@ Backyard Comedy – Bethnal Green | Thurs 1st – Sunday 4th May
Bigger. Bolder. Brighter….
‘Discovery of the Year 2013’ THE INDEPENDENT
Following on from last year’s sell out run and to critical acclaim, London SketchFest returns bigger and even better going from 3 to a 4 day event from Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th May. A fast-paced, jam-packed selection of the wildest and original sketch comedy where the unexpected should always be expected.
Established in 2013 as an alternative to the more mainstream comedy Festivals, SketchFest’s aim is to provide a platform for unknown comedy talents to showcase their worth in front of a panel of industry judges. As well as new talent, the festival boasts feature shows of established acts, variety shows and for the first time, screens for video sketch comedy groups. Celebrating live, scripted comedy the festival shines a spotlight on the best and most exciting comedy acts, handpicked each year for your viewing pleasure.
Taking over for their second year the newly refurbished The Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green and produced by the non-profit organization, The Laughing Guild, the festival includes rising stars in the sketch world, many of whom are returning from successes last year. Highlights will include last year’s winners of London SketchFest The Pin and runners up Thunderbards, and the first group to do a transatlantic sketch circuit; Foil, Arms & Hog as well as TV’s Pappy’s. With more acts still being confirmed, festival-goers can already count on seeing an impressive lineup.
“…plenty of positives and reasons why SketchFest should become a regular fixture…it would be great for a venture like this to be part of raising the standards of sketch . SketchFest wins a battle for comic hearts and minds” THE STAGE
“Weird, wide-ranging and whimsical, SketchFest reinvigorates a sketch scene increasingly overshadowed by all-conquering stand-up megastars. That can only be a good thing” THE TELEGRAPH
“Perfect for the YouTube generation.” EVENING STANDARD “The inaugural London SketchFest threw up some pretty special talent – comedians who will be having a big impact very soon, if there’s any justice”
Confirmed acts include:
Max and Ivan
Foil, Arms & Hog
The Real MacGuffins
Shirley & Shirley
Festival tickets = £55 Day tickets = £23 Show tickets = £13
All tickets are purchased on the website, using the festival’s e-commerce system. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Confirmed shows: THURSDAY 1ST MAY
8pm – Pappy’s (special opening show – Best Of Pappy’s Live)
FRIDAY 2ND MAY
7pm – Shirley & Shirley (variety show with female character/sketch comedians)
7pm – Competition Show 1 (Rat + Short & Curly + Mugging Chickens + Guilt & Shame) 9pm – Foil, Arms & Hog + BEASTS
SATURDAY 3RD MAY
7pm – Competition Show 2 (Heffernan & Fletcher + Charles Booth + The Awkward Silence + In Cahoots)
9pm – Casual Violence (their show House of Nostril)
9pm – The Real MacGuffins + Matt Lacey
SUNDAY 4TH MAY
5pm – The Pin + Thünderbards
7pm – Competition Show 3 (Mixed Doubles + Adam Drake + Gein’s Family Giftshop + zazU) 9pm – Max and Ivan (their show The Reunion)
10pm – Awards Ceremony/Closing Party
INFO ON ACTS:
PAPPY’S – Britain’s most beloved live sketch group, Pappy’s is a British three-man comedy act, composed of comedians Ben Clark, Matthew Crosby and Tom Parry. Performing together for the best part of a decade, they have been nominated twice for Best Show at the Edinburgh Festival in 2007 and 2012; won the Chortle Award for Best Sketch Performers twice in 2008 and 2013; and their hit podcast, Flatshare Slamdown, won a Loaded Lafta Award in 2012. In early 2010, Pappy’s also became the first British act to perform at San Francisco SketchFest. They have been seen in their own studio sitcom, Badults on BBC3 and individually they have been seen on 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Miranda, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Phoneshop, Meet The Parents, Animal Antics and Watson & Oliver. A distinctive sketch group with no recurring characters, plenty fourth-wall-breaking and a propensity to launch into raucous sing-alongs.
‘One of the finest sketch troupes of the last decade’ ★★★★★ (Guardian)
‘The sheer joy with which these men deliver their skits and lines makes Pappy’s irresistible’ ★★★★★ (Metro) ‘A beautifully constructed pyramid of lunacy in which physical and verbal gags fly around at a dizzying pace’ ★★★★★ (Chortle)
FOIL, ARMS & HOG – Ireland’s top sketch comedy group Foil, Arms and Hog are a rising star on the UK sketch comedy circuit. Lively, energetic and mischievous, Sean Finegan (Foil), Conor McKenna (Arms) and Sean Flanagan (Hog) know how to charm and entertain a crowd. The show is a fast paced mish-mash of sketch comedy performed with a stand-up flair, with music, improvisation and audience interaction. They arrive in London on the back of a World tour including Chicago, San Francisco, LA and Adelaide bringing their unique blend of sketch comedy to the SketchFest stage.
