Galway Comedy Festival 2023

GALWAY BECOMES Ireland’s Comedy Capital this October Bank Holiday, with the nation’s biggest comedy festival taking over the city’s pubs and theatres for seven nights of fun, laughter, mischief, and merriment.

#GCF23 is shaping up to be an absolute whopper, with this early announcement of a stellar array of solo shows from Jim JefferiesPanti BlissJimeoinOmid DjaliliRhys DarbyReginald D HunterMama Na ObrotachRich Hall, Serena Terry (AKA Mammy Banter)Al PorterEmma DoranEnya MartinDanny O’BrienJohn Colleary and Elena Gabrielle, along with the return of a much loved GCF favourite – Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience.

Jim Jefferies, the man called “the very definition of roguish charm”, brings his new show, Give ‘Em What They Want, to Galway.

This Sydney native is one of the most popular and respected comedians of his generation through his provocative, belief-challenging, thought-provoking comedy. He was honoured as Stand-Up Comedian of the Year at the 2019 Just for Laughs Festival, while his ninth stand up special, Intolerant, came out on Netflix in 2022.

All hail the unofficial Queen of Ireland, Panti Bliss, who is sashaying her way to Galway, to perform her smash hit show, If These Wigs Could Talk.

With record-breaking-runs in Dublin, Belfast, and London, the show has been described as “hilariously vivid…mesmerising” by The Sunday Times. Expect salacious stories, impassioned polemics, and seriously funny soul searching, as she takes us from rural Mayo to London’s West End, while pondering her purpose in this topsy-turvy world.

Jimeoin returns to Galway Comedy Festival with Who’s Your Man?! at the Town Hall Theatre. While he has delivered memorable performances on Live at the Apollo and Conan O’Brien, on stage is where he shines best! As the Edinburgh Evening News said: “If laughter is the best medicine, Jimeoin is a course of steroids…Don’t you miss it!” 

He’s been in Pirates of the CaribbeanGladiator and Notting Hill, but Omid Djalili‘s stand-up is where he stands out. Always intelligent, provocative and entertaining, he brings his new show The Good Times Tour to this year’s Festival. It does exactly what it says on the tin.

Few comics can boast of 25 years of material, but legendary Kiwi Rhys Darby (Flight of the ConchordsJumanji), is about to treat Galway to his greatest comedy hits in his latest show, 25 Years. As he said: “You’ve seen my stand-up, now see it again!”

No Galway Comedy Festival is complete without Reginald D Hunter, who brings The Man Who Could See Through Shit to this year’s event. As Reg says: “If you’re sick of all the contradictory answers being shoved at you by media, meet the man who is sick of ALL the questions. Come see me at a theatre near you. Rated ‘R’ (for Reginald).”

The Perrier award winning Rich Hall is a similarly indispensable part of Galway Comedy Festival. The gruff voiced, singing cowboy from Montana, returns with new rants, knife-edge observations, thrilling musical interludes, and an ever-formidable knack for laughs on the fly in his new show, Shot From Cannons.

Polish comedian and TikTok star Mama Na Obrotach brings her debut stand-up show, Mój Pierwszy Raz (My First Time), to #GCF23. In it, she will share her life experiences and don her famous and much loved costumes.

Another social media sensation, Serena Terry, best known for her hilariously relatable comedy skits as Mammy Banter on Tiktok, Instagram, and Facebook, will also bring her debut show, Socially Needier, for two nights. With one show sold-out, another night of ‘Socially Needier’ has been added for Róisín Dubh on Wed 25 October.

Al Porter’s comeback has been the most welcome return to the comedy stage in many years, resulting in a sell-out work in progress tour and standing ovations every night. For Galway Comedy Festival, Al will present NOW, a feel-good show of unbreakable spirit and optimism.

Picture: Brian McEvoy

Emma Doran recently completed her first Irish tour, including three sold out nights in Vicar Street. For #GCF23 she will perform a work in progress show, where she will display her dry, sarcastic, wickedly funny sense of humour, which always reveals how firmly she has her finger on the pulse of society.

When Enya Martin brought her latest offering, Ask Your Ma, to this summer’s Galway International Arts Festival, it sold-out. Now there is a second chance to catch this roller coaster of a comedy event by this rising force in Irish stand-up, when it returns to the Galway Comedy Festival.

Praised by Bill Burr and described by the Irish Independent as “uproariously funny with huge stage presence”, Danny O’Brien returns to Galway Comedy Festival with Sweet Child O’Brien, a nostalgic, high-energy show, exploring the simple joys of an early 1990s childhood.

John Colleary just entertained over 100,000 comedy fans as Tommy Tiernan’s support on his sold-out Tomfoolery tour. You will know him from The Savage EyeIrish Pictorial WeeklyThe Panel and as one third of The Gusset Brothers on The Tommy Tiernan Show. Loud & Colleary is his first nationwide tour.

The comedy of Australia’s Elena Gabrielle, is a satirical look at modern relationships. Expect to hear plenty of tales of embarrassing dates, delivered in an intuitive, storytelling style, when she performs her new show, Addikted, at GCF23.

Last, but certainly not least, is Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience, officially the world’s most sought after tribute to the BBC sitcom. Become part of the action as Basil, Sybil, and Manuel serve up the mayhem alongside a three-course meal in this immersive, interactive, comedy spectacular where anything can happen…and usually does!

As the nights grow ever darker, let the laughter grow longer and louder at Galway Comedy Festival 2023, “a full week of Carefully Curated Craic in Ireland’s favourite city”.

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