Preview: The Week Ahead April 28 - May 4

David Baddiel

The Edinburgh Fringe’s traditional 60-minute format means that shows often feel as if they have been crammed into one hour. So I’m looking forward to seeing the extended version of David Baddiel’s acclaimed Fame: Not The Musical when it comes to the Menier Chocolate Factory from April 29 - May 23 after previous sell-out runs in London and a hit UK tour. I must be the only person who wasn’t mad about the title, but I loved the show, in which the veteran neurotic reflected on his level of fame where he doesn’t get recognised as often as he once did and sometimes fans mistake him for someone else or ask him about Fantasy Football League at the most inappropriate moments. It’s an intelligent, subtle show, but also one with plenty of broad, self-lacerating gags. And, most importantly, it marks Baddiel’s return to stand-up after an extended hiatus making movies, writing books etc. It is now a longer show divided into two halves, so expect more laughs as well as more witty insights for your money.  

The Bloomsbury Theatre plays host to two benefit gigs this week. First up is the annual War on Want fundraiser this Thursday, which features crisp-snaffling Stewart Lee, the majestic Kevin Eldon and Marcus Brigstocke, who was performing on crutches last time I saw him due to him doing a dance move onstage that he was probably far too old to perform. Also on the bill is the legendary Arnold Brown and rising star Angela Barnes plus more. On Friday the Bloomsbury plays host to a Shelter benefit, MC'd by Jamie Povey and featuring the likes of Lee Nelson, Andre Vincent, Bennett Arron, Hattie Hayridge and Kev Orkian

If sketches are more your thing look out for London Sketchfest 2014 which runs for four nights at the Backyard Club in east London from Thursday and includes Badults stars Pappy’s doing a best-of set. And if you fancy getting away from it all this Bank Holiday Weekend, you should try the Machynlleth Festival in Wales. It’s a truly unique boutique festival a million miles away from the hype and stress of Edinburgh and pretty much anyone who is anyone apart from the O2 Arena brigade is playing there. Highlights include Josh Widdicombe, Stewart Lee and eight, yes, eight different shows over three days from Nick Helm. Which prompts the question – can you have too much Nick Helm? Probably not. 


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