He might be playing a dreadful comedian in Ricky Gervais’ new Netflix comedy After Life, but the loser shtick of Sean McLoughlin (ARG @ Hug & Pint, 15, 16 March) doesn’t stop him being an excellent and imaginative stand-up, reflecting on his underwhelming life and the state of the world. Former Edinburgh Comedy Award winner John Kearns (ARG @ Hug & Pint, 15 March) takes a more offbeat look at life in the same venue, and he faces healthy competition in a similar timeslot from the fiercely intelligent, cuttingly incisive Alfie Brown (Blackfriars Basement, 15 March).
A Scottish talent on the rise is Susan Riddell (Blackfriars Basement, 17 March), with her sharp wit set to be showcased in new BBC Scotland shows The State of It and The Comedy Underground. Pappy’s biggest clown, Tom Parry (Berk’s Nest @ The Old Hairdressers, 22 March), makes an all too rare return with his exuberant stand-up, while this may be a last chance to catch the deluded characters of Lolly Adefope (Berk’s Nest @ The Old Hairdressers, 23 March) in such an intimate setting, as her acting career takes off on both sides of the Atlantic. Sketch duo The Delightful Sausage (State Bar, 24 March) are engagingly absurd, Garrett Millerick (ARG @ Vacant Space, 30 March) had one of the most powerful shows of the Edinburgh Fringe, packed with laughs and plenty more besides, while veteran, sardonic storyteller Dave Fulton (Blackfriars Basement, 31 March) promises a show to remember, sharing the tale of his frustrated attempts to adopt. - Jay Richardson