Big laughs and big names are on their way to Scotland for the 17th Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival.
Running from Thursday 14 – Sunday 31 March 2019, top flight stand-up lined up for the 18-day festival includes Limmy, Julian Clary, Reg D Hunter, Larry Dean, Jerry Sadowitz, Al Murray, Jasper Carrott, Elaine C Smith, Foil, Arms & Hog, Russell Kane, Des Clarke, Rich Hall and Scot Squad star Cameron Miekelson.
From the cerebral to the joyously daft, the programme has something for every taste and budget: An Evening With Eric & Ern evokes memories of Britain’s best loved double act; the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas offers a comedic exploration of topical issues from online privacy to toxic masculinity; Matt Winning takes on the most pressing (and depressing) issue of our times – climate change; and there will be two nights of comedy in the unusual surroundings of the Hunterian Museum.
The Glasgow Women’s Library will present the Women of Colour Comedy Collective, while Phil Differ and Janey Godley will be in conversation in two evenings at the City of Glasgow College. Some of the scene’s most innovative and creative comedians can be found at the Vacant Space – Josie Long, John Luke-Roberts, Helen Duff and Ben Target will all stage solo shows at the Finnieston gallery.
The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival always features the very best of Scotland’s home grown talent: Phil Kay, Iain Connell, Rob Florence, Ashley Storrie, Mark Nelson, Chris Forbes and Gary Meikle are all set to appear. The festival also provides a platform for rising local stars, this year including Christopher MacArthur Boyd, Susie McCabe, Stephen Buchanan and Marc Jennings.
2019’s roster of international humour brings together hugely popular audience favourites and hotly-tipped must-see performers: Tony Law, Sofie Hagen, Bobby Mair, Desiree Burch, Dave Fulton, Evelyn Mok, Sara Barron, Olga Koch, and Catherine Bohart will all be making the trip to Glasgow in March.
As well as stand up shows in some of the city’s biggest venues and intimate gigs in pubs, the Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival features plays, sketches, improv, film and comedy for kids. Short Attention Span Theatre at the CCA features four new twenty-minute plays from Chris McQueer, Karen Barclay, Tom Brogan, and Catriona Duggan. Keith Farnan, James Campbell and Comedy with Baby! At Dram! provide laughs for all the family. Cinephiles can catch silent comedy and classic animation at the Britannia Panopticon, and special showings of Trainspotting and Gregory’s Girl at Sloans.
Comedy (and hip hop) fans on the look out for something a little bit different can catch the reliably anarchic CHUNKS collective’s ‘An Indeterminate Amount of Comedians Attempt to Perform 1993’s Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers) in Full Live’ at The State Bar. For the more historically-minded, Scot Squad’s Karen Bartke will embody Mary Queen of Scots in a one woman show about life, love and hating your cousin. Avoiding the (very strong) temptation to declare GICF a Brexit-free zone, Ambush present The Salon Brexit Special at The Old Hairdressers – an idiosyncratic comedy cabaret which aims to distract us from stockpiling and blue passports.
Events take place every day throughout the festival and tickets for all shows are on sale now, with some performances already selling out.
Sarah Watson, Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival director, said: ‘Whether you’re a dedicated comedy fan seeking out the next big thing, or you’re thinking of catching some live stand up for the very first time we’ve got some great shows for you this year.
‘It’s brilliant to see venues like The Old Hairdressers, The Bungo, Vacant Space and Yes Bar really get behind the festival with comprehensive programmes and a huge variety of shows across our run. Let’s face it, good news might be in short supply come late March, so GICF is hoping to provide a valuable public service by giving everyone something to laugh about for a few weeks at least!’
Ruairi Perry, head of Blended Whisky Brands at Whyte & Mackay, said: ‘In 2019, we proudly celebrate 175 years of Whyte & Mackay. It’s our birthday year, we’re 175 years young and still surprisingly smooth. We’re delighted to start our birthday year celebrations by partnering with the biggest comedy festival in Europe- the Glasgow International Comedy Festival 2019. Let’s raise a dram to toast the biggest and best year yet! Slàinte mhòr.’
The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival is supported by Glasgow Life and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
Keep up to date with all the latest news by registering at glasgowcomedyfestival.com.