The QI and Jonathan Creek star is a well-known face on our TV screens, but it’s to his first love, stand-up, that he’s returned after more than a decade away from the mic.
After closing the Hay Festival earlier this month, he’ll be returning to South Wales in a few weeks to headline the closing night of the Cardiff Comedy Festival during its grand gala finale, which this year will be held in the Wales Millennium Centre’s 1,900-seater Donald Gordon Theatre.
He’ll be joined by a supporting cast which includes Mary Bourke, Nick Revell, Rob Deering, Brian Damage Krysstal, Bennet Arron and the winner of this year’s Welsh Unsigned Stand-Up Award.
Where? Wales Millennium Centre
When? Sunday, July 28
Tickets? £25 from the box office on 029 2063 6464 or via www.wmc.org.uk
A prolific writer and stand-up, Lloyd Langford is a keen supporter of the festival, having made an appearance most years.
Langford’s stock has risen considerably in recent years thanks to his appearances on Ask Rhod Gilbert and the many shows he has written for BBC Radio 4.
The Port Talbot comic will be performing a work-in-progress show ahead of this year’s Edinburgh Festival.
The gig, at the Vagabond comedy club, will be supported by the 2012 Welsh Unsigned Stand-Up award-winner Jordan Brookes, Irish mirth merchant Charlie Webster and talented youngster Luke Smith.
When? Wednesday, July 3
Tickets? £6 from www.wegottickets.com
After starting out on the Irish/Iranian/Geordie circuit in his native homeland in the north-east of England, Patrick Monahan’s career has skyrocketed.
The stand-up could easily walk off with the title of the hardest-working man in comedy.
Anyone who saw his unhinged parade of improvisational madness at last year’s Cardiff Comedy Festival show at St David’s Hall will attest to his prowess.
The winner of TV reality show Show Me The Funny in 2011, he’s a guaranteed hot ticket. He’s on a double-bill with Australian star Benny Boot.
Where? Porters Bar
When? Tuesday, July 23
Tickets? £10 from www.seetickets.com
THE WELSH UNSIGNED STAND-UP AWARD
The Welsh Unsigned Stand-up Award 2013 climaxes at the home of its sponsor, the Glee Club.
Compered by Welsh stand-up Paul James and featuring a performance from last year’s winner Jordan Brookes, pictured, six contestants will battle it out for an amazing prize – a spot supporting Alan Davies at the Wales Millennium Centre, a photo-shoot, a paid weekend at the Glee, an interview on Rhod Gilbert’s radio show, £1000 prize money and the coveted Purple Fez.
WUSA is a competition that’s been running since 2009 and aims to unearth the best unsigned Welsh or Welsh-based comedian.
Following a series of heats at Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre, 60 competitors are whittled down to 18 for the semi-finals, which will be held at the venue on July 1 and 2. The final is always one of the highlights of the Cardiff Comedy Festival.
Where? The Glee Club
When? Monday, July 15
Tickets? £10 from www.glee.co.uk
NATURAL BORN STORYTELLERS
Across four themed nights some of the finest homegrown talent will sit down in a packed coffee shop while regaling the audience with twisted nursery rhymes, rock ‘n’ roll life stories, famous monologues with a twist and an all-comers night where you can stand up and tell your own stories.
Events like these have a big following in the US, specifically the grungier areas of Manhattan where they’re grown apace. With such a simple yet compelling premise, is it any wonder? And moreover, it’s only a matter of time until these gigs become commonplace amid the independent nights of the UK.
Where? The Plan Cafe
Tickets? £3.50 on the night.
One of the many excellent Edinburgh previews taking place at Chapter Arts Centre during Cardiff Comedy Festival, Nick Helm’s new show will have to go some to emulate his previous acclaimed Edinburgh outings.
The Edinburgh Comedy Awards nominee and winner of Dave’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe 2011 was also tipped as one of T4’s Rising Stars of 2012.
He appears on a double-bill with hilariously offbeat sock-puppet troupe The Falsetto Sock Theatre Company.
An unmissable night of comedy excellence no doubt lies ahead.
Where? Chapter Arts Centre
When? Saturday, July 13
Tickets? £12 from www.chapter.org
MATT REES, DAN THOMAS, CHARLIE SMITH, SAM LLOYD
It’s a sure sign of the vibrancy of the Welsh comedy scene that this year the Cardiff Comedy Festival will be featuring a number of Edinburgh Festival previews from comics either from Wales or who have learnt their craft in the country.
So it is with the individual shows from these young guns taking their first steps on the road to comedy fame. Go support the next generation of Welsh stars.
Where? Porters Bar
When? Matt Rees – Tuesday, July 16; Dan Thomas – Wednesday, July 17; Charlie Smith – Thursday, July 18; Sam Lloyd – Friday, July 19.
Tickets: All tickets £4 on the door.
Cardiff Comedy Festival runs from July 1-28. For full event listings and more information see www.cardiffcomedy.co.uk