The Vodafone Comedy Festival has quickly garnered a reputation for packing a truly formidable number of world-class comedy talents into a long weekend that pretty much guarantees laughs – whatever tickles your funny bone. True to form this year’s programme is packed with some of the biggest names in comedy. As ever, a winning lineup of top Irish stand-ups will be representing the local comedy scene alongside a variety of international comedy stars from further afield. The likes of Tommy Tiernan, Jason Byrne, David O’Doherty, Andrew Maxwell, Deirdre O’Kane and PJ Gallagher will ensure that Irish comedy is especially well represented on a fantastic bill that also boasts big names like Jon Richardson, Reginald D Hunter, Nick Kroll, Adam Buxton, Tim Vine and Adam Hills. Dublin’s beautiful Iveagh Gardens is the perfect setting for a weekend to remember and with over 20,000 festivalgoers expected this year’s Vodafone Comedy Festival looks set to be one of the summer’s biggest and best parties.
Returning for its third year, London Sketchfest continues its mission to showcase the best up and coming comedy talent in the country with another weekend of laugh-a-minute entertainment. This year Sketchfest relocates to Elephant and Castle in South London where a variety of shows will take place in two neighbouring venues, The Cinema Museum and The Artworks. London Sketchfest has quickly established itself as one of the comedy calendar’s most exciting events and already has a reputation for uncovering hitherto unknown talent that may well be destined for great things. If you want to catch the comedy stars of the future before they become famous there’s a good chance you’ll find them at Sketchfest. As the name implies, Sketchfest focuses on live, scripted comedy, distinguishing it from the standup masses and offering a chance to emerging comedy writers and troupes to seize the limelight. Alongside twelve unknown acts performing in front of a panel of industry judges in the hope of being crowned this year’s competition winner there will be plenty of chances to see more established troupes like Gein’s Family Giftshop, Late Night Gimp Fight and Massive Dad.
After his incredibly well received tour previews at the Pleasance Courtyard Following a sold out residency in New York, award-winning comedian, actor and screenwriter Simon Amstel returns to London for the final leg of his brilliantly funny show ‘To Be Free’. This is Simon’s fourth international tour and builds on the themes of the previous shows, exploring angst and melancholy with a hilarious poignancy that only a true master of the art can achieve. As you would expect from a comedian as open and honest as Amstel, this is a very personal show that invites the audience to laugh at his pain and perhaps take part in the healing process that starts on stage. Simon Amstel is known for his cutting remarks as host of never mind the Buzzcocks, however, here he shows a remarkable sensitivity when delivering jokes about his own experiences. This is a show for ages 15 and up so it’s not for the whole family, but older teenagers will especially enjoy the dark and sometimes challenging material.
Fresh on the back of sold out shows all over Ireland PJ Gallagher makes his highly anticipated debut at the Pavilion Theatre with his brand new show ‘Concussion’ which promises to be a laugh-filled night of crowd-pleasing comedy. PJ has honed his act at the biggest and best comedy festivals in the country including Kilkenny Cat Laughs and The Vodafone Comedy Carnival. His TV appearances include The Late Late Show, Tubridy Tonight, The Miriam O Callaghan Show and The Saturday Night Show. He’s also the star of Next Week’s News, Meet your Neighbours and Naked Camera. Recently PJ has been guest presenting Radio Nova’s Morning Glory show and has completed the trip of a lifetime with the Route 66 Motorbike Challenge in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital. “Clearly getting better all the time” - Irish Independent “For a man who ambushes people as they go about their everyday business, makes them uncomfortable and mines their embarrassment for laughs, there is something strangely appropriate about PJ Gallagher’s route into comedy.” - The Sunday Times “Gallagher’s encounters with the unsuspecting public are not only hilarious but also crackle with and edgy energy” - Culture Magazine You can book your tickets for PJ Galagher here.
For one laugh filled night only, Oliver Callan brings his fantastic live show to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin. The show features a whole host of characters from the world of sport, politics and entertainment, Callan’s live show follows on from the success of his prime-time television and radio shows. The creator of Nob Nation will be performing an acerbic and laugh-out-loud mix of satire and stand-up comedy on stage with his trademark razor-sharp topicality and wit. As well as Callan, the show will also feature guest performances and live music. Be warned, this show could get controversial, Oliver Callan treads a thin line and has raised eyebrows as well as smiles with his portrayals of President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and GAA star Paul Galvin. His show, Callan’s Kicks, which airs every Friday evening at 6.30pm on RTÉ Radio One, has been described by The Sunday Independent as… “Not only a cut above its predecessors, it may very well be the best comedy show the national broadcaster has ever produced”.
One of Ireland’s top comics is back on home turf and ready to take the roof off one of his favourite venues in the whole of the country. Vicar Street is proud to have 16 dates lined up for Dara O’Briain’s brand new show ‘Crowd Tickler’. He’s one of the most recognisable comedians in the business due to his TV work hosting the hugely popular Mock The Week, The Apprentice You’re Fired, and Star Gazing Live, alongside Professor Brian Cox, on BBC 2. He also hosts the excellent Dara O’Briain: School of Hard Sums on Dave and Dara O’Briain’s Science Club on BBC2. O’Briain may be one of the most successful Irish comedians of all time but he is also notable for his refusal to go down the arena route. Instead his preference is for long residences in the sort of venues that do his affable brand of comedy most justice. Don’t miss out on the chance to see one of the funniest, most charismatic and thought provoking stand ups around on his home turf. “His set is a master class in intelligent, no-frills stand-up” – THE GUARDIAN “If you want a comic who can hold an audience in the palm of his hand for two hours, here’s your man” -THE TIMES “Devilishly sharp” – METRO To find more information about where to find local Dublin hotels please see below.