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Comedy

Event 6

Morgan & West

Morgan & West’s Utterly Spiffing Spectacular Magic Show For Kids (And Childish Grown-ups!)

Venue: Oxfam Moot

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.

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Morgan & West

Event 10

Morgan & West

Magic Show: Parlour Tricks!

Venue: Oxfam Moot

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!’

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Event 11

Eddie Izzard

Force Majeure

Venue: Tata Tent

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.

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Eddie Izzard

Event 27

Helen Fielding talks to Viv Groskop

Bridget Jones’s Baby

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

The world’s favourite singleton is back with a bump. Fielding discusses the (gloriously different) book and film versions of her comic masterpiece.

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Helen Fielding talks to Viv Groskop

Event 53

Andy Parsons

Peak Bullsh*t

Venue: Oxfam Moot

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.

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Andy Parsons

Event 88

Graham Norton talks to Viv Groskop

Venue: Tata Tent

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.

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Graham Norton talks to Viv Groskop

Event 103

Andy Hamilton

Change Management

Venue: Tata Tent

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.

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Andy Hamilton

Event 114

Andy Hamilton talks to Stephanie Merritt

The Star Witness

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

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’.

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Event 133

Meg Rosoff and Shappi Khorsandi talk to Stephanie Merritt

Fictions: Funny Business

Venue: Good Energy Stage

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.

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Meg Rosoff and Shappi Khorsandi talk to Stephanie Merritt

Event 145

Tony Robinson

No Cunning Plan

Venue: Oxfam Moot

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.

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Tony Robinson

Event 157

Shappi Khorsandi

Oh My Country!

Venue: Tata Tent

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.

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Shappi Khorsandi

Event 198

Marcus Brigstocke, Saci Lloyd, Ed Gillespie and Juliet Davenport

I’m An Expert, Get Me Out of Here

Venue: Oxfam Moot

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.

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Marcus Brigstocke, Saci Lloyd, Ed Gillespie and Juliet Davenport

Event 199

Joe Lycett talks to Stephanie Merritt

Parsnips, Buttered: bamboozle and boycott modern life, one email at a time

Venue: Good Energy Stage

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..

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Joe Lycett talks to Stephanie Merritt

Event 205

Joe Lycett, Nish Kumar, Eleanor Tiernan and Kiri Pritchard-McLean

Machynlleth Comedy Festival @ Hay

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

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.

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Joe Lycett, Nish Kumar, Eleanor Tiernan and Kiri Pritchard-McLean

Event 207

Kate Fox

Quarrybank Women’s Work

Venue: Cube

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’.

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Kate Fox

Event 213

Marcus Brigstocke, Carrie Quinlan and Andre Vincent

The Early Edition: The News Review Revue

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

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…

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Event 254

The Comedy Store Players

The Return of the Kings and Queen…

Venue: Tata Tent

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

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Event 258

Timandra Harkness

Comedy: Big Data

Venue: Starlight Stage

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.

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Timandra Harkness

Event 301

Reginald D. Hunter

Comedy: Some People vs Reginald D Hunter

Venue: Oxfam Moot

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.

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Reginald D. Hunter

Event 308

Marcus Brigstocke, Carrie Quinlan and Andre Vincent

The Early Edition: The News Review Revue 2

Venue: Tata Tent

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

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Marcus Brigstocke, Carrie Quinlan and Andre Vincent

Event 344

Ken Dodd

The Ken Dodd Happiness Show

Venue: Tata Tent

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.

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Ken Dodd

Event 512

Peter Florence and You

The 30th anniversary Quiz Night Supper

Venue: Relish Festival Restaurant
Scrummy food, great company and some not-too-fiendish quizzing. Points mean prizes! If you know your Tombouctoo from your Tim Brooke Taylor you’ll be in the game. And it’s really not all THAT competitive… #hahahaha

Teams of four. Come as a quartet or come and scratch a team with new friends. Just come. It’ll be a blast.

• price includes 2-course supper
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Event 395

John Crace, John Sutherland, Clemency Burton-Hill and Marcus Brigstocke

The Two Johnnies do Hamlet!

Venue: Tata Tent

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.

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John Crace, John Sutherland, Clemency Burton-Hill and Marcus Brigstocke

Event 397

Matthew Engel

That’s The Way It Crumbles: The American Conquest of English

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Americanisms have been slyly colouring the English language for centuries and this practice must stop. Period. What d’y’all think?

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Matthew Engel

Event 403

Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson

The Scummy Mummies Live Show

Venue: Good Energy Stage

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!

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Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson

Event 407

Ava Vidal

Stand-up

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

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.’

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Ava Vidal

Event 460

Nina Conti

Live at Hay

Venue: Tata Tent

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.

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Nina Conti

Event 497

Richard Russo talks to Rosie Goldsmith

Fictions: Everybody’s Fool

Venue: Cube

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.

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Richard Russo talks to Rosie Goldsmith

Event 504

Adam Hart-Davis

Very Heath Robinson: Stories of His Absurdly Ingenious Inventions

Venue: Oxfam Moot

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.

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Adam Hart-Davis

Event 506

Bill Bailey

Larks in Transit

Venue: Tata Tent

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’.

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Bill Bailey

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