous one-liners on everything from irritating girlfriends and reality TV to kitchen fitters and a visit to HMV that culminates in having dinner with people she doesn't know.


Norwich Playhouse, April 21, �13, 01603 598598,

Footballer turned comedian Terry Alderton, who after stints on Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow and Dave's One Night Stand is seeing his popularity grow by the day, is back with a brand new show.

Described as 'a human jukebox, beat-box and jack-in-a-box' his comedy is a mixture of stand-up, uninhibited digressions, caricatures, impressions and sound effects.

He also has a soft spot for Norfolk. Not only do his parents live in the county but this is also where his comedy career began, back in the late 1980s at Potter's Leisure Resort at Hopton.

This latest show features more madcap and darkly surreal observational comedy and is basically a longer version of what he does in a comedy club.


Norwich Playhouse, April 27, �12.50, 01603 598598,

Edinburgh Comedy Award winning comedian Andrew Maxwell returns with a brand new hour of mischievous charm and boundary-nudging with in his acclaimed show The Lights Are On.

Seen on Mock The Week and Have I Got News For You and Comic Relief's 24 Hour Panel People, he is one of quickest stand-ups around at the moment and this show sees him tackle, amongst other subjects, last summer's riots. It's a subject many comics have mined for laughs, but expect this to be far more cutting and funnier than anything else you've seen.

Maxwell is a fearless comedy performer, putting himself in the sorts of precarious situations other comics would balk at. He once played a gig at Mountjoy maximum security prison in Dublin, so appearing in front of a Norwich Playhouse audience is going to seem relatively easy, isn't it?


Carrow Road, Norwich, April 26, �12, 01603 508050,

Red Card Comedy Club has had some of the biggest names on the comedy circuit play Carrow Road. The latest of the monthly events will welcome back Andrew Bird who is one of those rare comedians who makes friends with his audiences in an instant thanks to his relaxed and improvisatory style. Along performing will be fine joke-smith Stuart Goldsmith who tackles embracing anxiety, conquering indecision and getting tasered.

There will also be improvised comedy at its best too with energetic five-some The Noise Next Door who transform audience suggestion into scenes, songs and scenarios, with hilarious consequences. With their perfect blend of ludicrous characters, barbed one-liners and musical extravagance, they've already won a cult following.


Norwich Arts Centre, May 2, �12, 01603 660352,

Alex Horne has established a reputation among critics, comics and audiences as a thoughtful and original stand-up, writer and performer. The award-winning star and co-creator of BBC4's comedy quiz show We Need Answers has spent more than a decade building shows around niche subjects like bird watching, Latin, dictionaries and quantum mechanics including Making Fish Laugh that saw him nominated for the Perrier Best Newcomer Award.

He returns with Seven Years In The Bathroom, the ultimate stat-based experimental-and-sometimes-stupid comedy show in which Alex aims to recreate your entire life. Ambitiously he plans to do everything we'll ever do but in one evening. So in an average lifetime we spend two years shopping, two weeks kissing and 18 months looking for lost things. Alex plans to squeeze all those things into one show. Pop along and laugh at your life.


Olives, Elm Hill, May 3, �6 adv/more on door,

Named as one of the top five alternative comedy clubs outside London by TV channel Dave, the latest night from Salt Box features the wonderful James Acaster performing his debut show Amongst Other Things.

Winning over critics and fans alike, James Acaster has earned himself a reputation as one of the most hotly tipped acts of 2012 and has already appeared on Russell Howards Good News and been on tour with Milton Jones. Amongst Other Things is his critically acclaimed debut from the Edinburgh Festival.

His laid back style, playful wit, appreciation of the whimsy of everyday life, and appetite for the unconventional should make for an evening of mirth and hilarity.