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Greenwich Comedy Festival 2011

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With the daily news diet of reports surrounding apparent economic meltdown and other such gloomy scenarios, it can be easy to forget how to laugh.

Sometimes it's a good idea just to switch off the rolling news channel and put down the newspaper, and instead have a sly snigger, or possibly a cheery chortle, or even a bit of a belly laugh.

Making yourself laugh is not always the easiest thing to do though. Looking in a mirror wearing a big red nose and a Kevin Keegan curly wig might induce a titter, but it's by no means certain.

So how about going to Greenwich instead? You're almost certain to laugh there. No, I'm not suggesting that there's anything inherently funny about this east London community, although there may well be. But starting on the 5th of September is the should-be-hilarious Greenwich Comedy Festival, possibly the perfect antidote to all the bad news we've been subjected to recently.

Lasting a week and set in the splendid grounds of the Old Royal Naval College right beside the Thames, the festival brings together some of the finest comedians on the circuit today.

Inside the festival grounds you'll find a giant Big Top tent, where the stand-ups will be performing. Outside the tent will be a number of smaller entertainment venues with live music and free comedy. There'll also be a few bars on the site too and places where you can grab a bite to eat.

It costs nothing to enter the festival grounds so even if you don't have a ticket for the Big Top, you can still go along and enjoy the atmosphere of the event, as well as a number of free entertainment events being laid on by the organisers.

There'll be four comedians performing each night inside the Big Top. One ticket gets you in to see all four acts. So who can you see? Here's the full line-up for each day of the comedy festival:

Monday 5th Sept: Multi-award winning Australian musician, composer, songwriter, actor and very funny man Tim Minchin, Tim Antopolski, Holly Walsh and Tim Key.

Tuesday 6th Sept: Acclaimed writer and stand-up Omid Djalili, Boothby Graffoe, Andrew Lawrence and Jarred Christmas.

Wednesday 7th Sept: The outstanding Micky Flanagan (you'll have seen him on Have I Got News For You and Live at the Apollo), Seann Walsh, Dan Atkinson and one more to-be-announced.

Thursday 8th Sept: Father Ted's Ardal O'Hanlon, Kevin Eldon, Abandoman, and comedy elder statesman Arthur Smith.

- Friday 9th Sept: US comedy legend Rich Hall, David O'Doherty and Stewart Francis, Craig Campbell.

- Saturday 10th Sept: Perrier Award winner Milton Jones, Shappi Khorsandi, Frisky and Mannish and Josh Widdicombe.

- Sunday 11th Sept: Live at the Apollo's Stephen K Amos, Angelos Epithemiou, Steve Hughes and one more to-be-announced.

There are also a number of special events being laid on, including the Phil Jupitus and Friends Improv Show. See the festival's website for more information.

Believe me, if you're in need of a good laugh, dump the big red nose and Kevin Keegan curly wig and come here instead. You won't regret it.
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Why? It's good to have a laugh.
When: 5th September - 11th September, 2011
Where: In the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.
Cost: 18.50 - 24
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