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AS the nights draw in, The Grinning Idiot Comedy Club gets set to unleash a barrel-load of dark comedy this October.

The new line-up features controversial and satirical observations courtesy of Ian Cognito (the legendary comic said to have been barred from more venues than any other act on the circuit) and Vladimir McTavish, contrasted by the more relaxed stage style of popular comic Ben Norris, and North East character comedy from Howka Charvas.

The club welcomes in the month with three very different acts at Newcastle’s Live Theatre (Saturday October 1, 8pm) headlined by Anvil Springstien – a comedy veteran who has been involved in the industry since the mid-80s.

Springstien will be joined by Andy Fury and his off-the-wall surrealism, and Geordie character act, Howka Charvaz.

The following weekend sees three brave venues play host to the infamously dark humour and controversial stage antics of comic Ian Cognito.

This man is the real rock ‘n’ roll of the comedy industry – which is why you’ll never see him on mainstream TV.

Cognito will be joined by Ben Norris (who has enjoyed appearances on Mock the Week and Never Mind the Buzzcocks).

The duo, along with support including Chris Norton Walker, will be appearing at Washington Arts Centre on Friday, October ,7 and at The Barnes in Sunderland on Saturday, October 8, from 8.30pm.

On Friday, October 21, there’s the dark musical comedy offerings of Ginger and Black, a duo who have been touring since 2005 and achieved a finalist position in So You Think You’re Funny 2006.

Ginger and Black will share the stage with Jen Brister and Mark Maier at The Sage Gateshead (starts at 8pm), whilst Anvil Springstien will join them when they cross town to the home of Newcastle Falcons – Kingston Park (starts at 8.30pm).

The month will be rounded-off over Hallowe’en weekend with popular modern-day Scottish comedian, Vladimir McTavish.

Delivering a feast of social observation and topical satire, McTavish has been described in the press as Scotland’s top satirical stand-up.

McTavish will be taking on the Live Theatre audience on Sunday, October 30 from 8pm.

To book tickets for any of the shows, visit www.thegrinningidiot.com.