It's not uncommon for sketch groups to shed members, as people start pulling in different creative directions.
Birthday Girls, Blythburgh & London
All-female sketch team Lady Garden started out as a six-piece, then went down to five and now reappear, renamed and as a trio. Under the name Birthday Girls, Camille Ucan, Rose Johnson and Beattie Edmondson (last seen in The Wright Way, but let's not go on about it) are currently preparing for next month's Fringe, offering more of the comedy that looked to be setting them on the road to major success. It's exuberantly silly, consistently imaginative and delightfully playful stuff, making hay with the bonds of devoted friendship – and fierce antagonism – that exist between young women. There'll be a lot of people keen to see if they can repeat and build upon their previous comedy achievements, and plenty of potential rewards on offer if they do.
Latitude festival, Blythburgh, Sun; The Wilmington Arms, EC1, Tue; Camden Head, NW1, Wed; Hen & Chickens, N1, Thu
Gráinne Maguire, On tour
There may have been a certain political awakening amongst younger comedians since the advent of the coalition, but most come across as generally leftie-liberal rather than devoted party supporters. There are one or two notable exceptions: arch-Blairite Matt Forde and daffy young Irishwoman Gráinne Maguire, a Labourite whose low-key but richly funny comedy has gained a new dimension with the coming of the coalition. Maguire's comedy revolves around her particular obsessions – romance, London, Jane Austen novels – but the world of politics has become her latest muse. Rather than po-faced polemic, she's got a lightness of touch that makes her analysis all the more appealing.
Bar Nusha, Cambridge, Sun; The College Arms, WC1, Mon; LOST Theatre, SW8, Thu; Porthcawl Grand Pavilion, Fri
Sara Pascoe, On tour
There's still a perception among comedy fans of the more unreconstructed kind that female comics all talk about the same sort of subjects: tampons, cake, relationships. This kind of pigeonholing looks particularly ludicrous in the case of Sara Pascoe, an unashamedly erudite, hugely wide-ranging comic who's more likely to crack wise about poets than pantyliners. Right now, Pascoe's probably better known as an actor than a stand-up, thanks to impressive turns in shows such as Twenty Twelve and The Thick Of It. However, given time, that's bound to change, as she continues to develop her art and bends more audiences to her irrepressible comic will.
Latitude festival, Blythburgh, Sun; Caroline Of Brunswick, Brighton, Tue; Battersea Arts Centre, SW11, Wed; Camden Head, NW1, Thu
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