These are top acts in this year's Harrogate Comedy Festival as it returns after Covid

The last 18 months have been short on laughs in the arts but the perfect pick me up is at hand thanks to Harrogate Theatre.

By Graham Chalmers
Thursday, 26th August 2021, 3:45 pm
One of the highlights of the 12th annual Harrogate Comedy Festival will be when Jimmy Carr appears at the Royal Hall.
One of the highlights of the 12th annual Harrogate Comedy Festival will be when Jimmy Carr appears at the Royal Hall.

For the first time since 2019, Harrogate Comedy Festival is back.

Running from Monday, October 4 to Saturday, October 16, the festival - this once popular annual event - is as always, bringing the biggest acts to the town including Jimmy Carr, Katherine Ryan, Bridgette Christie, Fascinating Idea and Jason Byrne.

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With Harrogate Theatre closed for a £1 million roof replacement, the town’s leading arts hub is reaching out to a range of venues in town to put on shows with the Royal Hall, Harrogate Convention Centre and Harrogate Library, Wesley Centre and the tipi at Cedar Court Hotel involved.

Having started in 2009 at Harrogate Theatre with a commitment to bringing both ‘the bright stars’ and the ‘hotly tipped next big things’ to Harrogate, the festival has gone from strength to strength.

Festival programmer Phil Lowe said: “After bringing the biggest names in stand-up and the best in rising talent to Harrogate for over a decade, Harrogate Comedy Festival is an important event for the town.

“We now have a standard of excellence to not just uphold but further exceed each year, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. We are on the lookout for great comedy all year round and we’ll continue to bring the very best to Harrogate going forward.”

An early treat in this year’s 12th annual Harrogate Comedy Festival is when Jimmy Carr appears at the Royal Hall on September 23.

His latest show is called Terribly Funny and, suitably enough, sees the nation’s top stand-up comic talk about terrible things that might have affected you or people you know and love - not always with political correctness in mind.

Other acts lined up for Harrogate Comedy Festival include Jimeoin, Iain Stirling, Kerry Godliman, Chris Singleton and Tez Ilyas.

There will also be a variety of comedy theatre events, including Twisted Tales Volume 2 and Not Lady Chatterley’s Lovers.

Since Harrogate Comedy Festival began, more than 70,000 people have attended achieving an average of 73% capacity over the decade.

Harrogate Theatre estimates more than 55% of that audience during that time have travelled from outside of Harrogate, equating to an increased footfall of almost 40,000 people and generating significant secondary spend in the town.

For this year’s festival, Harrogate Comedy Festival has partnered with both St George’s Hotel Harrogate and The Cedar Court Hotel Harrogate to bring audiences a range of special discounts.

Tickets for several events are already sold out.

In more good news for comedy fans, Jason Manford will appear at the Royal Hall on February 5, 2022.

For more information, visit www.