It looks fun and I’ll be going to see plenty, but so far there’s few surprises in a line up of a majority of (very) familiar faces. Although saying that, a major disappointment this year is that Richard Herring – usually a comedy fest shoe-in – was not able to be part of the programme, following his storming 2010 show Hitler Moustache. Hopefully we can assume we’ll see him later in the year. It’s good to see Lloyd Langford ready for a one-hour show, and it will be exciting to see what Andi Osho can do live after becoming a strong and impressive female presence on TV. It’ll also be great to see Idiots of Ants and Pete Firman again, who really impressed with their shows last year.
But I’m getting ahead of myself – who are we getting? With a milestone to mark, the organisation behind the event, The Comedy Trust, says this year’s fest will be “bigger and better than ever before”, confiming Dylan Moran, Milton Jones, Andy Parsons, Greg Davies, Jon Richardson, Arthur Smith and Russell Kane will all be playing dates in the city between April 28 and May 8.
There’ll also be the usual fun such as comedy workshops, young people’s comedy nights and stand ups from the national circuit. Old favourites like The Best of Liverpool and Drink Up Stand Up will also return along with classics from the last ten years including Duck Up Stand Up and Ferry Funny. The latter will be part of the Comedy Festival’s unexpected tying in with the Liverpool Boat Show, taking place during the same period.
So there will, oddly enough, be two nautical-themed comedy shows, including the return of the brilliant Eric’s Tales Of The Sea and In the Bath by Tim Fitzhigham.
The Unity Theatre will host its usual collection of one man shows with Edinburgh previews and the best from last year’s Edinburgh Festival. As well as shows from Arthur Smith, Lloyd Langford and Jon Richardson, the Unity will host Simon Munnery, Pete Firman, Idiots Of Ants, Andi Osho and Fosters Comedy Award winner Russell Kane.
The Baa Bar will be back as a venue with some of the best local talent including Steve Gribbin, Sam Avery, Dave Twentyman, and a double bill from Jake Mills and James Redmond.
Gillian Miller, chair of The Comedy Trust said: “The festival is an institution now andwe are delighted that so many great comics want to get involved.” Sam Avery, stand up comedian and director of The Comedy Trust said: “We can’t wait to get started this year. The tenth anniversary will be massive and the comics are raring to go.”