As with much else, September is a month of change for comedy. At the beginning, it’s dark when you leave a gig; at the end it will be dark when you get to it. And, as usual, there’s not a huge amount of September stand-up in the county this year. Edinburgh still casts its shadow. But there is quality in what there is.

Jason Manford is the big ticket (New Theatre, 23rd and 24th). A member of the all-conquering Bolton school of comedy, he’s versatile and clever.

But the comic of choice among the chattering classes would be Mark Thomas (see P25 and below right). My admiration is so well-known to my friends that one Christmas I received three copies of his book on Coca-Cola!.

His 100 Acts of Minor Dissent tour name captures his techniques and attitudes perfectly. He takes on the rich, the powerful and the corporate, but he does so without all the all too-common rants which some people find uncomfortable and others a little too easy: perfectly judged. He’s at the Oxford North Wall on the 12th. In one way, this is a highly appropriate venue – although don’t tell him it’s a community offshoot of a public school.

Meanwhile the North Wall’s ‘So Comedy’ series goes on with stand-up and DJ, Tom Deacon, on the 5th. He’s on the cusp of great fame.

Back to appropriate venues. The Kenton Theatre at Henley seems perfect for reluctant local Pam Ayres. This veteran is at once gentle and mischievous. This probably explains her continued success. She’s best known, of course, for her humorous poetry but I prefer her banter.

I’m also sceptical of doing stand-up with music. Sometimes it seems that other performers can get away with slightly weaker material if it’s laced with either verse and music. But I don’t think that Jonny and the Baptists at the Burton Taylor Theatre on the 20th will be an example of this.

The music-comedy troupe has garnered awards and much praise in the past year.

Another interesting date is the 26th at the Abingdon Guildhall. The management here have an admirable policy of putting on stand-up on the last Thursday of the month.

For me the outstanding comic on this occasion is Jeff Innocent. I saw him years ago, sandwiched between two better known names and he gave them much to live up to. More recently a friend posted an equally positive report after a gig in London. Innocent looks like a club doorman – and he knows it. But his reflective comedy belies this. With two other comedians on the bill, it should be a good evening.

Last month I commented on the shortage of women stand-ups in the county. So it’s good to report that there are more around in September. Ria Lina is at the Glee on the 7th and Suzi Ruffell is at the same venue on the 14th. The club is continuing its policy of just one night of comedy a week – Saturday – into the autumn.

I often recommend one of Radio 4’s weekday 6.30pm comedies. But My Teenage Diaries (Wednesdays) seems the best of a rather disappointing crop.