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Comedy fans set for gut-busting giggles this October as full fun-packed lineup goes on sale

Aberdeen International Comedy Festival returns with a bang in October with a line-up of gut-busting comedians set to grace the granite city for 11 days from Thursday 6 to Sunday 16 October.

The festival, which has been organised and promoted in its entirety by Aberdeen Inspired since 2016, today released its full programme adding a further 19 shows to the star-studded line up. With around 50 shows taking place at venues across the city centre, comedy fans will find something for everyone in this year’s packed line-up with rising talent on the Scottish scene rubbing shoulders with international stars fresh from the Fringe and several legends of comedy.

Opening the festival at the cities iconic Tivoli Theatre on Thursday 6 October, for two nights, is legendary Irish funny man David O’Doherty who promises lots of talking, some apologising, and some songs played on a glued together plastic keyboard from 1986. 

Also headlining during the opening weekend is Phoenix Nights favourite Justin Moorhouse with his new routine titled Stretch & Think.  This show sees Justin the exploring ideas around yoga, running, middle-aged cyclists and his love-hate relationship with football.  Having last appeared at the festival in 2017 he told us “Aberdeen is my favourite new city. After only coming for the first time in the last few years I’ve fallen in love with it. Its people. Its spirit. Its massive seagulls. Too much? Maybe. Need to flog some tickets though. All gushing aside, I really have enjoyed my trips to Aberdeen and I’m looking forward to appearing at Aberdeen Douglas Hotel on Sunday 9th October‘. 

Joining headliners already on sale such as dead pan master of satire Jack Dee, Netfilx sensation Daniel Sloss, centre lefty and newly single Hal Cruttenden and Britian’s Got Talent winner Daliso Chaponda, the latest shows announced include a host of Scottish performers.  Some of the hottest tickets will be for Stuart McPherson (Siberia, 16 Oct), who’s bringing his acclaimed 2022 Fringe show The Peesh to the festival and youthful Glaswegian Liam Farrelly (Under the Hammer, 9 Oct) with his highly anticipated Fringe debut show, God’s Brother-In-Law. Winner of Scottish Comedian of the Year in December 2021 Liam is said to be leading the way of a new wave of Scottish stand-ups and is set to win audiences over with his appealing wit and charm. 

Drag makes its festival debut when What a Gag! (Aberdeen Art Centre, 7 Oct) a drag show from Slay Presents featuring some of the nations best loved drag artists lands in the city. The programme also includes a host of family shows, comedy movies at the Belmont Filmhouse, musical comedy and improvised acts. 

Commenting on this year’s festival Shona Byrne, festival manager told us “It is hugely exciting to announce the full line-up for what truly will be our biggest, funniest and best festival yet. Whether you’re considering catching some live stand-up for the first time or are a comedy stalwart keen to enjoy the next big thing, then Aberdeen truly is the best place to be this October.

“From family friendly entertainment to comedians a bit closer to the bone, there is something for everyone. We’ve got a fantastic comedy line-up for the festival this year taking place in city centre venues big and small, so check it out, get booking and enjoy all that the city has to offer as part of the festival”.

Other Scottish funny folk include the best local acts in Doric’s Funniest (O’Neill’s, 6 Oct) and you’ll also find headline sets from other Scottish favourites like Glasgow’s Christopher Macarthur-Boyd (Blue Lamp, 12 Oct), the perennially kilted Craig Hill (Tivoli Theatre, 15 Oct). 

The festival has secured funding and sponsorship from Event Scotland and north-east radio station Original 106 for the first time which it is using to try and encourage and attract an audience from the wider region and beyond into the city for the 11-day event.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “EventScotland is delighted to support this year’s Aberdeen International Comedy Festival through our National Events Programme as it returns to the Granite City. The festival promises to be a truly enjoyable 11-day celebration of comedy, attracting locals, visitors and comedians from all over, reaffirming Scotland’s position as the perfect stage for events.”

Adrian Watson, chief executive added “We are delighted to have received funding from Event Scotland for the festival.  It clearly demonstrates the commitment and support that Visit Scotland are making to support the return of events, large and small, to Scotland in 2022.  Given the impact of COVID-19 on our city centre this support could not have come at a better time and will give us a much needed boost to help kick start the comedy festival after a three year hiatus.

“And to have secured Original 106 as our festival partner further demonstrates the enthusiasm that exists within the business community to partner with us and help drive forward the recovery of the city centre.  We have around 25 venues supporting the festival this year by hosting shows and we are delighted to be able to support them by bringing comedy to their doorsteps.”

