Wolverhampton Grand Theatre’s sell-out stand up comedy season returns to the theatre’s alternative performance space this spring.

No less than 14 comedy names have been announced for the 2017 season which kicks off in February.

The comedy evenings are compered by Chris Purchase. Chris is a comedy person, writer, presenter, buddy cop sidekick and hater of authority figures. Fresh from a sell out run of his new show ‘Distant’ at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, being nominated for What’s On magazine’s Best Comedian 2016 and recently hand-picked to support Reginald D. Hunter on tour Chris is currently taking the comedy scene by storm with his mix of light hearted anecdotes and cultural satire. After going viral last year Chris’ popularity has rocketed and you can now see him performing in all of the major UK comedy clubs. Chris is also massively popular with corporate clients. Owner of Comedy 42, Staffordshire’s best regular comedy show, and Dark Times, appearing at both The Stand and The Comedy Store in 2016, Chris will soon be a household name.

Susan Murray and Gareth Berliner perform from 10pm on Friday 10 February.
Susan Murray is the winner of the first ever Jongleurs Competition and is a seasoned regular on the circuit. Susan has emerged as one of the best female stand-ups in the UK and was the first ever woman to MC Decompression gigs for the British Army / CSE. She is in the top 100 Huffington Post funny women Tweeters. Susan was short listed for the BBC’s year long comedy writing bursary. She’s wrote for and was a guest on Jeremy Hardy Talks To The Nation and has also starred in Stephen K Amos’ Idiots Guide both for Radio 4. She recently made her TV acting debut in the 3rd series of ITV’s “The Job Lot” alongside Jo Enright and Russell Tovey.

Gareth Berliner is a stand-up Comedian, Actor and Writer. He is known for his gigs, being on on the telly, or people may have seen something he’s written, found a tweet or may have seen a picture of him on Instagram. 2 years ago he made his TV debut in Coronation Street playing Macca. He has been performing stand-up comedy for 11 years professionally and perform all over the UK and in Europe as well as Internationally. As a Stand-up he has performed at and taken successful solo shows to comedy fringe festivals both Nationally and Internationally. Acting credits include Coronation Street, Doctor Who, EastEnders and The Bastard Executioner.

Ingrid Dahle and David Jordan perform from 10pm on Friday 24 February.
Ingrid Dahle is a Brighton based Norwegian comedian and was the winner of the first Squawker new act competition at the 2012 Brighton comedy festival; she was also a finalist in So You Think You’re Funny.

David Jordan stands like a beacon of hope to all whose shoulders slump when they see a “comedian” with a ‘guitar’. Amid the toxic sea of parody-drenched sonic atrocity that passes for musical comedy, David has been everything from a jingle-singer, renaissance fencing champion, prosthetics consultant and playwright. Since changing direction and ploughing into musical comedy, he has supported Francesca Martinez and Simon Evans on tour written a lot of funny stuff with, and for, other people and plan to become the second best living comedian after Jerome Benton.

Carly Smallman and Nick Page perform from 10pm on Friday 10 March.
Carly Smallman is a stand up comedian and fried chicken lover. She sings funny songs. She also tells funny jokes. Carly has starred on BBC’s The Rob Brydon Show and ITV’s Viral Tap among numerous other TV and radio appearances. She has played at some fabulous venues, from major weekend comedy clubs, to arts centres, to the Hammersmith Apollo to her living room!
Nick Page is definitely one of those people you shouldn’t like but do. He has an enviable gag rate, with each story and routine filled with set ups, call backs and devastating punchlines. His stories are unique, yet relate to everyone.

Ignacio Lopez and Simon Emanuel perform from 10pm on Friday 24 March.
Ignacio Lopez is half Spanish, half Welsh and all Funny. Ignacio was born in Spain, now he’s living in Swansea, telling jokes.

Simon Emanuel is Simon Emanuel is a Welsh stand up comic, TV presenter and radio personality who is working live all over the UK and Europe. Starting in 2008 he has had a successful live career working with some of the biggest names on the comedy circuit and appearing at most of the top clubs nationally and internationally. His manic energy, quick wit, far flung Observations and abstract delivery of ridiculous punch lines make him a firm favourite wherever he goes. In 2012 after a successful fringe festival, he moved his comedy stylings to Norway to be part of the English-speaking comedy scene where he was the house MC for The Oslo Comedy Clubs for a ten month period, During this time he moved regularly moved around the Scandinavian scene doing live work in Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Upon his return to the UK in 2013 Simon was awarded the Welsh Unsigned Stand Up of the year award, He then went on to appear on Rhodd Gilberts BBC Wales Radio show and was selected to support Alan Davies on the final day of Cardiff Comedy Gala at the prestigious Cardiff Millennium centre. In 2016 after a few guest spots for the Channel Simon started writing and presenting for the sky channel “Made in Cardiff” working on a weekly show “Bad Press” with Ignacio Lopez, they have also worked closely on other programmes including the entertainment show “The Lowdown” and the live comedy show “Live at the Glee”.

