Harry Hill, Tim Vine, Paul Daniels, Shappi Khorsandi and more announced for BALHAM COMEDY FESTIVAL 2015

THE BEDFORD 10 – 18 JULY 2015

Laughter is the name of the game and this year’s assemblage of top-notch comedy quipsters will see audiences queuing round the block for Banana Cabaret’s 2015 Balham Comedy Festival.  Now in its fourth year, the Balham Comedy Festival is firmly rooted on the UK comedy map and with each and every incarnation promises even more serious side-splitting and knee-slapping merriment.   A huge success with comedy fans, the annual Balham Comedy Festival gives audiences the chance to see headline comedy stars in the intimate surroundings of the 3 performance rooms at Balham’s iconic public house, The Bedford.

The 2015 Balham Comedy Festival, co-produced by Banana Cabaret’s Dave Vickers and comedian                         John Moloney,  will see an aggregation of comedy talent descend on The Bedford, the home of                             Banana Cabaret, for 8 nights between 10 – 18 July.  Tickets which are priced between £8.00 - £17.00 (plus booking fee) will be on sale from noon on Friday 22 May for Banana Cabaret newsletter subscribers and for all from Tuesday 26 May at 10.00 am.

Names confirmed for the 2015 Balham Comedy Festival include Harry Hill  and Tim Vine who return to the Festival for the second time  as  special guests with  Best of Banana Cabaret on the opening and closing nights respectively,  Shappi Khorsandi,  Ardal O HanlonRobert NewmanPaul Sinha who will host a quiz on one night and also perform his stand up set on another,   Romesh RanganathanPaul Daniels and Debbie McGee, Sara PascoeBarry Cryer & Ronnie GoldenMarcus Brigstocke,  Simon MunneryArthur Smith,  Stephen K AmosThe Kagools,   Lucy Porter,  Ed Byrne and Kevin Day 

There will be Best of Banana Cabaret performances on 4 nights, all hosted by John Moloney whose brand new Radio 4 show The John Moloney Show has received critical acclaim.  Comics featured on the line ups of the Best of Banana sets are Pippa Evans, Imran Yusuf, Ben Norris, Rob Rouse, Noel James, Dana Alexander, Mick Ferry, Tom Allen, Raymond and Mr Timpkins, Alun Cochrane, Ninia Benjamin, and Andy Askins.

Now in its 31st year, Banana Cabaret has been resident at The Bedford in Balham since its inception and is recognised as one of the premier comedy clubs on the circuit playing host to hundreds of comedians over the years, who have gone on to become household names.

Shappi Khorsandi - The Ballroom – 7.30 pm - Shappi Khorsandi:  Because I’m Shappi – Star of Michael McIntyre’s Roadshow, Have I Got News For You and QI returns to the festival with her hit show.  After being knocked up like a 1950s teenager, Shappi missed 2013 but is back and it’s forward march.  Reflecting on the good things, she celebrates her haphazard zigzag towards her dreams.   She introduces us to friends, family and total strangers who have helped her on her personal Yellow Brick Road.  She has whip crack jokes and is effortlessly funny as she handles every subject with a razor sharp wit, softened only by her deliciously mischievous delivery and endless charm. “makes live comedy thrilling” Evening Standard, “seriously funny and surprisingly filthy” The New Statesman.  £15.00

Festival opening Best of Banana – The Round Room 9.00 pm – Harry Hill, Pippa Evans, Imran Yusuf, Ben Norris and hosted by John Moloney – Harry Hill who opened the inaugural Balham Comedy Festival in 2012 returns in spectacular form as ever for an exclusive appearance with the line-up of The Best of BananaCabaret;   Pippa Evans is an award-winning comedian, songwriter and improviser. She has taken six critically acclaimed solo shows to the Edinburgh Festival, bagging a Best Newcomer Nomination for her debut hour, Pippa Evans and Other Lonely People;   Imran Yusuf will perform an excerpt preview of his forthcoming Edinburgh show Super Roar of The Underdog Turbo X: HD Remix which includes the best of 2014 plus brand new special moves; Ben Norris renowned for his incredibly relaxed stage persona and innate ability to improvise, as well as deliver sharply crafted material,   recently supported Ed Byrne on his tour and has appeared  on The Comedy StoreNever Mind The Buzzcocks,  They Think It’s All Over and Mock The Week  £17.00

