Is there any time of year when comedians aren't preparing for the next Edinburgh Festival? Perhaps on the day after their run at the world's largest arts festival. Anyway, it's now early June, with only two and a half months before fest fever sets in once more, so Edinburgh warm-ups are in full swing. Take Lee Mack. He has booked the Canal Cafe venue every Tuesday until 27 July. His new sketch show, Lee Mack's Bits, which he will be fine-tuning till then, will include film and music. He is certainly a distinctive comedian. In a previous show, the host of Channel 4's Gas ranged over such diverse subjects as pies and his mad grandmother. He was also once a stable lad for Red Rum. How many comedians can claim that?
Canal Cafe, London W2 (0171-289 6054) Tue
THE BEST OF THE REST
In creating The Fast Show's cliche-spouting Ron "jerseys for goal- posts" Manager, Paul Whitehouse has already given us a fine spoof football boss. Scottish stand-up Vladimir McTavish (above) delivers another "game of two halves" footie coach in The Bob Doolally Show, which has already proved a success at previous Edinburgh Festivals. He is now busy warming up for this year's festival.
Rosemary Branch Theatre, London N1 (0171-704 6665) tonight and tomorrow
When Anton first started out as a stand-up, his mother wouldn't allow him to use his surname in case he heaped shame on the family. Maybe she'll relent a little now that the likeable, laid-back Liverpudlian has scooped the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year award. This promising comedian heads a bill which also features Shappi Khorsandi, Dan Antopolski and MC Daniel Kitson.
The Monday Club, Madame JoJo's, London W1 (0171-371 6863) MonReuse content