The Irish town of Navan is a hotbed of comedy. Two of the last three winners of the prestigious Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival have hailed from here. Dylan Moran, who won in 1996, and Tommy Tiernan (above), who triumphed last year, share a facility for easy-going story- telling. Tiernan's act majors on anecdotes from his upbringing, much of it focusing on his bewilderment with religion. He recounts a particularly gripping tale about having to be locked in the RTE studio to protect him from furious protestors after he made a joke about the Lamb of God on The Late, Late Show. He subsequently became the first person this century to be sued for blasphemy. He achieves the difficult balancing act of delivering challenging material in the most likeable way. He shares a double bill with the madcap stand-up Jason Byrne.
The Junction, Cambridge (01223 511511) Tue; Komedia, Brighton (01273 277772) Fri
THE BEST OF THE REST
Alan Davies admits that he could talk for Britain. "If Radio 1 broke down, I could keep it going for 24 hours," he laughs. "I can't shut up." This ability obviously comes in handy when you're a stand-up. He weaves rambling stories of the everyday into a pleasing tapesty, and takes his show on the road this month. Derngate Theatre, Northampton (01604 624811) Tue; Warwick Arts, Coventry (01203 524524) Wed; Civic Hall, Wolverhampton (01902 552121) Thur; Birmingham Symphony (0121-212 3333) Fri
Ed Byrne joined fellow Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan (see above) on the Perrier shortlist last summer. Like Tiernan, his forte is yarn- spinning. His Edinburgh show, A Night at the Opera, was a bravura hour devoted to the recollection of being forced by his girlfriend to sit through Cosi fan tutti ("three-and-a-half hours of crap") just because it was their anniversary. Colchester Arts Centre (01206 500900) Wed; Swindon Arts Centre (017093 614837) ThurReuse content