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Funny Things: Find out what's on at a venue near you as new Wolverhampton comedy festival begins

By Heather Large | Entertainment | Published:

Wolverhampton’s new comedy festival Funny Things kicks off on Monday .

Funny Things

More than 120 events in the name of humour are taking place across the city.

They range from shows by household names such as Jimmy Carr and Rich Hall to new talent, exhibitions and comedy film, theatre and family activities.

This is our guide to the events taking place.

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Arena Theatre

Arena Theatre

Saturday, October 28

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FOR LAUGHS

7.30pm - 10pm

Four short comic plays written, rehearsed and staged in just 24hours. Hosted by Barbara Nice. Tickets £7 / £5 concessions from Arena Theatre

Monday, October 30

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BRIGHT CLUB

8pm - 9.30pm

Researchers become comedians for just one night. The evening will be hosted by professional comedian Paul Duncan McGarrity

PAUL DUNCAN MCGARRITY: ASK AN ARCHAEOLOGIST, THE MINORTOUR

9.45pm -10.45pm

Paul Duncan McGarrity, the UK’s foremost Stand-up comedian archaeologist, as seen on BBC4’s The Big Dig, is bringing his critically acclaimed sell out Edinburgh Fringe show ‘Ask an Archaeologist’ to Funny Things. Age guidance 16+

Tuesday, October 31

THE ELVIS DEAD

The Elvis Dead

7.30pm - 8.30pm, followed by showing of Evil Dead 2 until 10.15pm

Cult classic horror movie Evil Dead 2 reinterpreted through the songs of Elvis. Tickets £12 / £10 concessions from Arena Theatre. Price includes show and film.

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The Giffard Arms

Tuesday, October 31

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

What We Do In The Shadows

8pm - 9.30pm

Vampire housemates try to cope with the complexities of modern life in this film.

Age guidance 15+

Wednesday, November 1

BAZOOKA CHICKEN

8.00pm - 8.30pm

Bazooka Chicken have been a band since 1994 and haven't improved at all. Jonny Mongoose Wais a jazz-hand guitarist and Benny Bobble Bibblefish sings but cannot hit notes. Experts in surreal rambling, they play rubbish music written as teenagers.

SUSAN MURRAY: ‘YA COR SAY THAT’

Susan Murray

9pm - 10pm

Willenhall’s only professional comic comes back to her roots with a bunch of jokes not heard anywhere else in the country knowing full well her Black Country comrades can take her particular brand of dark humour. Strap in cocka.

Thursday, November 2

THE GLANG SHOW

8pm - 9pm

The Glang Show is a fully interactive gong show set in an an archoutopian magical realist feudal theocracy.

MAGICAL SCIENCE AND THE DANGEROUS

9.30pm - 10.30pm

This show is cabaret like you have never seen before. A combination of real science, mischief, comedy and downright dangerousness with two of the Black Country’s leading performance scientists Martin Khechara and Jon Wood.

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Light House Media Centre

Monday, October 23 to November 5

CLICKING COMEDIANS exhibition

Steve Best’s many years on the comedy circuit has allowed him to build trust with some of the funniest people on earth. Pictures include Frankie Boyle, Harry Hill, Jimmy Carr, Daniel Kitson, Stewart Lee, Alan Davies and Ed Byrne.

Saturday, October 28

A CENTURY OF CHAPLIN WITH LIVE PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT BY MEG MORLEY

Charlie Chaplin

Films showing: The Adventurer | Easy Street | The Immigrant

2pm - 3.30pm

Flatpack present some of the funniest moments from the Chaplin archive in this short film compilation in honour of Chaplin’s centenary. Suitable for all ages Tickets £7 / £5 concessions

BOSTIN BOOTS

4pm - 4.30pm

This original comedy play, written and performed by local company, Sneaky Beast, follows the escapades of flamboyant sisters, Caitlyn and Beth, and the kooky characters they encounter at a Black Country car boot.

