Latitude Festival which takes place on 16th – 19th July, near Suffolk’s stunning seaside town of Southwold, have announced many more new acts for the Comedy and Cabaret Arena’s.
The Comedy Arena at Latitude is one of the main draws of the weekend; bursting at the seams with people as they sit back and enjoy the stellar stand up performances from the cream of the comedy circuit. The first crop of comedic talent has just been confirmed with many more to be announced over the coming months.
Irish Perrier-Award nominee Ed Byrne is a familiar face on the comedy circuit and on the small screen. He has presented television shows ‘Uncut! Best Unseen Ads’ and ‘Just For Laughs’, and is a regular guest on various television panel games including Mock The Week, 8 Out Of Ten Cats and Have I Got News For You. His amiable chatty style of observational comedy, colourful anecdotes and whimsical tangents that lead into innovative ideas and threads has won him a legion of fans selling out three UK tours and five sell-out show at Edinburgh Fringe
Political activist, stand-up comic, author, multi-award winner and general thorn in the side of corporate companies and politicians, Mark Thomas joins the line-up. He has lobbied, demonstrated, protested, fought and made a mockery of people in power and is renowned for his political comedy shows, ‘The Mark Thomas Comedy Product’ on Channel 4. He is also a regular on Radio 4, has presented many ‘Dispatches’ programmes, and tackled the multi-national powerhouse of Coco-Cola in his book ‘Belching Out The Devil’. For Latitude, Thomas will be bringing a manifesto - a policy paddle to help steer our way out of shit creek. It's a roving comedy think tank of a show where the audience gets to nominate and vote for their favourite policies. Mark road tests them and then sets off to make them happen. It is somewhere between Jim'll Fix It for anarchists and White Collar Crimewatch, with a passing nod at Bill Drummond, the Fluxus art movement and Anneka Rice.
Antipodean comic Adam Hills has achieved international acclaim as one of the world’s best stand up comics. His combination of positive uplifting comedy and rampant spontaneity, have seen him receive many awards, glowing reviews and fans from all over the world. He has been nominated for an if.comedy award three times, his 2002 show, ‘Happy Feet’, took the inaugural Best Of The Fest Award in Edinburgh, and his follow up show ‘Cut Loose’ won the Radio Forth Award for Best Comedy. Adam has also won a Chortle Award for Best Compere in the UK, and his 2007 show “Joymonger” won a Helpmann Award for Best Comedy Performance in Australia. He’s also appeared on many UK TV programmes including ‘Mock The Week’, ‘The Charlotte Church Show’ and ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’, as well as having his own half-hour special on The Paramount Comedy Channel.
Sean Lock is one of the UK's most highly acclaimed and original comedians, his stand-up is the product of a hyperactive imagination combining hilariously surreal imagery and insightful observations on the human condition. Lock has been nominated for the prestigious Perrier Award and has also received a British Comedy Award for Best Stand Up (previous winners include Jack Dee, Eddie Izzard and Jo Brand). Sean has also won a Time Out Comedy Award.
Marcus Brigstocke hosts The Early Edition - a bit like BBC 4's Late Edition... but earlier. The morning papers, comedy, and special guests take to the stage to wake you up with a start! Swapping its usual late night slot for one at the festival, the show interviews politicians, campaigners, pundits and experts with an agenda that is irreverent, honest and fearless. Brigstocke began his comedy career at Bristol University where he performed stand up and character shows and soon won the BBC New Comedian of 1996. He has since emerged as a major comedy, writing and acting talent, performing in the UK and beyond and has become a regular voice on BBC Radio with an impressive list of TV and film credits that includes current lively debate show ‘Argumental’.
Irish comic, writer, actor and all-round funny-man, Sean Hughes will be bringing his fantastically dark, acerbic stand-up to Latitude. Sean is the youngest ever winner of the prestigious if.comedy award for comedy for 'A One Night Stand With Sean Hughes’. Best-known to TV audiences for his long-running stint in the mould-breaking quiz show ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’, acclaimed drama ‘The Last Detective’ and guest spot in ‘Coronation Street’, Hughes' eclectic TV career has also taken in two series of his critically-acclaimed sitcom ‘Sean's Show’, and despite a nine-year break in performing stand-up, he was recently voted No. 40 in Channel 4's World's 100 Greatest Comedians poll. His quick-fire wit shapes each performance into a one-off, unique experience for his audience.
The buzz about comedy’s best-kept-secret is fast making Andrew Lawrence a cult classic, with his 2007 Edinburgh Fringe show – ‘Social Leprosy for Beginners and Improvers’ – gaining him a nomination at the prestigious If.Comedy Awards, a show which Andrew performed for the last time in a very successful week-long residency at the Soho Theatre. Andrew has received rave recognition in all the key new act competitions and is now a regular favourite on the comedy circuit, gigging at all the major clubs across the country and building a base of discerning fans addicted to the bleakly dark comic world he creates.
