Save the date 2021 Festival 21-31 October

To help you sort out your festival preferences over the next few weeks we'll be profiling shows that share a common theme. This week's recommendations are for things that will improve your health by making you laugh out loud.

The Ballad of Backbone Joe is the brainchild of the multi-talented Australian trio The Suitcase Royale. Praised for its sheer originality, this is a darkly funny murder-mystery from the dead heart of Australia. Visual trickery, shadow puppets, comedy and live rag'n bone music, these lads pull every stunt in the book to keep their audience entertained - a high-octane delight. Join the fun on Saturday, October 21 in the Carrus Crystal Palace.

The horribly funny and funnily horrible German siblings Otto and Astrid return with a new show: Eurosmash! Now an art rock duo, the pair perform slick, Eurovision-inspired pop amid inevitable sibling dysfunction and punk spirit anarchy. The UK's Time Out reviewer described them as 'the White Stripes mated with Laurel and Hardy in the Black Forest'! Both have cookery books out. Otto has become a vegan and the rules frequently baffle him, while Astrid's book is more sausage-based. Please don't flirt with Otto. Astrid doesn't like it. Catch up with them on Tuesday October 24 in the Carrus Crystal Palace.

The Māori Sidesteps are a contemporary take on the much-loved Māori showband era - groups that made beautiful music and had their audiences rolling in the aisles, often at the same time. The Māori Sidesteps started performing together in a web series of the same name about five mates - Cohen Holloway (Hunt for the Wilderpeople), Jamie McCaskill (Modern Māori Quartet), Rob Mokaraka (Shot Bro), Jerome Leota (Naked Samoans) and Erroll Anderson (Ghost in a Shell) - dreaming of becoming the greatest Māori showband ever. The group took their show live this year and have been receiving rave reviews ever since. They're with us on Sunday, October 22 in the Carrus Crystal Palace.