Glasgow Comedy Festival


The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF) reveals its full programme, as this hugely popular event in the comedy calendar returns for its 16th year from Thursday 8 – Sunday 25 March 2018.

There will be over 500 shows at 54 venues across the city – the most ever in the festival’s history. Over 103,000 tickets are on sale. GICF will keep Glasgow laughing for eighteen days in March with performances from household names like Tommy Tiernan, Rob Delaney, Katherine Ryan, Ed Byrne, Bridget Christie, Limmy, David Baddiel, Jerry Sadowitz, Alexei Sayle, Jonathan Pie and Elaine C Smith.

The city-wide comedy takeover includes: the first two recordings of The Comedians at The King’s - a new TV stand up show where all the acts are over fifty with Fred MacAulay, John Moloney and Gary Little plus 21 other comics appearing across two nights; Alan Bissett performing his award-winning Moira shows in a double bill for the first time at the Citizen's Theatre; local favourite Darren Connell debuting his new show; a special exhibition curated by Artpistol featuring artwork celebrating Scottish comedy and art produced by comedians; political humour from Ayesha Hazarika playing her home town for the first time; Mark Thomas’ new show about starting a comedy night in Palestine, featuring two aspiring comedians from the Jenin refugee camp; and the return of Stand Up Against MND, the benefit night which sees a galaxy of comedy stars come together to raise thousands of pounds for a good cause.

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival always presents the cream of home-grown talent - Des Clarke, Iain Connell, Fern Brady, Craig Hill, Janey Godley, Richard Gadd, Larry Dean, Mark Nelson, Chris Forbes, Iain Stirling, Phil Differ, Susie McCabe and Jim Smith are all set to perform solo shows, while the anarchic comedy collective CHUNKS will once again take over McPhabbs.

As part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 GICF will stage a series of workshops for budding comedians aged 16 -26. Entries are now open and those interested can get more info and apply via

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival brings some of the biggest acts on the UK circuit to Glasgow, this year featuring Mark Steel, Shappi Khorsandi, Tom Allen, Richard Herring, Foil Arms & Hogg, Phill Jupitus, and Robin Ince among many others. Veneer Gallery in Finnieston will host stand up for the first time with a line-up of acclaimed performers including Tom Parry, Kieran Hodgson, Ben Target and Trevor Lock.

Meanwhile, GICF’s international showing is as strong as ever, with Mae Martin, Brendon Burns, Rose Matafeo, Craig Campbell, Erik Terell, Chris Betts, Rob Schneider, and John Robertson, plus perennial sell-out showcase America Stands Up! introducing some of the most exciting comedians working in the States right now.

As well as stand up performances in some of the city’s biggest venues and intimate gigs in pubs, the Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival features plays, sketches, improv, film and comedy for kids. There will be magicians, rappers and interactive comedy games, and shows inspired by everything from zombies to rescue dogs, Elvis to Star Trek.

Other unusual shows include the Comedy Crawl which takes the audience to see four comedians in four West End bars and Round The Clock Comedy Roadshow which takes place over twelve hours with a different performance each hour. Theatre highlights include two specially programmed Play, Pie and Pints - Alan Muir’s The Greatest by and A.S Robertson’s For The Love of Chekov - and the world premiere of The Pieman Cometh by Bryan Jackson.

Events take place every day throughout the festival and tickets for all shows are on sale now, with some performances already selling out.

Sarah Watson, Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival Director, said: “It’s always exciting to announce the line up and this year is no exception. As the festival grows we are proud to showcase diverse voices, styles and art forms – it’s great to have two exhibitions in the programme and we’re hugely pleased to welcome eight new venues to the festival including Tramway, Glasgow School of Art Student's Association and the Science Centre. We’re thrilled to have Whyte & Mackay on board as our headline sponsor this year – a great Glaswegian brand with a track record of supporting comedy talent. They have brilliant things planned and are helping us to make the festival bigger and better than ever. There are shows to suit every budget and taste and I hope people will take a chance on someone new – you might just discover the next big thing.”

Ruairi Perry, Head of Brand at Whyte & Mackay, said: “We are a brand with Glaswegian humour and heritage at our core, we know the festival is an ideal stage to share our Surprisingly Smooth blend with a new audience.

We are thrilled to be involved with such an iconic event and welcome the world to Glasgow. Yet again the festival has attracted some of the biggest names in comedy and of course some fantastic new talent to see for the first time, the festival truly promises to deliver a great blend to suit anyone’s taste.

We look forward to launching the new ‘Whyte & Mackay-Ball’ across Glasgow – a new twist on a classic drink – the perfect way to start your comedy night.”

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival is supported by Glasgow Life and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and has previously been recognised as Best Large Festival at the Scottish Event Awards.

Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Glaswegians are renowned for their hospitality and good humour so it’s no surprise that we’re home to one of the best comedy festivals in the world with this year promising to be the biggest and best event to date. An eclectic line-up of some of the greatest comedy performers from around the globe, as well as the very best of home-grown Scottish talent, are set to delight audiences across an even wider range of venues throughout the city. As we kick off the Year of Young People it’s fantastic to see workshops aimed at nurturing young comedic talent in the festival line-up alongside a whole host of shows featuring some of comedy’s brightest stars.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “For more than 10 years EventScotland has been a proud supporter of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, helping the festival showcase Glasgow and Scotland’s burgeoning comedy scene to the world. I’m particularly excited about this year’s programme, which includes the opportunity for our budding young comedians to develop their skills at a series of workshops as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People, as well as a fantastic line-up of local, national and international comedic talent. This programme shows why the Glasgow International Comedy Festival is one of Europe’s leading comedy festivals.”

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