Preview: Upcoming comedy nights not to miss

Comedian Arthur Smith

Comedian Arthur Smith - Credit: Archant

Comedian, writer, broadcaster and all-round British institution Arthur Smith returns to his old alma mater, no doubt with many stories to tell of his days as a UEA under graduate. PLus: Saltbox Comedy, Julian Clary, The Boy With Tape On His Face, Patrick Monahan


Norwich Playhouse, April 13, £15, 01603 598598,

Comedian, writer, broadcaster and all-round British institution Arthur Smith returns to his old alma mater — the seat of learning where in the early 1980s he created havoc doing, frankly, not much learning.

No doubt he'll have many stories to tell of his days as a UEA under graduate and this will certainly be a chance to bask in an evening of laughter and off the wall humour with one of the 'alternative comedians' who shook up the world of light entertainment in the 1980s and 90s.

Since then he's become a BBC regular, well known for his appearances on TV's Grumpy Old Men, QI, Have I Got News For You, The One Show and Radio 4's Loose Ends.

Simply one of our funniest and most original comic performers and is guaranteed to bring you a night of hilarity, mirth and scandal.

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The Birdcage, Pottergate, Norwich, April 18, 8pm, £2, 01603 633534,

Salt Box Comedy returns to The Birdcage with its all new Alternative Variety Night that sees them presenting an all-star cast of Norwich's finest comics, entertainers and performers.

Among those taking to the stage will be Roger The Zombie, the world's first zombie stand-up, entertaining with his comic monologues. Never has an act been so bold after dying on stage.

Andy Bennett has been performing stand up poetry for half a decade. His wilfully shambolic style belies a cerebral and acerbic wit, and an honest and celebratory approach to life and performance.

Mental Ben will offer his mystery show promising phenomenal, miraculous and delusional feats and there will be the varied talents of Alex McAleer the Mind Reader and Daisy Black, who will be spinning hoops, eating razor blades. Compere for the night will be Saltbox main man and stand-up Dan Mckee.


Norwich Playhouse, April 18, £16, 01603 598598,

Celebrity Big Brother winner who is well on the way to becoming a national treasure, Julian Clary returns to Norwich with a special intimate preview show.

Last time he was playing the Theatre Royal. Here he returns with a very low-key warm-up show for the next leg of his Position Vacant Apply Within tour.

He is promising a night of wit, whimsy and stacks of innuendo in a show which, as anyone who caught it last time will remember, sees him setting a series of eliminating challenges live on stage as he tries to find someone to share his life.

He explains: 'I suppose I would describe it as a sort of competition. Various men will be selected to take part and maybe a few women too. They will go through a series of eliminations which could involve them doing anything from reciting poetry to arm-wrestling. They will have to pledge their devotion to me and we will then have a civil ceremony on stage.'



Norwich Playhouse, April 19-20, £14 (£12 cons), 01603 598598,

Prop comic Sam Wills — aka The Boy with Tape on his Face — has proved popular for his silent style of comedy. This is stand-up with no talking, drama with no acting and punch lines with no words.


Granary Theatre, Wells-next-the-Sea, April 13, £12, 01328 710193,

Loveable Tees-sider Patrick Monahan is back in the county on his Shooting From the Lip tour. He is renowned for his superb anecdotes and interaction with his audience bringing a mixture of daftness, goofiness and observation.