Dr Hope’s “advice clinic” open for business: July 13

If laughter is supposed to ease most ailments, then the South Norwood Arts Festival might offer a handy cure-all this weekend when Alexandra Maher brings her one-woman comedy show “Hope and Gloria” to SNAF this Saturday, July 13, before taking it to the Edinburgh Festival in August.

Wearing his Saturday Best: comedian Kevin Day. Photograph by Steve Ullathorne

Wearing his Saturday Best: comedian Kevin Day. Photograph by Steve Ullathorne

Maher will be performing on a double bill with Kevin Day, one of the country’s leading comedy writers. But then Day needs a sense of humour, as he’s a Crystal Palace fan.

Maher and Day will be on stage at the Shoestring Theatre, Oakley Road, SE25 4XG. Doors open at 7pm; tickets are £6 on the door or in advance at the Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation Fayre at the Shoestring from 11am to 3pm the same day.

All proceeds from the comedy night go to CYTO.

On stage Maher adopts the guise of the small, strange and sometimes ridiculous agony aunt Dr Hope, dispensing a unique brand of problem-solving advice.

Her publicity material says, “Come and find out how to manage difficult relationships, check suitable prospective partners for parenthood and frame enemies for crimes they didn’t commit.

“With advice on topics ranging from keeping fit to the art of seduction,” it says here, “and a skill-set to rival that of Oprah Winfrey and David Blaine combined, Dr Hope promises to make people think differently about their approach to personal problem solving.”

Whatever your problem is, Dr Hope has the solution. It just may not be the solution you want.

Day is a well-known figure from his appearances as a roving reporter on BBC’s MoTD2, but his reputation as a stand-up and comedy writer goes back to coming up with the gags for the likes of Dave Allen, Jo Brand and Have I Got News For You. He also regularly appears on the fan-made Crystal Palace podcast for Five Year Plan Fanzine.

On the last evening of the South Norwood Arts Festival, which has its finale fair the following day, the comedy night promises to be a real highlight.

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