David Trent: Spontaneous Comedian, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Eighteen months ago David Trent, a 40-year old junior school teacher, performed some of his video-assisted routines in front of hundreds of people at the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year award.

Andrew Maxwell: That’s The Spirit, Assembly George Square, Edinburgh

Nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award last year, the Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell returns to the scene of that creditworthy show to stage a paler imitation of it.

Rhys Darby is preparing for his first ever tour of the UK this summer

Rhys Darby: This Way To Spaceship, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Rhys Darby made his name playing the hapless manager Murray Hewitt in Flight of the Conchords, and in his latest live show the Kiwi comedian can’t resist reminding us of that. The small-screen character is not only with us in name tonight, he’s with us in spirit too: This Way To Spaceship is a Murray Hewitt production through and through - it’s well-meaning, but incompetent.

The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show Live!

Before it went truly intergalactic – before the squillion-selling "trilogy" of five books, before the comics, the computer games, the endless quoting, the TV series and the (decent) film version – Douglas Adams's wry sci-fi opus The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy started out as a fairly low-key Radio 4 series.

Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, Soho Theatre, London

It is the first time in London for American comedian Mike Birbiglia, for either work or play. "Why have you never been before?" interviewers have asked him in advance of his two week run, to which he has replied "Have you been expecting me?"

Tea with Terrorists, Brighton Fringe

Tea with Terrorists is the alarming title of Sameena Zehra’s one-woman show and while she does eventually get round to the extraordinary true story of how she once sipped Darjeeling on her porch with a band of armed outlaws, it’s the ramble around her family tree in the preceding hour that really engages.

Simon Amstell: Numb, Hexagon Theatre, Reading

A random spurt of smoke from a dry ice machine precedes Simon Amstell's appearance on the stage of the Reading Hexagon tonight. It's a mistake, of course. The wily charms of the 32 year old are not requiring of a pumped pomp, nor of any other obvious theatrics.

Paul Merton: Out of My Head, Richmond Theatre

A leading light in British comedy and one of the most-proven funnymen on the planet, Paul Merton is back with his first UK solo tour since 1999, but Out Of My Head is far from the quality you might expect, being weak virtually from start to finish.

Bring Me the Head of Adam Riches, Soho Theatre, London

Prepare to grab your sides...but remember to duck

Festival of the Spoken Nerd,
Bloomsbury Theatre, London

If there was a theme to Festival of the Spoken Nerd's mix of science and comedy tonight then it was pyrotechnics. From a tale of homemade napalm to a demonstration of a standing wave flame tube there were flashes and bangs aplenty, if no explosive end result.

Simon Munnery: Hats Off To The 101ers, And Other Material, Soho Theatre, London

“The arch of limited triumph” says the mild-mannered Simon Munnery in the direction of a concertinaed piece of metal on stage.

Stand Up and Rock, Hammersmith Apollo, London

Comedy and rock n' roll persistently get paired for the comparative superlative “comedy is the new rock n' roll” and tonight they were again bedfellows.

Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People, Bloomsbury Theatre, London

"It's not overlong, it's value for money!" exclaimed Robin Ince at the end of the second night of his third series of seasonal rationalist jamborees, celebrations that are akin to the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures with jingle bells on.

Russell Kane: Manscaping, Hammersmith Apollo, London (4/5)

It was typical of the self-aware, self-referential and self-deprecating “third Russell of comedy” to acknowledge that the X Factor final had taken a slither out of his audience share tonight.

Soho Theatre Comedy Cabaret (3/5)

Imagine Whose Line Is It Anyway? applied to stand up and you have the gist of Set List, a Stateside wheeze landing in London via a stopover in Edinburgh. That cultural comparative was made all the more resonant tonight with the inclusion of the improv-savvy Greg Proops and Phil Jupitus among the stellar line up.

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