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The Independent Culture
He may now be best known as the unlikely magician-turned-detective Jonathan Creek, but long before he found fame on TV, Alan Davies (above) earned his living on the comedy circuit. He returns to his day job in the new year, when he takes his recent stand-up show, Urban Trauma, on tour. Observational comedy is nothing new, but anyone who has so far missed his supreme contribution to the genre has missed out. Now's your chance, as booking has opened for dates around the country, including: The Dome, Brighton (01273 709709) 12 Feb; Colston Hall, Bristol (0117-922 3686) 16 Feb; Lewisham Theatre, London (0181-690 0002) 20 Feb; Hexagon, Reading (0118-960 6060) 21 Feb

The 16th production from the award-winning Strathcona Theatre Company, id (above), is set in the latter part of the last century, when carnivals and circus sideshows fed a cruel public hunger for the grotesque. Through the story of two babies, the play explores ignorance and prejudice about physical appearance, underlining the tyrannical hold that beauty has over us - and, once again, the eight learning-disabled actors in the company show their flair for physical theatre.

The Young Vic Studio, 66 The Cut, London SE1 (0171-928 6363) Tue to 23 Dec