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Birmingham Comedy Festival - Free Half-Dayers

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Loads of laughs for no money
Have a laugh for free, courtesy of Birmingham Comedy Festival. Free shows, featuring a total of 16 rib-tickling acts, take place on October 7 and 14 at Cherry Reds and The Victoria pub, two venues which are a stone's throw from each other in Birmingham city centre.

Birmingham Comedy Festival, Cherry Reds, The Victoria Pub, Free Comedy Half Dayers


Show One, on Sunday October 7, features a revival of the classic 1960s radio series Round The Horne (with much-loved characters Ramblin' Syd Rumpo, and the legendary Julian and Sandy); sketch duo Good Kids; Northfield's acclaimed Lindsey Santoro; Lusia Omilean tour support Aaron Twitchen; and Cherrybomb Comedy host Tom Ham; plus Danny Clives, Alex Hylton, Jay Handley, and Star Trek fan Rik Carranza.

Show Two, on Sunday October 14, sees appearances from multi-award-winning The Elvis Dead creator Rob Kemp, with his new Wheel Of Shows; Edinburgh Fringe veteran Mickey Sharma; Coronation Street's Gareth Berliner; classic Chicago style long-form improvised comedy troupe Fat Penguin Improv; and Josh Pugh and Phil Pagett's Knowledge Club. They're joined by James Cook, Hannah Silvester, and the return of the game show with a difference, Board Game Smackdown.

Mixing stand-up comedy with music, sketches, games, and more, all shows are free, with performances starting at 1.15pm and concluding at 6pm. No advance booking is required and visitors can go back and forth between venues.

Here's the definitive guide to the free shows, which are presented in association with Jim Beam Highball:

SHOW 1: OCTOBER 7, 2018

Venue: CHERRY REDS, 88-92 JOHN BRIGHT STREET, BIRMINGHAM B1 1BN

1.15pm: Aaron Twitchen: Can't Catch A Rainbow
A comedy show about friendship, love and wine from Luisa Omielan's tour support.

Birmingham Comedy Festival, Cherry Reds, The Victoria Pub, Free Comedy Half Dayers, Aaron Twitchen
Aaron Twitchen


2.30pm: Lindsey Santoro: Looks Like A Boiled Egg
The Northfield comic recounts tales of misadventures in life.

Birmingham Comedy Festival, Cherry Reds, The Victoria Pub, Free Comedy Half Dayers, Lindsey Santoro
Lindsey Santoro


3.45pm: Ham & Clives: Bang You Out
Prepare for the pairing of Pleasance Comedy Reserve star Danny Clives and Cherrybomb Comedy resident host Tom Ham.

5pm: Rik Carranza: Still A Fan
Rik is THE fan of Star Trek but what happens when obsession becomes too much?

Venue: THE VICTORIA PUB, 48 JOHN BRIGHT STREET, BIRMINGHAM B1 1BN

1.15pm: Alex Hylton: Everybody's Different And I'm The Same
Join one of Huffington Post's Must-See New Acts of the Edinburgh Fringe as he tries to find out what makes him so special.

2.30pm: Good Kids
Cult sketch-comedy cowboys descend some comedy mayhem.

Birmingham Comedy Festival, Cherry Reds, The Victoria Pub, Free Comedy Half Dayers, Good Kids
Good Kids


3.45pm: Jay Handley: White Jesus
Jay shares wrong-headed opinions on matters he should leave well alone. When not at the Fringe, he can be found arrogantly inflicting his world view on audiences across the UK.

5pm: Round The Horne: Resuscitated
A fond revival of one of the most popular radio comedy shows of the '60s. With favourite characters including Ramblin' Syd Rumpo, Charles & Fiona, and Julian & Sandy.

Birmingham Comedy Festival, Cherry Reds, The Victoria Pub, Free Comedy Half Dayers, Round The Horne
Round The Horne


PART 2: OCTOBER 14, 2018

Venue: CHERRY REDS

1.15pm: James Cook: Sarcasmic
Brum comic James returns with a new show.

2.30pm: Hannah Silvester: Unique Child of the Universe
Join the award-winning comedian as she bangs on about all kinds of stuff in front of a lunch-time crowd.

Birmingham Comedy Festival, Cherry Reds, The Victoria Pub, Free Comedy Half Dayers, Hannah Silvester
Hannah Silvester


3.45pm: Gareth Berliner: I Paid For 50mins Of Your Time
Gareth is a funny bloke who appeared as Macca on Coronation Street.

5pm: Mickey Sharma
With five Edinburgh Fringe shows under his belt, Mickey Sharma live is a sure-fire winner.

Birmingham Comedy Festival, Cherry Reds, The Victoria Pub, Free Comedy Half Dayers, Mickey Sharma
Mickey Sharma


Venue: THE VICTORIA

1.15pm: Fat Penguin Improv: The Armando Diaz Experience
Classic Chicago style long-form improvised comedy delivered by the high-paced Fat Penguin crew, featuring some of Birmingham's best performers.

2.30pm: Josh and Phil's Knowledge Club
Podcasters Josh Pugh and Phil Pagett present a lecture on the importance of education. You'll find out why learning can be fun and fulfilling…

3.45pm: Rob Kemp's Wheel of Shows
Feeling the pressure of unexpected success after last year's award-winning The Elvis Dead, Rob returns with the non-committal, impostor syndrome-motivated Wheel of Shows, featuring 10 show ideas.

Birmingham Comedy Festival, Cherry Reds, The Victoria Pub, Free Comedy Half Dayers, Rob Kemp
Rob Kemp's Wheel of Shows


5pm: Board Game Smackdown
The funniest festival comedians play board/ card/ party/ table-top games live on stage. Hosted by award-winning comedian and UK board gaming champion James Cook.

Birmingham Comedy Festival, Cherry Reds, The Victoria Pub, Free Comedy Half Dayers


The Birmingham Comedy Festival runs from October 5 till October 14, 2018. Performers include Ab Fab's Joanna Lumley, James Acaster, US comic Rich Hall, Infinite Monkey Cage's Robin Ince, and Hospital People creator Tom Binns, as well as theatre, art, podcasters and burlesque. Full listings here.

Cherry Reds, Birmingham Comedy Festival
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Why? Laughs for free
When: October 7 & 14, 2018
Phone: 0121 643 5716/ 0121 633 9439
Where: Cherry Reds & The Victoria, John Bright Street, Birmingham
Cost: Free
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