[All images courtesy of Halifax Comedy festival]
For the past twelve years, the Calderdale town of Halifax has hosted a well-respected and popular comedy club, once referred to by reviewers as ‘one of the best comedy-clubs in the country’. Now, though, Halifax is going even further and will be hosting its first comedy festival in October this year! The ten-day event, beginning on the 23rd of October in various venues around the town, will run until the 30th of October where it will culminate with a ‘Comedy Extravaganza Finale’.
The festival will bring together a host of comedians from the television, the United Kingdom and most notably, from the popular Edinburgh Fringe Festival over ten days at fourteen different venues spread across Halifax. Speaking at the launch, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Steve Sweeny, gave us the lowdown: “the Festival is a great way to not only discover your new favourite comedian, but perhaps also your new favourite comedy venue. Halifax has an incredible selection of wonderful venues, both large and small. Each space is unique and will be perfectly placed for the type of comedy that they will be hosting.” Venues will include The Victoria Theatre, The Square Chapel, The Viaduct Theatre and one of Halifax’s best-kept secrets, The Workshop Theatre.
There will also be a secret venue, currently titled ‘the Hidden Theatre’. It will be tempting for curious comedy lovers; even when you’ve bought your ticket, you will only know the meeting place, nothing else. Rob Marsden from Staffordshire University is one of the individuals behind the Hidden Theatre. He hopes that it will intrigue people and provide a ‘fantastic, fun and completely unique theatrical experience’. This mysterious sideshow will run alongside film screenings, workshops for families and children, an open-mic night and performances from popular comedians such as Sean Walsh, Shappi Khorsandi and Paul Chowdhry, as well as a guest spot from English comedian of the year, Brennan Reece.
Alpacas will be the face of the festival, and they will soon become a regular sight throughout West Yorkshire – and beyond. Designer and publicist, Chris Sands, who has also designed the website, explained that he, and the rest of the festival committee, “just found Alpacas so funny!” – and he’s right; they are! Local Alpaca sanctuary, County Alpacas, is sponsoring the festival and there will even be alpacas milling around Halifax during October.
Tickets are available from the festival box office, the website and from partners of the festival. Shane Gough, owner of The Workshop, believes that the festival will be an ‘uplifting week of feel good entertainment’. The festival received a good-luck blessing from the Halifax Comedy Festival in Nova Scotia, Canada, following discussions about a potential multicultural comedy event in the future. Director of the Victoria Theatre, Tim Fagan, hopes that the festival will establish Halifax as a key cultural centre and the team are already planning a 2016 Comedy Festival!
If you’re in Halifax from October 23rd to the 31st, make sure to partake in one of the many events for the Ha-Ha-Halifax comedy festival. It should be a great laugh!