Q: What can we expect from Cardiff Comedy Festival 2013?
A: Hopefully a serious amount of comedy. We’re five years in now and I can’t believe we’re where we are.
The scale and impact from a small idea that emerged all those years ago is everything we’ve aimed for.
We’ve got Edinburgh previews at Porters Bar from Lucy Porter, Patrick Monahan, Wil Hodgson, Matt Rees, Charlie Smith, Dan Thomas and Benny Boot. At Chapter Arts Centre we’ve also got Edinburgh previews from Nick Helm, Scottish Falsetto Sock Theatre, Matt Lampaert, Paul F Taylor, Jarred Christmas, Romesh Ranganathan, Vikki Stone and Stephen Carlin as well as the Welsh Unsigned Stand-Up Award (WUSA) heats and semi-final.
This brings me neatly onto the home of comedy in Cardiff, The Glee Club and the WUSA Final on July 15. We have an amazing preview from the awesome Ian Cognito at another new venue, Fuel in Womanby Street on July 5. In addition there will be comedy workshops at Cardiff Central Library for 14 to 19-year-olds, storytelling nights at The Plan Cafe in the Morgan Arcade and Lloyd Langford is at Gwdihw.
We’ve got Alan Davies for our grand gala finale this year at the Wales Millennium Centre on July 28. He’s supported by a top bill as well – Bennett Arron, Mary Bourke, Brian Damage and Krysstal, the WUSA winner and Nick Revell.
We’re also adding a couple of funny theatre plays and maybe a funny photo competition.
Q: How difficult is it to organise something as ambitious as the Cardiff Comedy Festiva
A: It’s a big workload for me, which is the brutal truth, and I think as we grow we need to change the way things are run. We need funding basically.
We need sponsors and funding because if you look at what we’ve achieved imagine the full potential this extremely specialised artform can fulfil if we had a little help.
And, of course, economically for Cardiff and South Wales, if we can grow into a massive international festival it’s definitely of mutual benefit to get the support from local government and councils.
We have the expertise, we have the drive and we will get there regardless, but with a little help I guess it’ll all happen a little sooner
Q: Where do you see Cardiff Comedy Festival in five years’ time?
A: Without me at the helm. I reckon we can get a little more corporate – which I know is a dirty word these days – just so we can put on exactly what we think people want to see, from the completely bizarre to the main stream.
Comedy gets a lot of criticism, with purists having their favourite styles and comics, and liberals liking the lighter stuff.
If it makes you laugh then, within reason, I will try to bring it to Cardiff.
But, as I’ve said, if we want to be an international festival in five years we need investment. I’m very proud of this event.
It’s literally taken everything.
I’ve had to work other jobs and plan this for nine months of the year, and I wouldn’t change any of it, but I’m 34 and the ginger bits in my beard are turning grey, which is a warning sign to be ignored at your peril…