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Frank Skinner, Barbara Nice, Lost Voice Guy and more: Funny Things Festival returns to Wolverhampton

By Rebecca Stanley | Wolverhampton | Theatre & Comedy | Published: | Last Updated:

The full line-up has been announced for Wolverhampton’s very own festival celebrating Black Country humour.

Frank Skinner

Funny Things, produced by Creative Black Country, will return to the area from October 26 to November 2 with a packed programme of stand-up, theatre, workshops, street performance, film and family events.

Star acts set to perform during the week-long event include Frank Skinner, Lost Voice Guy, Gary Delany, Barbara Nice, and Daliso Chaponda.

“Black Country humour is unique, people love a good laugh and a joke and Funny Things celebrates this,” comments the festival’s creative producer, Jenny Smith.

Lost Voice Guy. Picture by: Steve Ullathorne

“Creative Black Country are bringing together a range of partners and artists, to produce a festival that creates opportunities for local people to get involved, see great acts, new talent, and experience a whole load of funny things.

"This year we’re proud to include a number of accessible events that are accompanied with British Sign Language including the Calamity Jane sign-along at the Light House Media Centre.

"Following the success of the 2017 event we’re back to offer a diverse festival that has a bit of something for everyone. Whatever tickles you.”

The festival kicks off with a storytelling event and from the drag queens and kings of Fantabulosa at Wulfrun Shopping Centre. Other events on October 26 include Pigeon Pals, and the world-famous Dancing Grannies, created by Black Country comedians The Fizzogs.

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Fantabulosa. Picture by: Emma Jones

Wolverhampton Business Improvement District are supporting this year’s giant outdoor film screen which has been programmed by Flatpack. They will screen a series shorts as well as comedy classic Ghostbusters in Queen Square.

There’s a number of workshops including creating your own alter ego mask, an improv workshop with Jumprov, and a lesson in how make stop-motion animation.

The Mander Centre are hosting Spinsonic circus workshops where visitors can learn to juggle, spin plates and hula hoop.

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There's also plenty of comedy shows for little ones, with The Laughing Sole Comedy Club for Kids, as well as Bring Your Own Baby comedy at the Newhampton Arts Centre.

The Orchestra Of Chaos

Brand new commissions this year include The Anthinaerium by sculptor Luke Perry - a mechanical automata masterpiece, which will be displayed at the Mander Centre, celebrating 'the weird and wonderful of Wolverhampton and the Black Country'.

The Pigeon Pals will be hopping on and off local transport sharing local food and icons of the silver screen, Laurel and Hardy, will be greeting shoppers with their slapstick routines.

Actors Adam Halcro and Jacob Harvey will also be putting on a play by Tom McGrath, at Newhampton Arts Centre on October 31 that tells the story of the unlikely paring.

Local trio Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists have been travelling the region unearthing and listening to stories of comedy for National Lottery Heritage Funded project, Finding Our Funny Roots, to find out what it is that makes Black Country humour unique. Their findings will be put together for a brand new show Finding Your Funny Roots at Arena Theatre on October 26.

For more information and to see the full line-up, click here.

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley
@becci_star

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

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