Saturday and Sunday, October 28 and 29

FUNNY MARKET

11am - 4.30pm

There will be stalls full of Funny Things to buy, including comics, whoopee cushions, funny books and loads of Funny Things to see and do.

Friday, November 3

UPFRONT COMEDY CLUB

Masai Graham

8.30pm - 10.30pm

Upfront Comedy present a riproaring line up for their Funny Things Festival debut with comedian turned Teletubby John Simmit (aka Dipsy) introducing some of the best Midlands comedians, including West Bromwich gangster Masai Graham. Tickets £12 from Midland Box Office or Light House Media Centre

Saturday, November 4

GETTING STARTED IN COMEDY WORKSHOP

1pm - 2.30pm

If you’re trying to develop your career in comedy, come and have lunch with comedy promoters, programmers and performers to get some top tips on how to get started. Age guidance 16+.

BIRMINGHAM COMEDY FESTIVAL PRESENTS: THE LOST HANCOCKS: VACANT LOT

2pm-3.15pm and 7pm-8.15pm

Join us for the Birmingham Comedy Festival Production of two long lost radio scripts from the 1950s, written for comedian Tony Hancock by acclaimed West Bromwich-born comedy writer Larry Stephens.

THE LOST HANCOCKS Q&A

3.30pm - 4.30pm

Find out more about The Lost Hancocks, the story behind their original creation andeventual rediscovery, as well as their belated staging, 65 years after they were conceived. Tickets £1 from Light House Media Centre or Midland Box Office

THE PUNCH & JUDY MAN

4.40pm - 6.15pm

Starring Tony Hancock, Sylvia Syms, Ronald Fraser, John Le Mesurier, Hugh Lloyd. Directed by Jeremy Summers. Tickets £5 from Light House Media Centre or Midland Box Office.

Sunday, November 5 November

BBC ASIAN NETWORK COMEDY LIVE

Asian Comedy Network

7pm - 9pm

BBC Asian Network will host a night of comedy featuring some of the hottest new names in stand-up.

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Molineux Stadium

Friday, October 27

HANNAH AND MARIE’S COMEDY FOR WHIPPERSNAPPERS

2pm - 3pm

Hannah Silvester and Marie O’Connor have been performing together since they met at university and made each other laugh so much they nearly passed out. Come and see their silly show. Tickets £5 adult / £3 child from Midland Box Office. Age 5-12

Thursday, November 2

STAND-UP CHALLENGE SHOWCASE

7pm-10pm

The Stand-Up Challenge arrives in Wolverhampton and is supported by local business people who take up the challenge to write and perform their first ever five minutes of stand-up comedy. Tickets available from standupchallenge.co.uk. standupchallenge.co.uk.

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The Lych Gate Tavern

Tuesday, October 24

BLUE GIRAFFE COMEDY CLUB FEATURING JACK KIRAN AND FRIENDS

8pm - 11pm

Wolverhampton’s very own Blue Giraffe Comedy Club hosts a night of brilliant comedy, with local comedian Jack Kiran and guests. http://bluegiraffecomedy.co.uk

Wednesday, October 25

BINGHAM & WOODALL COMIC POETRY

7.30pm - 8.15pm

These local poets have wowed audiences in the Black Country with their topical off the wall, comical and slightly bonkers style. You have been warned. £5 inadvorpay what you want on the door.

WITTY WENCHES

Emma Purshouse

8.30pm-9.30pm

Witty Wenches are three funny women from Wolverhampton who entertain with sharply-observed topical poetry.

Thursday, October 26 October

BLUE GIRAFFE COMEDY CLUB FEATURING IAN COGNITO

8pm -11pm

Blue Giraffe Comedy Club hosts a jam-packed night of brilliant comedians, with headliner Ian Cognito. http://bluegiraffecomedy.co.uk/

Friday, October 27

JON COLLINGS: THE GREAT EUROPEAN RIB-TICKLE

7pm - 8pm Comic tales from Northern Europe. Age guidance 12+

HANNAH SILVESTER: WILD-ISH

8.30pm-9.30pm

Hannah Silvester is lost in a metaphorical wilderness, due to a metaphorical sat-nav malfunction. Join her as she battles the forces of darkness and tries to keep on top of the ironing pile.

