New Comedy Festival For Brighton

Major New Tour For Fern Brady

Brighton Dome, the south coast’s premier multi-arts venue, has announced it will launch a brand-new annual Comedy Festival from 24 to 27 October 2024. Bringing together some of the UK’s most exciting new talent alongside comic superstars, a diverse line up will feature traditional stand up performances alongside improv, storytelling and art installations, plus events and workshops for participants of all ages.

Building on the success of Brighton Dome’s year-round comedy programme, the Comedy Festival will span the venue’s three historic spaces, the Grade I listed Concert Hall and Corn Exchange and Grade II listed Studio Theatre. A recent major refurbishment of the Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre has seen the two performance and community venues return to the heart of the city, signalling the importance of arts and culture in Brighton & Hove.

In an in-person UK comedy festival first, all Brighton Dome Comedy Festival events will be live captioned by a team of stenographers led by comedy specialist Claire Hill. Headliners in Brighton Dome’s Concert Hall include Taskmaster star and bestselling author Fern Brady (24 Oct, pictured) and one of The Guardian’s top 50 comedians of the 21st Century, Nish Kumar (27 Oct). A special edition of Brighton Dome’s comedy showcase, Live at Brighton Dome (26 Oct), which spotlights emerging artists alongside household names, will be opened by Indie choral collective Jam Tarts and, in another Brighton Dome first, a family-friendly version of the show will take place next door on the Corn Exchange stage – on the same day, at the same time and with many of the same performers.

Elsewhere, star of Ghosts and Stath Lets FlatsKiell Smith-Bynoe introduces his brand-new improv show Kiell Smith-Bynoe & Friends in the Corn Exchange on Thursday 24 October. Featuring a combination of the best improvisers around, plus some very special guests, every scene will be inspired by a story from an audience member.

The UK’s first – and funniest – refugee comedy collective, London-based No Direction Home, mentored by award-winning comedian and one third of sketch group Pappy’sTom Parry, bring some of their best stand-ups to the Festival for their inaugural Brighton showcase in the Studio Theatre on Sun 27 October. Award-winning clown Julia Masli (25 Oct) and Edinburgh Fringe favourite Rob Auton (26 Oct) perform one-off shows and Maisie Adam (24 Oct) and Kiri Pritchard-McLean (25 Oct) will also stop off in Brighton on their UK tours.

Alongside its adult programme, the Comedy Festival will feature children’s shows, including Phil Kay’s hugely popular hour of interactive fun for children aged 5 and up Gimme Your Left Shoe (26 Oct), with more to be announced. The Festival will also host a series of free comedy workshops for young people in Brighton Dome’s brand-new community space, Anita’s Room, in partnership with Komedia Productions. Each workshop is led by local comedian Tom Veryzer with guest comedians coming in across the weeks. The workshops will focus on different elements of comedy plus developing writing skills, with the aim of building confidence and creativity whilst having a lot of fun. On Sun 27 October, participants will have the opportunity to perform in a showcase held in the Studio Theatre, compered by Michael Akadiri.

Throughout the Festival, which is supported by Mayo Wynne Baxter, Brighton Dome will be open to the public, with interactive installations from cartoonists and illustrators Modern Toss and free to attend pop-up events.

Rosie Crane, Comedy Producer at Brighton Dome, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing a brand new comedy festival to audiences this October. Fitting all of Brighton Dome’s comedy favourites into just four days has been a challenge but I believe there really is something for everyone in what I hope will be the wittiest, silliest, most joyful and inclusive festival of all that is funny. This is just the beginning for Brighton Dome Comedy Festival.”

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