One of New Zealand’s fast-rising comedic stars, the meteoric Alice Snedden, brings her critically acclaimed show, Self-Titled, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year. Nominated for a Best Newcomer at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival 2017, a 2016 Raw Comedy Quest Finalist, and a current nominee for a Billy T Award (one of the highest accolades a comedian can receive at the New Zealand Comedy Festival), Alice has distinguished herself as a comedic force on the New Zealand comedy scene. Alice is a columnist for the Sunday Star Times and she is also the head writer for TV3’s multi-series hits Jono and Ben and Funny Girls.
Ari has released two Netflix specials called Double Negative, finished three seasons as host and co-creator of Comedy Central’s storytelling series This is Not Happening, been a regular guest on TBS’s Conan and co-starred with Zach Galifianakis, Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm in Keeping Up With The Joneses. He has also released two hour-long stand-up specials on Comedy Central (Paid Regular and Passive Aggressive) and Revenge for the Holocaust, his stand-up album which went to number 1 on both the iTunes charts and amazon.com the week it was released.
Ashley Blaker is an incredibly gifted stand-up comedian. He has previously performed two sell-out tours of the UK (Ungefiltered and Meshuga Frum) to great acclaim and toured his comedy across Israel and South Africa. He started his takeover of the USA with a sell-out show at New York’s Gramercy Theatre and is returning in May 2018 for an Off-Broadway run at the Jerry Orbach Theater. Previous to starting stand-up, Ashley was a producer and writer for TV and radio and is most famous for unleashing Little Britain on the UK masses.
Athena’s intelligent and thought-provoking material was given the BBC Radio 4 seal of approval when she was invited to write for The News Quiz and The Now Show. She has also performed in Funny Kind of World for BBC Radio Scotland. On screen, Athena featured in a BBC3 Future Films production and was invited by Astronauts Wanted (the super producers of the internet) to guest in their series Girl on Girl. She has also appeared on various podcasts and radio shows including regularly on Global Pillage (Deborah Frances-White), Kitchen Table (The Pool), News Thing (RT), Will Gompertz’s Art Club (BBC Radio 5 Live) and has previously co-hosted The Guilty Feminist with Deborah Frances-White.
Bethany starred in Russell T. Davies’ Cucumber-Bannana-Tofu trilogy on Channel 4 and E4, becoming the first openly transgender actress to star as a trans character on UK television and the first on US broadcast television. Following on from this she played the role of 474 in the ninth series of legendary BBC show Doctor Who before going on to recently film in the role of Pochantas for Channel 4’s No Offence which will TX in 2018. She is a former finalist in the Chortle Student Comedy Awards and was nominated for Best Debut at the 2008 Leicester Comedy Festival.
Brett successfully juggles life as an actor and writer. He co-wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed feature Superbob with Catherine Tate. He won the prestigious 2016 BIFA for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Adult Life Skills with Jodie Whittaker and can next be seen in the SXSW hit Wild Honey Pie alongside Jemima Kirke. His television credits include roles Hoff The Record, Derek and Uncle. Brett stared in the hilarious The Pact opposite Sarah Solemani on BBC2. Brett somehow also managed to find the time to sell out two solo runs at the Soho Theatre and perform at clubs up and down the country. Brett continues to be one of the busiest working comics.
Originally from Birmingham, and now living in London, Darren Harriott is a regular at clubs such as the Glee, Top Secret, Backyard Comedy Club, The Boat Show, 99 Club and Up the Creek. At 2016’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, he was a part of the prestigious Pleasance Reserve and made his debut in 2017, where he was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, featured as one of The Guardian’s Recommended Shows and received a transfer to the Soho Theatre for an eight-date run. 2018 sees Darren fly over to Australia to perform at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival as part of New Order.
DENIM are an all-singing, all-dancing, all laugh-inducing queer pop girl band for the ages. The Denim Queens are back in fighting force to give the people what they want in this one-night-one-stop whirl-wind stadium tour all month in Assembly Theatre extravagant Piccolo Tent for their comeback show: The comeback show of the century directed by Soho Theatre’s Artistic Director Steve Marmion. Join the Queens as they bring their brand of explosive pop to the capital, tackling adversity with their own unique blend of glamour, intelligence and humour. It’s drag as you’ve never experienced it before.
