Best of the fests

Cities announce line-ups

The line-ups for the Newcastle and Birmingham comedy festivals have been unveiled.

Both events take place from October 1 to 10, and both feature a star local comic as a headliner: Ross Noble, pictured, in Newcastle, Lenny Henry in Birmingham.

This is the first time Newcastle has hosted such an event in four years. The original festival ran from 1993 to 2000 but folded amid funding problems.

But this year it returns with a line-up that includes Al Murray, Jeff Green, Ed Byrne, John Hegley, Jerry Sadowitz and Jimmy Carr.

Noble, who will appear on the last night, said: "It's great the festival is back. As a local lad it means even more to me. There's no way I could let this happen without actually being there for it."

Festival director Lorraine Brown added: "This year's line-up is our most ambitious to date with a view towards broadening our audience by programming shows as diverse as Comedy For Kids, the Reduced Shakespeare Company, and the very best in stand-up."

The Birmingham Festival has the emphasis on local acts with the likes of James Cook, Karen Bayley and Andy White appearing over the ten days.

This autumn also sees the return of the Brighton festival, which takes place at the end of October, although line-ups have yet to be announced. However, the website promises Jo Brand, Rob Brydon, Jimmy Carr, Patrick Kielty, Ross Noble, Dara O'Briain, Tony Robinson, Tommy Tiernan and Mark Steel

Meanwhile, the Leicester comedy festival, which takes place in February, has launched an appeal for performers who want to take part in the 12th annual event – and not just stand-ups either

Organisers can help find a venue, with the promotion of the show and by selling tickets through a central box office.

Festival director Geoff Rowe said: “We’re getting much better at supporting people who want to come and perform A major part of our work is supporting people who want to self-promote and audiences are now more inclined to try something new and not just stick to established names.”


Newcastle >>
Birmingham >> (2004 site not live yet)
Brighton >> (2004 site not live yet)
Leicester >>

Published: 1 Sep 2004

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