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Laughter is certainly the best medicine - even if you’re not ill! Why not get your ribs well and truly tickled over the next few weeks by attending one or more of the following laughter-fests... 


With much of his comedy focusing on making fun of life across the pond in his homeland, Rich Hall is best known for his creation of Otis Lee Crenshaw, a bourbon-swilling redneck jailbird from Tennessee whose many wives have all been named Brenda. 

Publicity for this latest touring show, Shot From Cannons - a combination of ‘new rants, knife-edge observations and thrilling musical interludes’ - advises that although you’ll pay for the whole seat, you’ll only need the edge of it.

NewVic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Thursday 20 June

Rich Hall


Viggo Venn hit the big time last summer when he became the 2023 winner of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, since which time he’s been basking in the glory of finally achieving his long-desired transformation from Norwegian clown to British comedian. The BGT judges were certainly effusive in their praise for the talented 34-year-old, with Bruno Toniolo hailing him one of the most memorable characters since Mr Bean and Simon Cowell declaring his act to be like nothing he’d ever seen before. 
Viggo visits the Old Rep this month as part of his first-ever national tour. 

Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury, Wednesday 26 June

Viggo Venn


'The OCD, bisexual offspring of a Catholic deacon', Catherine Bohart’s natural enthusiasm ensures excellent rapport with her audience, for whom the Irish comedian  seems to have a genuine affection. 
Her jokes include: “Lesbian sex is like cricket: it goes on forever and there’s a lot of men watching it at home, alone, on the internet.”

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wednesday 26 June

Catherine Bohart


Erudite and home-schooled 1930s throwback Troy Hawke lists his hobbies as playing scrabble, conspiracy theories and calling Manchester City’s Erling Haaland “a tremendous Nordic meat shield”.

The foppish Errol Flynn-lookalike (Troy, that is, not Erling) - as played by character stand-up Milo McCabe - had been out and about on the comedy circuit for a good few years before finally hitting the online jackpot and going viral on TikTok. 

Troy is visiting the Midlands this month with The Greeters Guild, a show in which he ‘examines his unlikely genesis and explores exactly why a well-dressed man simply being nice to people has caused such a kerfuffle’. 

Expect an evening of splendidly incongruous, occasionally brain-addling, delivered-with-warmth comedy.

The Regal, Evesham, Friday 28 JuneBirmingham Town Hall, Saturday 29 JuneThe Civic at The Halls Wolverhampton, Saturday 30 November

Troy Hawke: The Greeters Guild


American comedian Ruby Wax here follows up her critically acclaimed show, How To Be Human, with what’s being described as her rawest, darkest and funniest offering yet. “The original idea behind this show [titled I’m Not As Well As I Thought I Was] was based on the extreme journeys that I wanted to take in order to find an antidote to living a frazzled life,” says Ruby. “Along the way, I wanted to find meaning, peace, happiness - the stuff we’re all chasing. However, after some transcendent experiences, I ended up in a mental institution... Obviously, I didn’t find what I was looking for...”

Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Saturday 29 JuneRoyal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Sat 28 September

Ruby Wax


Evidently a fella who likes to fly by the seat of his pants, John Bishop left the comfort of a lucrative marketing job to work full time on his comedy act. 
It was certainly a brave decision to make, but one that has since been fully justified - the 57-year-old Liverpudlian is nowadays one of the UK’s best known and most highly regarded funnymen. 
Jokes include “Being an England supporter is like being the over-optimistic parents of the fat kid on sports day,” and “Edinburgh is the only place you can be sunburned and get trench foot on the same day.”
John stops off in Stoke with latest touring show Back At It. The title makes reference to the fact that, ‘after two years spent TV presenting, stage acting, podcast hosting, dog walking and decorating the spare room’, he’s finally getting back to the thing he loves the most; standing on stage and making people laugh. 

Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, Thursday 4 & Friday 5 JulyThe Civic at The hall Wolverhampton, Sunday 14 July; Warwick Arts Centre, Thursday 31 October     


Richard Herring has developed a reputation as one of the UK’s most inventive and original comedians, cleverly using real-life trials and tribulations to inform his high-quality line in comic patter. 
And he’s certainly not a man to shirk big or controversial subjects when it comes to his comedy shows. Previous tours have seen him ponder religion (Christ On A Bike), politics (Hitler Moustache) and genitalia (Talking Cock).
This latest offering finds him once again contemplating what’s going on down his trousers, this time having been diagnosed three years ago with testicular cancer, as a result of which he’s had the ‘murderous gonad’ removed.  

