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The Udderbelly Festival moo-ves back into South Bank this week, bringing with it a stellar line-up of comedy, cabaret and excitement

Words: Jahn Vannisselroy

You probably know there’s a mayoral election in London next month. And you probably figure it’ll be a two-horse race, fought by a couple of political thoroughbreds. But now a third candidate, a dark horse (or should that be donkey?), has announced his policies – and could very well do some damage.

Comedian Milton Jones is known for appearing on BBC2’s Mock The Week, where the 47-year-old Londoner delves into a seemingly never-ending bag of deadpan one-liners. Now prepare for him to launch his vision for the capital on the South Bank this month, as one of the big draws at the Udderbelly Festival.

Jones is just one act on the 13-and-a-half-week event’s 70-strong bill, which features carefully chosen performers from around the world, and is fast becoming a London summer institution. Originally from Edinburgh, Udderbelly, the brainchild of live entertainment company Underbelly, features comedy, cabaret and family shows in its giant upside-down inflatable purple cow from April 5-July 8.

Among this year’s acts Australian comedians the arcebic Brendon Burns, the quick-witted Wil Anderson and the musically talented Tim Minchin. Alongside them will be Claytime, where audiences are encouraged to get down and dirty with clay; US comedian Greg Proops, from Whose Line Is It Anyway?; and the twisted world of Friday Night Freakshow, featuring sword swallowers and singing Nazis.

With an outdoor bar that anyone, not just ticketholders, can frequent, Udderbelly is the perfect place to spend
a warm evening. The combination of beer, laughter and absurdity appeals to Jones as the perfect platform from which to launch his bid to become the capital’s main man.

“London’s already got an idiot with a stupid hairstyle for mayor,” he cracks. ”Why not have another one?“



Udderbelly Festival, South Bank, London
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