The Birmingham Comedy Festival is set to run from Friday 5th to Sunday 14th October 2012 this year. Headlining the city‐wide festival will be John Bishop, who'll be packing The NIA for three nights (October 11‐13), but there's over 60 different events scheduled across the 10 days. Below we've picked out some shows from the programme which caught our eye:
Francesca Martinez (Fri 5th October, Glee Club)
Martinez has cerebral palsy... though she prefers to call herself 'wobbly'. She's also very funny.
The Charity Crawl (Sat 6th October, High Street)
James Cook is organising a proper festival-type free event. The aim is to visit Kings Heath's charity shops, purchase an item of clothing from each, and then wear it for the rest of the crawl.
Abandoman (Sun 7th October, Glee Club)
The multi award‐winning freestyle comedy duo will be rocking up to turn audience suggestions into hip hop comedy.
Bob Mills (Sun 7th October, The Comedy Junction)
A show from the stand-up veteran who bridged the gap between the first wave of 'alternative comedy' in the mid‐80s and the new 'laddism' of the early '90s.
Joe Lycett (Tue 9th October, Blue Orange Theatre)
Lycett (pictured) was nominated for the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award last month. He brings his show to Birmingham for the festival.
Jonny and the Baptists (Tue 9th October, Kitchen Garden Cafe)
"The world's first comedy blues band" present their acclaimed mix of silly, satirical and occasionally sexy songs.
Simon Evans (Tue 9th October, The Glee Club)
Evans is one of our favourite comedians. You might have seen him on Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow. As the brochure blurb says: 'Nothing and no one is safe from the critical glint of his tiny, tiny eyes.'
Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre (Thu 11th October, The Old Joint Stock Theatre)
These darlings of stage, screen and YouTube walked away from the Edinburgh Festival with some lovely reviews. See their new songs and sketches. Watch out for the zombies though.
Comedy In The Dark (Thu 11th October, Electric Cinema)
A rather different comedy experience - witness (through your ears) as comedians take on the challenge of performing in the pitch black darkness. It's a format that's proved a success at other festivals.
Birmingham New Act of the Year Final (Sat 13th October, Blue Orange Theatre)
MC Paul Savage hosts the final of the Birmingham new comedian of the year competition. Over 50 new acts from the West Midlands will have been whittled down to the top eight by the time this show takes to the stage on Saturday.
The Midnight Beast (Sun 14th October, 02 Academy)
You'll have seen their E4 sitcom, now a chance to see Stefan, Dru and Ashley and their dance moves in person.
Steve Lilly's Comedy Classics (Artfull Expression Gallery)
This free exhibition will run throughout the festival. It features detailed graphite images of comedy greats including the cast of Dad's Army and Norman Wisdom. It's the work of artist Steve Lilly.
For more information on the above shows, and to see all the other shows scheduled as part of the festival check out www.bhamcomfest.co.uk
A spokesperson for the festival said: "We have well over 60 shows this year, taking place right across the city, including stand‐up comedy, theatre, film, art, sketch shows, puppets, workshops, poetry and music. There's not only events happening in big theatres, venues and clubs, but also cafes and neighbourhood pubs, once again highlighting just how vibrant and fresh Birmingham's comedy scene is."