11 must-see shows at the Udderbelly

It’s BACK! The massive purple upside-down cow of mirth is returning to the Southbank on April 9, for another four months of top-notch comedy and cabaret. And below are LiF’s top picks …

Udderbelly-top-11Andrew Maxwell (April 24-25)
A bruiser of a comic who you really must see if you never have. London Loves is an ongoing series about the capital, where he has lived for 20 years and contains “barn-storming anecdotes, acerbic observations and Maxwell’s own coming-of-age-in-London tale”.

Sara Pascoe (May 1-2)
A recent star of QI, Pascoe just gets better and better. Her latest show, Sara Pascoe v History manages to be philosophical and political while incredibly light on its feet. Go see!

Max and Ivan (May 9-16)
A big-hearted comedy-theatre show in which Max and Ivan tell the story of a school reunion. It was nominated for the Fosters Comedy award, and quite right too. You may recognise the pair from such shows as BBC self-satire W1A.

Arthur Smith (May 14)
The new show by professional Londoner Arthur Smith is called Oh Hazel, and this may be its only outing. It’s a stand-up and music show prompted by his discovery of “heart-breaking but funny” diaries, written by his mother about her slide into dementia.

Pete_Firman5STEVEULLATHORNEPete Firman (left, June 6)
The man who has hauled British comedy-magic into the 21st century – always a superb watch and an undoubted Udderbelly highlight.

James Acaster (June 13)
Quite simply one of the finest hours of comedy created over the past 12 months. A quiet, eccentric wonder.

Katherine Ryan (June 19-20)
Comedy’s FORM HORSE. The Canadian pop culture-obsessive has become a TV panel show regular over the past 12 months, but she’s even better in the live arena and Glam Role Model is her latest acclaimed show.

Luisa Omielan (June 26-27)
An emotional rollercoaster of a show, and a very funny one at that, with Luisa’s real-life stories of love, sex and depression at the heart of it.

Austentatious (various dates)
Long-form improv at its finest – six superb comic actors take the name of a “lost” Jane Austen novel (provided by the audience), then make the whole bally thing up as they go along. Impressive and funny.

Comedy in the Dark (various dates)
Now firmly established as an Underbelly favourite, this is literally a line-up of fab stand-up comedians performing in the bally dark. Lights off.

The Horne Section’s Questions Sessions (various dates)
A new show by the most imaginative man in comedy, Alex Horne, and his assembled blowers, pluckers and whackers. No details yet on what’s in store, but you’re in safe jazz hands.

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