Hundreds of shows as comedians play for festival laughs

Packed and varied line-up at Glasgow International Comedy Festival.

The Glasgow International Comedy Festival launched on Wednesday, showcasing a programme of more than 380 events from March 15 to April 3.

With everyone from Frankie Boyle and Ardal O’Hanlon to Maisie Smith, Judy and ‘Duncan’ Murray and Fern Brady set to perform, there’s a packed and varied line-up.

Comedians Paul Black, Susie McCabe and Marc Jennings joined new festival director Krista McDonald at Glasgow’s Kings Theatre to celebrate the launch, all thrilled to be taking part in the event.

TikTok sensation Paul, who will play two shows at the King’s, said: “I’m excited, but I am also really nervous as my first show is a late show and it starts at 10.45 on a Friday night here in the King’s, in Glasgow City Centre, so I am terrified I’m going to be eaten alive by the crowd!

“I wasn’t even doing comedy the last time the Glasgow Comedy Festival was on – in 2019 – so to be headlining it is mental. I’ve done the Fringe, but I am so excited about doing a Glasgow festival.”

Keen to see the likes of Boyle take to the stage when he opens the fest, Paul also noted that his ‘real-life’ brother, Mark Black, also has a show on, saying: “I should probably say I am looking forward to that, but I can’t say that I am!”

McCabe is no stranger to the Glasgow Comedy Festival and admitted she’s ‘buzzing’ to have it back.

“I did my first ever show in 2013 in a 50-seater. Ten years later, I’ve got two shows in the King’s because of the audience I was able to curtate because of this festival.”

And for those who don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing who to see in one of the 37 venues, Susie had this advice: “Pick up the brochure. Go online. See what you fancy. Research people cause you’ve got the internet at your fingertips.

“Go and see them and take a punt, take a chance. The smaller shows with the smaller acts – they’re cost efficient. Go out and have a laugh cause the world’s pretty rotten just now so we all need a laugh.”

The festival will culminate in a Closing Gala at the King’s Theatre where one act will be awarded the first ever Sir Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award.

Festival director Krista said: “We’re unbelievably thrilled to have this – Billy would probably say ‘chuffed’, but it will let us recognise that spirit of Glasgow and the comedy world in general.

“There’s a real alignment between those characteristics of Glasgow – self-deprecating humour, being unapologetic and brave and resilient, but warm and tough in equal measure and those characteristics which are so akin to Glaswegians are also the basis of the best comedy, so to be able to celebrate both together in Sir Billy Connolly’s name with his support has been a real honour.”

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