Comedy: Gig Of The Week

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The Independent Culture
Rob Newman

Once part of the hugely successful (but overhyped) duo, Newman and Baddiel, returns with his first full-length London show in four years. A sell-out run in Edinburgh last summer demonstrated pretty conclusively that he has still got what it takes as a live performer. He appears as the enduringly popular aristocratic pervert, Jarvis, as well as new characters called The Lavenders, Eric Catatonia and Christos. In his stand-up, he mixes political material with strong imaginative routines. For instance, he expresses his delight that the Canadian Olympic snowboarder was re-awarded his gold medal after testing positive for marijuana. What possible advantage could dope have given him, he wonders, "unless someone at the other end was holding up some chocolate Hobnobs, or the finishing- line was by an all-night garage".

Almeida Theatre, London N1 (0171-359 4404) Thur to 10 Apr


Dave Fulton (above) - an old-fashioned American one-man-and-his- mike kind of stand-up - obviously has an affinity with Britain. "You have a pint with people in Scotland, and by the end of the night, you're family," he marvels. "That's why everyone tries to trace their lineage back to Scotland. It's very funny to see Japanese people picking up a clan-book to see if there's any chance they're Scottish."

Jongleurs Camden, London NW1 (0171-564 2500) Fri and 10 April

Sean Meo is never going to dazzle audiences, but he is a very effective observational comedian, who won the 1997 Time Out Comedy Award. Formerly No 127 in the world snooker rankings, he peddles neat quickfire gags: "It's always Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. The jellyfish don't get a look-in. Must have shit agents." He is part of the "Swangleurs" bill, also featuring Mark Billingham and Steve Rawlings.

Jongleurs Camden, London NW1 (0171-564 2500) Thur