Preview: Upcoming comedy shows

Simon ParkinRuby Wax turns her bipolar disorder into a comedy show, no really. Christian Reilly and Wayne Deakin are among the line-up at this month's Red Card Comedy Club. And Doctors Biswas and Kay will have you in stiches.Simon Parkin


Norwich Playhouse, May 28, �22.50 (�20 cons), 01603 598598,

Ruby had it all - career, dream house, husband, kids - but people soon realised something was wrong when she painted her house the same colour beige for the 47th time.

Misery and comedy have always been bedfellows. But comedians don't generally make a habit of turning medical pathology into material. However Ruby Wax has decided to craft an entire show out of her bipolar disorder. It used to be called manic depression.

The show is actually a two-hander incorporating music by Judith Owen, the singer-songwriter who has also suffered dramatically from depression. They have fittingly toured to all 12 branches of the Priory, playing to audiences containing not just fellow sufferers from mental illness and their families but also, bizarrely, hen nights.

The show itself is rather more than a guide to mental illness. In her trademark style, mixing the outspoken diatribe and the comic parade of insecurity, it offers Wax's world view on society's malaises, including some very funny material on the vacuity of the celebrity lifestyle.

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Carrow Road, May 27, �10, 01603 8261902

The Red Card Comedy Club bring another top line-up to the Norfolk Lounge at Norwich City's ground, guaranteeing another generous dose of adults-only humour.

A member of Rich Hall's Perrier Award winning team the Black Liars, Christian Reilly (pictured) is a stand-up comic who is also a guitar hero on comic songs that mix sharp wit and youthful energy.

Gareth Richards pedals his own unique brand of edgily surreal jokes and one-liners, and stories based on true events. A definite face for the future.

A regular headliner at all Australian comedy venues, Wayne Deakin has a likeable laconic style to draw you in and biting social commentary that will have you simultaneously laughing and thinking. Meanwhile Jeff Stevenson is more than just a stand-up comedian - he is two stand-up comedians. Jeff, and his alter-ego Harvey Oliver, cover almost every area of comedy going in a career that has spanned nearly 35 years. He was a child star in the legendary and seminal 1970s film Bugsy Malone!


Norwich Playhouse, June 7, �15 (�12 cons), 01603 598598,

The Amateur Transplants are two medics, Dr Suman Biswas and Dr Adam Kay, who have taken the sixth-form idea of writing parodies of popular songs and run with it in spectacular fashion.

It does help when you've got a pianist of Kay's abilities on board, combined with a couple of sharp intellects and a love of gags of a juvenile, scatalogical and sexual nature.

They've been a fixture in London and Edinburgh - and YouTube where they've scored 1,500,000 hits for their tongue-in-cheek The Anaesthetists Song - for years but this is show is part of their first proper tour.

Gallows medical humour prevails - not for nothing do medics love Green Wing and Bodies - and most of the parodies are short, punning and amusing. The show cracks along with heavy alcohol ingestion by both performers adding to the fun.

Expect a healthy turn out from Norwich's doctors and nurses.