Wolverhampton to have last laugh with comedy festival

By Diane Davies | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Are you game for a laugh? Do you want to help bring a smile to the faces of city centre visitors?

John Bishop will appear at the event

Do you want to help dispel the claims that Wolverhampton is the unhappiest place to live?

Wolverhampton is fighting back against the unfortunate label it has been handed with the Funny Things Festival later this year.

As part of the comedy event a Joke Exchange has been organised with volunteers holding up placards in the street with jokes collected from the people of Wolverhampton and the Black Country.

But organisers need volunteers for the spirit-lifting stunt - and gags.

The Joke Exchange is a public art project by Redhawk Logistica, that has been commissioned by Creative Black Country as part of the Funny Things Festival, which runs from October 23 until November 7 in venues across Wolverhampton.

Jimmy Carr

Helpers have already been out on the streets collecting jokes from passers-by as well as appealing for material through social media, the Express and Star and Chronicle. The best jokes will be displayed on placards in the city centre, with one shown every day in September (except Sundays).

To make this happen, volunteer placard holders are needed between 12pm and 6pm throughout the month. Teams of two will share the shift so cant take it in turns to hold the placard - and there will be a massed stand with all of the placards on October 28 from 11am–1pm.


The city will play host to the likes of Jimmy Carr, Milton Jones, John Bishop, Tom Stade and Henning Wehn, for the two-week long Funny Things festival at different venues in the city. It has been organised in reaction to reports from the Office of National Statistics suggesting Wolverhampton was one of the 'unhappiest place in the UK'.

Volunteers, who are assured they do not have to tell jokes, can sign up for as many days as they like and will be provided with lunch and travel expenses. They will also be 'positioned somewhere that you will be able to sit down or lean.'

There are other opportunities to volunteer to be part of the Funny Things Festival, handing out flyers during the month before the festival, stewarding events and supporting activities. All volunteers will get their travel expenses covered and get the opportunity to attend events for free or at special reduced ticket prices during the festival.

For more information on the festival go to Volunteers are needed by August 29.

Spokeswoman Rosalind Argo said: "This is a great opportunity for anyone who would like to be part of a public art project, and part of the first comedy festival in Wolverhampton. It’s a chance to make local people smile, and brighten up their day."

Anyone with have any questions about the volunteering can call Jenny Smith the Funny Things Creative Producer on 07967 187822 or email her on

Diane Davies

By Diane Davies

MNA Group head of weekly titles, and former deputy editor of the Express & Star. Specialist interest in music and theatre scene with regular reviews from our wealth of top venues.


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