A month of mirth to keep us chuckling; If the dark nights and cold mornings leave you in need of cheering up, you're in luck. Some of the UK's top comedy names are en route this autumn to put a smile back on those chops.
Harry Enfield & Paul Whitehouse: Legends, November 4 and 5, Newcastle City Hall Loadsamoney, the Old Gits, Smashie and Nicey, Kevin the Teenager, Julio Geordio, The Scoucers, The Writer and the Landlady, The Surgeons, to name but a few Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse have spent quarter of a century creating comedy characters who have become part of the nation's cultural tapestry. They've never taken them on tour though, until now.
25 Years of Reeves and Mortimer: The Poignant Moments, November 12 and 13, Newcastle City Hall It seemed like such a long time to wait when Vic and Bob announced their first live tour since 1995, but it's here. Promising a celebration of the first 25 years of their professional collaboration from Vic Reeves' Big Night Out, through Smell of Reeves & Mortimer, Bang, Bang It's Reeves & Mortimer and Shooting Stars, it's little wonder that the cult comics (who have cultivated a mass audience) have sold out both Newcastle dates. If you're one of the lucky ticketholders, enjoy every minute.
Meanwhile Bob says: "Some people feel most alive when they are e.g. on fire or in Turkey, but for us the stage is where we thrive. I will ensure that Vic arrives at all dates smartly dressed and unarmed. I promise not to mention football, JLS or apricots during the performances. Should you choose to attend, be warned, I will be not be wearing a toupe."
Bill Bailey: Limboland, November 28 and 29, Newcastle City Hall The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill's new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, the comedian, actor and regular QI panelist tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place from his countless global travels and rails against a world that doesn't match up to our expectations and contemplates the true nature of happiness. And of course there will be music too.
Frankie Boyle: Hurt Like You've Never Been Loved, Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Newcastle (November 19 and 20) and Sunderland Empire (November 7) Despite appearances, Frankie has written this new set not to tour, but more as a response to Kendrick Lamar's last album. After these series of stand-up performances (often referred to as a tour) the ball will very much be in Kendrick's court.
You are invited to get yourself there and witness a "harrowing onstage breakdown". Better get your tickets quick sticks though.
The Geordie Ratpack - Unplurgged, The Stand, Newcastle, November 1 Hebburn stars Jason Cook, Steffen Peddie and Neil Grainger combine their comedic and tuneful talents with top drawer swing singer Glen Roughead to become The Geordie Rat Pack. The foursome are playing an 'unplurgged' intimate gig at their favourite comedy club and are promising "great swing songs, some versions of songs that we like, loads of stand up, loads of laughs, but with a cool little band to help us along", oh and "An unforgettable night of joy and fun that will involve heavy drinking".
Hal Cruttenden: Straight Out of Cruttenden, The Stand, Newcastle, November 17 A popular host of Live At The Apollo and star of Radio 4, Hal is back to continue ranting about the real evils of the modern world - over sharing on social media and the 5:2 diet. The more he complains the funnier he gets.
Mitch Benn: Don't Believe A Word, The Stand, Newcastle, November 22 The basic premise for Mitch Benn's new show is: "I'm a sceptic. But don't take my word for it. Or indeed anybody's. For anything..."
This is a show which will make you laugh a lot and think a bit as well as Mitch debunks myths, exposes nonsense and grapples with the very nature of knowledge itself.
We're All in the Gutter, but some of us are looking at David O'Doherty, The Stand, Newcastle, November 30 David O'Doherty, 'the Lidl Enya', 'the broken Bublee,' says he is delighted to present an evening of talking and songs played on a stupid keyboard from 1986... and there'll doubtless be a crowd of O'Doherty devotees who match his excitement. You'll have seen him on a the likes of 8 Out of 10 Cats, The Alternative Comedy Experience and Would I Lie to You and heard him all over Radio 4.
Dave Gorman Gets Straight To The Point* (* The PowerPoint), Newcastle Theatre Royal (November 1) and Gala Theatre, Durham (November 6) The innovative comedy mind behind Modern Life Is Goodish, Are You Dave Gorman? and Googlewhack Adventure returns with a new show that promises more of his distinctive blend of stand-up comedy and visual storytelling. Yep, it's a PowerPoint presentation. No need to take notes though. There won't be a test at the end.
