Rising stars and big names are appearing at Cambridge Comedy Festival
Forget Edinburgh, we’ve got the cream of the comedy crop coming right to our doorstep this month when the fantastic Cambridge Comedy Festival returns from 19-23 July. Pop down to enjoy a star-studded line-up of funny bone tickling brilliance which ranges from the biggest names in the game to the hottest up-and-coming talent. The action takes place in a series of marquees in a picturesque corner of Jesus Green, where you’ll also be able to enjoy tasty street food and drinks from the Charlie Wells beer tent.
There are more than 40 shows in total over the course of the five days, with the Jesterlarf Comedy Club Marquee hosting big name headliners and the Cambridge Junction tent focusing on the best emerging acts. Once again, Cambridge Edition will be hosting our own marquee at the festival, and we’ve got a corker line-up for you; while new for 2017 is the Blunda Bus, a double decker bus hosting great Fringe show gigs.
“If you come along you’ll get to see some of the world's finest comedy performers in an intimate venue,” says festival founder Andy White. “We’ve got big names but also some of the most exciting and talented rising stars who, in a few years, will be big names themselves. We’ve kept ticket prices reasonable so it won’t break your bank balance, and some of the shows are only £6 so you can take a punt on an unknown talent. Plus, going to see comedy live is so different and so much better than watching it on TV!”
Among the comedians treading the boards at the festival is Stephen K Amos (above), who’ll be charming the crowd in the Jesterlarf marquee on 23 July. Eloquent and insightful, his feel-good comedy is warm and spiky in equal doses, but always hilarious.
Also performing in the Jesterlarf tent is Seann Walsh, whose knack for spotting the absurdities lurking in everyday life had The Guardian labelling him “unquestionably the best observational comic of his generation”. Catch him on 21 July.
Self-styled ‘German comedy ambassador’ to the UK, Henning Wehn stops by on 22 July, whilst you can also catch shows from other big hitters such as Sara Pascoe, Ed Byrne, Nick Helm, Arthur Smith and Robin Ince (right) to name a few. Another highlight is sure to be Joe Lycett, who is joined by Ben Norris, Ian Stone and Jonathan Mayor (MC) in the Jesterlarf marquee on 22 July. Subversive and mischievous, Lycett’s wicked sense of humour is picking him up fans at an impressive rate of knots – he’s a TV regular whose star is determinedly in the ascendant, and it’s only a matter of time before he’s filling arenas.
In the Cambridge Edition tent, offerings range from the barmy and brilliant horror-show-cum-Elvis-musical that is The Elvis Dead, to the caustic contemplations of Jo Caulfield. There’s also astonishing musical-comedy-improv from the enormously talented Abandoman, plus a multi-media extravaganza chat show with The Not So Late Show. Presented by Ross Brierley and Joshua Sadler, the duo behind UK Garage Horseracing (“the funniest thing in the world” according to Comedy Central – we’re inclined to agree), it’s brimming with sketches, short films, games and pure, unadulterated fun.
Look out for local comedian David Trent (above) in the mix in the Cambridge Edition tent, too; he’ll be riffing on international houmous day, gay cakes, and smart forks, amongst other things.
There’s plenty to catch in the Cambridge Junction tent, too, including Dane Baptiste (right) – Britain’s answer to Chris Rock – who’ll be performing his provocative G.O.D. (Gold. Oils. Drugs) show on 20 July.
If you’ve got little ones in tow, the Junction tent will also be hosting some top-notch kids shows over the course of the festival. The Pub Quiz for Kids, on the 22nd, will be serving up lots of laughs, some fierce competition and top prizes, while Kidocracy envisages a world where the kids are in charge. On 23 July meanwhile, kids will love Jarred Christmas, star of CBBC’s The Joke Machine, and his beatboxing games and competitions.
For listings and to book, visit the Cambridge Comedy Festival website or the Cambridge Junction website.
Festival top picks
Festival founder Andy White selects his must-sees
“I’m most looking forward to seeing the genius that is improv musical maestro Abandoman – no two shows are ever the same but every one of them is hilarious. The Elvis Dead is another – I caught this show by chance on the last night of the Leicester Comedy Festival, and it’s like no other show you’ve seen before, a horror movie meets Elvis songs (and boy can this lad sing Elvis!). Arthur Smith is an old favourite of mine, too, plus Pub Quiz For Kids is going to be great – I love a pub quiz and this is sure to be the silliest pub quiz you’ll ever go to!”