The quick witted comic and tv presenter Rufus Hound and his beard, will be joining the fantastic Comedy Arena line-up. You may recognise him from various TV appearances including presenting Top of The Pops and Glastonbury coverage and Dave's current comedy panel game 'Argumental'. Hound was a finalist at Channel 4’s Edinburgh Festival Award ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ with his sharp, sarcastic and relaxed approach to comedy earning him plenty of fans.
Consistently high levels of performance, a willingness to work whenever and wherever the opportunity arose and a tireless desire to generate new material have been the secrets of Jon Richardson's success. 2006 saw Jon complete an award-winning, sell-out, 60 date national tour supporting Alan Carr. Jon is definitely one to watch and can currently be heard every Sunday morning, from 1000 until 1300, on BBC 6music.
Once described as “a twisted human cartoon”, Russell Kane will stalk, flap, jerk and contort his way across the stage of the Comedy Arena at this year’s Latitude. Having burst onto the scene in 2003, it wasn’t long before Kane was earning accolades up and down the country for his turbo-charged routine and TV appearances including a stint hosting ‘Big Brother’s Big Mouth’ in 2007. With a boundless energy and an ability to tease, prod and affectionately bounce off the audience, Kane will have the Comedy Arena wrapped around his little finger.
Shappi Khorsandi is an Iranian-born, UK-raised comedian nominated for best breakthrough act at the 2007 Chortle Awards. Born in Tehran, her family was forced to flee Iran for London in her early years after her father (Hadi Khorsandi) criticised the Ayatollah in a satirical poem. Blimey that makes her sound serious! A noted performer at Joe Wilson’s Comedy Madhouse in 1997, Khorsandi has appeared on many BBC Radio 4 programmes, including Quote… Unquote, Loose Ends, You and Yours, Midweek, The Now Show and The News Quiz. She also writes an occasional column for online magazine Iranian.com.
Raucously ribald Jessica Delfino will be bringing her no-holds-barred comedy to Latitude. The controversial American songwriter and comic has been winning accolades from both sides of the pond with her unique musical talents and unashamed taboo-baiting. Delfino has recorded two albums, ‘Dirty Folk Rock’ and ‘I Wanna Be Famous’, songs of which are incorporated in her stand-up as she performs rocking out on a guitar, the flying V ukulele, rape whistle, autoharp, Q-chord, glockenspiel and tiny keyboard. Delfino is host of her own public access television show called Jessica's Chest, filmed directly from her room.
What Dan Atkinson lacks in elegance and sense of style, he makes up for with sharp, witty and unpredictable anecdotes. His spontaneous and unmistakeable acts have ranged from Europe to as far as the Middle East and taken him to work with ITV, BBC 3 and opening a debate with Tony Blair for Channel 4. Owner of the constantly sold out The Other Side comedy club in York, Atkinson is highly likeable and funnily out of touch with real life. A natural talent with an easy conversational wit.
An expert on transforming mundane situations into comedy, Carl Donnelly will prove this year at Latitude why his exciting and fresh sense of humour has seen him win a host of awards including the 2007 Chortle Award for Best Newcomer. The Guardian praises his style by saying: "[Donnelly] is the antithesis of the loud, sweaty, manic comic so prevalent on the telly and live tours at the moment. This is standup with valium: near-horizontal levels of louche that takes the mundane stories of everyday life and turns them into stretches of self-deprecating silliness".
Winner of last year's Chortle Best Newcomer Award, Holly Walsh has been added to the line-up. Quirky and clever, Walsh's humour and ability to portray her hilarious characters have earned her work on many shows on Radio 4 and Radio 2; as a presenter on CBBC and of course as a stand-up comic. Finalist in 2006's So You Think You're Funny and Funny Women competitions, Walsh is an exciting emerging figure already making quite an impact on the comedy scene.
Cocky Brighton based nominee for the if.comedy award for Best Newcomer at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe, Zoe Lyons’ humour is bold and contemporary. Her line about Amy Winehouse topped the polls to win digital channel Dave TV Funniest Joke of the Fringe on 2008. Lyons also participated on ‘Mock The Week’ and ITV’s ‘Survivor!’. Humour website Chortle said of her act “Her routine was a fireproof parade of quick fire observational gags delivered with utter conviction and unfailing professionalism. The audience didn't really have a chance“.
With his easy charm, cheesy singing voice, razor-sharp wit and clownish physicality Rob Deering has quickly established himself as a firm favourite on the London circuit and has played at all the major comedy clubs nationwide, lambasting pop culture, promoting apple-based alcoholic beverages and playing widdly-widdly rock guitar, all with his inimitable cheesy egotism.
