Thought it would be a good time to flag up a lot of the comics who’ll be touring and performing over the next few months – one, because it’s nice to recommend things and two, so I can keep tabs on where my disposable income will be going. To start with The Soho Theatre’s line-up between February and March is mind-bogglingly impressive with everyone from Kevin Eldon, Paul Foot, Colin Hoult, Seann Walsh and Elis James all getting a chance to shine. They’ll also be keeping up their habit of hosting the best alternative US superstars as Aziz Ansari makes his UK debut in late February. Another American star making a UK return will be Doug Stanhope who’s playing the huge Hammersmith Apollo, it seems like a big show for a relatively underground act with such a cult following but it could be a real must-see. There’s also Jerry Seinfeld but as he’s charging about £90 for tickets it’s hard to really care.
Now’s also the time for try-outs, warm-ups and dry-runs and one of the most hotly anticipated will be the return of Simon Amstell who’ll be popping up at The Invisible Dot testing new material. Meanwhile Stephen Merchant has also been performing in a string of reasonably high-profile try-out shows. It’s difficult to review a preview but having caught one of Merchant’s run-throughs it looks as if he has the stand-up skills to surpass, as Merchant calls him, ‘you know who’.
In terms of tours, the near faultless Daniel Kitson is taking his …Gregory Church show on the road. Alternative veteran Simon Munnery will be embarking on his first full show tour with Self-Employed. And if you’re after something a little different Robin Ince is touring with his Uncaged Monkeys a.k.a. his supergeek superteam of Brian Cox, Ben Goldacre and Simon Singh. And by the time you’ve worked through all those it’ll be time for Edinburgh again. Woo!