Craig Lumsden, Programme Controller and Big Breakfast host at Original 106 said “We try to help the North-East wake up with a smile, as we all need some light relief in our lives. As the Comedy festival brings so much laughter and joy to the region, we were very keen to support. We are looking forward to seeing some familiar faces, as well as some new ones who will be entertaining the North-East and can’t wait for it to start. We are delighted and thrilled to be in a position to support such a legendary festival that highlights our city as the place to be.”

New city centre venues hosting shows for the first time include The Priory on Belmont Street where MC Hammersmith (11 Oct) will deliver his hilarious improvised raps and Union Kirk who will showcase two exclusive festival shows titled Supernova (8 Oct) featuring rising star Connor Burns, the whimsical Gareth Waugh and JoJo Sutherland, the teller of many a saucy story. Then, on the following night, (9 Oct) the Supernova line-up includes 2021’s Scottish Comedian of the Year Award-winner Liam Farrelly, Scot Squad’s Chris Forbes and the delightfully crude Kai Humphries (a Geordie, but an honorary Scot) on the bill. 

Local charity Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA) have been named the official charity partner for the second time running giving them a presence across all the shows during the festival providing an opportunity to raise awareness and much needed funds.  Commenting on the partnership Graeme Kinghorn, Chief Executive said “MHA are doubly delighted to again be the official charity partner for this year’s Aberdeen International Comedy Festival.  Laughter does you good, is a bona fide proven form of stress relief and personally, I can’t wait to see as many of the acts as possible.  I hope that everyone makes a real effort to support the festival and takes part in our unofficial survey to measure the “feelgood factor” of attending.”

The festival will close in Impossible style with the glorious fast, funny, and absurd Milton Jones bringing down the house at the Music Hall on Sunday 16 October.  Organiser Aberdeen Inspired expect that its return will see audiences flock to the city centre in their thousands to enjoy the blisteringly funny line-up of comedy that the granite city will showcase over its 11 day run. 

Tickets for all the new shows go on sale today (Thursday 25 August). Ticket prices (including booking fee), dates and performance times are:

Doric’s Funniest, O’Neill’s Aberdeen, Thursday 6 Oct, 7pm, £10

Slay Presents! What a Gag, Friday 7 Oct, 8pm, £11

Lee Kyle: An Actual Giant, Aberdeen Arts Centre, Saturday 8 Oct, 12pm, £7

Rockhopper Comedy Presents The Looney Toonsers, The Glentanar, Saturday 8 Oct, 1pm, £7

Lunchtime Laughs Ft. Scott Forbes & support, McGinty’s Meal an’ Ale, Saturday 8 Oct, 2:30pm, £7

Joe McTernan: The Joe Must Go On, ATIK, Saturday 8 Oct, 3:30pm, £8

Susan Riddell: Living My 2nd Best Life, ATIK, Saturday 8 Oct, 5pm, £8

School of Rock, Belmont Filmhouse, Saturday 8 Oct, 8:30pm, £9/£7

Liam Farrelly: God’s Brother-In-Law, Under The Hammer, Sunday 9 Oct, 1pm, £7

Lunchtime Laughs Ft. Joe McTernan & Gus Lymburn, The Glentanar, Sunday 9 Oct, 2:30pm, £7

MC Hammersmith: One Man Eight Mile, The Priory, Tuesday 11 Oct, 8pm, £8

Christopher Macarthur-Boyd: Oh No, The Blue Lamp, Wednesday 12 Oct, 8:45pm, £12

Krystal Evans: Kaleidoscope, Books & Beans, Thursday 13 Oct, 7pm, £7

Magic Gareth: Magic Eye, Mac’s Pizzeria, Saturday 15 Oct, 12pm, £9

Lunchtime Laughs Ft. Paul McDaniel & Richard Pulsford, The Glentanar, Saturday 15 Oct, 12pm, £7

Lunchtime Laughs Ft. Robin Grainger & Weegie Hink Ae That? O’Neill’s, Saturday 15 Oct, 12pm, £8

Robin Grainger: Robin Time, Unit 51, Saturday 15 Oct, 3:30pm, £9

Richard Pulsford: A Bit More Rich, Unit 51, Saturday 15 Oct, 5pm, £9

Stuart McPherson: The Peesh, Siberia, Sunday 16 Oct, 4:30pm, £7

For more information and to buy tickets go to www.aberdeencomedyfestival.com