The Playhouse Big Tickle comedy festival will celebrate 11 years of comedy gold next month with David O’Doherty, Micky Bartlett, John Smith and Lilliput.
This year’s festival has a lovely mix, featuring famously funny TV commercials, Medb Queen of Connacht, Commedia dell’Arte and Deaf BSL comedy.
The festival was this week launched by Lilliput Theatre Company, Derry’s ‘s foremost theatre company of people with learning disabilities. The humorous piece written by local playwright Gregory Peck and adapted for stage ‘I Remember When’ reminisces about the best of television in the past, when even the commercials were good!
With sketches from Tommy Cooper, Mr Bean, Dad’s Army, and Open All Hours, plus music and songs from The Andrew’s sisters and Tom Jones (not to mention the famous commercials such as Shake n’ Vac and the Martians bringing us Smash) the show will run at The Playhouse on Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 September.
Foyle Deaf Association and The Big Tickle will then present Deaf BSL user comedian John Smith on Saturday September 12 in a special show in The Playhouse Gallery.
Newcastle comedian John Smith is a profoundly Deaf BSL user. Following on from his hugely successful, first stand up appearance in 2005, John has moved into bigger and bigger audiences, entertaining in Deaf clubs and theatres countrywide and across Europe, USA and the world. Using his experiences of growing up in a hearing world John brings his observations to life, engaging his audience in hours of laughter and reflection.
Covering topics such as Current Deaf issues, Deaf politics and school life, John offers an amusing and fascinating insight into being Deaf and the world of British Sign Language. He has been on TV programmes such as BBC’s ‘See Hear’, Ireland’s afternoon TV show and ‘Doctors’ (BBC1).
Then Micky Bartlett is Narcissilly on Friday September 18! Comedian Micky Bartlett entered 2015 as a young, hip guy in his twenties. But one encounter with a teenage boy on a skateboard has made him rethink his whole life, and he can’t stop talking about it, or himself. Is he a narcissist? Or is he just Narcissilly?
Divulging more hilarious secrets that most people wouldn’t tell their priest, Micky Bartlett takes you through the journey of his own head. Strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Commedia of Errors will then bring something completely different to The Big Tickle with ‘The Tain’ on Friday October 2. Medb, Queen of Connacht, has come to Ulster to steal the Donn Cúailnge, Ulster’s legendary Brown Bull. With the men of Ulster sick with the curse, only Cú Chulainn can stop her. It’s a shame he hasn’t got two braincells to rub together. Will the Ulstermen fight off the lurghy? Will the forces of Connacht succeed? Can Cú Chulainn send the marauders home? There’s only one way to find out...
This highly expressive, physical Commedia dell’Arte troupe bring their innovative and inclusive theatrical style to The Playhouse Big Tickle Festival fresh from a barnstorming debut at the Festival Jeune Theatre Europeen in Milan, Italy.
Audiences should also be sure not to miss more ticklish treats throughout the year, also announced in The Big Tickle Programme, including the most DANGEROUS Harpist in the world, Ursula Burn with her show ‘I Do it For The Money’ on Friday November 13, followed by ‘the Lidl Enya, the broken Bublé’ David O’Doherty with two special shows on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 November, ‘We Are All in the Gutter, But Some of Us Are Looking at David O’Doherty’ and a matinee of his family show ‘Danger is Still Everywhere’, the second brilliantly funny handbook for avoiding danger of all kinds
The fun continues into 2016 with the return of Mark Thomas with his show ‘Trespass’ on Thursday 24 March 2016.
Trespass carries on from where Mark’s previous show 100 Acts of Minor Dissent left off. Mark returns to The Playhouse with his usual odd mix of theatre, stand up, activism, a dash of journalism, activism and dollop of mayhem.
“Tickets always go fast for The Big Tickle so book now to make sure you and your friends don’t miss out on any of the fun!” Max Beer, head of development at The Playhouse said.
“Whether is narcissistic comedians, Deaf politics and school life, Commedia dell’Arte of the Martians that brought us Smash- there’s something here for everyone!”
To find out about all of the fantastic comedy events coming up as part of The Big Tickle visit The Playhouse website on www.derryplayhouse.co.uk or call (028)71268027.