Arts News


Award-winning festival announces 2019 line-up, Birmingham Comedy Festival


Birmingham Comedy is back this October for another 10 days of top comedy (Friday 4 to Sunday 13 October 2019).

Headline acts include James Acaster (4 Oct, Town Hall Bham), whose previous shows have earned him five Best Comedy Show nominations at the Edinburgh Fringe. His new book, Perfect Sound Whatever, reveals his obsession with music from 2016!

The Last Leg’s Josh Widdicombe (13 Oct, Bham Hippodrome), ‘German Comedy Ambassador’ Henning Wehn (11-12, Town Hall Bham), broadcaster Jonathan Pie (5 Oct, Symphony Hall), and Reginald D Hunter (10 Oct, Old Joint Stock Theatre) are also appearing.

They’re joined by Comedy Central’s Impractical Jokers (11 Oct, Arena Bham), food critic Jay Rayner (6 Oct, The Glee), found video collective Everything Is Terrible (9 Oct, The Glee), and poet Pam Ayres (6 Oct, Town Hall Bham).

There’s also plenty of chances to see some of the best acts from the West Midlands, including shows from Josh Pugh (6 Oct, The Glee), Samantha Pressdee (10 Oct, Blue Orange Theatre), and Danny Clives and Good Kids (8 Oct, Cherry Reds).

The Birmingham Comedy Festival Free Half-Dayers (6 and 13 Oct, Cherry Reds & The Victoria) are also back – by popular demand. Featuring 16 free shows in Birmingham city centre on successive Sunday afternoons, the line-up includes Susan Murray, James Cook’s Board Game Smackdown, a new show from the multi-award-winning Rob Kemp, UK Pun Champion 2017 Lovdev BarpagaSarah Johnson, and more.

The current improv explosion is reflected in appearances from Jumprov (9 Oct, Serve) and Foghorn Unscripted (13 Oct, The Victoria), while Fat Penguin’s Birmingham Comedy Festival Improvised Comedy All-Dayer (12 Oct, Patrick Kavanagh) unveils eight troupes from around the UK, culminating in a never-to-be-repeated Improv Jam.

The festival officially launches on Friday 4 October 2019 with the prestigious Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2019 (The Glee Club), which recognises the very best new talent from the region.

For full line-up see:

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Photo, Crowds enjoying Garden of Light, by TILT. Lumiere London 2016, produced by Artichoke, supported by Mayor of London. Credit Matthew Andrews 2016.

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Photo, Jennie Gill, Yorkshire Artspace, Sheffield. Photo Our Favourite Places / Nigel Barker for Yorkshire Artspace.