Leeds LaughterFEST 2015: Comedy marathon heading oop’ North

Leeds based comedy enthusiasts are in for a treat this October as LaughterFEST returns to the city for 11 days of top-drawer entertainment.

Featuring a heady mixture of local and national talent, the festival runs between Thursday 1st -Sunday 11th October and will include acts as diverse as Cassetteboy, Paul Foot, and Bettakultcha, spanning every corner of the comedy spectrum.

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Yorkshire lad Ben Brown is the man behind the laughs and has been working like a blue-arsed fly to orchestrate the event, which takes place at several of Leeds best-loved bars and venues.

The Belgrave, Hi-Fi Club, Bar Soba, Northern Monk and Hyde Park Picture House are just some of the joints set to host events which covers everything from stand-up, wrestling, cinema, music and crowd interaction.

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I’ve been to several of Ben’s Sh!ts and Giggles stand-up nights at Hirst’s Yard and I can confirm the man has an eye for talent as well as being a pretty darn funny himself. The most memorable performances for me have been the rather nutty Mawaan Rizwan (who’s one of this year’s headliners) and Peter Bazely (also appearing at LLF), who makes Jack Dee seem positively cheerful.

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The Krankies – sadly not appearing at the festival.

Speaking of his festival, Ben said “Comedy appeals to all ages and all walks of life. It doesn’t isolate – it integrates! It’s amazing the boundaries that humour can overcome and connection it can create.”

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He continued ‘’Leeds is such a superb city with so much potential that I feel this can really add a high quality event to its illustrious annual event calendar. You’ll be hard pressed to find another one of its kind with the same or similar ethos as to celebrating every night to one unique and original strand of comedy.”

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Thursday 8th October sees Cassetteboy take over The Belgrave, where they will amuse and entertain with their unique comedy which splices social satire with some clever video editing. The act have been making waves recently with appearances on Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe and Russell Brand’s latest film, The Emperor’s New Clothes. Check out their take on David Cameron and ‘Pig gate’ below with the rather catchy ‘Getting piggy with it’.

Another festival highlight is La’fter Work Drinks on Friday 9th October, which is the world’s first stand-up bar crawl. Tickets include entry to all three bars as well as food and a drink at the awesome Bar Soba (look out for my review of their brand-spanking new menu in the coming days).

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The evening ends at The Brunswick with multi-talented Mawaan Rizwan, fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, where he won over an army of new fans with his brilliantly bizarre show.

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The official Leeds LaughterFEST launch party is at Get Baked on Thursday 1st October, before the acts begin on Friday 2nd at Hi-Fi Club. Head on over to Comedy Cult Classics where you can purchase tickets, or checkout check it out on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out the calendar of events below and follow the link for full details and tickets:

Thursday 1 October, Launch Night – Leeds LaughterFEST Showcase: Get Baked presents ‘Gang Bang Karaoke Disco – 10pm kick off until late. Free entry and drinks offers available. If you haven’t eaten here yet, you should get down early and yam down one of their next level burgers.

Friday 2 OctoberThe Not So Late Show with Ross and Josh @ The Hi-Fi Club – 7-10pm. £4 / £5 OTD.

Saturday 3 October, Family Fun Day @ East Street Arts – 12pm – One for the kids, £5 adults, £3 children.

Saturday 3 OctoberGet a Grip Wrestling Fans (In association with Freshly Ground Comedy) @ East Street Arts, 7pm, £9 (+BF)/ MOTD.

Sunday 4 OctoberHyde Park Picture House Short Film Showcase, £TBC, 12pm.

Monday 5 OctoberBetterKultcha @ Corn Exchange, 7-10pm, £10 (+BF)/MOTD.

Tuesday 6 OctoberSh!ts ‘N’ G!ggles @ Northern Monk, featuring Paul Foot and Peter Bazely. 7:30 – 10pm, £8/MOTD.

Wednesday 7 OctoberMorning Gloryville present Service With a Smile @ The Belgrave, 6:30am-10:30am – yoga, massage and smoothies.

Wednesday 7 OctoberPerformance and Cocktails (in association with Leeds Loves Cocktails), Oporto 7-10pm.

Thursday 8 OctoberSounds Well Sketch!Eeeee @ Belgrave (featuring Cassetteboy and Micky P Kerr, 7:30 – 10pm, £12/MOTD

Friday 9 OctoberLa’fter Work Drinks @ The Lab, Bar Soba and The Brunswick, £20 (includes meal and drink @ Bar Soba and entry to all three venues), 6-11pm.

Saturday 10 OctoberClueless 20th Year Anniversary @ Hyde Park Picture House, 11pm. £5-7 tickets.

Sunday 11 October11 a Side Charity Football Match. Captain’s Ben Brown and Nick Fox aka Foxy battle it out in aid of children’s charity Variety.

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