Ardal O’Hanlon – The Round Room – 7.30 pm – Ardal O’Hanlon – award winning comedian, actor and writer and star of                  Father Ted and My Hero returns to the Balham Comedy Festival for a second time.  Lurking beneath Ardal’s mild-mannered demeanour resides a sharp and probing (and fairly mild-mannered) comic brain. Sometimes thoughtful, sometimes silly, but always punchy, he has tickled audiences all over the world. A highly acclaimed stand up, Ardal has toured to sell out audiences internationally (including extensive live work across the US, Canada, Australia, Far East and Europe) and has released two Top Ten stand up DVD's (Ardal O'Hanlon Live and Ardal O'Hanlon Live in Dublin). He continues to be one of the most sought after comedians working, with TV stand up credits including: Live at The Apollo and Michael McIntyre’s Road show, in addition to starring in his own US Comedy Central special and hosting several series of the BBC series The Stand Up Show.  “Charm, intelligence and fabulous phrase-making” - The Guardian “He flutters through a variety of topics with a poet’s eye for inconsequential detail” – The Telegraph £16.00
Robert Newman – The Round Room – 9.30 pm Robert Newman:  The Brain Show – after sell out success at last year’s Festival Robert Newman returns this year with The Brain Show.  After volunteering for a brain-imaging experiment meant to locate the part of the brain that lights up when you’re in love, Rob emerges with more questions than answers.  Can brain scans read our minds? Are we our brains? How can you map the mind?  The show includes a specially constructed MRI-hat that will record Robert’s real-time brain activity in the show "He is the funniest comedian I have ever seen…a passionate, chaotically brilliant comedian.” The Sunday Times “You see that chink of gleaming light in the dark, overcast sky? That’s you that is.” Daily Telegraph £16.00

Best of Banana – The Ballroom – 9.00 pm – Rob Rouse, Noel James, Dana Alexander and hosted by John Moloney – You might know  Rob Rouse  from 8 Out of 10 CatsDave’s One Night Stand and John Bishop’s Only Joking amongst others so come along and see him do  what he does best – honest, frank and seriously funny stand up;  Noel James – Welsh comic Noel James who  is one of the stalwarts of the comedy circuit (though some would say stale wart) is returning to the Banana.  Noel is the minstrel of understatement. Often described as surreal he prefers the term 'linguistic satirist' and is a prolific joke writer; Dana Alexander is currently one of Britain and Canada’s hottest emerging young comedians – her style  has been described as smart, irreverent and revolutionary. £16.00

Paul Sinha Quiz - The Ballroom – 7.30 pm – Star of The Chase Paul Sinha will be hosting the Quiz with - £100 prize - £10.00 per person – Maximum 5 people per team.                                                                                                      
Romesh Ranganathan – The Round Room – 8.00 pm – Romesh:  Irrational - early tour warm up - Nominated for Fosters'                           Best Newcomer in 2013, and then for the Fosters' Main Award in 2014, Romesh Ranganathan is, without doubt, one of the UK’s fastest rising comedy stars.  Fresh from a total sell out UK tour, winning the Dave Leicester Comedy Award for Best Show 2015, as well as appearances on BBC’s: Jack Dee’s HelpdeskLive At The ApolloMock The Week and ITV's Play To The Whistle, Romesh is back to explore his reactions and views on everything from Madonna to MacBook and decide whether he is actually being irrational or merely demonstrating more common sense than everyone else. £15.00

Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee – The Round Room – 7.30 pm – Paul Daniels returns with Debbie McGee - Despite Popular Demand!  Returning to Balham’s comedy Festival after last year’s huge success.  Come and see the Master at work. He will amaze and baffle you, but most importantly he will make you cry with laughter “The Godfather of Magic” Dynamo.  £16.00

Sara Pascoe – The Round Room – 9.30 pm - Sara Pascoe and The Museum of Robot Pussycats (Work In Progress) - a collection of stories that are unfinished and unwanted; Hatty the Hoover wants to break up with Henry. A man knocks over bins. Thousands are trapped in a Lewisham gym. Rabbits lose their sex drive. Jason Donovan comes round. One of the pods on the London Eye is haunted, but which one? A teenager's face is so oily that the US go to war with it. And more. And the robot pussycats.  A very new and work in progress show from a lady who has been on Live at the Apollo, Q.I and Buzzcocks “always intelligent, sometimes exquisite” The Times £15.00

