Preview: Laughter packed Norwich comedy nights

Upcoming sketch comedy quartet Delete The Banjax headline a UEA Headlights Comedy Society night in the style of the famous Secret Policeman's Ball in aid of Amnesty. Plus: Comedy Shorts, Donnie Rust and Red Card Comedy.


UEA LCR, March 16, 7.30pm, �7.50 (�5 cons), 01603 508050,

UEA Amnesty International Society and UEA Headlights Comedy Society joined forces tonight to bring us a night of entertainment and live music in the style of the famous Secret Policeman's Ball.

Headlining the evening will be London-based sketch comedy quartet Delete The Banjax who are building a reputation for their charmingly chaotic performance style that mixes sketches, characters and daft, deft and hugely inventive songs.

Through regular sell-out live shows in London and at three critically acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, the group have become one of the most hotly tipped comedy acts on the circuit.

Joining them for what promises to be a great evening of laughs will be the UEA Headlights crew, and some amazing acoustic music acts plus the chance to make a difference by helping to raise money and awareness for Amnesty.

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Norwich Puppet Theatre, March 16-17, �7 (�6 cons), 01603 629921,

Spooky Kid Productions return to the Puppet Theatre with seven short comedy plays by some of the finest, as yet undiscovered, Norwich-based writers.

Jim Blythe, Mark Ward, Simon Woodgett, Nathan Willcocks, Graham Parry and Jonathan Badgery have all contributed scripts to the first of what its hoped will become an annual event.

This is an opportunity for theatre goers to see and support the talent that exists in the area and enjoy some excellent comedy.

Among the themes are two writers brainstorming some of the worst ideas for a show, a romantic candlelit dinner that goes badly wrong, an ageing Dracula facing incompetent vampire slayers and a left-wing band's battle to find anything that wouldn't constitute 'selling out'.

Created in 2009 Spooky Kid aims is to act as a platform to get new talent in front of an audience. This is their seventh production at the Puppet Theatre. They also run comedy events at The Hog in Armour and The Workshop and are currently developing their most successful show to date, Jack the Ripper – The Panto, as a web-streamed event.


Hollywood Cinema, Anglia Square, Norwich, March 23, �7-�5,

Norwich man Donnie Rust — aka the Naked Busker — has been all over the UK telling stories, singing songs and being naked.

He has previously wowed crowds at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – while wearing just a pair of undies and hiking boots with his trusty guitar to hide his modesty — and here he is back on home territory for a special show that see him fulfill a dream of performing at the Hollywood Cinema.

Donnie started doing stand-up gigs and clubs in Norwich in 2008, but felt he needed a gimmick. He asked his girlfriend at the time for something that would guarantee a response and she told him: 'Take your clothes off; it always makes me laugh.'

He writes and performs his own music and stand-up routines. 'I'm not a busker. It's more comedy and songs with an adult theme.'


Carrow Road, Norwich, March 29, �12, 01603 508050

Always offering a cast-iron laughter guarantee, this month's Red Card night at the Top of the Terrace at Carrow Road sees John Mann return to the mic, plus sets from Carl Hutchinson, John Gordillo and Geoff Norcott.

Whether discussing the senile antics of senior citizens or giving handy hints to aid successful shoplifting, John Mann's gentle comedy have made him a Norwich favourite.

Originally from the North East, Carl Hutchinson (pictured) took to the comedy stage in 2007 and quickly got noticed reaching the final of the esteemed So You Think You're Funny competition. One of Ireland's most sought after comedians; Johnny Gordillo regularly performs at festivals all over the world, while Geoff Norcott, a former teacher turned stand-up and prolific writer, is also no stranger to Norwich audiences.



Norwich Playhouse, March 30, �12 (�10 cons), 01603 598598,

Recreating the unique spirit of 1940's radio plays and evoking a dinner-jacketed age of casual imperialism and stiff upper lips, The Fitzrovia Radio Hour's comedic music show comes fresh from three critically acclaimed London residencies.


Ipswich Regent, April 23, �23 (320 cons), 01473 433100,

For his latest show Out of My Head, Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch and Suki Webster join Paul Merton for an evening probing the bizarre workings of his brain. It's a show that marks a return, of sorts, to his stand-up roots for the first time this century.