Birmingham Comedy Festival announces 2019 line-up

James Acaster, Josh Widdicombe, and Impractical Jokers all set for festival.
Jay Rayner, Jonathan Pie, Reginald D Hunter and more also appearing.

BCF 2019 - brochure cover (web)

Birmingham Comedy is back this October for another 10 days of top comedy (Friday 4 to Sunday 13 October 2019).

Headline acts include James Acaster (4 Oct, Town Hall Bham), whose previous shows have earned him five Best Comedy Show nominations at the Edinburgh Fringe. His new book, Perfect Sound Whatever, reveals his obsession with music from 2016!

The Last Leg’s Josh Widdicombe (13 Oct, Bham Hippodrome), ‘German Comedy Ambassador’ Henning Wehn (11-12, Town Hall Bham), broadcaster Jonathan Pie (5 Oct, Symphony Hall), and Reginald D Hunter (10 Oct, Old Joint Stock Theatre) are also appearing.

They’re joined by Comedy Central’s Impractical Jokers (11 Oct, Arena Bham), food critic Jay Rayner (6 Oct, The Glee), found video collective Everything Is Terrible (9 Oct, The Glee), and poet Pam Ayres (6 Oct, Town Hall Bham).

There’s also plenty of chances to see some of the best acts from the West Midlands, including shows from Josh Pugh (6 Oct, The Glee), Samantha Pressdee (10 Oct, Blue Orange Theatre), and Danny Clives and Good Kids (8 Oct, Cherry Reds).

The Birmingham Comedy Festival Free Half-Dayers (6 and 13 Oct, Cherry Reds & The Victoria) are also back – by popular demand. Featuring 16 free shows in Birmingham city centre on successive Sunday afternoons, the line-up includes Susan Murray, James Cook’s Board Game Smackdown, a new show from the multi-award-winning Rob Kemp, UK Pun Champion 2017 Lovdev Barpaga, Sarah Johnson, and more.

The current improv explosion is reflected in appearances from Jumprov (9 Oct, Serve) and Foghorn Unscripted (13 Oct, The Victoria), while Fat Penguin’s Birmingham Comedy Festival Improvised Comedy All-Dayer (12 Oct, Patrick Kavanagh) unveils eight troupes from around the UK, culminating in a never-to-be-repeated Improv Jam.

The festival officially launches on Friday 4 October 2019 with the prestigious Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2019 (The Glee Club), which recognises the very best new talent from the region.

A spokesperson for the festival said: “We’ve got another packed line-up this year with over 80 performances featuring not only stand-up comedy, but also improv’, theatre, music, game shows, fine art, a murder mystery, and loads more. There’s plenty of well-known names – like James Acaster, Josh Widdicombe and America’s Impractical Jokers – but also some great emerging talent, particularly from across the region.”

The Birmingham Comedy Festival runs from Friday 4 to Sunday 13 October 2019 at venues across the city. For more information, see:


About Birmingham Comedy Festival

Established in 2001, the annual festival has welcomed some of the biggest names in stand-up comedy, from Michael McIntyre and Peter Kay, to Jack Whitehall and Sarah Millican.

The festival was originally set up to highlight the city’s vibrant, but then largely unsung, comedy scene, and acts from West Midlands have always featured prominently, from Lenny Henry and Stewart Lee, to Joe Lycett and Mrs Barbara Nice.

Unfunded and volunteer-led, the festival is one of the biggest independent multi-site arts festivals in the region, and in 2019 was scooped both Best Midlands Arts Festival and Best Birmingham Arts Festival wins at the What’s On Magazine Awards.

2019’s festival is supported by The Arcadian:

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