The Denim Juniors
DENIM – made up of the phenomenal talents of Glamrou La Denim, Aphrodite Greene neé Jones, Crystal OBE, Elektra Cute & Shirley DuNaughty – are following up their sell-out, five-star Edinburgh Fringe run (including a 5* rave from The Scotsman) and sell-out month at Soho Theatre in London with this all singing all dancing family friendly cascade of glitter, music, and laughter.
Having only played his first gig in February 2015, Ed Night went on to become a finalist in the prestigious So You Think You’re Funny competition just six months later. Since then, he has been a regular feature in some of the UK’s top comedy clubs and quickly garnered a reputation of one of the most exciting new performers on the circuit. In 2016, he came second in the Piccadilly New Comedian of the Year competition and has done even better in 2017 by being nominated for the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year award and the Edinburgh Comedy Newcomer Award with Anthem for Doomed Youth being transferred to Soho Theatre for a run Jan/Feb 2018.
Over the past few years Elf Lyons has proven herself to be one of the fastest rising stars of comedy. From being a finalist in the Funny Women competition in 2013, she has since established herself on the London and UK comedy circuit, as well as having performed at leading arts festivals all around the world. International performances have included Luxembourg’s Humour de la Paix Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Berlin Fringe, as well as selling out two performances of Pelican at Paris’s Central Théâtre du Gymnase. Arts festival performances include Latitude, VAULT Festival, Hay Festival and Mach fest. Elf’s fourth solo show, Swan, gained her an Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination for Best Show, a nomination for a Malcolm Hardee Award, a Perth FRINGE WORLD nomination for Best Comedy Show and won her a Pick of the Fringe award at the Adelaide Fringe.
Graham is an actor, writer and improviser. He is one of the founding members of the award-winning sell-out show Austentatious (★★★★★ The Times, ★★★★ The Guardian) and the founder and director of The Free Association, London’s leading improv theatre and school, where he teaches and performs weekly. He trained at some of the world’s most prestigious drama schools including the New York Film Academy, UCB Theatre (New York) and East 15 Acting School. His debut Edinburgh Festival Fringe show The Narcissist garnered critical praise across the board.
Gruff Rhys is a songwriter, producer, filmmaker and author. He started his journey as the front man of Ffa Coffi Pawb, who at the time were one of the leading bands on the Welsh language music scene. When they disbanded in 1993, Gruff helped form the legendary and uncompromising Welsh psychedelic band Super Furry Animals. Super Furry Animals have released nine critically acclaimed albums between 1996 and 2009 and have gained a reputation as a must-see, mind-bending live act at gigs and festivals across the world.
A former Oxford Scholar, President of the Oxford Union and MP for the City of Chester, Gyles Brandreth’s career has ranged from being a Whip and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury in John Major’s government to starring in his own award-winning musical revue in London’s West End. A prolific broadcaster, Gyles has appeared on QI (BBC 2), Have I Got News For You (BBC 1), Just A Minute (BBC Radio 4), and is a regular contributor to The One Show (BBC 1). He is an acclaimed interviewer (principally for the Sunday Telegraph), a novelist, children’s author and biographer, he has published two volumes of diaries; Breaking The Code: Westminster Diaries and Something Sensational To Read On The Train: The Diary Of A Lifetime.
Hardeep Singh Kohli
Hardeep is well-known for his take on current affairs and his discussions of them on the UK’s biggest news programmes. He is bringing these views to the fore in his new live show. He is a regular panelist on Channel 5’s hugely popular current affairs show, The Wright Stuff, and has been a regular reporter on BBC1’s The One Show, as well as having been a guest on BBC 1’s Question Time and This Week discussing subjects such as Scottish Independence and national identity. For Channel 4 he has written and presented the BAFTA Award-winning In Search of the Tartan Turban, the critically acclaimed and award winning Hardeep Does… and the seminal gambling series 50 Says You’ll Watch This.
Harriet has appeared at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, Sky Cat Laughs in Kilkenny, Oslo Comedy Festival as well as Latitude. The multi award-winning comic has tour supported for Stephen Merchant, Doc Brown, Kerry Godliman, Stewart Francis, Katherine Ryan and Isy Suttie. You’ll recognise Harriet from her TV appearances on Live at the Comedy Store, Roast Battle (both Comedy Central), Doctor Foster (BBC), Damned (Channel 4) and The One Show Edinburgh Special (BBC). She received huge critical acclaim for her Viceland reality sitcom Bobby and Harriet Get Married, which she wrote and starred in with her real-life husband.
