Udderbelly Festival and London Wonderground 2013 bring cream of comedy and cabaret to London
This year will see the return of an upside-down purple cow, pitched on London's South Bank and with it, the annual temporary home of the biggest comedy gathering in the capital. Udderbelly has become the capital's largest comedy festival since its launch in 2009 and has grown into a 14-week programme of hilarity and entertainment for young and old alike, rivalled only by Edinburgh's Fringe (Underbelly, the creators of this and London Wonderground, will also be present during the Scottish capital's summer shindig).
But that's not all - as well as comedy in the famous bovine Udderbelly building, you can also sample top cabaret in the nearby Spiegeltent courtesy of sister-festival London Wonderground.
The London version of Udderbelly will open its, er, udders on 12th April with a grand opening gala, followed by numerous shows, with a few highlights suggested below.
A regular on Radio 4 and star of The Bugle podcast, Zaltzman will bring his acclaimed 'Political Animal' show to the Thames-based venue for three shows on 25th April, 13th June and 11th July (£15.50), as well as presenting his spin-off '60 Minutes With' show on 27th June (£12.50).
Always a favourite when he visits London, the ex-Father Ted star brings observational eccentricity to the capital with just two shows on 12th and 13th July. Tickets cost £17.50 per night and are sure to sell through quickly.
Now a hilarious hot property after his 2013 Comic Relief appearance with Ricky Gervais (sorry, David Brent) and Miranda, Brown will rock up to the purple cow on 26th April and 3rd May (£15.50) with tales of hip-hop and humour.
'Get Involved' suggests Marks and that's precisely what you can do at his two shows. Dates to remember are 29th May and 12th June (£17.50), with both shows featuring more tales from his time as a drugs baron and a member of the Secret Service.
If raucous rock balladry and roaringly funny stories are your bag, best grab some Nick Helm tickets as soon as possible - he's only performing one slot of his 'One Man Mega-Myth' routine on 11th May (£15.50).
The Boy with Tape on His Face
After performing several sold-out shows of his latest award-winner 'More Tape', the lad will perform a string of shows from 25th June till 14th July inclusive. His tickets cost from £15.50 - don't miss this!
Familiar to QI and News Quiz audiences, Calman's style is proving to be a hit on the circuit. To quote the blurb, "Susan says all the right funny words, just not necessarily in the right order". Calman will perform on 4th and 18th May (£12.50)
See the listings, below for even more Udderbelly action, including dates featuring kids' favourite Big Howard and Little Howard plus the 'man of 1,000 voices', Michael Winslow, a circus face-off with Circus Maximus and much, much more.
As mentioned above, this partner festival to Udderbelly runs from May to September and features Al Murray, Frisky and Mannish, Shlomo, The Horne Section, The Fitzrovia Radio Hour, Tina C, Limbo and many more musical, cabaret and circus-style acts at various prices.