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The Independent Culture
Junior Simpson Wed

Early in his career, the sharp stand-up Junior Simpson resolved not just to concentrate on playing black clubs. "That's like preaching to the converted. If I have something to say about prejudice, what's the point of reminding my people about it? Let me wake white people up to the fact that it's happening. Then we can all burst into a chorus of `We Are the World' and hug and kiss," he adds with a smile. Simpson is not content merely to tell fluffy, throwaway gags. "I want my material to have a point - not just to be joke, joke, joke without substance," he asserts. "If that was the case, I'd just talk all the time about kebabs, drugs and masturbation. But I don't like kebabs, I don't take drugs, and my private life is private." He MCs a strong bill featuring Jason Byrne, Ross Noble and Andre Vincent at a special comedy night.

Pleasance Theatre,

London N7

(0171-609 1800)



Lenny Beige

The spoof showbiz entertainer and the cultiest thing on two legs, Lenny Beige (played with panache by comedian Steve Furst), performs to the adoring masses at his spiritual home in the Regency Rooms. Playing the vainglorious entertainer to the hilt, he fumes if a mobile phone goes off in the audience: "Who the hell needs a telephone? You're communicating with a show-business legend here."

Talk of London, London WC2 (0171-419 7991) Wed

The Mighty Boosh

The Mighty Boosh might have been conceived by a card-carrying Dadaist. The plot - an excuse for some delightfully daft routines - revolves around two zookeepers, tetchy Howard Moon (Julian Barratt) and innocent abroad Vince Noir (Noel Fielding), who crash-land in the middle of an enchanted forest. The show deservedly won the Perrier Best Newcomer Award at the Edinburgh Festival.

Hen and Chickens Theatre, London N1 (0171-704 2001) Mon