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The countdown truly begins to Birmingam’s Comedy Fest


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The award-winning Birmingham Comedy Festival returns with an ‘in person’ festival from Friday 1 October 2021.


The ten-day comedy-based arts festival is ‘back in the room’ with a cracking line-up that includes already sold-out appearances from Russell Brand, Chris Ramsey, Tailenders, and Max Fosh.


But there’s still plenty for audiences to check out, including recently announced shows from Barbara Nice (3 October, Irish Centre); Rob Kemp (1 October, MAC), who is fresh from a successful run at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, and magician/ comedian Damon Conlan (9 October, The Crescent Theatre). 


A spokesperson for the festival said: “The response to the fest this year has been excellent. Given the number of shows that have sold out in advance or are close to selling out now, it’s clear there continues to be a real appetite for live comedy in the city – regardless of whatever else is going on in the world. It’s also clear that the city’s comedy scene is as strong and vibrant as ever.


“Earlier in the year, we wondered if a 2021 ‘live’ festival would be possible, so we’re so pleased to be back, especially as it’s our 20th anniversary.”


Other highlights include Fin Taylor (3 October, The Glee Club), Rachel Fairburn (8 October, The Glee Club), the acclaimed Eric Ruston (2 October 1000 Trades), and British As Folk’s Darren Harriott (1-2 Oct, The Glee Club).


The festival concludes on Sunday, 10 October, with the return of the Birmingham Comedy Festival Free Half-Dayer. Featuring eight free shows, the afternoon event (1 pm-6 pm) runs across two nearly adjacent city centre venues, Cherry Reds and The Victoria, in John Bright Street. 


Acts appearing include Danny Clives (whose artwork was featured on C4’s The Last Leg), podcast Tea With The Devil, Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent winners Josh Pugh (BBC Sounds) and Celya AB, and concludes with James Cook’s cult Edinburgh Fringe show, Board Game Smackdown.


Reflecting on the landmark, the spokesperson added: “Twenty years is a significant feat, and it’s so nice to welcome back several acts who took part in that very first 2001 festival, such as Barbara Nice, Jo Enright, Andy Robinson, James Cook and John Simmit.”

Birmingham Comedy Festival runs from Friday 1 to Sunday 10 October 2021 at venues across the city. For more details, see: bhamcomfest.co.uk


Written by: David Watkins

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