I've been to a couple of rather wonderful recordings of Radio 4 comedy recently, and listened to a few more shows the old fashioned way, on the radio (Actually, that's entirely untrue, I've listened to them the very new fashioned way, on iPlayer.) So, I thought I'd share.
First up was the live recording of two episodes - 1 and 3 oddly - of Party, a four-part sitcom version of Tom Basden's play that I saw up in Edinburgh (ok, and down in London) in which five young and essentially clueless idealists set up a political party in its self-appointed leader's shed (or summerhouse, as he insists). It's broader than the theatre version, certainly, but the writing's still wonderful, and the performances still pitch perfect. Jonny Sweet is especially brilliant as that disputed leader, a campus Clegg/Cameron/Blair-like lothario; and Tim Key's immaculate timing is given a great showcase as the newest member of the party, drafted in because he new dad owns a print shop (though he thinks he's there for another reason entirely - listen on iPlayer for the twist).
Also worth a mention - several, in fact - is The Museum of Curiosity, of which there have been a couple of series already. For the uninitiated, the show is presented by comedy producer/godlike genius John Lloyd, and he's joined by a different 'curator' each series; Bill Bailey, Sean Lock and now the brilliant Jon Richardson. Three contributors - comedians, scientists, authors, historians, generally fascinating people - donate something the museum each week, and that something can be absolutely anything, no matter how huge, tiny, fictional or dead. I won't give away what Shappi Korsandhi, Terry Pratchett and Marcus Chown ("cosmology consultant of New Scientist") gave to the museum, but I will say that all three spoke passionately about their donation, and that Chown's made my brain hurt for days. The series will air later in the Spring.
Finally, a one-off to catch on iPlayer before it disappears (you've only got 'til 11.30 tonight, I'm afraid...) Tom Wrigglesworth was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award at last year's Fringe, and while I was behind Key and had missed Wrigglesworth's show, the fact that so many people I trust were eulogising about him suggested that he would nonetheless be a very worthy winner. This radio show is a half-hour version of his 'Open Letter to Richard Branson' in which he recalls a particularly eventful trip on a Virgin train which saw him arrested and, eventually, effect a fundamental change on company policy. A very funny and eloquent man ranting and raving against unthinking jobsworths - gotta be worth a listen, right? Right.