Andrew Dipper

It’s official: the Tyne Theatre is lush

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Newcastle’s sexiest theatre*, the Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre, kick off their autumn season this week with some of the best programming we’ve seen in a long time.

From Stewart Lee and Sarah Millican to Bo Burnham and Adam Hills there’s something for everyone in the programme – unless you proper hate laughter. And joy. And the mere sound of people having fun.

Starting on Thursday 10 October, Lee arrives on Tyneside with Much A-Stew About Nothing, a sort of work-in-progress show in preparation for series three of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle.

If nothing else, this is a great opportunity to see one of the UK’s best stand-ups at work, and if you don’t take it you’re a bit of a tart. So there.

Hot on the heels of Mr Alternative Comedy, Have I Got News For You man Paul Merton brings his Impro Chums to the Tyne Theatre.

Mike McShane, Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch and Suki Webster join Merton on Friday 25 October, where they’ll create a new and unique comedy show based entirely on suggestions from the audience, their own finely honed improvisational skills and an almost manic compulsion to show off.

At least that’s what the blurb tells us.

Did you know that Andy Parsons started his career on Spitting Image, and he eventually became one of the show’s main writers? Me neither until I started researching this article.

In reality, most people know Parsons as the Mock The Week panellist with a funny voice, and that funny-voiced bloke from telly land is coming to the Tyne on Saturday 26 October.

Andy tells us that this, his forth show, is his funniest yet – so it’s at least worth sticking your head in to find out whether he’s a fibber or not.

But that’s not all, as they say on crap game shows.

Taking the funny up a notch, Bo Burnham, Adam Hills, Sarah Millican and Jason Byrne will all play the Tyne in November with their new shows.

Burnham comes to Newcastle on Wednesday 13 November after two smash-hit sell out runs at Edinburgh Fringe.

A few years ago, not many people in the UK had heard of Bo – but that changed in 2010 when he received the “Spirit of the Fringe” Award and was the youngest performer to ever be nominated for the main Edinburgh Comedy Award in the Festival’s 30-year history. Impressive, huh?

The following night Australian funny man Adam Hills is in Newcastle with his new show, Happyism.

Millican, who always plays the Tyne Theatre when she comes to town, is playing four nights of her new Home Bird tour, starting on Wednesday 20 November.

Rounding off the run on Saturday 30 November is Jason Byrne, who you might have seen on BBC1’s Father Figure.

Don’t worry, his stand-up is much better than that, and we couldn’t recommend this show enough, really.

The Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre’s autumn season begins on Thursday 10 October with Stewart Lee’s Much A-Stew About Nothing. Click for tickets and further information.

*This is 100% opinion, but I’m definitely right.