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The Independent Recommends: Comedy

Theatre Comedy ARDAL O'HANLON'S material is never going to topple the government. No one is going to storm the barricades because of a joke about how unfit he is: "Fun Run - those two words should never be seen in the same sentence. Running is something you do when there's another man chasing you with a knife." But the comedian best known as the holy fool, Father Dougal Maguire, in the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted, wins audiences over with his sheer charm. He is appearing as part of the Newcastle Comedy Festival.

Theatre Royal, Newcastle (0191-232 2061) 10pm

Ben Elton's last television series was not universally praised. So after a while away from the live arena, the motormouth comedian (above) may feel he has something to prove with his two shows this weekend. Hecklers should not expect to get a word in edgeways.

Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent (01782 213800) tomorrow & Sun 7.30pm