Comedy Festival returns to RSC at Stratford-upon-Avon

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Rory Bremner, Milton Jones and Suzi Ruffell

Ahead of the official announcement today, the Herald exclusively revealed in yesterday’s newspaper the news that a comedy festival would be returning to Stratford this autumn – we can now bring you the full story.

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has hooked up with Underbelly to put on the festival. Underbelly were last here in 2015 with Comedy Hullabaloo, a five-day festival which saw over 5,000 visitors watch 25 of the UK’s best comedians in iconic and intimate settings across Stratford-upon-Avon.

This new festival runs from Thursday, 12th to Saturday, 21st September at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and forms part of Live at the RSC, which offers audiences the best in new music and comedy.

Acts appearing include award-winning doctor-turned comedian Adam Kay, Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Bridget Christie, ‘one-man opposition party’ satirical impressionist Rory Bremner, surrealist master of the one-liner Milton Jones, internationally-acclaimed live act Phil Wang and ‘cusp of stardom’ up-and-comer Suzi Ruffell.

The festival includes solo shows and mixed bill shows with performances from Carl Donnelly (Mock the WeekRussell Howard’s Good News), Ed Gamble (Off Menu, Mock the Week), Fin Taylor (Roast Battle, 8 out of 10 Cats), Sarah Keyworth (Dark Horse, The Now Show), Bridget Christie (What Now? Because You Demanded It), Rhys Nicholson (Live at the BBC), Felicity Ward (The Guilty Feminist, Live at the Apollo), Milton Jones (Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo), Hal Cruttenden (Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News for You), Ivo Graham (Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo), Phil Wang (Taskmaster, Would I Lie to You?), Zoe Lyons (Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week), Darren Harriott (Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala, Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central), Desiree Burch (Have I Got News For You, Frankie Boyle’s New World Order) and Rhys James (Mock the Week, Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central).

Geraldine Collinge, Director of Events and Exhibitions at the RSC, said: “After the success of Comedy Hullabaloo in 2013 – 2015 and our ongoing programme of comedy and music Live at the RSC, it’s fantastic to be bringing a new comedy festival back to our stage with Underbelly. Welcoming some of the UK’s top comedians to our Stratford home is very exciting and we are delighted to be able to offer such a great line-up.”

Ed Bartlam, co-director at Underbelly said: “We are thrilled to be returning to Stratford-upon-Avon with another fantastic line-up of the UK’s best comedy talent. It’s a privilege to be given access to the RST. We’ve looking forward to a fortnight of fun!”

Further acts to be confirmed. Ticket sales go live on Monday.