Saturday, October 28

STEPHANIE LAING - MAD ABOUT THE BOY

3.30pm - 4.30pm

Stephanie’s love life has been a rollercoaster ride, come and hear this lovable little weirdo talk about boys Age guidance 16+

PAUL SAVAGE IS SET TO SELFDESTRUCT

Paul Savage

7pm - 8pm

Paul Savage gets himself into good positions, then blows it all up. What is this capacity for self-sabotage, and can he fix it? Age guidance 18+.

Sunday, October 29

DAMON CONLAN: JOCULAR PRESTIDIGITATOR (COMEDY MAGICIAN)

6pm - 6.45pm

There will be humour to delight those faced with the harsh realities of a nuclear winter, miracles of a scientific nature, a racoon in peril, and lots of chocolate. Age guidance 16+.

STRUAN LOGAN: STRUAN ALL OVER THE WORLD

7pm - 8pm

Globetrotting Scottish comic shares stories of his gigs and travels through Australia, New Zealand and south east Asia.

PAUL KERENSA: NAVELLESS GAZING

8.30pm - 9.30pm

ITV award-winning comedian Paul Kerensa

Monday, October 30 October

RADU ISAC: ONE ROMANIAN ANSWERING QUESTIONS

7pm - 8pm

Radu Isac is proud to call himself the poorest professional comedian on the UK comedy circuit.

Tuesday, October 31

HOLT AND TALBOT

7.30pm-8.30pm

Christian Talbot and Rosie Holt will be performing stand-up, sketches and music while barely concealing their mutual contempt for each other.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME?

9pm - 10pm

A podcast hosted by Christian Talbot and Rosie Holt about first loves, relationships, crushes, heartbreaks, unrequited love and bedroom disasters.

Wednesday, November 1

ZAHRA BARRI: ZIG-AH-ZIG ZAHRA

7.30pm - 8.30pm

From Kim Kardashian’s Career to Kim Jung Un’s Korea, from George Clooney to Wayne Rooney and from Kendal Jenner to Kindle Touches.

BEN BRIGGS

Ben Briggs

9pm - 10pm

Ben Briggs brings an hour of confrontational and dark, but always very, very funny stand up comedy to Funny Things.

Thursday, November 2

KATIE PRITCHARD: HURRICANE KATIE

8pm - 9pm

Like the most memorable of UK gales, Katie Pritchard is blowing over the patio furniture of comedy, partially damaging the garden fence of genre and dropping a large, sturdy branch onto the car bonnet of musicality.

Friday, November 3

PRESIDENT OBONJO: THE RISE OF A COMEDY DICTATOR

8.30pm - 9.30pm

Following civil unrest due to the President’s long periods secretly perform stand-up comedy in Britain, there was a military coup in the Lafta Republic. The official line is that President Obonjo was tried and executed for his neglect of the Laftarian people however, some say it’s a myth... turn up to find out.

Saturday, November 4

CHRIS KEHOE

7pm - 8pm

Join the award winning stand-up as he tackles climate change, racism and asks what would motivate 23 people to leave a review of a pedal bin online?

CHRIS STOKES: ETERNALIST

Chris Stokes

8.30pm - 9.30pm

Brand new stand-up show from award-winning comedian and returning local boy Chris Stokes.

FRAN GARRITY: SECRET AGENT TALES OF A FRAUD INVESTIGATOR

10pm - 11pm

Fran is the only fraud investigating comedian on the circuit. Find out what it’s like gathering evidence, anonymous tip off’s, the interviews and when someone you’re investigating turns up to your gig.

