Glasgow Comedy Festival announces 2018 Programme

From the original stand-up comedian to original shows, Glasgow Comedy Festival presents a refreshing line-up

Preview by Ben Venables | 10 Jan 2018

Glasgow Comedy Festival takes an alternative turn in its sixteenth year. The festival can claim 2018 as its biggest yet – with 500 shows across 54 venues taking place across March – but today's programme stands out as much for the comedy takeover of the graceful Veneer Gallery as it does for the household names arriving at the city's more spacious theatres.

Not that this overshadows the prominent headliners: David Baddiel is bringing arguably his best work to Glasgow. My Family: Not the Sitcom (Citizens Theatre, 13 Mar, 8pm) centres on his degenerate mother and his father who is suffering from a neurodegenerative disease. At the same venue one of the original alternative comedians Alexei Sayle (19 Mar, 8pm) makes a rare live appearance following his brief run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017. Sayle is still fun, and still furious. Citizens also premieres What Now?, the first new show from Bridget Christie (16-17 Mar, 8pm) since 2016's Brexit-induced Because You Demanded It.

The Festival falls at the midpoint of the comedy year for most artists, which means already acclaimed shows sit alongside works-in-progress. In the former category are Mae Martin with Dope (The Stand, 13 Mar, 6.50pm) and Mat Ewins with Adventureman 7 – The Return of Adventureman (Blackfriars, 17 Mar, 9.15pm); both nominated for the Best Comedy Award at last year's Edinburgh Fringe. In the latter camp is Richard Gadd (Blackfriars, 17 Mar, 4pm), putting together what will become his follow-up show to the award winning Monkey See Monkey Do, and Kieran Hodgson (Veneer Galley, 18 Mar, 7pm) honing a new work after the high expectations created by the exceptional Lance and Maestro.

Hodgson is one of several ascending comedians making a home at the Veneer Gallery. There's an especially strong line-up there of fringe and alternative acts, including Rose Matafeo (18 Mar, 5pm), Lou Sanders (17 Mar, 7pm) and also Ross and Josh (22-23 Mar, 8pm), who already seem well on their way to becoming the quintessential double act.

The various members of CHUNKS once again takeover McPhabbs for the whole festival with enough going on in this venue alone to satiate the most voracious alternative comedy appetite. Nev's 23 Minutes of Animal Noises (25 Mar, 8pm) followed by Pedigree CHUNKS (25 Mar, 9:30pm), the annual contest among the collective for the Golden Pineapple, offers the festival a buoyant finale.

Sarah Watson, Festival Director, said: "It’s always exciting to announce the line up and this year is no exception. As the festival grows we are proud to showcase diverse voices, styles and art forms."

Glasgow International Comedy Festival runs from 8-25 March