Paul Sinha – The Ballroom – 9.00 pm Paul Sinha: Postcards from the Z List (Edinburgh preview) - Critically acclaimed comedian Paul Sinha makes his Balham Comedy Festival debut with Postcards from the Z List.  Following a self-imposed exile during which real life took over.   Looking back, life as a travelling single gaysian delivering lefty liberal jokes was quite straightforward. Now he has to juggle the responsibilities of being an uncle, being in an actual relationship for the first time in twenty years, and being that bloke, from that quiz, in that poorly fitting white suit. It’s not easy.  “One of the most technically gifted comics on the British circuit” - Scotsman. “Hilariously funny, passionate and articulate” - “Honest, heartfelt, uplifting” List. £15.00

Barry Cryer & Ronnie Golden – The Round Room – 7.30 pm – Barry Cryer makes his Balham Comedy Festival debut with      Ronnie Golden so expect comedy songs and great gags from this well-loved duo back together for the Festival  to prove they're still alive and old's cool. Barry (80 years old this year!) has had to give the body popping a miss but the hand jive is still an option. Thanks to Robert De Niro, Ronnie will be airing his awesome funky chicken. "I laughed incontinently"Michael Billington The Guardian £16.00
Marcus Brigstocke – The Round Room – 9.30 pm – Marcus Brigstocke (Work in Progress) - One of Britain’s finest comedians and broadcasters returns to the Balham Comedy Festival with a new ‘Work in Progress’ show.  The winner of the 1996 BBC New comedian Award at the Edinburgh Festival, Marcus is now regarded as a major comedy, writing and acting talent, performing stand up nationally to sell out audiences around the UK and globally at international comedy festivals.  BBC Radio 4 has become somewhat of a second home to him with regular appearances on The Now Show and Just a Minute, and he has notched up an impressive list of TV credits including team captain on Argumental (DAVE) and the host of BBC4’s The Late Edition and I’ve Never Seen Star Wars.  “Dazzling, inspired, perfectly observed.  I’ve yet to see anything funnier” - Daily Telegraph “Intelligent, dark, subtle stuff” - The Observer “…. Charming, hilarious and utterly refreshing” - Sunday Mirror £16.00

Simon Munnery – The Ballroom – 9.00 pm – Simon Munnery: And Nothing But (Edinburgh Preview) Simon returns once again to what he does being himself for an hour. He will consider The Absurdity of House, lament the Neo-Con Con, perform the New Can-Can, extol The Joy of Washing-up and generally tell it like it is, was, and might be if we could get our fingers out. All Rise. One of the funniest, most original comedians of the past twenty years… he's nothing less than genius” - The Guardian, “Convention-defying, innovative stuff. Simon Munnery is a must-see”- The Times “Simon Munnery is an avant-garde comedy god” - Time Out £15.00

Lucy Porter – The Round Room – 1.00 pm - Lucy Porter: Screaming with Laughter designed for parents with infants under a year old.  See the best acts from TV and the comedy circuit without having to book a babysitter. Feel free to feed and change your baby. The acts won't make fun of you if you have to move around, whip out a boob or a bottle, or if your baby's just having a bit of a shout and scream. All the acts are experienced club performers, used to rowdy stag and hen night crowds at the weekend, so a bit of noise or the odd bare breast won't phase them. Expectant parents are also very welcome, as are grandparents, aunties and uncles, nannies, au pairs, carers and family friends. Feel free to bring along as many people as you like, we just ask that each party contains at least one baby or pregnant woman.  All the comedians will be performing their normal adult material, so the show is not suitable for older children.  That's why we have an 'under one or over sixteen' admission policy.  £8.00 babies free
Arthur Smith – The Round Room – 7.30 pm -   Arthur SmithBalham International  comedian, writer, Radio 4 bit of rough, erstwhile Grumpy Old Man and (self-proclaimed) mayor of all Balham, describes how a field South of London became the greatest hub the world has ever seen.   He has performed comedy all over the world and has written every form of comedy from stand up to one lines to full length plays and screenplays.  His play An Evening with Gary Lineker ran for several years in the West End and he recently performed Arthur Smith sings Leonard Cohen in Edinburgh, London and beyond"He is absolutely brilliant" The Guardian“ifArthur Smith is not the coolest dude in Balham then I am not Oprah Winfrey” £16.00