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The Outback Nightclub

Wednesday, October 25

FUNNY THINGS STUDENT & GRADUATE COMEDY SHOWCASE

8pm - 10pm

Come and see the local up-and coming comedy talent from students and recent graduates of the University of Wolverhampton, hosted by professional comedian and alumni Shaun Hartman.

Thursday, October 26

IMPROVISATIONS WITH NICHOLAS HOLT

7pm - 8pm

Dance artist Lewys Holt and comedian/producer Daniel Nicholas will be writing, choreo-graphing and performing simultaneously on stage. Sometimes funny. Sometimes not. Who knows what will happen? They don’t.Age guidance 16+

SARAH BENNETTO: ALL MY LIFE’S MISTAKES, CATALOGUED (VOLUME 1)

8.30pm - 9.30pm

One dimwit comedian’s every dumb decision. Presented in list form. 50 great mistakes guaranteed.

BEC HILL: OUT OF ORDER

Bec Hill

10pm - 11pm

The Outback Stand-up,pop-ups and post-its from the award-winning Australian comedian.

Friday, October 27 BOONYEDS

7pm - 8pm

The Boonyeds bring us their own brand of comedy, spoken word and song with traditional tales and weird inventions, be entertained by two Black Country philosophers through and through.

FREDDIE FARRELL & MASAI GRAHAM: BRAND NEW JOKES

8.30pm - 9.30pm

Local comedian Masai has won Best Joke of Edinburgh Fringe and the UK Pun Champi-onships andisoneof Creative Black Country’s 100 Masters, while Freddie recently re-leased his debut comedy album. Age guidance 16+

JAY HAMPSON: TERRIFIED

10pm - 11pm

Jay Hampson hit his 30’s, had a kid and realised that the world is a dark and scary place filled with worry and anxiety, the perfect recipe for comedy gold.

Saturday, October 28

GORDON SOUTHERN: LONG STORY SHORT

3.30pm - 4.30pm

A vital and timely show about family life, how you shouldn’t always meet your heroes and coping with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

BOARD GAME SMACKDOWN

5pm - 6pm

Fresh from a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, hosted by award-winning comedian and UK board game champion James Cook, comedians play classic and new board games live on stage. Age guidance 12+.

SCOTTISH FALSETTO SOCK THEATRE DO SHAKESPEARE

6.30pm - 7.30pm

Back with their hit new show of songs, sketches, socks and violence, taking on The Bard himself. Howl at their Hamlet, roar at their Romeo & Juliet, and peer into their Coriolanus. Age guidance 12+.

JOSH PUGH

Josh Pugh

8pm - 9pm

Work in progress show from the English Comedian of the year 2016.

BENVAN DER VELDE: SIDEKICK

9.30pm - 10.30pm

Some people are life’s heroes: leading men and women full of swash, buckle and daring-do. Others just hold their jackets. As the credits roll and the heroes hump, join Ben off-camera as he salutes the Barney Rubbles, Boo- Boos and Dr Watsons of the world.

Sunday, October 29

JAM WITH JUMPROV! IMPROVISATION WORKSHOP

2pm - 3.30pm

Improvisational comedy session for beginners. Age guidance 16+. Tickets £5 from Midland Box Office.

JUMPROV

5pm - 6.30pm

A 90-minute sketch comedy show completely made upon the spot and 100 per cent improvised. Age guidance 16+.

FREDDY QUINNE: QUITE THE CATCH

7pm - 8pm

Having performed to sell-out audiences at both the Nottingham and Leicester comedy festivals, this debut hour from a bona fide funnyman is already receiving rave reviews.

DIANE SPENCER

Diane Spencer. Photo by: Steve Ullathorne

8.30pm - 9.30pm

With 7 hit shows on YouTube and multiple 5-star reviews, her mix of personal experiences and unflinching honesty make for a brilliant hour.

