The Muddy Guide (Thurs 2 – Wed 8 March)
I’m not going to beat around the bush. There’s fun to be had and I know exactly where and when. So, uh, March to it.
Laugh Out Loud Festival, various venues across Exeter, until Sun 5 March
If you didn’t get your fill of comedy gold watching the Oscars this week, then you’ll find plenty more to tickle your funny bone at venues around Exeter, as the Laugh Out Loud festival bows out with a final big belly laugh. Here’s my pick of the shows, across the weekend.
Twins, The Bikeshed Theatre, Exeter, Thurs 2 March
Identical twins Annie McGrath and Jack Barry (as seen on ITV2’s @elevenish comedy show) will be delivering their trademark hybrid of sketch and stand-up to Devon, in their sniggeringly-titled performance, Two Balls in a Bag.
7pm, tickets from £8. bikeshedtheatre.co.uk
Adam Hess, The Bikeshed Theatre, Fri 3 March
His debut show was a sell-out and he’s the star of Live at the BBC. Now he’s back and likely to have you choking on your wine, with his relentlessly entertaining show, Feathers. The Independent reckons he’s unbeatable for ‘good quality gags-per-minute’. I can take sixty minutes of that kind of comedy.
7pm, tickets from £8. bikeshedtheatre.co.uk
Glenn Moore, The Bikeshed Theatre, Fri 3 March
You may have heard him on BBC Radio 4 and Radio X; he also comes from the critically acclaimed sketch duo Thunderbards. GQ reckons he’s ‘tipped for great things’. This is his debut hour, Glenngarry Glenn Glenn.
8.30pm, tickets from £8. bikeshedtheatre.co.uk
Bilal Zafar, The Bikeshed Theatre, Sat 4 March
Anything where you get to laugh at Katie Hopkins gets my vote. The Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee and New Act of the Year award-winner is performing his debut show Cakes, a story of how his Twitter handle @zafarcakes became a focal point for the misguided rage of the global far right, when it was mistaken for the account of a Muslim-only bakery. EDL supporters, Hopkins and the Daily Star all got on their high horses and Bilal responded to prejudice and abuse with humour. And now who’s laughing?
3pm, Tickets £8. bikeshedtheatre.co.uk
Rachel Parris, Cygnet Theatre, Sat 4 March
She’s the star of Austentatious, The IT Crowd and BBC2’s Murder in Successville and her show Best Laid Plans is award-nominated. It’s about a break-up, children, weddings, sex and the Samaritans. I like her already.
7pm, tickets £10. cygnettheatre.co.uk
Al Murray, Exeter Corn Exchange, Sun 5 March
At least the comedy world is finding plenty to laugh about when it comes to politics. The pub landlord is in town to perform his latest stand-up show Let’s Go Backwards Together. Tickets for one of the two performances from Britain’s critically acclaimed bar-based comedian have already sold out, so you’ll need to be quick to snap up a seat at this one. Don’t think about it, book it!
3.30pm, tickets £28.50. exetercornexchange.co.uk
Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Fri 3 – Sat 4 March
Wowsers. This is a little bit different for Plymouth. Brace yourselves, Cuba’s flagship contemporary dance troupe, are shimmying into town this weekend, bringing with them a blend of Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazzy American modernism and inflections from European ballet. Their shows have been described by the Telegraph as ‘drop dead gorgeous, performed in such synch and with such sexy intensity, that you can’t tear your eyes away’. There’s ‘partial nudity’ and everything.
Omid Djalili, Babbacombe Theatre, Torquay, Sun 5 March
Award-winning comedian and actor Omid Djalili has been a busy man, recently starring in the BBC’s Dickensian and Sky’s Lucky Man. Now, he’s back on tour and has been lured to the English Riviera with his show Schmuck for a Night.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Princess Theatre, Torquay, Tues 7 – Weds 8 March
The Mudlets haven’t been forgotten, this week, don’t panic. Hands up who knows every single word to this classic kid’s story? Me, me, me! Fresh from a West End and international tour, Michael Rosen’s award-winning book is brought to life on the stage. Expect swishy-swashy grass, a splishy splashy river and squelchy mud and parental competitive shouting from the crowd. Altogether now – WE’RE NOT SCARED!
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Cinderella, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Wed 8 March
It’s the opening night of this visually captivating and award-winning ballet. You can’t go wrong with a classic fairytale told on delicate tippy-toes, can you?
Le Vignoble: The Relaunch, Plymouth, from Fri 3 March
Exciting happenings are afoot at the award-winning wine lounge. Following an extensive refurb and refresh, Yannick and the team are back open for business, with more lovely wines than ever. There will also be a new menu, including hot food, with recipes coming from ‘La Cuisine de Papa Loue’ (that’s the kitchen of Yannick’s father’s restaurant in Paris). Dishes include Tartiflette, Parmigiana, Grilled Camembert and and Prawn Tartine, plus the usual charcuterie and cheese platters…. (sorry, I just drifted off into a French daydream there….). A new wine club launch is on the cards too, along with some exciting events for the spring and summer. I’ll be attending a preview launch party on Thursday, where i’ll get to have a sneaky peak at the changes. It’s a hard life, really…
Sale Alert! at Cornish Interiors, Royal William Yard, Plymouth
It’s with a huge dollop of sadness that I’m having to tell you that the fab team at Cornish Interiors have decided to shut up shop at their store in Plymouth’s Royal William Yard. I mean, hurrah for them and all, it’s because Cathryn Bishop is so in demand that there’s too much for the small team to concentrate on, but I’ll miss their beautiful store oh so much. They’ll be moving to a smaller design studio and will still be offering all of the various interior design services, including sourcing those oh-so-hard-to-find pieces. Anyway, sniff, the watery silver lining to the cloud is that they’re having a humungous sale throughout March, with everything in store significantly reduced. So, I’ll wipe my tears momentarily and trudge along with my credit card…