CultureAre you having a laugh?

Are you having a laugh?

The Sure Festival of Comedy is heading back to Jersey this month for a second series of shows.  Billed last year as ‘small but perfectly formed’, the 2012 version claims to be ‘the biggest little comedy festival in the world.’ So what’s it all about?

First we need to rewind to 2006 when marketing and PR buddies Nick Creed and Andy Fothergill were sitting in their Guernsey office tasked with creating a new food-based event for the islands.  “We drew a blank on the food theme but for some strange reason we starting talking about comedy and the complete lack of any stand up in Guernsey at the time.” says Nick.  “I suppose that was the eureka moment for us and a few months later the Guernsey Festival of Comedy made its first appearance, offering a variety of shows to appeal to a wide range of comedy fans.”

The Festival is now a firm favourite in the Guernsey entertainment calendar and has grown into a nine day event.

“It was an ambition of ours to expand into Jersey” says Andy, “and with Sure having a presence in both islands it seemed a natural progression.  Last year’s inaugural event was a great success and whilst the Jersey audience isn’t as starved of comedy entertainment as perhaps Guernsey is, people have really embraced our policy of presenting great comedy shows in intimate venues with an exclusive feel.”

That’s where the Royal Yacht comes into the equation.  “After the success of Rufus Hound at The Drift last year, we spoke to the Royal Yacht about moving the whole festival to the hotel.” says Nick.  “We’re very excited about the Royal Yacht as a venue whether it’s The Drift for cutting edge stand-up or the Celestial Hall set up theatre style, it really is a multi-purpose venue which is so popular with locals and visitors and great for comedy.”

“The line up for this October is one of our strongest yet.   The Sure Festival of Comedy is now well established and we get numerous requests from comedians wanting to be a part of it.  Our visiting performers love coming to the islands and always comment on how appreciative the local audiences are.”

Top TV names in the line-up include Jarred Christmas, Sean Hughes and Arthur Smith.  There’s also a Fawlty Towers charity dinner show in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust Jersey Appeal.

Head of Marketing & Retail at Sure, Lisa McLauchlan, says they are happy to continue their sponsorship for a second year.  “Sponsoring the Festival of Comedy is the perfect partnership for Sure as part of our Sure Smiles series of events, which aim to give islanders unique opportunities to have fun.  We’re delighted the festival is returning to the island and are looking forward to four days of laughter.”

The festival kicks off with a launch party in The Drift on Thursday 11th October.  Headlining the show is New Zealander Jarred Christmas who is well known for TV appearances on shows including ‘8 out of 10 Cats’ and ‘Mock The Week.’  Also on the bill is award-winning stand up Phil Kay, Australian comic Dan Antopolski and actor and comedian Tom Price of ‘Torchwood’ fame.

On Friday 12th October, mayhem will break out in the Celestial Hall which plays host to Basil, Sybil and Manuel in the Fawlty Towers Dinner Show. Actors will re-create classic scenes from the TV series in a high energy interactive comedy.  Proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust Jersey Appeal

Comedian and actor Sean Hughes will star in his own show on Saturday 13th October.  Best known to TV audiences for his long running stint on ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks’, the acclaimed drama ‘The Last Detective’ and two series of his sitcom ‘Sean’s Show’, funnyman Hughes is celebrating a triumphant return to stand-up in 2012.

The laughs conclude on Sunday Afternoon with Arthur Smith. The writer and comedian is well known as one of BBC TVs Grumpy Old Men and his radio shows ‘Excess Baggage’ and ‘The Smith Lectures’.


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