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.A BRIEF HISTORY OF BIRMINGHAM COMEDY FESTIVAL - established 2001

Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2014


Arcadian: Dine, Play, Stay, Night & Day

The Birmingham Comedy Festival has been drawing attention to the city's vibrant (and often unsung) comedy scene since 2001 when the debut festival hit the road running thanks to appearances from Peter Kay and Sean Lock in a programme of over 40 events.

The Fast ShowSince then, the festival has grown into one of the largest independent arts festival in the region.

Alongside a vast range of new local acts, the festival has featured such A-list heavy-hitters as Lee Evans, Michael McIntrye, Frankie Boyle, the cast of cult TV sketch series The Fast Show, Lenny Henry, Ross Noble, John Bishop, Miranda Hart, Jimmy Carr, Alan Carr, Al Murray The Pub Landlord, Sarah Millican, Russell Brand and Ken Dodd!

Lenny HenryThere's also been celebrations of Red Dwarf, Tony Hancock, Ealing Studios, Laurel and Hardy, Monty Python and The Goon Show.

Michael McIntyreWhile stand-up comedy forms the core of the festival, we've also included a vast range of other stuff, such as theatre, cabaret, burlesque, folk, classical music, DJ/ club nights, pub quizzes, puppet shows, film screenings, dance performances, West End musicals, spoken word/ poetry readings, book signings, food and drink, contemporary visual art, photography, workshops, debates ...

John BishopSince its inception, the festival has been unfunded and volunteer-led. Despite being one of the longest running comedy festivals in the UK, its original aim to simply highlight some of the many great comedy clubs, venues and acts within the city remains.

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"...with a line-up featuring the kings and queens of comedy land, it’s sure to put a smile on anyone’s face." - Red

“The Birmingham Comedy Festival, running an impressive programme...” - Guardian

"...ten days of rib-tickling entertainment." Birmingham Mail

Russell Brand"...a buffet of delectable skits that are sure to tickle your funny bone." - GT Gay Times

“For sheer entertainment, this laugh-out-loud festival can't be beaten...” - Guardian

"...this festival attracts a promisingly broad programme" - Independent On Sunday

"Comedians flock to city for return of much loved festival" - Walsall Advertiser

"A top line-up of quality stand-up comedy, film, theatre, visual arts, cabaret and much more." - Visit England

"[Attracting] thousands of visitors annually who come to experience a varied and diverse programme which showcases not only the city’s fantastic comedy scene, but Birmingham’s wider cultural offering.” - Visit Birmingham

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(c) Birmingham Comedy Festival 2014

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