Preview: The Week Ahead June 3 - 9

judah Friedlander

Judah Friedlander is best known to TV viewers as Frank Rossitano in 30 Rock, but like most great sitcom actors he is also a superb stand-up. He makes his belated UK debut at the Soho Theatre this week. It's a short run so get down there quickly. I've just seen self-declared 'World Champion' Friedlander at the Kilkenny Cat Laughs Comedy Festival where his deadpan gags about karate and standing for President and his absurdist Q&A session quickly won the crowd over. Earlier at the festival there had been a tribute show to the late US comedian Mitch Hedberg and there is something of Hedberg, as well as Steven Wright, in Friedlander's off-the-wall one-liners. He might look as if he has copped his hipster look from early Daniel Kitson pictures but that is just a nice coincidence.

Last month James Mullinger organised and hosted a benefit for the Eaves charity for vulnerable women at the Bloomsbury Theatre which was headlined by Michael McIntyre. Mullinger is back at the Bloomsbury this Tuesday with another fundraiser for the same charity and while the floppy fringed superstar is not on the bill this time, that gives some other stand-ups a chance to shine. Among those taking part are Isy Suttie, Sara Pascoe, Luisa Omielan, Abi Roberts, Mary Bourke, Carl Donnelly, Simon Clayton and Brenda Gilhooly. Maths isn't my strong suit, but I think that for once the women outnumber the men here. There  will, however, also be a special guest, who may, or may not, also be a man...

I saw it listed but I still had to triple check it. John Cooper Clarke, punk poet extraordinaire, is headlining a gig at the London Palladium This Sunday. It marks a heck of a turnaround in the veteran versifier's colourful career. After the dizzy heights of punk stardom in the late seventies followed by drug issues (and, even weirder, a spell advertising Sugar Puffs) Cooper Clarke is on a bit of a roll, having recently appeared on Have I Got News For You? (apparently Ian Hislop is a fan). Expect classic old poems plus new ones and also old ones updated for the new millennium, all delivered in that trademark machine-gun Mancunian accent. The supporting cast is pretty interesting too, including Thea Gilmore, Simon Day, Barry Cryer, Ronnie Golden, Luke Wright, Selina Godden, Tim Wells and Mark Thomas.

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