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Top five things to do in Hampstead and Highgate this week

Comedian Robin Ince. Picture: Steve Ullathorne Comedian Robin Ince. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

Monday, January 13, 2014
8:30 AM

A night of comedy led by award winning comic Robin Ince, a course teaching you how to become an artist using your iPad, and a play set in war-torn Sarajevo are just some of the things featured in our top five this week.

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1. Monday

The Camden Head pub plays host to a stellar line-up of comics as group The Awkard Silence put on their latest show on Monday.

Led by award winning comic Robin Ince - a regular supporter of fellow comedian Ricky Gervais’ shows - three well-known funny-men join on stage along with new and fresh comedy sketch group “Next Best Thing”.

Jamie Glassman, a writer for Sacha Baron Cohen’s newly relaunched Ali G character, has become well-known for an array of his own solo characters, including George St Dragon (a Guardian reader trapped in a BNP thug’s body), Bobby Mac (the estranged and angry author of “Stop it; Do it: The Two-step Guide to Personal Development”), and Ernest Prince (a practicing Buddhist who longs to be a stand-up comedian).

He is joined on stage by fellow comic David Earls who will be adopting the persona of Brian Gittins, described by Ricky Gervais as “one of the best comedy characters of the decade” and by The Independent as “very funny and horrifically distressing”.

Sketch comedy group Next Best Thing (by duo Katie Davidson and Jay Bennett) will be ending the evening’s entertainment.

Tickets cost £5. Visit www.wegottickets.com/event/253415 to book.

2. Monday

Join Edward Ofosu, a self-taught artist from Ghana, in a hands-on six-week interactive course showing you how to follow in the footsteps of celebrated “iPad artists” like David Hockney.

Mr Ofosu has participated in various art exhibitions including the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.

As an experienced “iPad artist” himself, in 2009 he was awarded runner up in the Artist of the Year award, organised by Artists & Illustrators Magazine.

Those wishing to take part in this six-week course must bring their own iPad and download the app ArtRage before the sessions.

Classes will be held at the London Jewish Cultural Centre, North End Road, Golders Green.

The course will run every Monday, 10am to 1pm. It costs £115 for the entire six weeks.

Book online at www.ljcc.org.uk or call 020 8457 5000.

3. Tuesday

Inspired by cuts to art funding, theatre group Scrawny Cat presents what it promises to be “an exciting and imaginative show” about the value of art.

Set in the not-too-distant future, Forget Me Not is a dystopian nightmare exploring the importance of imagination.

It envisions a society with no art, no literature, no music and no imagination – a place where art is depicted as a lie and is therefore “immoral”.

Described as a “rich and vibrant tale”, the performers use a combination of movement, music and storytelling to make a visceral play about the power of art. It is held at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden High Street. It starts at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £8. Call 020 7482 4857 for bookings.

4. Friday

The Tree is described as a modern day Romeo and Juliet set amidst the backdrop of a war-torn Sarajevo.

Written by Hampstead’s own Bernardo Stella – owner of La Gaffe Hotel in Heath Street – the play was in part inspired by his long friendship with seasoned war reporter and broadcaster Martin Bell OBE. Mr Bell, who opened the play, was famously injured by shrapnel during one of his broadcast’s from Sarajevo. The Tree will be running until January 26 at Pentameters Theatre in Heath Street. Performances are held Tuesday to Saturday 8pm, Sunday 5pm. Tickets are £12 (£10 concs). Call 020 7435 3648 for bookings.

5. Sunday

A one-hour show with veteran comic Ivor Dembiba as he presents his selection of the best observational jokes and one liners from a rich tradition of Jewish comedy.

The performance is filled with material he supposedly wasn’t allowed to perform at his synagogue. Mr Dembiba is also the founder and resident host of the Hampstead Comedy Club. He will be entertaining at the Camden Head pub, Camden High Street. Tickets are £5. Doors open at 4.30pm. Visit www.camdenhead.com for bookings.

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