Birmingham Comedy Festival’s Free Half-Dayers

– 18 FREE comedy shows across two Sundays in Birmingham city centre

– Includes award-winning stand-up acts, podcasting and improv

As part of this year’s city-wide Birmingham Comedy Festival, the annual arts fest’ is hosting two free half day events across consecutive Sundays (9 and 16 October 2016).

Taking place at Cherry Reds and The Victoria, both in John Bright Street, the half-dayers feature 18 Edinburgh Fringe-style shows from a string of acclaimed acts.

These include Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2015 winner Josh Pugh, the rising Warwickshire comic who was also recently crowned English Comedian of The Year 2016, and Black Country gag-meister Masai Graham, winner of Dave’s Funniest Joke Of The Fringe 2016.

Other acts appearing include comic and actor Gareth Berliner (Coronation Street, Doctor Who); Karen Bayely, who’s toured with such names as Joe Lycett and Alan Carr; BBC New Comedy Award 2016 semi-finalist Lindsey Santoro; BBC Radio New Comedy Award 2014 shortlisted Danny Clives; and Leicester Comedy Festival Best Debut Show 2016 nominee, Lucy Thompson.

It’s not all about stand-up though as leading improvisers Foghorn Unscripted present An Improvised Murder, topical podcasters News With Jokes dissect the big news stories everyone’s talking about (as well as a few people probably aren’t), and James Cook challenges invited guests to play Board Game Smackdown!

The Birmingham Comedy Festival Half-Dayer: Part One (Sunday 9 October 2016) starts at 1.30pm with the final two shows beginning at 5.15pm; Part Two (Sunday 16 October 2016) starts at 1pm, with the last shows commencing at 5.30pm.

Admission to all 18 shows is FREE (with donations gratefully received).

Cherry Reds cafe and The Victoria pub are both located in John Bright Street, Birmingham city centre – just over the road from Grand Central.

Birmingham Comedy Festival runs from Friday 7 to Sunday 16 October 2016. With over 70 performances across the city, highlights include Romesh Ranganathan, Rocky Horror Show, The Boy With Tape On His Face, and the Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award (7 Oct), featuring five of the region’s best new acts, and a judging panel led by comedy hero Jasper Carrott!

For more information about the Free Half-Dayers, and all the festival shows, see:


Sunday 9 October 2016
The Birmingham Comedy Festival (Free) Half-Dayer: Part 1

All shows are FREE/ by donation/ Pay What You Want.


1.30pm – Hannah Silvester: Setting The World On Fire and Other Hobbies – Hannah was Disneyfied from an early age, trying really hard to be beautiful, modest and kind. In 2016 she gave it all up to become a rapscallion.

2.45pm – Danny Clives and Lindsey Santoro: Absolute Mess – A rib-tickling journey in two halves with Danny ‘light breeze’ Clives and Lindsey ‘you’re too loud, you’ve upset your nan’ Santoro.

4pm – Craig Deeley: Truly, Madly, Deeley – He doesn’t want much in life: unlimited WiFi, clamouring adoration, and an absence of idiots – and it’s this one Craig struggles with.

5.15pm – Mickey Sharma: Sharma Sharma Sharma Sharma…Comedian! – Mickey explores his evolution from an Indian teenager to a British comedian. From dealing with that bogey word ‘immigration’ to just dealing with women.

Cherry Reds, 88-92 John Bright St, Bham B1 1BN


1.30pm – News With Jokes Live – A live recording of the top rated topical comedy podcast.

2.45pm – Gareth Berliner: Gareth 44 – Gareth’s 44, his hair is receding like the rainforest, his forehead’s rising like the world’s tides, his is a face that represents global warming.

4pm – Karen Bayley: Couch Potato To Comedian – After a significant birthday, Karen decided she had to do something. Follow her journey through rain, tears , sports bras and dog poo.

5.15pm – Ben Briggs: Yes, I Really Just Said That – Briggs returns for an hour of dark, brash, confrontational, comedy; not for the easily offended, but always funny.

The Victoria, 48 John Bright St, Bham B1 1BN

Sunday 16 October 2016
The Birmingham Comedy Festival (Free) Half-Dayer: Part 2

All shows are FREE/ by donation/ Pay What You Want.


1pm – Josh Pugh: Inside-Out Umbrella – Debut show from the Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent 2015 winner (and English Comedian of the Year 2016 winner) who finds laughs in unusual places.

2pm – Masai Graham: The One Liner Show – A joke filled 45mins of puns, one-liners and gags in a wordplay bonanza. One of the best one-liner merchants in the business, Masai is winner of Dave’s Funniest Joke Of The Fringe 2016.

3pm – Lucy Thompson: Lady – Join a magazine interviewer as they meet various people with tales to tell. Character comedy from award-winning comedian.

4.15pm – Foghorn Unscripted: An Improvised Murder – See Foghorns create a funny, absurd and in-no-way-accurate murder mystery from your suggestions. Improv’ comedy at its best…

5.30pm – Jon Pearson: Joke Mix – Jon digs deep into a mixed bag of everything that he thinks should work, has worked and will work. An hour of discovery, for everyone, including Jon.

Cherry Reds, 88-92 John Bright St, Bham B1 1BN


1pm – Lovdev Barpaga: Infectious – Long-awaited debut solo show from the brilliant and daft comic – a 21st century Ken Goodwin!

2pm – Phil Pagett: Work In Progress – Quickfire one-liner merchant Phil road tests new gags.

3pm – Daniel Nicholas: Scripted – If Tim Burton created a stand-up game show, it might look like this!

4.15pm – Jay Handley: You Want the Truth? You Can’t Handley The Truth! – Borderline drug-casualty Jay arrogantly inflicts his world-view on the public.

5.30pm – Board Game Smackdown – World ranked board game player and comedian James Cook is joined by comedy guests to play classic and new board games live on stage.

The Victoria, 48 John Bright St, Bham B1 1BN

  • For more information about the Birmingham Comedy Festival, including image and interview requests, contact us: