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Funny Things: 12 things not to miss at Wolverhampton's new comedy festival

By Rebecca Sayce | Entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

Laugh out loud in Wolverhampton this Autumn as Creative Black Country bring their brand new comedy festival to town.

Funny Things Festival

With acts such as Henning Wehn, Tom Stade and Jimmy Carr - laughs are in order when the festival kicks off on October 23 until November 5.

Over 120 events across 16 venues will be celebrating Black Country humour at the brand new, family-friendly event.

The festival will also champion a range of local and national partners and artists, to produce a festival ranging from household names to new talent, exhibitions and comedy film, theatre and family activities, and more.

In no particular order, here are 12 things that will having you giggling and guffawing at this year's Funny Things festival:

Join in a talk about being wobbly

Barbara Nice

What’s ‘normal’ anyway?

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Actress and comedian Francesca Martinez joins hilarious Birmingham comedian Barbara Nice for a night of chat to discuss her book ‘What the **** is Normal?!’ We all want to know the an-swer to that, right?

The talk will take place at The Slade Rooms on October 23 from 7.30pm until 9.30pm. Tickets are priced at £12 from Midland Box Office.

Teach the kids how to be properly funny

Emma Purshouse

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OK, if you’ve got a little one you probably think they are hilarious, but (truth alert) it’s probably just YOU who thinks that.

Now’s the time to give your offspring a proper chance as a budding comedian with a brilliant line-up of family friendly activities to enhance their skills.

They can make their own comic car in the DIY drive-in cinema pop-up at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on November 4 from 2.00pm until 4.00pm, or learn some slapstick on November 25 and comedy skills on November 27 at Newhampton Arts Centre.

Failing that they can watch an adult do it and join in with Emma Purshouse at Windsor Toys on November 29 for a special morning of poetry.

Lean to draw cartoons like a pro

Beano

If you reminisce over the Dandy or steal a glance at your kid’s comics then there’s a drawing work-shops for you to try out.

Join cartoonist for the Beano and Regular Show, Laura Howell, who will help you doodle your way to creating your very own cartoon masterpiece.

She will appear on November 4 at 1.30pm (kids & adults) and 3.30-5pm (adults only) at Newhampton Arts Centre. Tickets are priced at £5 from Midland Box Office.

Tell your funniest story and get a visit from the Orchestra of Chaos

Orchestra Of Chaos

Festival band Orchestra of Chaos will be popping up in-and-around Wolverhampton with their unique brand of music while they produce a digital fanzine of people’s funny stories on the way.

Representing Funny Things on the road look out for Barry Bling and Mr Velvet in their tour bus popping up in a café, chip shop, street corner or hairdressers near you.

You could make sure they pop up in your neighbourhood by nominating a person and place for the OOC to visit on their Funny Things Black Country Tour.

Send us your idea with a funny story about the person or event and most importantly why we should pick you? If you’re successful we will roll up in our tour van and bring a Chaos performance to you!

Email: funnythingswolves@gmail.com with your proposal, with ‘Orchestra of Chaos’ in the title.

Be part of a flash mob… or at least watch one…

Joke Exchange

Redhawk Logistica’s #JokeExchange has been gathering Wolverhampton residents’ funniest one-liners to display on placards.

Their mass placard flash mob takes place on Saturday 28th October with the entire joke selection coming together in one place in the city centre and you could be one of the lucky placard bearers.

Spread the funnies in your hometown and let your fellow yam yams have a good old loff.

See how to get involved here: http://www.funny-things.co.uk/joke-exchange-flash-mob-volunteers-wanted/

Go back in time and visit a 1980’s Bollywood video shop…

Jambo Cinema

You might have to explain to the kids what a video actually is but once they get the idea they will love Jambo Cinema at Wolverhampton Art Gallery from October 26 and throughout the festival.

See Creative Producer Darwinder Bansal’s unique recreation of Uncle & Aunty Bansal’s Indian-Kenyan 1980s era living room - inspired by her childhood growing up in a corner shop in Whitmore Reans.

Guests are invited to explore the room, but only if they take off their shoes first! Experience this authentic living room with original memorabilia, photographs, items and Bol-lywood VHS films reflecting Indian families at the time.

Have a go at being funny yourself, or laugh at those who are brave enough to try…

Katherine Ryan

Budding comedians and very brave people will be given plenty of chances to try out their own sketches in front of an audience.

The Midland’s heat of the Funny Women Awards will take place on November 1 from 8.00 until 10.00pm at The Slade Rooms hosted by Barbara Nice.

Past winners include the likes of Sara Pascoe and Katherine Ryan.

For students and academics Bright Club at Arena Theatre, on October 30 from 8.00 until 9.30pm, is the perfect opportunity to combine study and comedy.

See a lost Hancock script performed for the very FIRST time…

Larry Stephens and his wife Diana

On the closing weekend there will be a special premiere performance of Vacant Lot a lost radio show written by acclaimed West Bromwich-born comedy writer Larry Stephens for comedian Tony Hancock.

Presented in collaboration with Birmingham Comedy Festival, two of the found episodes, which have never been performed in public, will be staged in a radio studio setting and aired for the first time at the Light House on November 4.

Step back in time for some silent movie fun and slapstick…

What We Do In The Shadows

Flatpack join Funny Things to share some funny films and workshops.

From celebrating the art of custard pie throwing on October 25 at the Newhampton Arts Centre, to enjoying a century of Chaplin with live piano accompaniment on October 28 at the Light House Media Centre, as well as Dots & Loops short film night on November 2 at The Outback.

There will also be a Halloween showing of What We Do in the Shadows at The Giffard Arms on October 31 plus more, there’s plenty for film buffs to enjoy.

Watch some people (probably) make complete fools of themselves…

Molineux

Why on earth would you want to sign up to do stand-up in front of your workmates and complete strangers?

We have no idea but there are five willing participants doing just that for the Stand Up Challenge Showcase.

Fools! On November 2 at the Molineux audiences are invited to laugh or groan at the budding comedians from Wolverhampton Racecourse, Bodykraft, Paycare and Cox & Plant who will try out their first ever five minutes of stand-up.

Pay what you want to see comedy!

Bec Hill will play the Giffard Arms

There are 58 comedy gigs across The Lych Gate Tavern, The Outback and The Giffard Arms that Funny Things are letting you choose to PAY WHAT YOU WANT on the door.

Are they mad? Probably! See stand-up from established and new acts, improv, cabaret and any other kind of comedy buzz words you can think of!

Have a completely alternative Bonfire Night and end the festival with a bang

Asian Comedy Network

BBC Asian Network Comedy has invited YouTube star Guz Khan to host five of his favourite comedians to join him at the Light House on November 5.

You’re invited to enjoy the ‘sparkling’ banter, the ‘fire-cracker’ wit and help Funny Things come to a final ‘bang(er)’. *Apologies for the terrible puns.

Tickets are priced at £10 + BF from: https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Wolverhampton/Light-House-Media-Centre/BBC-Asian-Network-Comedy/13067771/

Rebecca Sayce

By Rebecca Sayce
@becci_star

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me: rebecca.sayce@expressandstar.co.uk

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