Steve Best and Tom Appleton perform from 10pm on Friday 28 April.
Steve Best has been a stand-up comedian for over 20 years. He has performed all over the world including South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bosnia, South Africa, Holland, Denmark, The Falkland Islands, and Southend-on-Sea. He plans to go further afield… Steve has been on huge nationwide tours with Frank Skinner, Craig Charles and Omid Djalili. He has been on TV (a few times).

Tom Appleton is a “friendly, engaging and extremely likeable” punk, Tom has been making people laugh all over the country since 2010. His performance has taken him as far afield as Los Angeles and, as well as the mainstream circuit, he is now a regular at the ‘rowdier’ gigs in the UK, including many student nights and prestigious festival gigs. You can catch him at festivals such as Download, Sonisphere and Boardmasters and now Wolverhampton Grand Theatre’s Encore Lounge.

Harriet Kemsley and Kate Lucas perform from 10pm on Friday 12 May.
Harriet Kemsley has talked on a stage all over the world – at places like The Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny, Oslo Comedy Festival and Just for Laughs in Montreal. She has also supported some of her heroes on their nationwide tours, like Katherine Ryan, Stephen Merchant and Isy Suttie. Credits include; The Radio1 Comedy Lounge, BBC3 Comedy Marathon, The One Show Edinburgh Special and Kevin Hart’s LOL Live.

Kate Lucas is an award winning musical comedian Kate Lucas is known for her razor sharp and deliciously dark songs. She combines catchy melodies with original lyrics to showcase her playfully bitter musings on life. Audiences have come to expect examples of what not to say and how not to behave from this gloriously talented young comic. In 2014 she took home the title for the prestigious Leicester Mercury New Comedian of the Year and her performances since have been met with huge critical acclaim. Lucas since gone on to build a seriously impressive reputation on the circuit, storming it every weekend to packed out crowds at the country’s most famous comedy venues including The Glee Clubs, The Comedy Café and Up the Creek. In 2016 her debut show Whatever Happened to Kate Lucas? was met with huge critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Darren Harriott and Bec Hill perform from 10pm on Friday 26 May.
Darren Harriott is one of the most exciting up-and-coming comedians on the circuit. He recently appeared on ‘Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central’, supporting Jimmy Carr; he has provided tour support for Funmbi Omotayo on his national tour; and he headed to the Edinburgh Festival in 2016 as part of the prestigious Pleasance Reserve. Originally from Birmingham, and now living in London, Darren Harriott is a regular at clubs such as Comedy Café, Top Secret, Backyard Comedy Club, The Boat Show, Piccadilly and Covent Garden Comedy Club. A confident performer with a captivating charm, Darren’s comedy deals with everything from subverting stereotypes, to everyday observations, to that juiciest of topics, religion – all with a cutting edge.

Bec Hill is Australian-born and now London-based. She gained a cult following in Australia, the UK and Ireland thanks to her award-winning solo shows, Twitter presence and popular YouTube videos. She has a talent for incorporating arts and crafts into her stand-up routines, creating a unique and unforgettable comedy style that she calls “paper-puppetry”. She is currently the co-host of Sky’s “DC Fancast” and “DC Fancast UNMASKED”, can be found on several seasons of CBBC’s “The Dog Ate My Homework”, and starred in the Sundance UK Grand Jury Prize winning short film “Russian Roulette”. Her one-liners regularly feature in “best joke” lists by “reputable” sources like The Telegraph, Dave, The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Record and Buzzfeed, which isn’t surprising, as she is the creator of the UK’s only pun-based comedy night, Pun Run. She has also written for The Amazing World of Gumball, Bluestone 42, The Now Show and her first short animation directorial debut, “Scoring Pointes” aired with Disney in 2016. She is one half of the award-winning, critically-acclaimed family comedy double-act, Bec & Tom.

Tickets for all of the Encore Lounge comedy evenings are on sale now. The comedy evenings are from 10pm and end at approximately midnight. Tickets are £12.50 each and can be booked by visiting the Box Office, calling 01902 42 92 12 or by visiting the website grandtheatre.co.uk. All comedy evening performances are strictly 18+.

About The Author

Editor at large of Polaroids and Polar Bears, PR bod and not-so-secret geek. Chris established Polaroids and Polar Bears in 2013.

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