2013 comedy: the ones to watch

Let us introduce you to our favourite new-school fools

Surly Welshmen, musical surrealists and deadpan delights… Ben Williams predicts the breakthrough acts of the coming year.

The working-class hero: Lucy Beaumont

© Avalon

Who? 28-year-old Beaumont, from Hull, recently won the BBC New Comedy Award and has been mentored by League of Gentlemen member Jeremy Dyson.
What? Don’t let her seemingly ditzy persona fool you: Beaumont’s low-key stories comparing working-class life up North to ‘that London’ are full of vivid imagery and wonderful punchlines.
Why? As part of her BBC prize, Beaumont’s been commissioned to write a radio show. We wouldn’t be surprised if her own sitcom wasn’t far behind.
When? See a list of Lucy Beaumont's London gigs.

The grumpster: Matt Rees

Who? There’s a huge buzz around this misanthropic Welsh comic, who was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2012 Chortle Awards.
What? Rees, who seems ambivalent about life, tells brilliantly witty downbeat tales about his own sloth and unhealthiness.
Why? The 23-year-old’s writing is devastatingly sharp, with seemingly throwaway one-liners being expanded into unexpected routines. He’s already won four new-act competitions.
When? See a list of Matt Rees's London gigs.

The absurdist: Pat Cahill

Who? Cahill is a superbly inventive rising star who’s been wowing audiences with his strange stream-of-consciousness routines.
What? The 27-year-old specialises in dry, absurd philosophical theories and silly songs, including a surprisingly jaunty rap about a tumour-ridden dog.
Why? He’s already appeared on ‘Dave’s One Night Stand’, and we reckon his Edinburgh Fringe debut this year is going to be a massive hit.
When? See a list of Pat Cahill's London gigs.

The deadpan wit: Mark Stephenson

Who? A dry, nonchalant stand-up who, like Matt Rees, was nominated for Chortle’s Best Newcomer award.
What? Stephenson’s seemingly bored delivery takes a few minutes to get used to, but his intelligent misery and oblique observations soon win the audience over.
Why? Stephenson cleverly made sure he wasn’t eligible for the Foster’s Best Newcomer award at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe by performing too short a set. Could he receive a nomination this year?
When? See a list of Mark Stephenson's London gigs.

The disobedient upstart: Alfie Brown

© Max Knight

Who? A bold, thought-provoking new comedy voice, Brown’s on a mission to stop stand-up from turning into mainstream fluff.
What? He’s angry, intelligent, arrogant and unafraid to have pops at the comedy industry’s attempts to water down his most beloved artform.
Why? Brown’s by no means everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like stand-up that raises as many questions as laughs, he’s certainly one to watch.
When? See a list of Alfie Brown's London gigs.

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