The upside-down purple cow is being erected in Jubilee Gardens, which means that Udderbelly is back. Without doubt the most visually arresting comedy venue in London, it's home to a series of shows starting this week and running until 13 July.
We've been through the listings and these are the people we think you should definitely try and see. Some acts are just doing one night, some are doing a couple, but they tend to be spattered throughout the festival so watch out for dates:
- Festival of the Spoken Nerd: we love the science/comedy stylings of FOTSN's Helen Arney, Matt Parker and Steve Mould. They're doing five shows between 24 April and 10 July – it's fun and you learn something.
- Andy Zaltzman: satirist and one half of the excellent Bugle podcast brings his Political Animal club night to the South Bank. First gig is 25 April; there will be no 'too soon' for jokes about Margaret Thatcher.
- Doc Brown: what the hell Doc Brown was doing in that terrible David Brent/Comic Relief 'sketch' we have no idea (probably something to do with charity), but this hip-hop comedian is worth so much more.
- Susan Calman: very popular on the circuit and deservedly starting to reach more ears with pithy lines on Radio 4 and TV panel shows. Wee and wry; like cats.
- Austentatious: for one night only on 22 May, this improv group (including Cariad Lloyd) will present a previously unpublished Jane Austen work. Absolutely brilliant.
- The Boy With Tape on His Face: proving that mime can be funny, crowd-pleasing Sam Wills is doing a two week+ run.
Udderbelly Festival runs 12 April-14 July off Belvedere Road, SE1. Tickets £12.50 / £15.50 / £17.50 depending on the performer. For more information see the Udderbelly website.