Scraggy US comic Dave Fulton easily demolishes two misplaced national stereotypes: that Americans have no sense of irony, and that they’re all a bunch of right-wing gung-ho warmongers. Such a liberal stance is de rigueur for British comics, but much less common in Fulton’s homeland; which is, perhaps, why he’s chosen to make London his base. It’s our gain.
Something like a phenomenon, but a lot more like an excuse to get smashed and rip clothes off strangers, the maniacal mayhem of Swap-A-Rama pitches up at the Comedy Arena. The rules are easy – arrive in a splendid overabundance of the latest fashion and dance your socks off. Every time the DJ’s ring the klaxon you must swap an item of clothing with someone next to you. You’re advised to arrive in clothes you don’t mind not ever seeing again! God knows what you’ll end up going home in!
Also in the Comedy Arena, Jack Whitehall will host the Latitude New Act Of The Year – the search for the next comic genius. Six finalists will perform on Saturday morning in front of the Latitude crowd who’ll be given the power to choose the winner.
If you want to experience something entirely different then seek out Latitude’s quirky den of mischief and mayhem; the Cabaret Arena. Inside you will witness comedy sketch shows, burlesque, freak shows, drag queens, sing-a-longs, illusionists and much, much more yet to be announced. With Vaudeville fun, sharp, incisive wit, camp entertainment and a good ol’fashioned knees up, the Cabaret Arena positively encourages you to leave your inhibitions at the door and be game for anything and everything. This surreal bordello of surprises and spectacular stage shows is visually rich, beautiful and bizarre and will tempt and titillate in equal measure.
Impressionist and improv extraordinaire Pippa Evans has been wowing crowds with her fantastic show ‘And Other Lonely People’– an incredible and hilarious one woman performance. With the backdrop of a self-help group, Evans introduces her comical, outrageous characters offering their stories and opinions on loneliness. Most famously there’s the acerbic Nashville singer Loretta Maine, whose ballads have a viciously witty kick, usually aimed at her ex. The show was such a hit that she received a nomination for the if.comedy Best Newcomer Prize.
New Art Club was formed in 2001 by Tom Roden and Pete Shenton and is fuelled by their shared spirit of adventure and a desire to wear lycra. Described as ‘the Morecambe and Wise of dance’, ‘the Reeves and Mortimer of contemporary choreography, ‘the Gilbert & George of dance’ and, perhaps most accurately, as “a double act who marry stand up comedy with choreographic minimalism and a touch of philosophy” (The Times). Through their varied activities – creating new work, tours, education, community projects and their shows ‘This Is Modern’, ‘The Electric Tales’, ‘The Notcracker’ and ‘The Short Still Show’, New Art Club aims to ensure that all its audiences and participants – be they bright eyed or cynical – are entertained by their hilarious spoof on contemporary dance.
Filthy minded American musicians Stuckey and Murray offer a fantastically rude sing-a-long smut-fest dealing with all matters of sex and naughtiness that’ll make you blush, howl, and laugh until your sides hurt. They have recorded two albums ‘Destination: Rock Bottom’ and ‘Mythical Fornication’, with full backing bands as well as producing content for Howard Stern, Comedy Central, InDemand, FX, MTV2, and MTVu. They currently write, direct and perform for Fuse Network and MTV, as well as produced and directed episodes of ABC's Wife Swap, MTV's Boiling Points, VH1's Best Week Ever and Will Ferrell's Funnyordie.com
La JohnJoseph is a transdrogynous, transatlantic performance art darling, protégé of the legendary Penny Arcade. Born Liverpool, 1982, he has created an ever expanding performance style for himself which incorporates academia, burlesque, live art and cabaret but is defined by none of the above. He has appeared right across the USA and Europe, performing Patti Smith songs saturated in wall paint, dancing at strip clubs, opening art fairs, and creating baroque installations in swimming pools. As the ‘Village Voice’ wrote; "In La JJ's weird and wonderful world, anything and everything is possible."
Dead Man In A Box presents Splashback!, an improvised comedy that takes you backstage on Britain’s most popular kids’ TV show and reveals what it's really like. Behind the cheesy grins, the gunge, and the early morning wackiness lurks a darker, more sinister world of backstabbing, booze, and pure hatred! Switching in real time between the live TV show and what is happening behind the scenes, Dead Man in a Box's brand new comedy show is fully improvised, based on audience suggestions. And it promises to be something you've never seen before. Like warm, fuzzy memories of waking up to Phillip Schofield. But with more swearing. And no gophers.
Following their hugely successful ‘World Tour of Europe’ and sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008, the intrepid Orkestra del Sol are coming to Latitude! Flamboyant, brassy and irresistibly euphoric – the Orkestra’s riotous live shows are fast gaining them notoriety as Scotland’s answer to the celebratory wedding bands of Eastern Europe. Blending the best of brass with the swinging sounds of New Orleans, the rolling rhythms of the Middle East or the bouncing beats of UK ska, they pack a punch and make mincemeat of musical categories.