Kevin Day – The Ballroom – 9.00 pm - Hairline (Edinburgh preview) – Kevin is one of the most in-demand comedy writers in the UK having worked on a number of hit panel shows including Have I Got News For You8 Out of 10 Cats and Never Mind The Buzzcocks as well as being recognised for his work on Match of the Day 2.  At this year’s Balham Comedy Festival Kevin will preview his Edinburgh 2015 show Hairline - There are some terrible things happening in the world that only comedy can resolve. But sod that, Kevin's losing a bit of hair, which is far more important.   “Beautifully crafted, cleverly paced, hugely funny” Scotland on Sunday £15.00
Stephen K Amos – The Round Room – 9.30 pm £16.00  - Stephen K Amos:  Welcome To My World – The maestro of feel-good comedy is back in Balham for one night only with his most recent show Welcome To My World.   Fresh from sell out tours of Australia and New Zealand, as heard on BBC Radio 4 Life: An Idiots Guideand What Does the K Stand For?  “A note-perfect hour ***** Metro, “Unashamed feel-good entertainment **** Evening Standard

Ed Byrne – The Round Room - 7.30 pm - Ed Byrne:  Edinburgh Preview Observational stand up Ed Byrne is unrivalled.  Wherever he performs, be it the Edinburgh Festival, on the International circuit or a UK tour, it is always to capacity audiences.  Catch a one hour potted version of his brand new show before it goes on tour!  Recent  TV credits  include Dara & Ed’s Great Big Adventure,  Mock The WeekHave I Got News For YouThe Graham Norton Show, Live At The Apollo.✭✭✭✭✭  “A masterful display of the comics art  The Sunday Times ✭✭✭✭  “Comedy’s Holy Grail. Go see!”   The Sunday Times £16.00
Best of Banana Cabaret – The Ballroom 9.00 pm Mick Ferry, Tom Allen, Raymond and Mr Timpkins hosted by John Moloney – Manchester based  Mick Ferry is renowned as a fine purveyor of lugubrious surrealism and is established as one of the most sought after comics on the British and International comedy circuits; Tom Allen  the multi-talented comedian, writer and actor performs his unique brand of stand-up all over the world including a support slot on the Sarah Millican tour;  Raymond and Mr Timpkins – Lightning fast choreography meets uber swift editing in a fantasmagorical collison of quality  entertainment.  An overload of velvet, sandals and multi-hued wood provides a startling accompaniment, the whole effect being that of a slim man and a fat man putting their bums in your face.  If you like music and silliness, middle aged men dancing and unsavoury acts, you’ll probably love it. £16.00

The Kagools – The Tavistock – 7.30 pm - The Kagools:  Edinburgh preview - They’re cute, they’re mute, and they’re an absolute hoot. Physical comedy and sketch combine to transport you into the weird and weatherproofed world of The Kagools. Inclusive, enchanting, high-energy fun: this interactive, multimedia show is one for all the family. ✮✮✮✮ Masterful physical theatre performers…Kids and adults alike will love this excellent and interactive piece of theatre. It is an utterly delightful and thoroughly silly piece of sketch comedy.” – Broadway Baby £10.00

End of Festival Best of Banana Cabaret – The Round Room 9.00 pm     Tim Vine, Alun Cochrane, Ninia Benjamin, Andy Askins hosted by John Moloney - Tim Vine returns to the Balham Comedy Festival for the second year and will be at full pelt for twenty minutes; Alun Cochrane; A no nonsense comedian who specialises in funny nonsense.  A regular on Frank Skinner’s Absolute Radio show who has recently appeared on Michael McIntyre’s Road Show, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Mock The Week.                                               
Ninia Benjamin is a tour de force of comedy ….she’s outrageously rude but above all, sidesplittingly funny.   Catapulted to stardom as one third of BBC2’s 3 Non Blondes it’s on the live stage where her comedy talents really shine; Andy Askins armed with a guitar and cheeky grin is an overwhelmingly misleading demeanour which serves to heighten the impact of the killer lines that he delivers.  Heading for Edinburgh this year Andy with his debut solo show, the Balham Comedy Festival will be treated to a few excerpts £17.00