Thursday, 31 January 2013

FESTIVAL PREVIEW #3: The Best of the Rest of the Fest (part 1)

OK, it's getting awfully close to the start of Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival 2013, and I had lots of preview posts planned, but time waits for no man and I have been very distracted by the twin evils of work and illness (awwww bless!)
So I've combined some of the best bits from the remaining categories of comedy, to give you a few more pointers in terms of shows to look out for at the festival, all neatly pigeon-holed for your convenience (and the performers' annoyance, I suspect!)

Nutter: Terry Alderton

1. WEIRD AND WONDERFUL - if you enjoy being baffled as well as amused, check out the schizophrenic physical comedy of Terry Alderton, the tangential musings and surreal wordplay of Paul Foot, the unpredictable and indescribable stand-up of John Kearns, the theatrical whimsy of Cyborg! or the cabaret of randomness that is Barbara Steele's Wheels of Steel.

Family-friendly: Pat Monahan
2. FAMILY SHOWS - there are lots of great comics doing shows that you can bring the kids to, and there's bound to be a few gags thrown for the parents that will fly straight over the little ones' heads. One man hug factory Pat Monahan proved on ITV's Show Me the Funny that he's a big hit with the kids; veteran Jimmy Cricket will entertain your offspring with his 'kids jokebook'-style gags whilst giving you a trip down nostalgia lane, whilst star of QI and former British Comedy Award winner Phil Kay will be inviting the kids to get creative with their shoes. This year also sees the return of the loveable Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets and, of course, Fleckney's own king of music hall variety and former Vic&Bob sidekick Charlie Chuck.

Naughty: Vikki Stone
3. DEFINITELY NOT FAMILY SHOWS - if you like a bit of naughty, then you'll probably enjoy the bawdy songs of Vikki Stone; the brash, anitpodean rantings of Brendon Burns; the downright angel-faced filth of Diane Spencer; tales of debauchery from The Coin-operated Girl, or the aptly named theme nights Shaggers and Nookie at the Cookie. Obviously February 14th sees several Valentine-themed shows for those in a more romantic frame of mind.

Lo-fi legend: John Shuttleworth
4. MUSICAL DELIGHTS - Plenty of quality musical comedy acts on this year, including the legendary John Shuttleworth who delighted the Preview Show audience this month with his lo-fi ditties about the minutiae of life. Fans of hiphop will enjoy the razor-sharp stand-up and spoof rapping of Doc Brown, or for an altogether more white, Irish take on the genre check out the scallywags with the plastic bags on their heads, the Rubberbandits. Rob Deering injects a bit of sparkly pop glam into proceedings with his guitar and voice sampler, or for something altogether darker, the twisted songs of love and death from Antony King are a must-see. Also, Malcolm Hardee Award nominee and veteran of the alternative comedy scene Peter Buckley-Hill will be singing songs and speaking "miscellaneous scrud" (whatever that means!)

Deadpan Dwarfer: Norman Lovett
5. PERSONALITIES OF NOTE - Some shows don't really fit the typical 'stand-up' mould, and are more about spending time with a great personality who happens to make you laugh quite a lot. I'm looking forward to seeing Red Dwarf's Norman Lovett sharing the deadpan benefits of his great comedy wisdom. Northern Irish master of banter Martin Mor will be entertaining us with his stories and his incredible beard, and creator of Viz Simon Donald will be headmastering his very own School of Swearing. Expect the unexpected from Bob Slayer - Edinburgh Fringe legend and bringer of naked chaos to the Festival Preview Show at De Montfort Hall - he'll be trying to create a new great work of literature during each of his three festival shows. Elsewhere, Leicester's top comedy poet Rob Gee will be talking, rhyming and making you laugh in a library; comedy's top 'grumpy old man' Arthur Smith will be talking to BBC Radio Leicester's Jim Davis (no, not the creator of Garfield) live in front of an audience, and everybody's favourite comedy grandad Barry Cryer will be appearing and endearing as always.

The fifth Ghostbuster: Paul Gannon
6. QUIRKY/GEEKY SHOWS - Here's a few shows that might appeal to fans of the quirky or moderately geeky. Look out for Paul Gannon's 'I Aint Afraid of No Ghost' in which he goes on a worldwide ghost-hunting adventure inspired by the 80s film. 'Ben van der Velde's Chain Letter' is a love letter to the art of writing - you guessed it - letters, in which he sends himself around the world as a human chain letter. Howard Read presents some inventive animated comedy which creates new and interesting ways of interaction between performer and audience. Andy Fury Loves Film sounds interesting - the tale of a a guy who wasn't allowed to watch films growing up, so he attempts to watch a classic film a day for a whole year to catch up. And of course I couldn't fail to mention The Geeks Strike Back in this section - a celebration of sci-fi, zombies, and all things geektastic.

Right, that's quite enough for now. I'll try and squeeze in one more preview post before the festival starts, but this lot should keep you going for quite a while. And remember to keep idly flicking through the festival brochure and checking out anything that looks like it might appeal to you on YouTube/Chortle etc - you may just discover a new personal comedy hero!!

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