THE opening two nights of Liverpool’s 2010 Comedy Festival have one of the finest arrays of comics the city must have ever hosted with big names scattered across the arena, theatres and clubs.
On Thursday, John Bishop (above) kicks the big gigs off with a 5,000 seat sell-out ECHO Arena show which just illustrates how a year is a very long time in comedy.
In an interview with Catherine Jones in today's ECHO he explains how he has gone from selling out the 250 seater Unity Theatre last year to selling out the Arena this time around.
At the same time Chris Cairns and Keith Carter debut their specially written one off one hour shows at the Slaughterhouse. Cairns is doing ‘The A-Z of B Movies’ (interview here, Tuesday) about a life watching rank bad films while Carter is bringing his scallydelic musician alter ego Nige back for a musical evening of songs from the stoner King of Park Road’s new album ‘Dark Side of the Meff’. (Interview here Wednesday)
Daniel Kitson, held by many as the best stand-up working in Britain today brings his new one man theatre show ‘66a Church Road – A Lament Made of Memories and Kept Suitcases’ to the Everyman for a week. It’s a clever, literate story of nostalgia and life gone by told from a series of battered suitcases.
But in each of the five main weekly clubs that the city now boasts, there is an absolute welter of quality acts. At Comedy Central at Baby Blue on Thursday the brilliant Paul Sinha headlines while at Rawhide downstairs in the
Royal Court, Paul Tonkinson is the headliner. They are both quality acts.
While the clubs normally have some of the best bills anywhere in the country most weeks, next Friday they have really upped their game for the festival.
Promoter Tongue in Cheek Comedy’s three clubs lead the way. At their flagship club in the Slaughterhouse, regular compere Neil Fitzmaurice (Phoenix Nights and Peep Show) welcomes charismatic Canadian Tom Stade who has gone through somewhat of a career renaissance recently.
At their second night at the Slug and Lettuce, TiC have Ste Porter compering the brilliant surrealists Mundo Jazz and Seymour Mace and having taken over Comedy Hell at Lenny’s Bar and Grill the brilliant Nick Revell and Adam Bloom pop in.
At this stage it's not clear whether Mundo is going to be doing his Liverpool inspired hit 'Scally Scally Scouse' but hopefully he will be doing the his touching cri de ceour for racial integration 'Peace Song'.
Rawhide, with more than a decade of putting on brilliant shows is, as ever, a study in comedy club booking excellence. Paul Tonkinson returns for a second night while the glamourous Jonathon Mayor joins him.
At Comedy Central, Paul Sinha stays on for another night, and is joined by Kevin Hayes and the ever brilliant and energetic Simon Bligh. All bills remain for Saturday.
In an exclusive text message he cut and pasted from the press release, Festival marketing director Iain Christie said: "The Festival comes around so quickly every year and we can't wait to get into this one, With 75 shows in 10 days you won't be able to move for funny stuff wherever you are in the city."
You’ll not get a ticket for Bish at the Arena so get out and see some high quality comedy at often bargain basement prices.