Preview: Three shows to laugh in spring this week

Sally Anne Hayward

Sally Anne Hayward - Credit: Archant

Award winning comedian and science enthusiast Robin Ince finds out what's funny about Charles Darwin and Richard Feynman. Gilbert and Sullivan are given the comedy abridged treatment. And Red Card Comedy welcomes in the spring with another four top stand-up talents.


Carrow Road, Norwich, March 28, 7.30pm, £12, 0844 8261902,

Red Card Comedy welcomes in the spring with another four top stand-up talents at its always excellent regular monthly gathering at Carrow Road.

On the bill for March is Martin Coyote, a pivotal member of the famous London Comedy Store's flagship topical show, The Cutting Edge and a prolific writer of challenging and thought provoking gags.

Effusive likeability and straightforward but effective, Sally Anne Hayward's small time country posh life versus feisty young stand-up circuit is a fabulous mix delivering clever observations and sharp punch lines.

Returning is Martin Beaumont, a true old school stand-up. He is a master of the one liner who can handle anyone from drunken grannies to boisterous rugby players.

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Compere is Londoner Simon Clayton who's subject matter is simple - it involves being fat, mixed race, married, balding because that is what he is, and anything else that currently makes him laugh. Although not necessarily in that order. He's a highly sought after compere for his quick wit that stops hecklers in their tracks.


Norwich Playhouse, March 23, 7.30pm, £18.50 (£16.50 cons), 01603 598598,

As well as being credited as the forefathers of the modern musical, Gilbert and Sullivan are also acknowledged as having influenced everybody from Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward and Andrew Lloyd Webber in the UK, to Tom Lehrer in the USA.

But whether you are a Gilbert and Sullivan aficionado, a passing fan or, you're still not even sure you know who they are, this show will have you laughing in the aisles.

How do you fit 14 comic operettas into an hour and a half? Somehow they manage it. Their comedic parody is also discernable in a vein of British comedy that runs through Monty Python and Private Eye to TV series like Yes, Minister and Black Adder where the emphasis is on wit, irony and poking fun at the establishment while managing to be both disrespectful and yet delightful.

Fun, zaniness, humour and, of course, lots of great music, all packed into 90 hilarious, topsy-turvy minutes.


Norwich Playhouse, March 28, 8pm, £13 (£11 cons), 01603 598598,

Award winning comedian and science enthusiast Robin Ince follows up his Happiness Through Science show with this latest thought provoking show that takes a look at his favourite scientists – Charles Darwin and Richard Feynman.

Find out why we have eyebrows, why bald dogs have bad teeth, how heavy metal music makes pigs deaf and why spaghetti snaps into four pieces. It is a loving look into the minds of two giants of human imagination who changed our worldview.

He'll also stop off on the way to look at some of the more bizarre views of early science – is the ostrich really the offspring of the union of a gnat and a giraffe? (Spoiler: The answer is no).

'The show is mainly about maintaining interest,' he explains. 'It's about the fact that when we are children, we are allowed to be interested all the time. If we're lucky we have friends or parents who encourage us to ask more and more questions. And then kind of near 16, to ask a question is a bad thing.'