Returning for its fourth year on London's Southbank, the E4 Udderbelly boasts London's largest programme of live comedy alongside cabaret, dance and family entertainment.
If you haven't visited or stumbled across the Udderbelly before, its an enormous tent shaped like an upside down purple cow. Its become a regular feature at the Edinburgh festival, pitched up for the Brighton fringe and is now a springtime fixture at the Southbank Centre.
Running from now until 8 July, this year's Udderbelly Festival has the strongest comedy line-up to date, featuring everything from emerging talent to well established acts and circuit favourites.
Amongst the line-up you'll find erudite political gagsters, sketch groups and of course plenty of other surreal and wacky antics. There isn't space here to preview all the great entertainment on offer, but here is a quick pick of six of the best.
Patrick Monahan - Hug Me I Feel Good
Sunday 15 April
Patrick Monahan has a become a comedy circuit favourite over the last ten years with his good natured banter. He's made numerous TV appearances including the Paul O'Grady show amongst many others.
Last year he reached wider audiences and greater acclaim by winning ITV's stand-up talent programme Show Me the Funny. He's also been seen more recently performing on BBC1's Let's Dance for Comic Relief.
His current show Hug Me I feel Good comes to the Udderbelly having received numerous plaudits for its mix of likeable and witty stories which often draw upon his Irish Iranian heritage.
Monahan is an act on the rise and definitely one for comedy fans to catch at this year's Udderbelly festival.
Andy Zaltzman - Armchair Revolutionary
Wednesday 18 April
Political comic and author Andy Zaltzman is one of the great overlooked acts of the British comedy scene. Popular with comedy aficionados, he has often been bypassed by more mainstream audiences
Here he brings his singular brand of erudite satire to the Udderbelly for 'Armchair Revolutionary,' a show that asks whether given the circumstances, he would be able to rise up and fight oppression.
If you want to see one of the best satirist working in the UK today then why not check out the flame-haired Zaltzman and his powerful observations?
Tuesday 29 May
Andi Osho has risen through the ranks of British comedy to become one of the most popular acts on the circuit. She has gained popular acclaim through numerous TV appearances including 'Mock the Week,' 'Live at the Apollo' and 'Stand Up for the Week.'
Osho's current show features thoughts and observations on the perils and pitfalls of dating. Her upfront observational style combined with her commanding stage presence have made her a perennial favourite on the comedy scene.
Friday 15 - Saturday 16 June
Comedy legend Gregg Proops is known to many for is inspired and wacky improvisations on 'Whose Line is it Anyway' and his appearances on Mock the Week.
He is held in high regard by people in the business and comedy fans alike, having worked with the very best. He has also developed a strong following for his podcast 'The Smartest Man in the World' which he has recorded all over the world.
This is a chance to see a comedy performer who is a true original and a real legend performing an all new set of stand-up material. Not to be missed.
Robin Ince and Josie Long's Utter Shambles
Wednesday 27 June
This live version of Robin Ince and Josie Long's acclaimed podcast Utter Shambles really is a two for one deal for comedy fans featuring as it does, a pair of the most intelligent word smiths on the comedy circuit.
Well known to UK comedy fans, Ince has carved out a singular persona for himself with his radio show 'Infinite Monkey Cage' with Professor Brian Cox as well as his acclaimed 'Book Club' shows.
Josie Long is a perfect complement to Ince's style with her quirky and slightly kitsch style. Their 'Utter Shambles' pod casts have become a firm favourite of discerning comedy fans. Not to be missed.
Udderbelly's Full Fat Fresh Faces
Friday 29 June
If you fancy checking out some up and coming comedy talent, then this is the night for you. It's the last in the Udderbelly's series of showcase events, this time focusing on new talent but topped up with a few famous headliners.
All the acts on the bill are performing in the big purple cow for the first time. Mixed bills are a great way to try out the comedy stylings of a number of acts rather than plumping for an hour long show by one artist. Should be fun.
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