Udderbelly’s back! But what to see? Try these 10 …

Andrew Maxwell, Knightmare Live, Tony Law and Marcel Lucont are just some of the acts pushing comedy milk through Violet’s copious udders this spring…

Andrew_Maxwell4In recent years the London skyline has had the “cheesegrater” building pop up, the “mobile phone”, and before them was the “gherkin”. But what do they have inside them? NOTHING. Just people in suits tapping on keyboards and never being funny, ever. Meanwhile, the original Thames-side oddity – Violet the purple upside-down cow – continues to do the bizzo, hosting some frankly top-notch comedy each spring.

And this spring is no exception. The first shows of the 2014 Udderbelly extravaganza have just been announced, and London is Funny would like to steer you in the direction of these 10 delights:


1. Andrew Maxwell – Banana Kingdom
One of our most important and formidable stand-ups, Maxwell (left) tackles some of the day’s big issues with intellect and mischief. His recent Radio 4 political comedy series Public Enemies was vintage Maxwell, and he performs his latest live show twice at the Udderbelly – don’t miss it. (June 14, July 5)

2. Knightmare Live
A surprise hit at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Knightmare Live revived the kids’ TV favourite of the 1980s to critical acclaim. A pure hit of nostalgia and plenty of scope for comedy too as two comics lead an audience member into conflict with Lord Fear. (June 6/13/20)

3. Marcel Lucont: Is
One of those acts who deserves to be a far bigger name, condescending Frenchman Lucont has one night at the Udderbelly, when he will arch an eyebrow towards three subjects: mortality, masculinity, and Marcel Lucont. (May 31)

4. The Horne Section
Alex Horne’s “comedy-jazz party” has been revamped with new songs and new games. If you’ve not seen it, Horne plays lead singer, game show host and MC and it’s very, very silly. Very much a sit-back-and-enjoy show. (May 15/29, June 12/26, July 10)

5. Comedy in the Dark
A staple at Udderbelly now, Comedy in the Dark is exactly as it sounds – a stand-up show performed entirely in the dark, which doesn’t half throw things. A comedy night like no other – and the line-ups are great. (April 20, May 5/19, June 2, 16, 30)


6. Austentatious
Improvising a Jane Austen novel makes for great comedy, as it turns out (mainly thanks to the magnificent performers involved), and this is now a hit touring show. You have two chances to see what the fuss is about at the Udderbelly. (June 19, July 4)

7. Tony Law (above) – Nonsense Overdrive
The maverick Canadian is now an established name thanks to his wild-eyed Buzzcocks appearances and a surge in popularity for his absurdist comedy. (April 15-19)

8. Political Animal
Another Udderbelly staple, satire behemoth Andy Zaltzman hosts and curates three more nights of thigh-slapping, government-bothering stand-up. Line-ups tbc. (Apr 17, May 8, June 11)

9. Zoe Lyons: Mustard Cutter
Just the one night for Lyons, who’s not the biggest name on the Udderbelly gig list but a masterful stand-up nonetheless, and one of the most cast-iron headliners on the comedy circuit. Mustard Cutter is her latest solo show, on the subject of snobbery. (June 5)

10. Tim Fitzhigham: Challenger
One of those very English eccentric types, Fitzhigham’s life appears to be a continuous stream of wagers, adventures, stunts and world record attempts. Catch his latest show at some family-friendly afternoon slots. (June 21/22/28/29)

• Click for full Udderbelly listings and booking. Udderbelly will be at the usual place next to the London Eye by the side of the Thames, between April 10 and July 13

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