Friday, 11 December 2015

Comedy Nights in Belfast. From: Culture HUB Magazine, Issue Six.

Comedy Nights in Belfast

From: Culture HUB Magazine, Issue Six.


Your twelve year old daughter wants Miley Cyrus concert tickets, your twenty year old son is back from university with a new tattoo, that uncle has drank too much whiskey again and if your mother in law doesn’t stop criticizing your cooking it’s her who is going in the oven.  Christmas is supposed to be the season to be jolly but in reality it’s the season for arguing. Tinderbox have depicted this atmosphere in “All Through the House” which gives an alternative perspective of a typical family Christmas doing.  The production is written by Judith King and directed by Patrick J O’Reilly and runs at the Crescent Arts Centre from December 4th - 19th.


But there is one day in the festive calendar that especially makes you feel like shaving all your hair off Britney Spears style - Yes Christmas Eve! Written by Marie Jones and directed by Dan Gordon “Christmas Eve Can Kill You” is showing in the Lyric Theatre from the 24th November - 10th January. The play is set in Christmas Eve 1992 Belfast  and tells the story of a number of dubious characters who are not in the mood for Christmas, and those who are, tend to be merry.


One thing we will certainly be eating a lot of over Christmas is cake! And one of the most controversial subjects of 2015 was the “gay cake”.  Deborah Frances-White, the star of BBC 4’s “Role the Dice” will be coming to the Black Box on December 1st, with “Friend of a Friend of Dorothy” (a “friend of Dorothy” is gay slang for a gay man, for anyone unfamiliar with the term). Deborah will be portraying her life with the gays and girls through her sui generis combination of stand-up, storytelling and improvisation.


Another issue linked to this that has also been a “hot topic” in 2015 was Marriage Equality. Panti Bliss became a major figurehead of the republic’s successful “Yes Campaign” after a speech she made about homophobia was described as “the most eloquent Irish speech” in 200 years by Irish Times columnist Fintan O’Toole and  went viral as a result. Panti Bliss will be coming to the Mandela hall on December with her critically acclaimed show “High Heels in Low Places.”  The stand-up performance is about her life post “Pantigate”.  Although the show may be crude as Panti is sure to say the unsayable, there is a hidden message of liberty and individualism.


Another comedian who is not afraid to say the unsayable is Jake O'Kane who will imprisoned in the Crumlin Road Gaol on the 2nd and 3rd of January. Jake will be reviewing the event that enfolded in 2015 and takes no prisoners as he opines his views of the year in his stand up show “Gagging on it”.


If you are gagging for a unique comedy performance then Wonder Frog is your ticket. Wonder Frog is a 6-person improv comedy group based in Belfast. The group uses only the audience's suggestions for performing comic scenes and therefore the performance is always completely original and authentic.  The show is a kin to “Whose line is it Anyway?”, being composed of various games. Wonder Frog performs at the Black Box every month - the next performance being December 16th.


“Comedy Live” is one of Northern Ireland's best kept comedy secrets and is on the first Thursday of every month in Mc Hugh’s bar basement. 3rd December will see Michael Ledge take to the stage. Michael has supported many comedy greats on tour such as Alexei Sayle, Stewart Lee and Dylan Moran. He's a team captain on the Sony award winning podcast “Do The Right Thing” and is known as a "grump". So if you are a pessimist with a dry sense of humour this will float your boat.  


Christmas may be a time of stress and arguments, but one thing you cannot argue about is that there are plenty of comedy nights in Belfast. So if you are feeling stressed out come see one of these comedy gigs and you’re sure to have a merry time.


Adam Henry Magee


Check out Culture HUB if you are doing your Christmas Shopping in Belfast and Greater Belfast!


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