AL MURRAY, The Pub Landlord, will be topping the bill at Stratford-upon-Avon’s new four-day comedy spectacular, The Comedy Hullabaloo, during the late May bank holiday weekend, it has been announced.
The comedy event is part of this year’s Stratford Arts Festival (formerly The Stratford Fringe festival), and has come about as a result of a new partnership between festival organisers, Underbelly (renowned UK entertainments company which runs Underbelly at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as well as other prestigious events in London and Europe) and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Organisers of Underbelly’s The Comedy Hullabaloo had already revealed the likes of Irish observational stand-up Ed Byrne - a regular on TV panel shows such as Mock the Week and Never Mind the Buzzcocks; fellow Mock The Week favourite Milton Jones; Mark Watson, who is known for his unusual Edinburgh shows, Radio 4 series and regular television appearances; and fellow cohort from BBC Four’s ‘We Need Answers’, Alex Horne would be appearing in the festival (as reported in last week's Herald).
Internationally lauded Scottish comedian Danny Bhoy will also be joining in the fun, alongside actor and comedian Miles Jupp, whose upper class comedic persona has won him countless fans. Additional confirmations include Roisin Conaty - who won the Best Newcomer Award at 2010’s Edinburgh Festival, politically conscious comedian Andy Zaltzman and the wise-cracking rapper Doc Brown.
The comedy-fest will spread across four of the town’s venues - the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford Boat Club, Idolize Spiegeltent (on the recreation ground) and the Swan’s Nest Hotel.
Underbelly’s The Comedy Hullabaloo will feature an array of shows per day across the four venues, with top name comedians in every show alongside a selection of handpicked emerging acts – in total 30 different performers.
Ed Bartlam, director of Underbelly, said: “We are hugely excited about Comedy Hullabaloo. The idea behind the festival is to create an all-consuming live comedy experience where audiences get to see fantastic mixed bill shows in an intimate and friendly environment and where they can see more than one show in an evening. This is about creating a real weekend festival atmosphere for acts and audiences. The support within Stratford to make this happen has been amazing and we’re delighted that we’ve found such an excellent home for Comedy Hullabaloo.”
Ian Parkes, director of Stratford Arts Festival said: “We are delighted to welcome The Comedy Hullabaloo to Stratford. To have a working partnership with Underbelly represents a coming of age for the Stratford Arts Festival. This partnership will provide a great cultural spectacle, with some of the biggest names in comedy performing.”
Geraldine Collinge, director of events and exhibitions, at the RSC added: “One of Shakespeare’s great skills was his ability to write comedy so it only seems fitting that we welcome The Comedy Hullabaloo to Stratford, building upon the incredibly popular Live at the RSC, we look forward to many more brilliant comics taking to our stage.”
The comedy runs from 23rd until 26th May, for more info visit www.comedyhullabaloo.com
The festival will also include a full programme of theatre events, music, visual arts (with special events organised by Escape Arts in Stratford) and film – including an animation programme featuring Stratford’s award-winning The Brothers McLeod.
Tickets for The Comedy Hullabaloo are on sale from www.comedyhullabaloo.com and www.rsc.org.uk
For more information on the Stratford Arts Festival, which runs from 23rd May to 2nd June visit www.stratforduponavonartsfestival.co.uk
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