The banks of the Lee are set to burst with laughter in September, with details of the city’s first dedicated comedy festival unveiled last night.
Festival organiser Jane Russell, the former chief executive of the Kilkenny Cat Laughs, said Cork has warranted its own comedy festival for some time .
An experienced festival producer who has worked on international events including Dublin Fringe, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, and Kilkenomics, Ms Russell said that, given Cork’s active comedy scene and discerning fans, it always struck her as odd that it didn’t have its own comedy festival.
“Corkonians love having the craic and enjoy a good night out, and comics love playing here,” she said.
The inaugural Cork Comedy Fest, featuring top Irish stand-ups, will run across five city centre venues including the Opera House, the Everyman, the Roundy, City Limits, and the Imperial Hotel from September 23-25.
Comedians who have confirmed so far include Sean Hughes, Deirdre O’Kane, Neil Delamere, Jason Byrne, Zoe Lyons, Karl Spain, Gearóid Farrelly, Kevin McAleer, Bernard O’Shea, Barry Murphy, Heidi O’Loughlin, Fred Cooke, Alison Spittle, Chris Kent, Colin Murphy, Eleanor Tiernan, and comedy trio Foil, Arms and Hog.
Today FM’s Dermot and Dave will premier their new show, The Ah, Sure Lookit Tour, live at the Imperial Hotel on September 23.
Fan Fiction, an award-winning improv show by 2015 Melbourne Comedy Festival Newcomer Award nominee Heidi O’Loughlin will delve into the weird and wonderful internet phenomenon of fan fiction, with audiences picking the theme of the night in advance via Twitter poll.
Multiple award-winning show Kraken, by Trygve Wakenshaw, who uses mime and mouth-sounds to fire his audience’s imagination, will premiere at the festival.
Foil Arms and Hog will stage DomDah!, fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, in the Everyman.
The festival will feature a dedicated podcast strand, with special-edition live recordings including Gearóid Farrelly’s Fascinated, with the acerbic stand-up interviewing food writer and chef Lilly Higgins, while The Alison Spittle Show will feature sports broadcaster George Hook as special guest.
The festival will have special editions of club nights at CoCo Comedy Club at the Roundy and the Thanks Alt Comedy Club at the Everyman. Local Chris Kent will also perform his awardwinning show Stop Stalling in his home town.
Cork Opera House chief executive Eibhlín Gleeson said the festival was a wonderful development.
Tickets and programme details are available on www.corkcomedyfest.com.