Festival comedy capers

This year’s Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival is not just about serious performing arts. We understand people need some fun during the 10-day run of festival events and that’s why we make sure we hunt down some of the country’s very best comedians and bring them over to the region to brighten up our programme and entertain our audiences.

This year, two world-class comedians take to the stages of Annan and Stranraer for an evening of brilliant stand-up.

Award-winning stand-up comedian Mark Nelson is renowned for his brilliantly dark material, appearances on BBC radio and TV and for his BBC Digital News At 2 clips. Northern Ireland’s Micky Bartlett is gathering both momentum and acclaim as one of the fastest rising stars on the live stand-up circuit as well as for his hilarious TV appearances including 2 series of BBC NI’s Monumental.

The pair will join forces at the Corner House Hotel, Annan, on Friday 26 May and at Stranraer’s Millenniim Centre on Saturday 27 May to offer a relaxed night of pure hilarity in their critically-acclaimed inimitable styles. Both shows start at 8pm.

Award-winning comedian, street artist and writer Ruth E Cockburn comes to Dumfries on Sunday 28 May for a special event for young people wishing to try their hands at stand-up. Ruth will be running a youth comedy workshop from 12pm to 5pm at the Youth Enquiry Service. The event will culminate in a Laugh Out Loud Youth Comedy night at 7.30pm when Ruth will be joined by two professional comedians along with dazzling new faces from the Youth Enquiry Service who will be trying out comedy for the first time.

The theatre is a place for serious drama as well as comedy and making audiences laugh is what Paines Plough do very well in their wonderful, heart-warming production of Every Brilliant Thing – a play about depression and the lengths we will go to for the people we love. The play has received high critical acclaim across the world and comes to Wigtown County Buildings on Tuesday 30 May at 7.30pm.

Keeping-up the festival humour, is Alan Bissett’s Moira Monolgues: “an exhilarating fresh take on the whole business of class and culture in Scotland.” Alan will introduce his audience to Moira Bell, the hardest woman in Falkirk. She is hilarious, hypnotic, frightening and heart-warming all at the same time.

The Moira Monologues play out on Saturday 3 June at The CatStrand, New Galloway at 4pm; Sunday 4 June at The Usual Place, Dumfries, at 3pm and at A’ the Airts, Sanquhar, at 8pm.