The stellar lineup includes comedic heavyweights John Bishop, Phill Jupitus, Deirdre O’Kane, Seann Walsh and Ardal O’Hanlon
Fans of all things funny are in for a treat next month as some of the biggest names in comedy head west for Ireland’s largest comedy festival. This October, the Galway Comedy Festival will deliver the most exciting line-up ever assembled in the event’s history. The 70-strong line-up of international stars, homegrown comedy greats, and emerging talent will perform at 69 shows from Tuesday 24 to Monday 30 October.
John Bishop, one of the best-loved comedians on the circuit, will make headline appearances in The Black Box, Leisureland and Róisín Dubh. The charismatic Liverpudlian is an acknowledged master of everyman comedy. A working class hero with an accent to match, John has become a household name just by being his incredibly funny self.
Equal parts charming, brash, confrontational and offensive, Jim Jefferies, has added a third date of his latest show for Galway, due to enormous demand. If you haven’t seen him before, now’s your chance. The outspoken Queen of Ireland, Panti Bliss, will sashay her way to the Black Box to perform the acclaimed show, If These Wigs Could Talk. Stand by for raucous tales of a lifetime of accidental activism and making a full-time show of herself.
Galway’s Town Hall Theatre is home to a host of top class solo shows including the towering presence of Reginald D Hunter and the laid-back nonchalance of Rich Hall. Following his outstanding performance last year, Irish/Aussie Jimeoin returns with his no-gimmicks, superbly observed humour with his new show, Who’s Your Man?! And here’s a treat: Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords, Jumanji), will perform the best material from his comedy career in the retrospective show, 25 Years.
Róisín Dubh, the home of comedy in the west and also Festival HQ, is the location for the Bulmers Festival Club, the Late Night KARLnival, and numerous solo shows, including sold-out nights from both Serena Terry (aka. Mammy Banter) and John Colleary, Danny O’Brien’s new show taking a nostalgic look at a 90s childhood, burlesque and cabaret from The Dirty Circus, and the debut solo show from Polish-language TikTok sensation, Mama Na Obrotach.
Karl Spain is back at the helm of his Late Night KARLnival at Róisín Dubh after a year away to tour arenas with Kevin Bridges. Always a must-see, the KARLnival is where comedians gather at the end of the night – you never know just who will appear on stage in the iconic venue – for late night revelry, not very gentle slagging and a sense of ‘how are they allowed to say that?’
Festival favourite Phill Jupitus is making his long-awaited return to Galway this October, performing with Stephen Frost’s improv crew and co-hosting the closing gala with Karl Spain.
The medieval heart of Galway city centre beats a little faster during the Festival. This is a town that loves to party and #GCF23 has all the ingredients for a good time: Comedy Club Crawls snaking their way around the city streets and venues in the afternoons; interactive dinner theatre from Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience; Gáire as Gaeilge hosted by Hector Ó hEochagáin; cosy chuckles in Ireland’s Smallest Comedy Club; and a night of nonsense with popular Galwegian event crew WOMP Events.
Add in family friendly comedy and magic shows, and it all adds up to one joyous Bank Holiday blast of comedy-fuelled fun you won’t want to miss.
Tickets for the full festival programme are on sale now at galwaycomedyfestival.ie