Welcome to our Early Bird programme. The full programme will be released at the end of March.
Time travelling magicians Morgan & West present a jaw dropping, heart-stopping, brain-busting, opinion-adjusting, death-defying, mind-frying, spirit-lifting, paradigm-shifting, outlook-changing, furniture-rearranging magic extravaganza! Witness a mountain of mysterious magic, a hatful of hyper-reality, and of course a truck full of tricks and tea. Mixing brain boggling illusion and good old-fashioned tom-foolery, Morgan & West present a show for all the family, where magic and silliness abound! Fun for ages five to 105! ‘Hilarious” - Primary Times.
Time travelling magic duo Morgan & West present an evening chock full of jaw-dropping, brain-bursting, gasp-eliciting feats of magic. The dashing chaps offer up a plateful of illusion and impossibility, all served with wit, charm and no small amount of panache. Be sure to wear a hat – Morgan & West might just blow your mind. ‘Dazzlingly clever and very funny! Superb!’
Force majeure: “superior force”, “chance occurrence, unavoidable accident”. The sublimely gifted comedian returns to Hay after 20 years, with his global tour show. “King of the universe. Comic Genius. Entertainment incarnate” – Telegraph.
Worried about your job? Worried about your family? Worried about yourself? Worried about the NHS? Education? Climate change? World War III? Worried about worrying? Sod it! Come and have a laugh about it. It’s one of the things we do best. As seen on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo, Q.I. etc – and repeated on Dave.
The actor and comedian introduces his debut novel Holding in which the loves and secrets and losses of an Irish community are exposed when human remains are found on a farm. Norton’s best-selling memoirs include The Life and Loves of a He-Devil and So Me.
The brand new stand-up show from the comedian and co-writer of Power Monkeys, Outnumbered, What We Did On Our Holiday and Old Harry’s Game. If you’re feeling flustered because of flux, Andy will teach you how to cope with the changes we have seen and the changes yet to come.
In his 60 years on this planet, comedy writer and performer Andy Hamilton has experienced many changes. For instance, he was once a 6ft 4in professional basketball player, until a tree fell on him. But, of course, change is an inescapable part of the human condition. Why? Is that fair? Some changes are good, some bad. Why can’t they be more clearly labelled? How did we end up working longer hours? Where did all the sparrows go? Contains mild peril.
The comedy-writer’s first novel is the hilarious story of one self-regarding man’s descent into disgrace and his journey back to join the human race. It’s a pin-sharp satire on the shallows of modern media culture and the dysfunctional relationship we all have with the idea of ‘celebrity’.
The writers introduce their two delightful comic novels: Rosoff’s Jonathan Unleashed is a blisteringly funny, touching story of a man whose love life is going to the dogs. Khorsandi’s Nina is Not OK is a darkly funny coming-of-age novel.
The actor and hugely successful children’s writer yarns his working life from child stardom in the first production of Oliver! and the joy of Baldrick, to the documenting of Time Team archaeology and The Worst Jobs in History. Robinson was knighted in 2013 for public and political service. Chaired by Lucy Cotter.
The new show from the star of Live At The Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Have I Got News for You and Q.I. From Morris Dancing to Morrissey, Shappi is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of her arrival in Britain. She’s reclaiming patriotism and sending a love letter to her adopted land. The daughter of an exiled writer and comic from Iran, Shappi’s upbringing has been in no way conventional. From mental illness to opium dens, it’s all gone on in the Khorsandi household and now she recounts it all the only way she knows how, with wit, warmth and hilarity.
Sponsored by GL Events UK
Join enthusiastic host Ed Gillespie and two teams of the great and the good for this riotous and irreverent game show. Expect a heady mix of topicality, tomfoolery and randomness. No (live) insects will be hurt during the proceedings. We can’t guarantee the same for our heroic participants’ feelings, pride or reputation.
This is the comedian’s first book. His first book that he’s written. He’s read loads of books. “Using letters, emails, tweets and telegrams I will show you how the things in your life that make you sad, low or anxious can soon appear trivial, insignificant and like a fish. In short, I will butter your parsnips.” So..
A gala night with some of the best-loved performers from the annual comedy festival. Lycett was the Best Show winner at the 2016 Chortle Awards; Kumar is “utterly brilliant” – Time Out; Tiernan has “an inspired comic mind” – The Scotsman; and MC Kiri Pritchard-McLean is one of the most quick-witted and engaging hosts in the business.