Helen has starred in a great number of top TV and radio comedy shows during her long and successful career. She was part of a group of early 1980’s comedians, including Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Ben Elton and the late Rik Mayall who made their names at London’s Comedy Store. She was a guest on ITV’s Saturday Night Live with her solo comedy act as well as performing at the first Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal with Lenny Henry. TV appearances include the likes of The Young Ones, French and Saunders, Happy Families, One Foot in the Grave, Bottom, Love Soup, Miss Marple and Hollyoaks. She also starred as Rich Aunt Ruby in Horrid Henry: The Movie.
In 2013, his debut Edinburgh Fringe show, Anything, gained critical acclaim and a run at Soho Theatre. His 2014 follow up, Flappable, again received rave reviews and played to sell-out crowds. In 2015, his third show, Whereabouts, received a plethora of 4 and 5 star reviews, a nomination for the Amused Moose Comedy Award and a date at Soho Theatre. He was also part of the hugely successful, Chortle Award nominated, Richard Gadd – Waiting for Gaddot. His 2017 show, Snowflake, was his most successful yet – selling out, garnering critical praise and winning both the Amused Moose Comedy Award (People’s Champion) and a Three Weeks Editors’ Award. He was then invited to perform the show at this year’s New Zealand Comedy Festival.
The multi-talented Joe Sutherland is not one for resting on his laurels. After being a finalist in the New Act of the Year and Leicester Square Theatre New Comedian awards and being selected for the Pleasance Comedy Reserve at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015, Joe now regularly performs at the biggest comedy clubs in the UK. He has also supported Ellie Taylor from 2016 – 2018, as well as RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Sasha Velour, Alyssa Edwards and Trixie Mattell on their their UK tours. His 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show Model/Actress garnered critical acclaim from the press.
As well as being an acclaimed poet Hegley has made a career out of live performances, having become a mainstay at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and appearing at Glastonbury Festival for the last five years. Hegley’s show ‘Alphaboat’ was named ‘one of the ten best kids’ shows at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival’ by The Guardian, highlighting the range of appeal the comic has to audiences both young and old. Hegley also found success through his BBC Radio series ‘Hearing with Hegley’ and the BBC Radio 4 shows ‘The Adventures of John and Tony’ and ‘Who Does John Hegley Think He Is’.
John enjoyed a magnificent sold-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where he thrilled audiences at Monkey Barrel throughout August. Don’t Worry They’re Here transferred to the West End for a two-week run at Soho Theatre, before embarking on a UK tour and playing to packed out houses at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Don’t Worry They’re Here was nominated for Best Show at the 2018 Chortle Awards. See it this Fringe or regret missing out on this bold, funny and thought-provoking show from one of the UK’s top performers.
John-Luke Roberts is a writer and Gaulier trained actor and comedian who has created 6 solo shows for the Edinburgh Fringe between 2010 and 2017 – including cult favourites “ which have all been critically acclaimed with several Soho Theatre transfers. Titles include cult favourites Stnad-Up, Stdad-Up, John-Luke Roberts Builds A Monster and Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, And Despair! (All in Caps). He co-hosts the hugely successful Alternative Comedy Memorial Society with Thom Tuck, which has had residencies at the Soho Theatre, The New Red Lion, and The Bill Murray.
Ken burst onto the UK comedy scene back in 2015 when he reached the final of the BBC New Comedy Award. Reviewing the awards, Chortle’s Steve Bennett thought he “deserved to win”. He went on to film his own BBC Three Top Ten, Proverbs Ken Cheng Hates, was selected for the BBC New Talent Hotlist in 2017 and appeared in Liam Williams’ BBC Radio 4 show Ladhood.
While developing ‘75, Kieran has become new series regular Gordon in Series 3 of hit BBC2 sitcom Two Doors Down alongside Arabella Weir and Doon Mackichan, and he wrote and performed his BBC Radio 4 series Kieran Hodgson’s Earworms inspired by Maestro. Recent and upcoming television and radio appearances include: as a regular on BBC3’s comedy series Famalam, Dave’s Unspun With Matt Forde, Netflix’s Lovesick, as Malcolm McLaren in Sky Arts’ Urban Myths: The Sex Pistols vs Bill Grundy and reprising his role as Pliny the Younger in Radio 4’s How To Survive The Roman Empire by Pliny And Me.
As a newcomer to the London comedy scene, Luca performed his first stand up set at the famous Gong Show at the Comedy Store – and won. Luca grew accustomed to this feeling, as he went on to win 2015’s So You Think You’re Funny and was a finalist in the Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year (2015) and New Act of the Year (2016) competitions. Since then, his career has just gone from strength to strength. He has appeared at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and has garnered critical praise at the last three Edinburgh Festival Fringes and Leicester Comedy Festivals.
