Preview: Machynlleth Comedy Festival Showcase @ MAC, 9th February 2018

The Machynlleth Comedy Festival is now one of the UK’s most prestigious, and hotly anticipated, events in the stand-up calendar. Next month, Birmingham’s MAC welcomes five top acts as part of a showcase for the annual event, which takes place in the titular Welsh town.

The gig at MAC on Friday 9th February features a line-up including Joe Lycett, Tom Parry (also of Pappy’s), Mike Bubbins, Rachel Parris (also of Austentatious) and Danny Clives. Tickets (£12) are available from the MAC website.

This year’s Machynlleth Comedy Festival takes place from Friday 4th to Sunday 6th May.




Preview: Mark Thomas @ MAC, 28th February to 3rd March 2018

Mark Thomas
Showtime from the frontline. Photo by Lesley Martin.

Mark Thomas returns to Birmingham’s MAC in February with a new show about his experiences in Palestine. Setting out to run a comedy club in a refugee camp in the city of Jenin for two nights, Showtime From the Frontline will trace what happened when he tried to do so.

This isn’t the first time the celebrated stand-up and activist has performed a show about a trip to the region, with 2011’s Extreme Rambling – Walking the Wall detailing his own story of visiting the West Bank. This time around he’s joined by Faisal Abualheja and Alaa Shehada, two actors and aspiring stand-ups from Jenin, and you can expect a funny and fascinating evening in the company of one of the UK’s finest storytellers and performers.

Showtime From the Frontline is at MAC in Birmingham each evening from Wednesday 28th February to Saturday 3rd March 2018. Tickets are available from the venue website.


Preview: Felicity Ward @ Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Felicity Ward: Critically acclaimed stand-up

Australian stand-up Felicity Ward has long been among the most acclaimed stand-ups regularly performing in UK venues, so it’s something of a surprise that this autumn she’s heading out on her first ever UK tour.

Following on from her previous show about depression and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, 50% More Likely to Die is her latest show, which combines a further look at mental health, depression and anxiety, as well as what happens when someone with control issues loses their stuff.

A brilliantly talented writer and performer, you’ll want to catch Felicity Ward at one of her Midlands dates on the tour – she’s performing at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Sunday 16th October and at Leamington Royal Spa Centre on Wednesday 26th October.

Preview: Mark Thomas @ MAC Birmingham

Mark Thomas: Red through and through

Stand-up veteran Mark Thomas returns to the Midlands with his latest tour, the third part in a trilogy of theatrical shows, called The Red Shed, which sees him celebrating the 50th birthday of a Wakefield labour club – the site of his first ever gig.

Following on from Bravo Figaro and Cuckooed, this is another show which looks more closely at his own history and life than the politicised output he’s best known for. Both of those shows were fantastic pieces of work, so it’s no shock that The Red Shed continues in a similar vein by receiving excellent reviews during its Edinburgh Fringe run in the summer.

You can catch Mark Thomas perform The Red Shed at Birmingham’s MAC, where he’s doing three shows – 7pm and 9.30pm on Tuesday 18th October, and 7pm on Wednesday 19th October – and at Warwick Arts Centre on Tuesday 14th February.

Preview: Sara Pascoe – Animal, on tour

Sara Pascoe
Sara Pascoe: Animal

Top stand-up Sara Pascoe performs her latest show, Animal, in Midlands venues this month. Hot on the heels of publishing her book of the same title, Pascoe is appearing at Warwick Arts Centre and the Glee Club as part of her biggest tour to date.

Ahead of these shows, on 2nd June and 12th June respectively, Who’s Laughing Now? caught up with Sara to find out what audiences can expect. Continue reading “Preview: Sara Pascoe – Animal, on tour”

Preview: Just the Tonic takes up permanent residency in Birmingham

Just the Tonic Comedy Club takes up residency at The Comedy Loft – formerly Jongleurs – in Birmingham at the beginning of next month. The launch night, on Thursday 5th May, sees Lee Nelson headlining with appearances from Matt Reed and special guests.

One of the most prestigious comedy clubs in the country, Just the Tonic’s Birmingham residency then continues with a special event on the Thursday 19th May with a line-up featuring Reginald D Hunter, Adam Bloom, Steve Harris and Darrell Martin. In between, there will be Friday and Saturday night bills boasting top comics including Brendon Burns, Andrew Bird and many more.

For details of upcoming shows see the Just the Tonic website.

Preview: Mark Thomas – Trespass

Mark Thomas
Mark Thomas: Trespass

If politicised stand-up and comic activism are what you like, you’ll be glad to know Mark Thomas is returning to Coventry later this month with this current show, Trespass. In a similar vein to his previous offering 100 Acts of Minor Dissent, Thomas brings his melange of comedy, journalism and “rabble rousing” (so say the Metropolitan Police) to Warwick Arts Centre on Friday 18th March.

Having also dabbled in theatrical and storytelling works in recent years, Trespass sees Thomas return to fertile ground – campaigning to give ordinary people a voice, and sticking it to the establishment. A veteran of stage, TV and radio, the stand-up’s credentials are well-known and this is sure to be an evening of investigative journalism and revolutionary mirth.

Mark Thomas: Trespass is at Warwick Arts Centre on Friday 18th March and at Lichfield Garrick Theatre on Saturday 19th March.