Preview: The Week Ahead April 14 - 20

Spoken Nerd

Decisions, decisions. I’ve got one of those horrible dilemmas this Wednesday when two tantalising gigs clash. And what makes it more frustrating is that they are taking place a two-minute walk from each other on London's South Bank. At the Udderbelly Helen Arney hosts a welcome return of The Festival of the Spoken Nerd. These science-y maths shows are great fun and educational too. Experts Steve Mould and Matt Parker are Arney’s fellow, sorry guys, can't think of a better word, geeks, who help to make the evening go with a bang. All you have to do is still back and watch the sparks fly. And if, like me, you can't make tonight, they are back for three more nights in May and June. Details here.

Just down the road at the same time Russell Kane brings his latest show, Smallness, to the Queen Elizabeth Hall for two nights. Kane has one of those odd, contradictory careers. In the same way that Rob Brydon can do both BBC1 primetime and BBC2's The TripTo Italy, Kane can do BBC3 fluff and then great cerebral solo shows like this, where he gets to dig deeper into his particular obsessions.

This time round he has moved a little bit away from masculinity and his late dad and is exploring Englishness. Why are we such an uptight, repressed nation? Why do we revel in the small things? Kane is never less than interesting onstage, twirling, prancing and generally not afraid to make a dick of himself in search of laughs. Though I do wonder what people who have seen him co-presenting Unzipped and running around the TV studio in his pants make of him when they see him onstage using words of more than one syllable.

Meanwhile back at the Udderbelly, Tony Law is doing his Nonsense Overdrive show for four nights from Tuesday. Seasoned Law-watchers seem to agree that this is not quite as good as his 2012 breakthrough show Maximum Nonsense, but for those new to Law’s freewheeling Boosh-ish frivolity it’s a great point of entry. In fact it's the only point of entry until he does another show, so get down to the Udderbelly from April 15 - 19.

 

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