Huntingdon Hall, Worcester, Saturday 6 July; Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury, Sunday 7 July

Richard Herring


Danish feminist comedian and one-time self-harming Westlife fan Sofie Hagen makes a welcome return to the Midlands with a brand-new show to accompany a brand-new book. Both are titled Will I Ever Have Sex Again? and find their ‘inspiration’ in Sofie’s 3,000-plus days of ‘involuntary celibacy’.   

Glee Club, Birmingham, Wednesday 10 July

Sofie Hagen


Randy Feltface is described by his official publicity for this show as a felt-faced comedian with an axe to grind. If you’ve never heard of him before, important information to know is that he’s a purple puppet from Australia who is operated by a fella named Heath McIvor. He’s appearing in Birmingham to present an hour of brand-new comedy, with support being provided by fellow Australian Brodi Snook.  

Birmingham Town Hall, Saturday 13 July

Randy Feltface: First Banana


With a style of humour that’s mainly based around puns and one-liners, Milton Jones has established himself as one of Britain’s most in-demand funnymen. 
“If my comedy’s working well, I put a cartoon in people’s heads that surprises them,” explains Milton. “So you start off and they’re thinking one thing, then you surprise them by changing the ending as you go along. It’s not political or particularly edgy, it’s just daft. It’s a sort of verbal practical joke, but some people really hate that. 
I think the better the comic you are, the stronger the flavour you are.”
Milton’s gags include: “Militant feminists - I take my hat off to them. They don’t like that,” and “Recently, on a flight to America, all the way across, my wife was going, ‘Why don’t you get an upgrade, why don’t you get an upgrade?’  “It took a bit of time, but in the end I got a better wife.”

Midlands Arts Centre, (MAC), Birmingham, Thursday 18 JulyRoyal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Friday 27 September; Birmingham Town Hall, Sunday 6 October; Warwick Arts Centre, Saturday 19 October; Crewe Lyceum Theatre, Friday 6 December

Milton Jones: Ha!Milton


“Life was tough growing up,” says online sensation Gary Powndland, the alter-ego of Wolverhampton laughter merchant Jack Kirwan. “My mom and dad popped out for a loaf when I was younger, which is quite an ordinary thing, but I realised as they were leaving that they were carrying suitcases. Straight away I thought to myself, ‘How much bread do they think we can eat?’” 
Jack is very much enjoying his creation Gary’s moment (or several) in the sun, but his own career in comedy hasn’t always been plain sailing. “I’ve done my share of driving up to Newcastle for a 20 quid gig, getting back at 1am and needing to be up for work at five,” says Jack. “And then there was the time I played Edinburgh and basically died on my arse every night for a month!”

Stourbridge Town Hall, Saturday 27 JulyThe Prince Of Wales Theatre, Cannock, Saturday 31 August

Gary Powndland


Peter Kay has the magical ability to endear himself to just about everybody. Gregarious in nature and bringing to the stage bucketloads of northern-style charisma, he peddles a line in comedy which is bold and biting but never cruel.

“It’s good to get back to what I love doing best,” he says, in talking about his return to stand-up comedy. “And if there’s ever a time people need a laugh, it’s now.” 

Returning to the circuit after taking a 12-year break, he’s offering tickets to his shows at the same starting price as the previous time he went out on tour, way back in 2010. 

 Utilita Arena Birmingham, Friday 9 AugustMonday 7 OctoberFriday 15 NovemberFriday 6 DecemberFriday 24 January 2025Saturday 7 June 2025Friday 5 December 2025

Peter Kay


Hailed a ‘joke machine’ by one national newspaper, Jake Lambert is a relatively new kid on the comedy block who’s made a big splash online (his videos have gained more than 150 million views). 

Although visiting Shrewsbury and Birmingham as part of his first-ever national tour, the 33-year-old funnyman already has plenty of on-the-road experience under his belt - he’s previously been the support act for some of the UK’s best-loved comedians, including Jack Dee, Alan Carr and Romesh Ranganathan... 

Indeed, Jake is touring this debut show - titled The Sunshine Kid - while also fitting in arena dates supporting Michael McIntyre.

The Glee Club, Birmingham, Wednesday 11 September

Jake Lambert


Past publicity blurb for this fella said it all: “Strap in for some super-speed sunderings and inconvenient sociology in a show of self-soiling merriment that will leave you with rickets.” 

In short, Russell Kane is a very funny man - and it’s not just his publicist who thinks so. Russell has been drawing a crowd since bursting onto the scene 20 years ago, serving up liberal doses of humour at a frenetic pace. 

The London-born comedian visits the Midlands with latest touring show HyperActive.

