Spring highlights at The Apex include hotly tipped comedienne Kathrine Ryan, pop legend Lulu and two tone founders The Beat

Comedian Katherine Ryan. Photo: Idil Sukan

Comedian Katherine Ryan. Photo: Idil Sukan - Credit: Archant

A new year at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds means a brand new year of comedy, music and theatre – so here’s a handy guide to the best of what’s coming up!

Comedian Stewart Francis

Comedian Stewart Francis - Credit: Archant

Like a good laugh? You’re in the right place as a host of stand-ups are set to take the mic.

Star of ‘Live at the Apollo’ and ‘8 Out of 10 Cats’, hotly tipped comedian Katherine Ryan’s January 14 show, Kathbum, has already sold out. Luckily, she’s at the Ipswich Regent on February 11 as well.

There are still tickets for fellow Canadian Stewart Francis’ new show, Pun Gent, at The Apex on February 24.

Also out to tickle your funny bone are ‘Mouth of the South’ Rob Beckett on March 3, while Russell Kane is the ‘Right Man, Wrong Age’ on March 25.

On the music side of things, Ranking Roger and his son want you on your feet skanking when The Beat, one of the biggest bands of the two-tone movement, return on January 29.

They provided some of the catchiest songs of the 1980’s with hits like ‘Mirror in the Bathroom’, ‘Too Nice to Talk To’, ‘Hands off She’s Mine’ and ‘All Out to Get You’.

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Oysters 3, on January 21, sees Oysterband founder members John Jones, Alan Prosser and Ian Telfer perform and share stories.

Sticking with folk, Fairport Convention play on February 12, while Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys play old time roots music on February 26.

Otava Yo bring the abandoned traditions of Russian folksong to life on March 6 with the first all-female folk band, The Poozies, appearing on March 15.

The Echoes of Ellington Jazz Orchestra perform The Duke’s greatest hits in ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)’ on January 24, while the legendary Jack Jones celebrates 100 years of Frank Sinatra with music and chat on January 31.

Songbook Sundays return on January 31, featuring The Chris Ingham Quartet with guest singer Sara Dowling. It continues on the third Sunday of every month with more special guests from the world of jazz.

The Chicago Blues Brothers all-live revue on January 23 will be packed with the best blues, Motown and soul from both ‘Blues Brothers’ movies, plus classics from James Brown, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and more.

You can expect hit songs from Nearly Dan, on January 30, who promise all the Steely Dan favourites.

The 60s Hits and Laughter Show 2 takes place on February 7 with The Merseybeats and The Fortunes; Barry Steele’s The Orbison Story on February 19 and a night of disco and funk from Black Box, Shakatak, Angie Brown and Natasha Watts in Boogie Night 5 on February 27.

The Dire Straits Experience on March 5 features former Dire Straits members Chris White, Chris Witten and Terence Reis, who replaced Mark Knopfler on the Straits tours from 2011-2014.

If a trip down memory lane’s what you’re after, enjoy an afternoon with Anita Harris on February 7 with songs like ‘Memory’, ‘All That Jazz’ and ‘Route 66’ plus anecdotes from her long life in show business.

Sadly Lulu’s March 2 gig has sold out, but tickets are still available for her return visit on March 24.

Howard Jones will play a rare acoustic show on February 21, giving an insight into his 30-year music career as he reveals the inspiration behind hits including ‘New Song’, ‘What is Love?’ and ‘Like To Know You Well’.

Voted female vocalist of the year at the 2015 British Blues Awards, Jo Harman has been described as the finest female soul blues singer in the UK, her songs ranging from hard driven rock to heart-warming ballads. Check her out on February 25.

March, meanwhile, sees five very different jazz gigs.

On the first, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra will play established big band classics and new commissions.

On March 8 Tord Gustavsen performs interpretations of ancient Norwegian hymns.

The always original and inventive Barb Jungr will put her spin on tracks by artists as diverse as Dylan, Springsteen and Sondheim on March 17.

Acclaimed vintage swing-pop group The Puppini Sisters play on March 14, while Hot Club of Cowtown return on March 30 with a programme of Gypsy jazz and Parisian swing.