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Funny Things Festival Line-Up Announced

Funny ThingsWhen reports from the Office for National Statistics stated that Wolverhampton was the unhappiest place in the UK, locals didn’t agree, and now Creative Black Country are going to prove it isn’t true, with Wolverhampton’s very own festival of comedy, Funny Things, from the 23rd October to the 5th November.

Creative Black Country have for the first time brought together a range of local and national partners and artists, to produce a festival that creates opportunities for local people to get involved, see great acts, platform new talent, and experience a whole load of funny things.

“For the first time Wolverhampton City will come together and host over 120 events in the name of humour. We’re pleased to see a whole range of events that explore comedy at it’s broadest sense. Alongside stand-up we have artist commissions and events that reflect local voices.” Comments Parminder Dosanjh, Creative Director of Creative Black Country.

Brand new commissions include festival band, Orchestra of Chaos who will be popping up in and around Wolverhampton with their unique brand of music and producing a digital fanzine of people’s funny stories on the way. Redhawk Logistica’s #JokeExchange has been gathering residents’ funniest one-liners, which have been paraded on placards around the city centre throughout September. Join their mass placard procession on 28th October and see the entire joke selection together in one place. Creative Producer Darwinder Bansal invites you to visit her Bollywood video shop Jambo Cinema at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and see a recreation of Aunty and Uncle Bansal’s retro living room from the 1980’s.

There will be plenty of opportunities for families to have a giggle together with a special kid-friendly programme. Newhampton Arts Centre will host slapstick, comedy and comic drawing workshops alongside a Custard Pie Ceremony while Windsor Toys in Penn have invited Emma Purshouse to perform an intimate poetry show for kids.

The Wolves Civic will have some of best comedians on the circuit including German comedian Henning Wehn (27th October), Canadian Tom Stade (26th October) and off the wall performer Milton Jones (4th November). Wolverhampton’s pubs and bars; The Gifford Arms, The Lych Gate Tavern and The Outback will be transformed in to comedy venues with a mix of well known names and emerging talent from improv and stand-up to film and cabaret.

Visitors will be able to see how Arena Theatre produce four short comic plays in just 24 hours for  14/48 (28th October) while the BBC Asian Network (5th November) invite star names for Comedy Live at the Light House.

Budding comedians are given plenty of chances to try out their own sketches in front of an audience. The Midland’s heat of the Funny Women Awards (1st November) will take place at The Slade Rooms hosted by Barbara Nice - past winners include Sara Pascoe and Katherine Ryan. The Stand-up Challenge Showcase (2nd November) at the Molineux will give local business people the chance to try out their first ever five minutes of stand-up, and for students and academics Bright Club is the perfect opportunity to combine study and comedy.

City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, said: “After the success of the literature festival earlier this year we are delighted to be hosting another high-profile festival across the city.

“This comedy festival will bring a lot of laughter to venues across the city including comedy theatre, music, poetry, film, stand-up, family activities, talks and workshops.”

On the closing weekend there will be a special premiere performance of Vacant Lot a lost radio show written by acclaimed West Bromwich-born comedy writer Larry Stephens for comedian Tony Hancock. Presented in collaboration with Birmingham Comedy Festival, two of the found episodes, which have never been performed in public, will be staged in a radio studio setting and aired for the first time at the Light House on the 4th November.

Guest Director of Funny Things, comedian and actress, Janice Connolly said: “It’s important to have events like this that bring people together to have a laugh and involve the whole community. Everyone has a sense of humour.”

Laugh out loud in Wolverhampton this autumn with plenty of chuckles, giggles, smirks, sniggers and guffaws on offer.

The full line-up can be seen by visiting www.funny-thing.co.uk

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