Crewe Lyceum Theatre, Saturday 14 SeptemberStafford Gatehouse Theatre, Sunday 15 SeptemberBirmingham Hippodrome, Friday 15 NovemberVictoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent, Saturday 8 March 2025Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Sunday 27 April 2025

Russell Kane


Actor Alex Lowe enjoyed big success with comic creation Clinton Baptiste when the character first appeared more than 20 years ago in Peter Kay’s award-winning television series, Phoenix Nights. 
A tacky and inept clairvoyant, medium & psychic, Baptiste was Kay’s brainchild but has since been fleshed-out further by the man who plays him. 

Despite the serious amount of work he’s put into developing the character, Alex remains appreciative of Clinton’s origin: “The fact that he‘s from Phoenix Nights is great! It’s like having a head start, because I already feel four-nil up before I even get on stage, and I know the audience is going to laugh.”

Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Wednesday 2 October

Clinton Baptiste


After watching an Adam Kay performance, Stephen Fry declared, “This made me very, very happy.” Numerous sell-out years at the Edinburgh Fringe and tens of millions of YouTube hits later, former obstetrician and gynaecologist Adam is this month visiting the Midlands with brand-new offering Undoctored, a follow-on from previous smash-hit stage show This Is Going To Hurt.

Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent, Thursday 3 October

Adam Kay: Undoctored


Welsh funnyman Rhod Gilbert has acquired a huge and still-growing following thanks to a high-energy brand of grumpiness that marks him out as one of the top comedians of his generation. 

He’s returning to the Midlands this month with Rhod Gilbert And The Giant Grapefruit, a show in which he’ll be discussing his recent battle against stage four head and neck cancer. 

Rhod’s best-loved gags include: “In the Bible, God made it rain for 40 days and 40 nights. That’s a pretty good summer for Wales... That’s a hosepipe ban waiting to happen.” And “A spa hotel? It’s like a normal hotel, only in reception there’s a picture of a pebble.”

The Halls, Wolverhampton, Thursday 10 OctoberWarwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Thursday 17 - Friday 18 OctoberSymphony Hall, Birmingham, Friday 15 - Saturday 16 November

Rhod Gilbert


Observational comedian Carl Hutchinson makes a welcome return with a show that covers all manner of common-or-garden topics. Prior to becoming a full-time stand-up, Carl was a maths teacher. “There are certainly comparisons between the two professions,” says the popular Geordie funnyman, “but the definite advantage with comedy is that if you have a bad gig, you can rest assured that you don’t have to see the same audience the next day at 10am!”
Carl visits the region with new show Today Years Old.

Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Sunday 13 OctoberWarwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Thursday 17 OctoberTheatre Severn, Shrewsbury, Saturday 9 NovemberStafford Gatehouse Theatre, Sunday 24 November

Carl Hutchinson


“I’m essentially a great guy delivering humour through your classic microphone/speaker combo,” says a tongue-in-cheek Ed Gamble in describing himself. “As well as being a stand-up comedian, I’m an actor and a writer - although, to be honest, I very rarely act, and ‘writing’ is a very lofty term for the absolute filth I’ve committed to paper in the past.” 

Co-host (with James Acaster) of award-winning podcast Off Menu, a judge on Great British Menu, Taskmaster champion and host of Taskmaster The Podcast, Ed stops off in the Midlands this month with his brand-new touring show, Hot Diggity Dog. 

Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Saturday 16 November

Ed Gamble


London standup Mo Gilligan has enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame and fortune since first coming to wider public attention just a handful of years ago. It was back in December 2016 that Mo uploaded a video about grime MCs - since which time he’s found himself catapulted to celebrity status. Hired by Channel Four to front The Lateish Show and rewarded for his television work with a coveted Bafta gong, Mo admits that his life has started to feel just a little bit crazy. “I wake up in the morning and think, ‘This is nuts!’” admits the 35-year-old. “It’s what I’d always dreamt about, and now that it’s happened, I’m determined to make the most of it.” 

Utilita Arena Birmingham, Saturday 30 November 2024

Mo Gilligan and Friends


“A long time ago, when I’d only just started out as a comedian,” recalls scouse funnyman Chris McCausland, “I walked out on stage and was telling a joke to break the ice about being blind, when somebody in the audience shouted out, pantomime style, ‘We’re behind you!’ It was very funny!”

Chris has the eye condition retinitis pigmentosa. “It’s been referred to in different ways across the years,” he says, “from the rather dull and generic-sounding macular degeneration to the cool and groovy inverse cone-rod dystrophy!” 

A touring comedian since the mid-noughties, Chris has also appeared on a host of television panel games and in series including EastEnders and Moving On. 

He visits the Midlands with latest show Yonks!.

The Alexandra, Birmingham, Sunday 26 JanuaryWolverhampton Grand Theatre, Thursday 30 January

Chris McCausland - Yonks!