The comedian and poet performs work produced during her residency at Quarry Bank, one of the Industrial Revolution’s best-preserved textile mills. Fox has had unique access to journals of women who worked in the mill, which has informed her lifelong commitment to the issues of gender history and ‘Northern-ness’.
What’s hot? What’s not? How do you decode the qualities’ agendas and how far can you trust the red tops? Why did this make the news and that make chip-wrapping? The comedians spend an hour in the human zoo, tearing up stories, making mad the guilty and appalling the free…
The improv comedy superstars Richard Vranch, Lee Simpson, Andy Smart, Neill Mullarkey and Josie Lawrence are joined once more by Marcus Brigstocke of this parish. They spin audience suggestions into silly, surreal, delightful comedy gold. #joy
Big Data knows where you’ve been and who your friends are. It knows what you like and what makes you angry. It can predict what you’ll buy, where you’ll be the victim of crime and when you’ll have a heart attack. Big Data knows you better than you know yourself, or so it claims. But how well do you know Big Data? Now, thanks to comedian and broadcaster Timandra Harkness, you can grasp the whole subject in an hour, complete with bad puns, audience participation and an electric shock machine.
The American comic’s searingly honest material has garnered him a popular fan base that spans the generations. ‘Hunter joins the top rank of stand-up comedians working today. A comedian going for broke, flying in the face of received opinion in a way that is simply exhilarating… this is comedy of a rare scope’ – The Times. He is very, very funny.
The comedians read the papers for laughs. A little breakfast-time mockery may be in order as they hunt for the news that makes the biggest splash and the least sense. Not for the easily offended or the politically confident. #factcheck #funcheck
Ken Dodd is a comedian of legendary status; an icon and national treasure who has been entertaining audiences for a lifetime of happiness and laughter. He returns to the festival for a 30th anniversary celebration show.
Come and be absolutely discumknockerated (that’s Knotty Ash for ‘over the moon’) by a truly tattifelarius (fun-filled) evening of laughter and songs presented by a comedy genius.
Enjoy a fun-filled variety show for all the family, with non-stop gags and a selection of songs in Ken Dodd's unique Happiness Show.
An irreverent, delightful and wickedly clever insight into Shakespeare’s greatest play, with a spectacular performance of their abridged version. Sutherland is Emeritus Professor of English at UCL; Crace is the Digested Read satirist and writes the parliamentary sketch for The Guardian.
Americanisms have been slyly colouring the English language for centuries and this practice must stop. Period. What d’y’all think?
The outrageously funny comedians cover a wide range of parenting topics, from pelvic floors and play dates to farting and fish fingers. Expect songs, sketches, stand-up and very scummy stories! Parental guidance: GO!
Ava’s always felt out of place: at public school, as a prison officer and a struggling teenage single mum. Luckily, the rising star of C4’s Kings Of Comedy and BBC2’s The Sack Race can laugh at her misfortunes. She’s consistently, delightfully, funny. ‘Vidal juggles the profound and the irreverent, rapidly alternating between the two.’
The fiercely demanded encore from the outrageously brilliant comedian. Strap into the mask as the British Comedy award-winner improvises her way through an hour of side-splitting witchery with the help of Monkey and a bag of tricks. No two shows are ever the same.
A conversation with the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer about his comedic masterpiece, a great American novel for our times. Russo returns to North Bath, the Rust Belt town first brought to unforgettable life in Nobody’s Fool.
A nostalgic look back to the imaginative and often frivolous world of William Heath Robinson, one of the few artists to have given his name to the English language. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the expression ‘Heath Robinson’ is used to describe ‘any absurdly ingenious and impracticable device of the kind illustrated by this artist’. Writer and broadcaster Adam Hart-Davis explores the ingenious contraptions.
A compendium of travellers’ tales and the general shenanigans of 20 years as a travelling comedian. With musical virtuosity, surreal tangents and trademark intelligence, he tackles politics, philosophy, the pursuit of happiness, death metal, ringtones… and an excruciating encounter with Paul McCartney. Two decades of life as a comic filtered through what the Telegraph calls ‘the brainiest comic of his generation’.