Packed programme of comedy

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A packed programme for Belfast’s only dedicated comedy festival, Belly Laughs, has been launched this week featuring a host of established and new comic performers.

The festival, in its third year, is not restricted to stand-up comedy and strives to challenge, inspire and inform through theatre, cabaret, workshops, seminars, film, bus and walking tours, club nights, competitions, and events for children.

Critically acclaimed British comedians such as Richard Herring, Paul Foot, Hal Cruttenden; Simon Munnery, Tony Jameson; Martin Mor; Tiernan Douieb and Andrew O’Neill, many fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, will appear in venues right across the city.

Leading Irish comic talent such as David McSavage; Foil, Arms & Hog; Joe Rooney; Donal Vaughn, Abie Philbin Bowman, Chris Kent and Eleanor Tiernan will also feature in the action packed programme.

Local performers are also well represented and include Colin Murphy; Micky Bartlett; Paul Currie; Colin Geddis; Shane Todd; Christian Talbot; Sean Hegarty; Wonderfrog; Marcus Keeley; Lorcan McGrane; Teresa Livingstone; Phil McEwan; Ronan Linskey; Gemma Hutton and Alan Irwin.

Fancy trying your hand at stand up?

The search is on for new talent through the Hobgoblin Comedy Award – a UK wide competition for which we will host the Northern Ireland heat on October 2.

The popular Comedy Bus Tour runs again allowing both residents and visitors the chance to enjoy an alternative view of Belfast with leading Belfast comedian Paddy McDonnell showing the funnier side of the city’s sights with a few surprises along the way.

For something a little different, go see the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre or how about the Wireless Mystery Theatre adaptation of ‘Ghostbusters’? Those Who Can’t will also perform their new show and we have a ‘Stars Wars’ themed cabaret show. The wonderful tenx9 will showcase the best comic stories from their recent events and a series of iconic comedy films will entertain you during lunchtime in the city centre.

Add to this mix a seminar on the history of cartooning; a walking tour of Belfast Music Halls; a kids comedy club; workshops on the comedy influences of Dickens, Feydeau & Fo and even some Laughter Yoga, then you have the ingredients for one of the quirkiest and most diverse arts festivals in the city.