Bard jokes...

Stratford to host new comedy festival

Britain is to get yet another comedy festival – as Edinburgh venue Underbelly has teamed up with the Royal Shakespeare Company to stage a new event.

The Comedy Hullabaloo will take place in Stratford-upon-Avon over the long bank holiday weekend from May 23 to 26. But rather than presenting solo shows and tours, as most comedy festivals do, this will follow the Kilkenny model of staging compilation events like comedy clubs. Indeed, the event is being produced by Rebecca Austin, who was formerly artistic director of the Kilkenny Cat Laughs Festival.

The line-up for the first event includes Ed Byrne, Milton Jones, Mark Watson, Danny Bhoy and The Horne Section.

Underbelly director Ed Bartlam said: ‘We think that this is going to be markedly different to the other festivals in the UK.

‘It's about creating a proper atmosphere and buzz around a relatively small festival footprint – all four of our venues are within 5 mins walk of each other – over a long weekend, with audiences as well as comics charging between venues and shows.

‘As the festival develops over the coming years, we hope to include more and more shows that are genuinely unique to Hullabaloo. 

Many of the shows will take place in a Spiegeltent, to be erected on the recreation ground opposite The Royal Shakespeare Theatre. A total of 12,000 tickets for shows within the festival will go on sale tomorrow, priced between £10 and £25.

Geraldine Collinge of the Royal Shakespeare Company added: ‘One of Shakespeare’s great skills was his ability to write comedy so it only seems fitting that we welcome The Comedy Hullabaloo.’

The event is also being produced with the Stratford-upon-Avon Arts Festival.

  • Bill Bailey is to headline the main stage at the Wychwood Festival on Cheltenham Racecourse on Sunday June 2, the final day of the three-day event that also features Kate Nash, the Human League and .the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain.

Published: 28 Feb 2013

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