Lucy Porter is a regular face and voice on TV and radio panel shows having appeared on Live at the Apollo, QI, Mock the Week, Insert Name Here, Have I Got News for You, Room 101 and Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled. She would be an asset to any pub quiz team having appeared on University Challenge, The Weakest Link, 15 to 1, Pointless, and ITV’s The Chase where she won the highest amount of money ever on the celebrity show for Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital. Lucy also broke records on Mastermind, where she fought off stiff competition from Mark Watson to achieve the highest ever celebrity score.
Mark is one of the country’s most beloved and critically acclaimed live comedians, and has had a long and notable Fringe career since he was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2005 Perrier Awards, Last year saw Mark write songs, hurl coconuts and beg piggy-backs as part of Dave’s BAFTA-winning Taskmaster. In a less pleasant TV engagement, he lost almost three stone and faced a crippling lifelong phobia during a much talked-about stint on The Island with Bear Grylls (C4). Mark has also regularly appeared on BBC 2’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks, and Mock the Week, BBC 1’s Would I Lie To You and Have I Got News For You.
Cornishman Matt Price has been a professional comedian for over ten years, performed in 30 countries including Australia, Dubai, South East Asia, Turkey, Scandanavia and across Europe. He is known for storytelling comedy but also for his ability to connect with an audience in a way that makes each gig feel unique, making him an in-demand compere at clubs such as Glee and Komedia. He has opened for Stephen K Amos on tour, as well as Russell Kane and Norman Lovett. He is also the co-creator of Natural Born Storytellers – a very popular storytelling night at the Camden Comedy Club (Camden Head) in Camden.
Scottish-born London-based Matt Winning is a comedian and a PhD wielding environmental economist who combined both his talents in his 2017 Edinburgh show Filibuster to great critical acclaim. He started his comedy journey in 2009 and quickly gained a reputation as an exciting new act after reaching the final of the Chortle Student Comedy Awards in 2010 and 2011, winning Hilarity Bites New Act of the Year 2011 and appearing in the final of the BBC New Comedy Awards in 2012.
Melinda Hughes is a graduate from the Maastricht Conservatory of Music and the Royal College of Music. She attended The Brussels Opera Studio then toured Europe for three years as a soloist with the André Rieu Strauss Orchestra. Melinda then went on to sing more than thirty different main operatic roles. As a specialist in Weimar Cabaret, Melinda formed her satirical group Kiss & Tell with co-writer Jeremy Limb, performing at the Al Bustan Festival in Beirut, the Hay Literary Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Cadogan Hall, Holders Festival in Barbados and the Metropolitan Room in New York to name but a few.
Jack Chisnall and Joshua Dolphin formed Moon in July 2017 to host a charity comedy night at the Bill Murray, raising money for women’s education in Malaysia. The gig went so well they thought they’d have a go traipsing round the capital’s comedy clubs. They’ve performed at Sketchual Healing, Stop Trying to Make Sketch Happen at Camden Comedy Club, Sketch Club at the Kings Head, and are now performing at some of the hottest gigs in town. They were finalists in 2018’s Leicester Square Sketch-Off, where Chortle praised their “excellent writing”. Moon are directed by Will Hislop, one half of Giants.
Swapping her native South Yorkshire for the capital in 2008 for a life in the spotlight, Myra found herself becoming a New Act of the Year 2012 Finalist before winning a in 2013. After seeing Myra’s performance of his song ‘I Know Him So Well’, Sir Tim Rice contacted Myra personally, declaring her rendition of the hit ‘definitive’ (it’s on Twitter if you don’t believe us) and inviting her to perform the song at a private gala in Mayfair. Myra can also count John Bishop and Graham Norton as celebrity-fans, both taking to twitter to voice their endorsement after seeing her 2017 Edinburgh show DuBois Entendre.
In 1987, Paul wrote his first sitcom for radio, An Actor’s Life For Me and it did so well that it transferred to BBC One where Richard Curtis saw it and asked Paul to work with him on a series about a woman vicar in a village full of lunatics. Paul has also script edited many TV series including Spitting Image, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Miranda, and he’s co-written episodes of My Hero, Mrs Brown’s Boys and Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot starring Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench.
