John Bishop headlines this year's Birmingham Comedy Festival
John Bishop headlines this year’s Birmingham Comedy Festival

The Birmingham Comedy Festival returns this October with yet another great line-up of top comedy talent including headline acts John Bishop, Hairy Bikers, Seann Walsh, The Midnight Beast, Charlie Murphy and punk poet John Cooper Clarke.

Headlining the city-wide festival, which runs from Friday 5 to Sunday 14 October 2012, is none other than John Bishop, who’ll be packing The NIA for three nights from 11th October.

He’s joined by foodie-duo The Hairy Bikers, who’ll be entertaining audiences at the New Alexandra Theatre between October 5th-6th.

Birmingham Comedy Festival 2012 Midnight Beast
Midnight Beast

Punk poet John Cooper Clarke, recently at the top of the charts as guest on Plan B’s Ill Manors album, makes a much anticipated return to the festival with a show at the Town Hall on 11th October.

While music takes centre-stage with appearances from The Midnight Beast  at the O2 Academy Birmingham on 14th October, fresh from the success of their E4 sitcom, and Irish freestyle improv’ sensations Abandoman at the The Glee Club on 7th October.

There’s also sharp observations and the odd tune from the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre  at the Old Joint Stock on 11th October.

Birmingham Comedy Festival 2012 Barbara Nice
Barbara Nice

As always, local acts play a strong part in the festival line up, with appearances from Joe Lycett, who is arguably Birmingham’s next big comedy star, at the Blue Orange Theatre, on 9th October, Kings Heath housewife Mrs Barbara Nice at the mac on 7th October along with varied line-ups at venues including The Actress And Bishop and Six Eight Cafe.

Plus, if you think you’ve got what it takes to become a stand-up comedian, why not try hone your skills at a one of two comedy workshops in which improv’ troupe Box Of Frogs and comedian and broadcaster James Cook share top tips and industry secrets  at the Blue Orange Theatre during the festival.

Other highlights include a free exhibition by fine artist Steve Lilly depicting classic comedy favourites (Artfull Expression, Oct 5-27), a ‘comference’ examining the links between art and comedy (Hare And Hounds, Oct 6), Comedy In The Dark (Electric, Oct 11) Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (Blue Orange Theatre, Sept 27 to Oct 6), and a night of extremely low-budget remakes of Hollywood blockbusters entitled Short And Swede (Cafe Ort, Oct 11).

Birmingham Comedy Festival 2012 Seann Walsh
Seann Walsh

Organisers of the festival, presented in association with National Express West Midlands, and supported by The Arcadian, explained: “We have well over 60 shows this year, taking place right across the city, including stand-up comedy, theatre, film, art, sketch shows, puppets, workshops, poetry and music.

“There’s not only events happening in big theatres, venues and clubs, but also cafes and neighbourhood pubs, once again highlighting just how vibrant and fresh Birmingham’s comedy scene is.”

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For more information, including full line-up, see: www.bhamcomfest.co.uk

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thisisbirminghamNewsUncategorizedWhat's On2012,Birmingham,Birmingham Comedy Festival,Comedy,events,John Bishop,John Cooper Clarke,The Midnight BeastThe Birmingham Comedy Festival returns this October with yet another great line-up of top comedy talent including headline acts John Bishop, Hairy Bikers, Seann Walsh, The Midnight Beast, Charlie Murphy and punk poet John Cooper Clarke. Headlining the city-wide festival, which runs from Friday 5 to Sunday 14 October 2012,...The latest news, updates and events in Birmingham