Preview: The Week Ahead March 25 - 31

Chris Addison

Hopefully you have already read my probing piece about the clash of the comedy Browns and will know the difference between Doc Brown and Dr Brown by now. but here's a a quick recap – the former raps, the latter laugh machine won the Foster's Comedy Award last summer and brings his stupendous almost-wordless show to the Soho Theatre from Monday March 25.

Because of the lack of dialogue you can impose your own meaning on this. Is it about war? poverty? man's cruelty to man? connecting with our inner child? Or is it just a show in which everybody in the audience gets to giggle at the poor sap who is plucked out/picked on to take part. I know I'm supposed to know these things because I'm a critic, but I've seen this twice and it still feels wonderfully, strangely ambiguous. All I can suggest is that if you are remotely interested in unusual comedy go see.

Critics like to spot themes in humour and if there is a streak of silliness in Dr Brown there is very little else in Harry Hill's new tour, Sausage Time, which reaches the Hammersmith Apollo on Tuesday March 26. There is foolishness by the bucketload on the stage here and you would be a fool to miss it.

This is Hill's first tour in over seven years and there have been a lot of changes in his life that time. Mainly he has moved on from his long time management company and has given up TV Burp. The latter vehicle made him a star but seemed to be becoming a millstone towards the end. Or should that be Hillstone? Reports suggest that Sausage Time is a brilliant return to form, a classic mix of vaudeville, surrealism and ludicrous props. In fact it sounds a lot like an early episode of TV Burp, which can't be a such a bad thing.

OK, so you've had you dose of daftness this week, here's some seriously thoughtful stand-up. The flowery-shirted Chris Addison made his reputation on the circuit with intelligent shows about subjects such as evolution long before geek comedy became chic. This one-off at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Thursday March 28 is an extra dated added on to his sold-out 2012 tour, showing how a bit of TV exposure on The Thick of It can do wonders for your ticket sales.

Addison has recently been in America directing Veep, the spin on The Thick of It, but I can't see him moving behind the camera for good. He seems to love being on stage too much – rambling on, digressing, flinging his arms around, reflecting on being middle class and, as he often says spontaneously most nights, doing it largely for his own enjoyment at this point. Smart stuff, full of twists, turns, surprises and probably a flowery shirt.

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