WITH LESS than two weeks to go to the biggest comedy festival this town has ever seen, there are still tickets available for an array of great shows at the Vodafone Comedy Carnival - so much so, it's hard to know where to start!
How about catching Al Porter fresh from hosting TV3’s Blind Date? As well as closing the opening Gala at the Spiegeltent on Thursday October 26, Al will MC the Irish Comedian of the Year Grand Final in the same venue on the afternoon of Monday 30; perform as Gaeilge at GaelGairi Club Grinn in An Taibhdhearc on the Thursday; and give a matinee performance in the Spiegeltent with his full band on the Bank Holiday Saturday.
Reginald D Hunter is also on his way to the festival; the Georgia native is no stranger to Galway and like a fine wine is only improving with age (Spiegeltent, October 29 ). While we are on the subject of amusing Americans, they don’t come much funnier than the grouchy deadpan genius of Rich Hall who brings his Hoedown show to Róisín Dubh (October 28 ). A festival regular, former Perrier award-winner, Rich never disappoints.
Another winner of the most prestigious prize in comedy is David O’Doherty who can be seen on Bank Holiday Sunday in the Town Hall Theatre in a terrific mixed bill with the very talented Bernard O’Shea, better known as Eamon from Bridget and Eamon, and Phill Jupitus, the Swiss army knife of comedy. Phill will also perform improv with The Stephen Frost Impro Allstars, read poetry on a Bob’s BlundaBus, sketch art works in The Kenny Gallery, and dish up brunch in Massimo.
Irish born but Australian favourite Jimeoin is heading to the Town Hall Theatre on Friday 27. This is one comedian who can make you laugh just by moving his eyebrows. Speaking of raised eyebrows, another award winner, Katy Brand, is showcasing her hilarious one woman show I Was A Teenage Christian in An Taibhdhearc on October 28. Let’s just say the church’s loss was comedy’s gain.
It’s pleasing to see how many fantastic female comedians are gracing the Vodafone Comedy Carnival bill this year. Multi-award winning Francesca Martinez was born with cerebral palsy but prefers the term ‘wobbly’. She will be performing her ‘Wobbly Manifesto’ in An Taibhdhearc on Saturday 28. The Róisín Dubh hosts two of Ireland’s finest comics on the Sunday night, with Deirdre O’Kane and Katherine Lynch.
Also needing no introduction, Ardal O’Hanlon, PJ Gallagher, Joe Rooney, and David McSavage will be tearing things up on various mixed bills around town. All are best known for their seminal TV performances but it’s in the live arena where they really shine. In contrast, The Lords of Strut were fairly unknown about a year ago but having made it to the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent, the talented Cork twosome are ready to bring their A-game to Galway this month (Spiegeltent, October 29 ).
One of the coolest customers in comedy, Tom Stade, who has starred in Live at the Apollo, The John Bishop Show, and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, is Canadian by birth, hilarious by nature, and performing his solo show ‘I Swear’ in The Kings Head on Tuesday 24.
The Vodafone Comedy Carnival always offers up a few unusual shows and this year sees a full suite of comedy events taking place on a converted ex-London double decker bus parked in Eyre Square. Your host is the wonderful Bob Slayer and all shows on Bob’s Blundabus are ‘Pay What You Want’. Another unusual comedy offering is Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience. In The Galway Bay Hotel on October 27, 28, and 29, Basil, Sybil, and Manuel will entertain while you dine on a three course meal.
Two up-and-coming stars of 'anti'social media, Rory’s Stories and Giz A Laugh are making their festival debuts this October. Facebook sensations for their hilarious depictions of Irish life in all its unvarnished glory, this should make for an incredible Bank Holiday Sunday night in An Taibhdhearc.
In a different venue, and in a terrific coup for the festival, Louis CK – America’s biggest comic has kindly given the rights to allow scenes from his masterpiece Horace & Pete to be performed in The Town Hall Theatre (October 26 to 28 ). This is a rare treat and rounds off an incredible line-up of comedic talent spread across a multitude of genres in a jam packed week.
So there you are, while many shows are sold out, so many more great shows still on sale. The Vodafone Comedy carnival runs from Tuesday October 24 to Monday 30. Tickets are available from vodafonecomedycarnival.com