E4 take their third annual gamble on the temperament of the British summer, herding their Udderbelly stage onto the Southbank to play host to their longest season yet of comedy, cabaret, and greying drizzle.
Tickets go on sale today, and although the full line-up won’t be announced until March there’s already a few gems waiting to be booked: Irish Comedian of the Year David O'Doherty brings his Casio keyboard to London for his one-man show, while Melbourne Comedy Festival People’s Choice Award winner (and, more importantly, one-footed man) Wil Anderson has a string of appearances in early June. Tooting’s third- or fourth proudest son, Carl Donnelly, plays a not-to-be-missed hour on June 15th, and if you’re a student you can pretend to remember Jim Bowen, Paul Daniels and Roy Walker by patronising their one-man shows.
There are also plenty of alternatives for people who hate stand up. The cabaret resurgence of recent years continues apace with appearances from both Spymonkey and Cabaret Whore, while 1940s –spirited theatre comes in the form of The Fitzrovia Radio Hour. The Magners Pasture returns to dispense food and beer, and if you fancy something stronger there’s an evening with affable drug-trafficker and all-round nice-guy Howard Marks on the 4th and 5th of May.
The festival kicks off on April 28th, and hosts its own Alternative Royal Reception the next day – tickets are now available via http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/udderbelly, and all nose in at under £20.
Image by Cle0patra under a creative commons attribution licence.