Birmingham Comedy Festival

The Birmingham Comedy Festival runs from Friday 5th to Sunday 14th October and the lineup looks pretty strong indeed. Top and tailed by Jimmy Carr and Sean Hughes names that jump out at me include Stuart Lee, Josie Long, Shazia Mirza, Barbara Nice, Ted Chippington, Mitch Benn and Marcus Brigstocke. And I’m not a huge follower of the comedy circuit so there’s probably some gems I’m missing out there.

The festival started in 2001 as a non-profit event tying together promoters and venues across the city and is not limited to standup with theatre and art getting a look in. There are also Open Mike nights dotted around and a laughter workshop.

Here’s the listings and there’s the obligatory MySpace.


  1. Amy Scrumper

    Actually the first public performance of the Birmingham Comedy Festival was by Paul Magson – officially Birmingham’s best looking actor – 1pm, Friday 5th October 2007. This was at The Old Joint Stock Theatre, Temple Street West (off Colmore Row) B2 5NY.

    It was free! Unfortunately it was arranged and announced very late in the day so not many people got to hear about it. I watched members of the Comedy Moment Production Team persuade lunch-time drinkers to go up to the theatre for a blast of free comedy and then lift load after lift load go up to the theatre and return red-eyed and guffawing 15 minutes later.

    Never mind if you missed it, a full production of this disturbing, embarrassing comedy is on at The Old Joint Stock Theatre (16th-19th April 2008). It won’t be free though.

    I discovered today that Claire Bennett will be directing this production, entitled An Evening With The Neighbour. She (of course) is Birmingham’s successful screenwriter who won the SOAPIE Award for Best Episode this year. It will star Paul Magson who is officially Birmingham’s best looking actor.

    By the way, I saw Sean Hughes at The Alex – he closed the festival this year (like it stated correctly in the article I’m commenting upon). He is clever but from what he says he leads a quite sad life, he’s ageing fast and his libido is problematic. He even had to have a nap in the interval. I think he was trying to chat up three women in the front row but no dice I’m afraid. They were going to meet him but two of them were involved in a stairs related accident and the third went with her friends to Accident and Emergency. Seems Sean is unlucky too.

    It was a good audience for a Monday night in Birmingham and Sean cleverly (I thought) discovered that Brummies enjoy laughing at themselves – when he made the observation that more Brummies would turn out to see Jim Davidson. Actually, I was wrong there, he discovered that there are a lot of Brummies who like laughing at the type of Brummies that will go and see Jim – the one time winner of ITV’s New Facestalent show.


    RED HAT NO DRAWERS (formerly known as An Evening With The Neighbour) is on at The Old Joint Stock Theatre, 16th – 19th April 2008. Call 0121 200 0946 to book or reserve tickets. Tickets are £6.50 each. Starts 8pm.

    More information is on

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