Ticket frenzy for this year’s Harrogate Comedy Festival

Ross Noble.
Ross Noble.

By Graham Chalmers

Following yet another successful year in 2013, the Harrogate Comedy Festival is back for its sixth celebration of all things comedy this October - and tickets are already being snapped up.

The Harrogate Advertiser Series can exclusively reveal HCF14’s line-up, which is launched and on sale this week.

Running from October 5 -18 with everything from Channel 4’s Bafta-nominated ultra-hip duo Cardinal Burns to the long-standing household name that is Ruby Wax, the A-Z of comedy is thoroughly covered by this year’s programme.

Harrogate Theatre’s executive producer Kevin Jamieson said: “As the Harrogate Comedy Festival enters its sixth year its great to see so many comedians wanting to be part of it.”

Having scoured Britain for talent, Jamieson’s programme mixes established names, cult stand-ups, rising stars and new kids on the block.

He said: “The line-up this year features nearly 100 comedians, with many of the shows premièring at our festival. It’s a real melting pot of mirth. This year is the biggest, most diverse - and funniest - yet.”

Thanks to Jamieson’s keen programming eye, Harrogate has become firmly established as a key destination for top comedy acts. It could even be why the town was recently voted the UK’s happiest place to live.

The new programme should help cement Harrogate’s reputation as ‘comedy capital of the north’.

Big names take over both the Royal Hall and Harrogate Theatre, with Ross Noble, Omid Djalili and Dave Gorman performing under the gilt ceiling, and Arthur Smith, Jimeoin, Jason Byrne and last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Bridget Christie taking over the theatre’s main house.

There is also a new venue in the mix, as The Crown Hotel joins in the laughter, playing host to brilliant musical improvisers The Horne Section, among many other acts.

As always, there will be HCF’s Comedian of the Year competition and a gamut of festival exclusives that can only be seen in Harrogate, including runaway Edinburgh Fringe success Austentatious, a comedy play spun in the style of Jane Austen but based entirely on audience suggestions.

Knightmare Live! arrives in Harrogate fresh from critically acclaimed sold-out runs in Edinburgh and London.

And there will be a tribute to the heroes to the celluloid clowns of the silent movie era from Andre Vincent, accompanied by silent film composer Neil Brand.

Tickets are on sale now on 01423 502116 or at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk