Comedy in all its forms is coming to Portsmouth in March, as Portsmouth Guildhall reveals the final line-up of the inaugural Big Mouth Comedy Festival. Taking place on 10th and 11th March 2018, visitors can look forward to performances from established headliners, the country’s top impressionists, and the best of Edinburgh previews.
The Festival will also be seeking the funniest in new, regional talent in heats of the Portsmouth Comedian and Young Comedian of the Year competitions. And Portsmouth residents can even get involved now, as Portsmouth Guildhall is asking them to show their funny side by submitting their most humorous jokes to the Big Mouth Best Joke competition and win tickets to the festival and signed goodies in return.
Topping the bill on Saturday are headline evening acts Russell Kane and Zoe Lyons, whilst on Sunday, the triple bill of Andy Parsons, Seann Walsh and Lee Nelson will have punters rolling in the aisles. The Saturday Evening Late Show will provide a forum for the musical comedy talents of Johnny Awsum and the Raymond & Mr Timpkins Revue, with their fantasmagorical collision of music, silliness and dancing. Both evenings will be hosted by local award-winning comedian James Alderson, a regular on the stand-up circuit. On Sunday afternoon, relive the Blackadder years with the multi-talented Sir Tony Robinson, creator of the worldwide comedy icon that is Baldrick, in a Blackadder Q&A with comedian Craig Murray.
In the Main Auditorium on Saturday afternoon, the line-up consists of Alistair McGowan, one of the UK’s most celebrated impressionists; Jan Ravens, star of BBC’s Dead Ringers; Red Dwarf’s Norman Lovett and Hattie Hayridge in conversation; and The Noise Next Door, the UK’s premier improvised comedy troupe. The more intimate Harlequin Room provides stand-up performances from the deadpan Norman Lovett; Chris McCausland (fresh from a new series of Live at the Apollo), Nathan Caton (Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week, The Comedy Store and BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz), The Raymond & Mr Timpkins Revue and Zoe Lyons.
On Sunday in the Harlequin Room, catch Edinburgh previews from Glenn Moore (Mock The Week), Angela Barnes (Mock The Week and Live at the Apollo), Ivo Graham (Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week and BBC3’s Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live), Jen Brister (Live at the Apollo), Paul McCaffrey (Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central!) and Tanyalee Davis (Live at the Apollo, The John Bishop Show and The Last Leg). Alternatively, you can observe the comic genius of Barry Cryer and Colin Sell (with their ‘Strictly Come Joking’ show) and sketch duo Max & Ivan (from the BBC’s W1A, Matt Lucas’s Pompidou and BBC Radio 4’s The Casebook of Max & Ivan) in the Main Auditorium.
In return for their best original joke, Portsmouth residents can win a fantastic prize package in Portsmouth Guildhall’s Big Mouth Best Joke competition. The competition, which goes live today on the Guildhall’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook channels, is seeking Portsmouth’s best original joke and will be judged by a panel of the Comedy Festival’s top comedians. The top prizes consist of VIP tickets, meet and greets with some of the comedians and signed goodies. There will also be runner-up prizes of tickets and signed posters.
On the amateur stage, there will also be two competitions: Portsmouth Comedian of Year, hoping to find the best new comedy talent in the local area; and Young Comedian of the Year, for aspiring comics under the age of 21, both hosted by Portsmouth comedian James Alderson. Everyone can get involved in finding these next comedy stars, as the audience is responsible for voting for their favourite. There will also be the chance to see performances from the best acts from the last four years of the South Coast Comedian of the Year competition at the Best of the South Coast Comedian of the Year on Sunday afternoon.