Preview: Upcoming Norwich comedy nights

His meandering style and repetitive delivery aren't to everyone's taste, but Stewart Lee brings his acerbic, dark, leftfield and meandering stand-up for his biggest ever Norwich show. Plus Rich Hall, Jon Richardson, Red Card Comedy.


Norwich Theatre Royal, March 11, �19.50-�5.50, 01603 630000,

With a humour that is acerbic, dark, leftfield and meandering by turns, Stewart Lee's latest stand-up odyssey — Carpet Remnant World — sees him step up to the big stage of Norwich Theatre Royal, probably thanks to the profile he has gained from his BBC2 show Comedy Vehicle.

Formerly stand-up's youthful iconoclast, his latest show Carpet Remnant World, on the back of his excellent memoirs, is about the art of comedy itself, satirising modern stand-up with the pot shots at everyone from Jimmy Carr to Frankie Boyle and even his old comedy partner Richard Herring. It also takes in takes Scooby Doo, the News of the World hacking scandal and Colonel Gaddafi.

His meandering style and repetitive delivery aren't to everyone's taste, as he is the first to admit. 'I've got three jokes, and they add up to a story and they've got a point at the end.'

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Norwich Playhouse, March 9-10, returns only, 01603 598598,

On top of that lean, dark-dressed figure is the famously craggy, cranky head, enlivened by a pair of eyes whose twinkle gives the lie to their owner's renowned grouchiness.

Rich Hall is famous for his sardonic demeanour and deadpan gravel voice that has seen him become a semi-regular on Have I Got News For You and QI.

His is an affable moroseness that hides a sharp wit. The American wrote for US chat show giant David Letterman and was a regular on Saturday Night Live before moving to the UK.

And there is more to him than stand-up. He was last in Norwich with his musical alter-ego Otis Lee Crenshaw and he recently made a documentary, Rich Hall's Dirty South, about the difference between people's perceptions of America's Deep South and the reality.


Norwich Playhouse, March 15/16/20, returns only, 01603 598598,

Jon Richardson will in turn be getting gets life's idiosyncrasies off his chest in his grumpy, yet uniquely charming, Northern style in his latest show Funny Magnet, which sees him discussing the everyday items that have a profound effect on his outlook.

The host of Channel 4's Stand Up For The Week, team captain on 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee will be working his pessimism with some hilarious consequences. He was memorably once described as 'a junior Victor Meldrew, only wittier and more northern'. Depending on your comedy tastes and geographical heritage that sort of seems a backhanded compliment, but it shouldn't. Overwhelming demand has seen him stretch this sold-out run at the Playhouse to three nights.



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

Donnie Rust — aka the Naked Busker — has been all over the UK telling stories, singing songs and being naked. Here he stops off in Norwich for a show about what he really yearns for glamour, fame and to be big in Hollywood.


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

This month's Red Card night at the Top of the Terrace sees John Mann return to the mic, plus sets from Carl Hutchinson, John Gordillo and Geoff Norcott.