‘It’s original, well-written and really, really funny’ (Kevin Bridges) ‘Fantastic and increasingly bizarre’ (Scotsman)
‘A powerhouse of sketch comedy’ ★★★★ (Chortle)
SHIRLEY & SHIRLEY – Slick, top-notch, comedy professionals Shirley & Shirley are an experienced duo so perfectly matched they share the same names, like Siamese twins of the comedic arts. Dazzling with inspired comic observation, top-class character creations, and wonderfully dark ideas, they filter the world through fabulously twisted minds, armed with infectious personalities and an array of colourful and distinctive characters. Created by writer/performers Joanna Carolan and Pascale Wilson, with writer/director Michael Pearce, they deliver a tour de force of comedy through a ‘mash-up’ of sketch, character and physical comedy that has stormed the live circuit, year after year. The BBC have already grabbed them and nailed their comic creativity to their on-line wall, and the small screen is just around the corner. Credits include filming sketches for Hat Trick Production’s youtube channel ‘Bad Teeth’ (2013), writing scripts for BBC Radio 4’s Sketchorama (2013) 5 sketches for BBC online (2009) and they are currently developing a TV sketch show. Joining the dynamic duo will be Gabby Best (winner of Funny Women Awards 2012) and her ingenious character invention, ‘Marijana’ the Croatian fitness instructor. Also on the bill will be TV’s rising starlet, Jessica Gunning (credits include Ghost in the Machine, Law & order and White Heat) with her ‘Wild Woman’ and other ridiculous laugh out loud sketches.
‘Tour de force of a comedy show’★★★★ (List)
‘These girls are going all the way’ ★★★★ (The Herald)
‘A master class for performers to study as how to really do sketch comedy justice’ ★★★★★ (One4Review)
CASUAL VIOLENCE – Expect award-winning tales of horror and heartbreak from Casual Violence, a five- man comedy troupe bewitched by a penchant for the macabre and a delight in despair. They bring to life weird, bleak and off-kilter sketch tragicomedy, uniquely designed to break your heart and split your sides at the same time. Delightfully odd, Casual Violence are perfect at forming addictive, lively and utterly ridiculous characters for sketch comedy that’s bleak, weird, sinister and silly. Returning to London SketchFest for the second time, they will be raising the game with a theatrical feast that promises to be darker and stranger than we’ve ever seen. This appearance follows their sell-out run at the Soho Theatre, join the double Malcolm Hardee Award nominated comedy group for House of Nostril – a critically acclaimed nightmare blend of sketch comedy, live music and pure evil. Telling the bizarre tale of the Nostril family and the various inhabitants of their large, Victorian mansion, expect voodoo dolls, chimney sweeps, dyslexia goblins and terrible parents together in the midst of a crazy scheme.
‘Casual Violence cannot be commended highly enough for making sketch comedy great again’★★★★★ (Three Weeks)
‘Dark, twisted and superb… I urge everyone to look out for them; your kidneys will hurt from
laughing’ ★★★★★ (The Skinny)
‘Superlative sketch comedy… not a second is allowed to pass without the boys finding a comedy moment… weird, macabre and hilarious’ ★★★★ (The List)
BEASTS – Enticed down from the mountains with the promise of raw meat, these savage creatures were washed, shaved and taught to use cutlery. Now, dressed like gentlemen and schooled in the twin arts of humour and needlework, BEASTS conspire to craft slick, hilarious and sublimely surprising sketches. Critically acclaimed and impeccably dressed BEASTS are Owen Roberts, James McNicholas and Ciarán Dowd. After a sell-out second Edinburgh show last year, these monstrously funny sketchmen are all set for a storming 2014, proving that you can mix style and substance with skill but that still won’t kill the beast within.
‘Hilariously funny – brought to mind early Pythons. Could this entertaining trio go all the way? This critic thinks so.’ (The Sunday Times)
‘A magnetic dynamic’★★★★ (Scotsgay)
‘Some of the most finely crafted comedy I’ve seen’ ★★★★★ (Broadway Baby)
THE REAL MACGUFFINS – have made a name for themselves as creators of irreverent, silly and always inventive sketches.Purveyors of wordplay, wit and physical comedy they’re comedians that go beyond the looking glass to find clever and imaginative sketches that delight both themselves and the audience. The minds of Dan March, Jim Millard and Matt Sheahan, bring to life highly energetic, interactive performances that tend to cause bouts of silliness erupting into something else completely. Get ready for a fun-packed fiesta-thon of the MacGuffins’ best-loved material. After comic turns in ‘The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff’ (BBC2), ‘Miranda’ (BBC1), ‘Lee Nelson’s Well Funny People’ (BBC3) and the BAFTA award-winning ‘Spy’ (SKY1) and forthcoming comedy feature film ‘Molly Moon The Incredible Hypnotist’ (starring Emily Watson, Ben Miller and Joan Collins). The Real MacGuffins have also written for ‘That Mitchell & Webb Sound’ (BBC Radio 4). Expect another joyous and “charmingly foolish” (Daily Telegraph) show as this dysfunctional sketch group teeter on the edge of chaos.