Paul started performing stand-up comedy in 2013 while at university in Wellington. In 2016, he played a supporting role in Rose Matafeo’s show Finally Dead and in 2017, he performed his first solo show Summertime Love which was nominated for the Billy T Award in his native New Zealand, which has previously also been lost by Rhys Darby. Summertime Love was also performed at the 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival where Paul was nominated for Best Newcomer.
American comedian Robyn Perkins has been making people laugh across the globe since 2011. Her background in biology influences her ‘unfiltered’ comedy which combines science and real-life stories. Her “exceptionally charismatic” (Voice Magazine) persona is in high demand as she regularly hosts various clubs across London including Angel Comedy, Top Secret Comedy Club and Laugh Train Home.
After winning the Billy T Award in 2013, Rose’s live work has gone from strength to strength. Her debut show, Finally Dead enjoyed a sell out run at the New Zealand Comedy Festival and was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Her follow-up show, Sassy Best Friend, enjoyed even more success winning the 2017 Fred Award for Best Show by a New Zealander at the New Zealand Comedy Festival. Sassy Best Friend was a sell-out show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and officially one of the best reviewed comedy shows at the festival.
Hailing from San Diego, California, Russell was a major force in the LA comedy scene and college circuit before coming to UK shores to try and win over audiences here on this side of the pond. He has performed at some of the most prestigious clubs across the globe including The Comedy Store (London and Hollywood), Top Secret Comedy, Laugh Factory and many more. As well as performing at all of the clubs around the UK, Russell has also performed solo shows alongside the legendary Phil Kay, gaining him attention from William Morris, which eventually lead to an audition for Star Wars (he didn’t get it, but for a brief moment he got to be every boy’s childhood hero Han Solo).
Sarah’s deadpan wit and cheeky smile has got her far in the comedy scene. After being a semi-finalist in both the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year and Amused Moose Laugh Off, a finalist in the Comedy Knights Fresh Comedian of the Year awards, first runner up at the Funny Women Awards in 2015 and appearing in the BBC New Comedy Awards, Sarah has gone on to be the tour support for Kerry Godliman, Dane Baptiste, Tez Ilyas and Stewart Francis. She was also chosen to be a part of CKP’s Lunchtime Special, showcasing some of the best upcoming comedians on the circuit.
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical
The Showstoppers began in 2008 and have gone on to become the UK’s most acclaimed and in-demand musical improv performance group, triumphantly developing into a must-see global phenomenon. Each summer they return to where it all began, this year for an incredible 11th season, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – one of the world’s most famous comedy festivals. With a critically acclaimed West End run at the Apollo Theatre, a current residency at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue and an acclaimed BBC Radio 4 series to their name, The Showstoppers have taken their ingenious blend of comedy, musical theatre and spontaneity around the globe, receiving accolades and awards including the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment & Family Show 2016
The Showstoppers’ Kids Show
The Showstoppers’ Kids Show is specifically designed to entertain and inspire children by opening the show up to the kids in the audience, who suggest characters and ideas throughout to help create a wildly imaginative musical that only a child’s creativity could come up with. No two shows are ever the same as The Showstoppers take suggestions and devise a brand new musical comedy adventure completely on the spot.
At 18, Steen was crowned the youngest ever Theatresports National Champion of Australia and his innate talent for improvisation has not only been the basis for his award-winning live shows, but has also lead to Steen starring in the Australian series of Whose Line is it Anyway (both as core performer and consultant) and as part of the acclaimed improve duo, The Bear Pack. Steen’s other notable TV credits include starring in Top Coppers (BBC) as the lead – John Mahagony, Squinters (ABC) as Ned, writing/ starring in his own Halloween Sky Short, Scare BnB, and the character-sketch special for ABC TV, The Record.
The Thinking Drinkers are award-winning drinks writers and comedy performers Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham. They are drinks columnists for the Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator and write about enlightened imbibing for an array of international publications including the National Geographic, Esquire, Shortlist, The Times, The Guardian, Time Out London, Conde Nast Traveller, Imbibe Magazine, The Independent and Off Licence News.
Zazu are a comedy group of writer performers Harrie Hayes, Tom Machell, Nick Read, Maddie Rice and writer/director Katharine Armitage. The collective met whilst writing and performing the satirical sketch show NewsRevue and have gone on to perform sell-out shows across the UK, including The Soho Theatre, Leicester Square Theatre and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Individually they have appeared in Wasted (E4), Babs (BBC), Red Dwarf (Dave), Call the Midwife (BBC), The Lodger (BBC), Victoria (ITV), Coconut (BBC), and I Live With Models and Every Blank Ever (both Comedy Central).