Preview: The Week Ahead April 22 - 28

Rob newman

What's in a name? When Debbie Harry decided she wanted to be taken seriously as a musician she started calling herself Deborah Harry. When Rob Newman decided he wanted to be seen as a more mature comedian he started being billed as Robert Newman. But it is probably Newman's material more than his monicker that has cast him in a new light. Instead of "that's you that is" catchphrases and low-level impressions his shows over the last decade have, among other things, dissected the history of conflict over oil in the last century and the real reasons that wars are fought.

I presume Newman is dealing with big themes again, because his new show is entitled Theory Of Evolution. Could Dawkins and Darwin be getting a look-in this time? He is doing a work-in-progress at The Pleasance this Wednesday. Be nice to him and he might even slip the occasional John Lydon impression in alongside the hardcore politics.

The Udderbelly Festival also mines a rich political vein this week with Andy Zaltzman bringing his Political Animal show inside the inflatable purple cow. Zaltzman is one of comedy's sharpest satirical brains. Sometimes when I'm watching him I feel I should be taking notes, but I'm usually too busy laughing. He is an obsessive cricket fan too, but then nobody is perfect. He makes up for this personal failing, however, with a great line-up of guests – Bridget Christie, Francesca Martinez and Chris Coltrane.

For comedy that bypasses the body politic and aims straight for the funny bone, however, Chris Ramsey brings his Feeling Lucky show to Bloomsbury on Sunday night following previous sell-out shows here. Ramsey is one of comedy's undisputed rising stars thanks to combination of cheeky wit and a gift for feelgood storytelling and if you just want to end your week with a titter or begin the next one with a giggle you will not go wrong here.

Ramsey is about to be a very busy man - the sitcom he starred in, Hebburn, is due to return and he has already announced his next UK tour, entitled The Most Dangerous Man on Saturday Morning Television, while this tour is still running. The title is inspired by a frankly ridiculous incident which involved him getting kicked off Sky's morning show, Soccer AM – if you are lucky you will get a sneak preview of that anecdote this Sunday. 


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