‘Incredibly silly and funny … these are three very talented performers whose comedy dynamic adds a nice extra layer to the show’ (Scotsman)
‘Brilliantly well-crafted’ ★★★★ (Chortle)
‘Fast-paced & witty…performed with great verve & warmth’ ★★★★ (Arts Desk)
MATT LACEY – Matt is an actor, writer and comedian. He has performed as an actor and comic all over the world from Tokyo to New York, via Edinburgh, Glastonbury and the Alps, as well as on the BBC, Channel 4 and Comedy Central. He is the author of ‘The Gap Yah Plannah’ (Fourth Estate, 2011), based on his award- winning YouTube sketch ‘Gap Yah’. His writing has appeared in Tatler, The Telegraph, Company, Vice and The Observer. His work has been described as “reminiscent of a young Bob Dylan” by the guy who hangs around outside his local Iceland. With two critically-acclaimed years of sketch shows under his belt with The Unexpected Items and double-act Mythbunking, and over seven million views on Youtube (search ‘Gap Yah’), award-winning actor and comedian Matt Lacey presents his debut solo show; a smorgasbord of comic characters with some satire, some silliness and some shouting (not too much, just in case you have sensitive ears).
‘Hilarious’ (The Guardian)
‘The most natural performer… a comedy sensation’ (The Times)
‘He’s certainly versatile. All of his creations are spot on and very funny’ ★★★★ (Chortle)
MAX AND IVAN – Multi award-winning comedy double act Max & Ivan debuted their unique brand of narrative sketch comedy in 2011, quickly establishing themselves as one of the finest sketch acts around. Winners of the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Panel Prize in 2011 and nominated for both the Barry Award for Most Outstanding Show and Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show in 2013, Ivan Gonzalez and Max Olesker are tipped for future stardom. They have compered at the Hammersmith Apollo, appeared at festivals across the globe including the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Latitude, Bestival and SXSW. They have appeared in Badults (BBC Three) and on Sketchorama (BBC Radio 4), and have written and starred in a series of sketches for BBC Comedy Online. Nominated for the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show and fresh from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival – and their Barry Award 2013 nomination, Max and Ivan’s The Reunion spins a bewitching sketch comedy tale of love, loss and shatterproof rulers. Directed by Tom Parry (Pappy’s).
‘Undeniably superstars of tomorrow. It feels like watching early Walliams and Lucas or Enfield and Whitehouse’ (GQ Magazine)
‘Tantamount to comedy perfection’ ★★★★★ (Fringe Review)
‘It’s impossible to stop beaming. A joyous hour’ ★★★★ (Independent)
Bards by name and bards by nature, the Thünderbards are storytellers who weave comic tapestries emanating from the depths of a little black book. A kaleidoscopic journey that seems to leap out from the page, they create witty, inventive and playful scenes as ludicrous as they are literal, in a free flowing stream of consciousness, full of physical comedy, character comedy and situational sketches. Glen Moore and Mathew Stevens’ fast-paced, joke-heavy, satirical style is uniquely whimsical and silly – a scholarly display of sketch comedy so good it doesn’t require a single blackout.
‘Without question, one of the funniest sketch acts on the Fringe’ (GQ Magazine)
‘Thunderbards impress with a fast paced mix of spiky one-liners and witty parody’ ★★★★ (The Telegraph)
‘Cerebral and quick witted….really impressive. A fantastic debut hour’ ★★★★ (The List)
THE PIN – Winners at the inaugural London SketchFest for ‘Best Sketch Show’, The Pin are a sketch act heavily tipped for future stardom by The Guardian. A couple of ex-Cambridge Footlighters, Alex Owen and Ben Ashenden create sharp and precise sketch comedy that tends to exceed expectations, giving them a reputation for ‘nailing it’. Under the hood everything is intricate and sophisticated, demonstrating talented- workmanship and when you put it into action, great comedy, that is smooth, clear and to the point.
‘The Pin are so good it might actually make you sick’ ★★★★★ (The Skinny)
‘The precision was astounding. Faultless comic timing’ ★★★★★ (Threeweeks)
‘The talented young double act who stole the show. This duo can go far’ ★★★★ (The Telegraph)
‘A joy to watch. It’s silly and whimsical, but ruthlessly comedic, such is the gag rate, and it’s performed in a no-frills style that suggests they’re super-confident in their writing’ ★★★★ (Londonisfunny.com)
Check out www.londonsketchfest.com for more info