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Barrel of laughs on the cards for the return of comedy in the Second City


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After a year online, Birmingham Comedy Festival is back in the room for 2021.

Running from Friday 1 to Sunday, Oct 10 2021, the popular arts festival features over 40 shows, from big-name acts to emerging newcomers.

Highlights include the return of the fast-talking comedian-turned-actor Russell Brand (Oct 3, Symphony Hall), as well as appearances from Strictly semi-finalist Chris Ramsey (Oct 10, Town Hall) and the Tailenders crew (Oct 1, Symphony Hall).

They’re joined by Jenny Eclair (Oct 10, The Old Rep), who marks turning 60, Dane Baptiste (Oct 10, The Glee Club), social star Max Fosh (Oct 3, The Glee Club), Phoenix Nights’ psychic Clinton Baptiste (Oct 7, Town Hall), Rachel Fairburn (Oct 8, The Glee Club) and South African comic Loyiso Gola (Oct 1, The Glee Club).

A spokesperson for Birmingham Comedy Festival said: “We’re so excited to be back. The response to last year’s online festival was fantastic, and we’re hoping to continue with a few digital activities. Still, you just can’t beat seeing comedy with a roaring audience – the laughter’s infectious!

“And this year is extra special for us as it marks our 20th anniversary – which we can’t quite believe! We reckon this makes us the second longest-running comedy festival in the UK and one of the longest-running independent arts festivals in the West Midlands!”. 

Elsewhere, the new stage production When You Fall Down (Sep 30-Oct 3, Old Joint Stock), explores the story of silent comic Buster Keaton, while Howerd’s End (Oct 6-10, Old Joint Stock) reveals the hidden life of post-war British comedian Frankie Howerd.

The festival also features some of the best acts from across the region, including former Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award winners Josh Pugh and Celya AB, plus Mary Flanigan, Danny Clives, Good Kids and Eric Rushton (who won the prestigious Leicester Comedy Festival Comedian Of The Year Award in 2020).

Birmingham Comedy Festival runs from Friday 1 to Sunday, Oct 10 2021, at venues across the city. For more details, including the complete programme, see www.bhamcomfest.co.uk.


Written by: David Watkins

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