GET your laughing gear ready – Sheffield’s annual month of comedy is almost upon us.
From pub back rooms to the city’s largest hall, the renamed Last Laugh Comedy Festival is a feast of mirth.
Some of the land’s best comedians will descend on us, from the vintage japes of Mick Miller and Jimmy Cricket to Glasgow boy-done- good Kevin Bridges.
The latter are all at the City Hall on Tuesday along with sets from newcomers Frisky & Mannish on Wednesday, Sheffield’s own Tom Wrigglesworth (Thursday) and QI’s fall guy Alan Davies, returning to stand-up on Octobrt 13 (see these pages for an interview next Thursday).
Talking of telly, Mock The Week host Dara O’Briain doubles up in the Oval Hall on Oct 5/6 with The Chase’s man in the white suit Paul Sinha performing forMemorial Hall on Oct 7.
Rob Rouse – former city teacher, now a major radio giggle giver – is also part of the City Hall’s comedy offering alongside Geordie go getters Chris Ramsey – ahead of his new TV sitcom Hebburn – and fellow Tynesider Ross Noble. Lee Hurst, Richard Herring, Mark Watson, Jenny Eclair, Danny Bhoy, Seann Walsh and Josh Widdicombe and Al Murray will all make their way to Barkers Pool.
Motorpoint Arena has comedy on a different scale with Michael McIntyre starting his four-night run on Oct 10. John Bishop is there for three from Oct 26.
Festival tendrils stretch to The Lescar, of course, where Last Laugh hosts Thursday night shows – both the arena headliners mentioned started out at this Hunters Bar boozer – and The Greystones.
Throughout October those venues will host a vast range of gag-meisters – in no particular order but ranging from veteran John Maloney, Canadian Craig Campbell and Rudi Lickwood to Andrew O’Neill, Martin Mor and Peep Show’s Isy Suttie.
The Lyceum Theatre gets in on the act by hosting Russell Kane’s Posturing Delivery show (Oct 22), Jack Dee’s stand-up return (Oct 8/9), Mark Thomas and the innovative Boy With Tape On His Face. Julian Clary also finds Tudor Square on October 14 (read his interview in two weeks).
Sticking with festivals, The Riverside hosts Lock-In, a new four-part all-day “festival of performance” this Saturday.
From 1-4pm the Mowbray Street venue features family friendly events, followed by two hours of interactive games and live performances in and around the pub from 5pm.
From 7.30-9.30pm Point Blank v Wordlife will feature theatre and spoken word with headliner John Berkavitch, followed by live music from Mother Folkers and Age Of Glass.
Riverside Live director Steve Jackson says tickets need to be booked for Point Blank v Wordlife and some earlier activities, but everything for kids is free.
Festival co-ordinator Marianne Bolton hopes Lock-In can appeal to everyone by hosting a film festival, puppetry and music workshops.
Performances from local writers such as Steve Haythrone and Penny Capper will happen alongside digital graffiti with Kate Sicchio and Larkin’ About’s topical phone hacking game. Full line-up: pointblank.org.uk