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News / Comedy

Three top banana comedy events to see this week

Noel Fielding
An Evening with Noel Fielding

This week there's a seasoned surrealist who's done a fair bit of telly, a comedic northern legend with a fondness for a good old shepherd's pie and some newcomers to the scene waiting to be checked out.

Fri November 21
An Evening With Noel Fielding at the O2 Apollo
Back in the day Fielding used to pop up at comedy gigs in Manchester, namely the legendary Buzz club in Chorlton. As a solo artiste he was a surreal stand up presence. Then he teamed up with the equally unpredictable comic Julian Barratt and together they formed The Mighty Boosh. Successful Edinburgh runs ensued and of course so did three TV series. Taking a break from working with Barratt, Fielding has now produced two series of the gloriously bizarre Luxury Comedy letting his imagination run riot creating a series of innovative and lovably odd characters from a chocolate finger soldier to a Don Quixote-esque wandering knight with a plastic cup sellotaped to his chin. All (quite literally) daubed by Fielding's paintbrush. And so he returns to his beginnings once more on a solo tour. Fielding will reign, no doubt looking like a Dali-designed peacock, and let us have a peek at that deranged psyche of his as well as some of those characters.

Fri 21 and Sat 22 November
John Shuttleworth at the Dancehouse
It was while he was at Uni in Manchester that Graham Fellows first came to fame as Jilted John recording the eponymously titled song 'Jilted John' (you know, the one that goes 'Gordon is a Moron...' repeat to fade). However his retired Sheffield security man with a fondness for composing ditties on his Bontempi, John Shuttleworth, has proved to have a greater longevity. Over the years Shuttleworth has driven about the country in his beloved Austin Ambassador (Y reg) and regaled us with tunes capturing the isolation of a solitary lost Glove on the Wall, the unappreciated beauty of a Pigeon in Flight and the Morrissey inspired My Turn To Be Poorly. In his latest show A Wee Ken To Remember expect Shuttleworth to be interrupted by phone calls from his neighbour and agent Ken Worthington and his wife Mary wondering if he's coming in for his tea.

Sun November 23
New Comedians at the Comedy Store
Most of the nights in the weekly diary at The Comedy Store feature seasoned professional comedians but those pro acts had to start somewhere and this is the kind of night that nurtures  fledgling talent. Previous to New Comedians the main showcase of new talent at the Store was the monthly King Gong where acts compete to last the full ten minutes without being they're voted off and forced to leave the stage with the sound of clanging metal ringing in their ears. This is a more sedate affair where a handful of acts with varying degrees of experience can showcase what they've crafted - and there's always a chance that the Store will spot a future weekend spot. The night is presented and hosted by Oldham comedian Alex Boardman who started out himself back in 1998 on the local circuit and has become a stalwart of the UK comedy scene.

Words: Marissa Burgess