Shambolic, certifiable ...just genius
Poet/comic Tim Key trails behind him a list of awards and nominations as long as your arm. Edinburgh Comedy Award winner, Time Out Comedian of the Year, Chortle Comedy Award winner, BAFTA Award nominee… if there's an award out there to be won, Key has won it or come close.
So, what's his secret? Key's poems, if you can call them that, can often sound hilariously bad on the surface: shambolic, unrhythmical, and frequently interrupted for little asides. And yet, this apparent shambles is part of their charm – that and the fact that, among the stop-start sentences, beautiful and/or hilarious images and metaphors spring up regularly. The Daily Telegraph called it about right when they said of Key that "in any other sphere apart from comedy, we'd probably class this way of looking at the world as certifiable. Here it feels like genius."
Tim Key: Masterslut Tuesday, October 2, Arnolfini, Narrow Quay, Bristol, 7.30pm, £15/£13 concs. 0117 917 2300 / www.arnolfini.org.uk
Solo show from this arresting, plain-speaking and pin-sharp Oz comic. A formal heavy metal drummer, Hughes is an arresting presence on stage with his flowing locks and Spanish Inquisitor's beard.
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Hughes' stand-up pulls no punches, tackling everything from corporate greed to petty health and safety regulations.
Steve Hughes: Big Issues Wednesday, October 3, Comedy Box at the Hen and Chicken, North St, Bristol, 8.30pm/doors 7.45pm, £14. 0117 902 0344 / www.thecomedybox.co.uk
A regular on QI, Mock the Week and others, Fred MacAulay has also hosted BBC Radio Scotland's daily morning show for the last 15 years. His latest show, a hit at last year's Edinburgh Fringe, sees Fred reflecting on family life and "the puzzling and sometimes infuriating state of the world".
Fred MacAulay: Legally Bald Thursday October 4, Comedy Box at the Hen and Chicken, North St, Bristol, 8.30pm/doors 7.45pm, £14. 0117 902 0344 / www.thecomedybox.co.uk