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From star names to new talent, an unmissable feast of fun
It's the festival that makes you laugh out loud – and it's back in Birmingham in October. The 2017 Birmingham Comedy Festival runs from October 6 to October 15 with a lineup that includes Greg Davies, Matt Lucas, Henning Wehn and Joe Lycett.
Man Down, Cuckoo and Taskmaster star Greg Davies performs at Birmingham Symphony Hall on October 9 and 10, Doctor Who and Little Britain actor Matt Lucas is at Birmingham Town Hall on October 14 and Birmingham's own rising comedy hero, Joe Lycett, plays the Glee Club on October 10 and Birmingham Town Hall on October 11.
Lending an international flavour are German Comedy Ambassador Henning Wehn (Oct 13-14, Town Hall), Comedy Central's Impractical Jokers (Oct 12, Barclaycard Arena), and Australian short film festival Over The Fence (Oct 12, The Walkabout), which includes a screening of Not Sophie's Choice starring Catherine Tate.
Ambassador: Henning Wehn
Fans of classic comedy can revel in Monty Python's Spamalot! (Oct 3-7, New Alexandra Theatre), an afternoon of Laurel and Hardy films (Oct 14, mac Birmingham), a revival of 1960s BBC radio series Round The Horne (Oct 15, Victoria pub), and an expert recreation of Woody Allen's early stage routines (Oct 11, The Glee).
On stage: Monty Python's Spamalot!
Other highlights include cult Cold War-set comedy 5 Lesbians Eating Quiche (Oct 11-15, The Old Joint Stock Theatre), top-rated podcasting authors Scummy Mummies (Oct 7, Sutton Coldfield Town Hall), The Infinite Monkey Cage's Robin Ince (Oct 13, Comedy Junction) and Simon Day (Oct 15, The Glee), who last appeared in the festival in 2002 as part of The Fast Show cast.
Not so fast: Simon Day
The festival officially kicks off with the fourth Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award at The Glee on October 6. There are two free Half-Dayers on October 8 and 15. Taking place at Cherry Reds and The Victoria, on John Bright Street in Birmingham city centre, the successive Sunday afternoons see more than 16 acts perform new shows, among them Josh Pugh, improv' troupe Foghorn Unscripted, Comedy Carousel's Andy Robinson and Funniest Joke of the Fringe 2016 winner Masai Graham.
Free: Foghorn Unscripted
A spokesperson for the annual shindig, which recently won the What's On award for Best Midlands Arts Festival 2017, says: "After marking our 15th anniversary last year we haven't rested on our laurels. We've got loads of fantastic shows lined-up, from familiar TV names to the very best new and emerging acts from Birmingham and the West Midlands.
"There are around 80 shows happening across the city, including the return of our popular Half-Dayers, which offer audiences a chance to check out a string of great shows for free."