Wolverhampton’s new comedy festival FUNNY THINGS.
When reports from the Office for National Statistics stated that Wolverhampton was the unhappiest place in the UK, locals didn’t agree, and now Creative Black Country are going to prove it isn’t true, with a celebration of Black Country humour.
Creative Black Country have brought together 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 lots more.
“For the first time Wolverhampton City will come together and host over 120 events in the name of humour. We’re pleased to see a whole range of events that explore comedy at it’s broadest sense. Alongside stand-up we have artist commissions and events that reflect local voices.” Comments Parminder Dosanjh, Creative Director of Creative Black Country.
The festival kicks off in style on Monday 23rd October at the Slade Rooms where everyone’s favourite lovely lady, Barbara Nice, will be in conversation with actress and comedian Francesca Martinez. The Wolves Civic have some of best comedians on the circuit visiting, including German comedian Henning Wehn (27th October), Canadian Tom Stade (26th October) and off the wall performer Milton Jones (4th November). While three of Wolverhampton’s favourite nighttime venues (The Gifford Arms, The Lych Gate Tavern and The Outback) will be transformed in to comedy venues with a mix of well-known names and emerging talent covering improv and stand-up to film and cabaret with a ‘pay what you want on the door’ pricing policy.
There will be plenty of opportunities for families to have a giggle together with a special kid-friendly programme. A DIY drive-in cinema will pop up at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and there will be a sensory fun space for babies and toddlers at the festival hub at the Wulfrun Shopping Centre. Newhampton Arts Centre will host slapstick, comedy and comic drawing workshops alongside a Custard Pie Ceremony while Windsor Toys in Penn have invited noted writer Emma Purshouse to perform an intimate poetry show for kids.
Brand new commissions include festival band Orchestra of Chaos who 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. Redhawk Logistica’s #JokeExchange has been gathering 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. Visit Bollywood video shop Jambo Cinema at Wolverhampton Art Gallery which sees a recreation of Creative Producer Darwinder Bansal’s Aunty and Uncle’s retro living room from the 1980’s.
Budding comedians are given plenty of chances to try out their own sketches in front of an audience. The Midland’s heat of the Funny Women Awards (1st November) will take place at The Slade Rooms hosted by Barbara Nice (past winners include Sara Pascoe and Katherine Ryan). The Stand-up Challenge Showcase on the 2nd November at the Molineux gives local business people the chance to try out their first ever five minutes of stand-up, and for students and academics Bright Club, on Monday 30th October, is the perfect opportunity to combine study and comedy.
Visitors will be able to see how the team at Arena Theatre produce four short comic plays in just 24 hours for 14/48 (28th October) while the BBC Asian Network (5th November) have invited Guz Khan to host five of his favourite comedians to join him for Comedy Live at the Light House.
City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, said: “After the success of the literature festival earlier this year we are delighted to be hosting another high-profile festival across the city.
“This comedy festival will bring a lot of laughter to venues across the city including comedy theatre, music, poetry, film, stand-up, family activities, talks and workshops.”
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 the 4th November.
Guest Director of Funny Things, comedian and actress, Janice Connolly said: “It’s important to have events like this that bring people together to have a laugh and involve the whole community. Everyone has a sense of humour.”
To bring the festival to life CBC have worked with Big Difference Company – the producers of the hugely successful Leicester Comedy Festival: “It’s been great to have worked with the team at Creative Black Country and provide some support for the first ever Funny Things Comedy Festival”, says Geoff Rowe, CEO Big Difference Company.
“The programme looks amazing and demonstrates the support the festival has amongst the local community. Comedy is a great way to unite communities as humour and laughter is something that everyone does no matter what background they are from and I’m sure the festival will help do this across Wolverhampton as well as raising plenty of smiles for audiences that attend the events.”
Laugh out loud in Wolverhampton this autumn with plenty of chuckles, giggles, smirks, sniggers and guffaws on offer.
Funny Things is produced by Creative Black Country.
For further press information please contact:
Kerry O’Coy / firstname.lastname@example.org / 0121 525 1127
FUNNY THINGS IN THE PRESS
Express & Star – 12th June
That’s funny! Wolverhampton all set to laugh during comedy festival
Express & Star (online & print) – 26th July
Joke Exchange Comes to Wolverhampton
Radio WM – 28th July
Breakfast Show with Alex Lester – Interview with Jenny Smith Funny Things Producer
Express & Star – 25th August
Wolverhampton to have last laugh with comedy festival
Express & Star – 7th October
Lost Hancock scripts brought back to life
BBC – 7th October
Lost Tony Hancock scripts to be performed
Express & Star – 12th October
Flatpack Cinema bringing funny films to Wolverhampton comedy festival
BBC WM Breakfast Show – 17th October
Live interview for Vacant Lots
Express & Star – 18th October
Barbara Nice, Henning Wehn, Tom Stade and more: Brand new comedy festival Funny Things coming to Wolverhampton
Express & Star – 20th October
Funny Things: 12 things not to miss at Wolverhampton’s new comedy festival
Express & Star – 23rd October
Comedian Francesca Martinez will bring ‘funny stuff’ to Wolverhampton show tonight
Made TV – 25th October
Broadcast interview with Redhawke Logistica re Joke Exchange and Sajida Carr for Funny Things
Express & Star – 25th October
Wolverhampton’s Funny Things gets underway
BBC Radio regions – 29th October
Interviews with Dawinder Bansal for Jambo Cinema Commission at Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Express & Star – 30th October
Miserable? Wolverhampton? You must be joking
Made TV – 1st November
Interview with The Orchestra of Chaos
BBC Radio WM – 1st November
Interview with The Orchestra of Chaos – Sunny & Shay show
ITV Central News – 1st November
Dawinder Bansal and Jambo Cinema