Tuesday, October 31

DAVE CHAWNER: MENTAL

7pm - 8pm

A show about mental health (not mental illness) and what it means to have good mental health. Dave is an award-winning comic, published author and campaigner.

BENTLEY BROWNING: TINDER REHAB

8.30pm - 9.20pm

Come and get detoxed at Tinder Rehab where Browning will take you through the 12steps to attract love into your life. As featured onBBC Breakfast, The One Show and made fun of on Russell Howard’s Good News.

Wednesday, November 1

ANDY WHITE: DADDY FOOL

7pm - 8pm

He’s written this funny and honest stand-up show about being a dad.

SEAN MORLEY: EARNED HELPLESSNESS

8.30pm - 9.20pm

Top lad Sean Morley is here with some of the biggest jokes, ready and raring to smash the gig, raze the venue and salt the Earth. Best Show Nominee - Leicester Comedy Festival 2017.

Thursday, November 2

MICKEY SHARMA: SHARMA SHARMA SHARMA SHARMA SHARMA........COMEDIAN!

Mickey Sharma

7pm - 8pm

Watch Mickey’s evolution from an Indian teenager to British comedian. Expect stories about travelling, immigration, relationships and offending people unwittingly.

DOTS & LOOPS #5: SHORT FILM NIGHT WITH LOUIS HUDSON & IAN RA-VENSCROFT

8.30pm - 10.30pm

Flatpack bring their popular short film night to Funny Things, with a comic twist.

Friday, November 3

LINDSEY SANTORO & SARAH JOHNSON

7pm - 8pm Sarah Johnson and Lindsey Santoro have teamed upto deliver an hour of hilarious stand-up.

RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY, FOR BETTER OR WORSE, THE FACT IS THIS IS TOM LIT-TLE

8.30pm - 9.30pm

Tom Little won the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2015 and was a BBC Radio New Comedy Award 2014 finalist. These are impressive accolades so, you know, be im-pressed.

Saturday, November 4

TONY COWARDS: PUNDERDOG

4pm - 5pm

‘The best joke writer around’ (GQ) performs his new show bursting at the seams with glorious gags, preposterous puns and witty one-liners.

RAHUL KOHLI: NEWCASTLE BROWN TALES

5.30 - 6.30pm

Ever been pee’d onby a tiger? Accidentally joined a Romani Gypsy Drug Smuggling Ring? Nearly Killed by a fire breathing dragon? Rahul has. Come find out how.

THE RABBIT HOLE LIVE PODCAST

7pm - 9pm

The Outback The Rabbit Hole is a live phone-in podcast recorded before your very eyes! Hosted by Iain Lee (11 O’Clock Show, talkRADIO) and Katherine Boyle (BBC, talkRADIO) it’s a show built from nothing. Tickets £11 from Midland Box Office + BF.

BRENDON BURNS

9.30pm - 10.30pm

Australian stand-up comedian and author Brendon Burns commands a devoted following, and has earned critical acclaim through his fearless live solo shows, winning the Edin-burgh Comedy Award in 2007 for his show ‘So I Suppose This Is Offensive Now’.

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The Slade Rooms

Monday, October 23

FRANCESCA MARTINEZ IN CONVERSATION WITH BARBARA NICE

Barbara Nice

7.30pm - 9pm

Kicking off the Funny Things Festival will be Francesca Martinez in conversation with Barbara Nice about being wobbly in a world obsessed with being ‘normal Tickets £12 from Midlands Box Office

Tuesday, October 31

ADAM HESS: FEATHERS

7pm

After his Fosters award-nominated, sell-out debut show, Adam Hess is back. Tickets £12 from Midland Box Office+ booking fee

Wednesday, November 1

FUNNY WOMEN AWARDS: MIDLANDS HEAT

8pm - 10pm

The Midlands heat of the National Funny Women Stage Award, with Barbara Nice compering the event. Tickets £10 / £8 concessions + BF from Midland Box Office.