Ed Byrne: Outside, Looking In, November 8, Gala Theatre, Durham If you're expecting comic Ed Byrne to have changed the formula which has served him well for the past couple of decades, then you'd be wrong. The good news is that this show sees the popular comic and Mock The Week regular on top, affable, articulate and very funny form as he wanders through material on dating, doctors and dadhood.
Daniel Kitson and Gavin Osborn: Stories for the Starlit Sky, November 11, Gala Theatre, Durham The pairing of Daniel Kitson and Gavin Osborn return for the first time in a long time this trilogy of story and song ultra mega combo shows which they wrote in 2009.
Comprising three interlinked stories about love, staying up all night and a village populated by retired assassins the show needs two intervals, and is summed up thus: "Boom. Break. Boom. Break. Wallop. Hometime." Sounds good to us.
Jason Byrne: 20 Years a Clown, November 14, Gala Theatre, Durham With a distinct brand of verbose, organised chaos and near legendary stock-in-trade audience participation which has seen him coined 'the outright king of live comedy' by some in the know, Jason Byrne is on the road celebrating two decades of stand up shows. Join him.
Sarah Millican: Outsider, November 15 and 16, Gala Theatre, Durham In the past when you put South Shields' Sarah Millican outside, she asked things like: 'Why? Where is the taxi? Do I need a cardie?' and said things like: 'There'll be wasps. I've nothing to sit on. Is that poo? Can we go home?' But things have changed.
Now the British Comedy Awards' Queen of Comedy has outside slippers, but she still can't tell if it's an owl or her husband's asthma. She will return to the region next year for a raft of dates at Newcastle's Tyne Theatre.
Visit www.sarahmillican.co.uk for full details.
Al Murray the Pub Landlord: One Man, One Guvnor, November 10, Middlesbrough Town Hall He stormed it at the Town Hall three years ago, and he looks set to do it again. 20 years ago Britain's favourite publican Al Murray, The Pub Landlord, embarked on his one-man mission as the King Cnut of Common Sense, 'holding back the tide of bottled beer and ninny state nonsense.' .' He's celebrating this milestone with a new show. Cheers.
Milton Jones And The Temple of Daft, November 20, Middlesbrough Town Hall The Radio Four regular with the loud shirts who makes all the other panellists wet themselves laughing on Mock The Week will be doing his best to do the same to a Teesside audience this autumn. Possibly offering "an evening in the company of an idiot" Milton is warning potential audience members: "Only come if you like jokes though. If not, you'll be cross."
Milton Jones Jenny Eclair: How To Be A Middle Aged Woman (Without Going Insane), November 7, Arc, Stockton Professional Grumpy old woman, Splash! survivor, amateur soup maker, and novice knitter, Jenny Eclair is younger than Madonna, but eats crisps and likes wine. She puts middle age under the microscope in this show which explores facial hair, gout and hysteria in equal measure. Everyone is welcome to join her "just button your cardi up properly and wipe that lipstick off your teeth". You have been warned.
Box office information Gala Theatre Durham: 03000 266600 or www.galadurham.co.uk Newcastle City Hall: 0191 277 8030 or www.newcastlecityhall.org Middlesbrough Town Hall: 01642 729 729 or www.middlesbroughtownhallonline.co.uk Arc, Stockton: 01642 525199 or www.arconline.co.uk Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Newcastle: 0844 2491 000 or tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk The Stand, Newcastle: 0191 300 9700 or www.thestand.co.uk Sunderland Empire: 0844 871 3022 or www.atgtickets.com/venues/sunderland-empire Customs House, South Shields: 0191 454 1234 or www.customshouse.co.uk Newcastle Theatre Royal: 08448 11 21 21 or www.theatreroyal.co.uk Metro Radio Arena Newcastle: 0844 496 6666 or www.metroradioarena.co.uk
Frankie Boyle and (inset) Michael McIntyre
Sarah Millican, (below) Jenny Eclair, (above left) Ed Byrne, (above right) Vic and Bob