Sunday, November 5

FUNNY THINGS FESTIVAL FINALE

7.30pm - 10.30pm (Doors open 7pm) Funny Things Comedy Club, with some of the best Black Country acts, and a 'bostin'' few non-locals

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Civic & Wulfrun Halls

Wednesday, October 25

SEAN KELLY & THE STARS OF STORAGE HUNTERS: A NIGHT OF COMEDY & CHARITY AUCTION

Sean Kelly

8pm Wulfrun Hall

Star of Storage Hunters, Sean Kelly will be joined by the show’s other stars; T-Money and Green Mile. Tickets £21 + booking fee.

Thursday, October 26

TOM STADE: I SWEAR

7.30pm Wulfrun Hall

Direct from the Edinburgh Festival, the Canadian tour-de-force is back with a brand-new show. Tickets £17 + booking fee

Friday, October 27

HENNING WEHN - WESTPHALIA IS NOT AN OPTION

7.30pm Civic Hall

Join German Comedy Ambassador Henning Wehn for an evening of Teutonic jolliness atits best.Tickets £17 + booking fee.

Wednesday, November 1

JIMEOIN

7pm

Refining a lost art of the commonplace, Jimeoin is a comic with a delightful sense of the absurd and a uniquely low-key style. Tickets £17 from Midland Box Office, subject to booking fee.

Thursday, November 2

RICH HALL’S HOEDOWN

7.30pm Wulfrun Hall

Join Rich and his virtuoso musical mates for a gratuitous mash-up of the very best of comedy and music. Tickets £17+BF from Midland Box Office.

Friday, November 3

JIMMY CARR: THE BEST OF, ULTIMATE, GOLD, GREATEST HITS TOUR

7pm

Jimmy is gathering a selection of his very best jokes along with brand new material for the ultimate comedy show. Tickets £28.50 from Midland Box Office + booking fee

LEE NELSON - SERIOUS JOKER

Lee Nelson

7pm Wulfrun Hall

All profits from the show will be going to Lee. “YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF”– Sepp Blatter “GET HIM OUT!”– Donald Trump “YOU’VEGOT FOUR YESSES.”– Simon Cowell Tickets £22.50 from Midland Box Office + booking fee

Saturday, November 4

MILTON JONES IS OUT THERE

6.45pm Civic Hall

Milton Jones is holding up the mirror of truth to society, and he can see right through it. Tickets £29.25 from Midland Box Office + booking fee.

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Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Thursday , October 26

ELEANOR CONWAY: WALK OF SHAME

7.30pm

Ferocious clubber and party girl Eleanor Conway has partied around the world and now sober, she’s failing to find moderation and meaning. Tickets £12 / £10 concs + booking fee

Saturday, November 4

DIY DRIVE-IN: NATURE’S TALES

2pm - 4pm

Families are invited to join us for a DIY drive in cinema experience. Tickets £4 per child, £2 per accompanying adult from Midland Box Office. Age 2-8

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Bantock House Museum

Sunday, October 29

SEVEN WONDERS

12.30pm - 1.30pm

We’ve all heard the story of the six wives of Henry VIII, but how much do we really know about them? Suitable for all ages. Free entry.

A COMEDY THEATRE GROUP SKETCH SHOW

2.30pm - 4pm Stourbridge based A Comedy Theatre Group present a selection of sketches and routines. Free entry

GIRL SHY (1924) - FILM WITH LIVE PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT FROM MEG MORLEY

4.30pm - 5.50pm

A great of the silent era Harold Lloyd stars in one of the most important and influential films of all time. £5 each, family ticket £15 from Midland Box Office and from Bradmore Wines, Trysull Road, Bradmore.

*Tickets for the majority of events at the festival are available from Midland Box Office. Get them in person at Wolverhampton Art Gallery or call to book tickets on 0870 320 7000

Some of the events are priced at £5 in advance or pay what you want on the door.

For more details see www.funny-things.co.uk

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.

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