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Funny Things 2019 - September 2019 Press Release

The full line-up has been announced for Wolverhampton’s very own festival celebrating Black Country humour.

Returning next month for a week-long celebration of rib-tickling stand-up, theatre, workshops, street performance, film and family events, Funny Things, produced by Creative Black Country is back from the 26th October to the 2nd November.

The festival kicks off on Saturday 26th October with free all-ages fun that includes a world of storytelling and glitter from the drag queens and kings of Fantabulosa at Wulfrun Shopping Centre; two poetic Pigeon Pals will roam the streets offering up food and gossip; the Orchestra of Chaos who’ll be bringing their unique musical mayhem to the city centre; and the world-famous Dancing Grannies who’ll be ready to boogie on down.

The Mander Centre are hosting Spinsonic circus workshops where you can learn to juggle, spin plates and hula hoop, and once you’ve perfected your skills, you can have some slapstick shenanigans with Wolverhampton’s very own Laurel and Hardy duo.

Wolverhampton Business Improvement District are supporting this year’s giant outdoor film screen which has been programmed by Flatpack. Shoppers are invited to bring a blanket and get cosy watching one of the many shorts or sit back for a screening of Ghostbusters on Queen Square.

“Black Country humour is unique, people love a good laugh and a joke and Funny Things celebrates this.” Comments the festival’s Creative Producer, Jenny Smith.

“Creative Black Country are bringing together a range of partners and artists, to produce a festival that creates opportunities for local people to get involved, see great acts, new talent, and experience a whole load of funny things.

Alongside well-know acts like Frank Skinner, Lost Voice Guy and Gary Delaney we’ve got up-and-coming talent and plenty of circuit favourites.

This year we’re proud to include a number of accessible events that are accompanied with British Sign Language including the Calamity Jane signalong singalong at Light House.

Following the success of the 2017 event we’re back to offer a diverse festival that has a bit of something for everyone. Whatever tickles you.”

There are plenty of opportunities for families to have a giggle together during the half-term with a special kid-friendly programme. There’s a number of workshops including creating your own alter ego mask, a lil’ jams improv workshop with Jumprov, and a lesson in how make stop-motion animation. Or if you are a fan of history then you can watch it spring to life with Kate Pritchard’s show Hysterical Histories.

Funny Things is inviting Britain’s Got Talent star Barbara Nice, performed by Funny Things 2017’s Creative Director Janice Connolly, for The Laughing Sole Comedy Club for Kids with some of the best acts of the circuit sharing kid-friendly material.

If you are a new parent, with a baby under 15 months, you’re invited to the Bring Your Own Baby event at Newhampton Arts Centre. An adult comedy event where soft flooring, buggy parking, baby changing and feeding are welcome.

Brand new commissions this year include The Anthinaerium by sculptor Luke Perry - a mechanical automata masterpiece, which will be displayed at the Mander Centre, celebrating the weird and wonderful of Wolverhampton and the Black Country. Chatty birds the Pigeon Pals will be hopping on and off local transport sharing delicious local foodie delights and icons of the silver screen. Laurel and Hardy, will be greeting shoppers with their slapstick routines. Actors Adam Halcro and Jacob Harvey will also be putting on a play by Tom McGrath, at Newhampton Arts Centre on 31st October that tells the story of the unlikely paring.

Local trio Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists have been travelling the region unearthing and listening to stories of comedy for National Lottery Heritage Funded project ‘Finding Our Funny Roots’ to find out what it is that makes Black Country humour so unique. Their findings will be put together for a brand new show ‘Finding Your Funny Roots’ at Arena Theatre on the 26th October.

Six local businesses have supported this year’s festival with sponsorship. Casino 36, Zuri Coffee, Destination Wolverhampton and the Black Country, Wolverhampton BID, Mander Centre and West Midlands Metro have all contributed to give more people the opportunity to attend the event.

You can see the full line-up and book tickets here.

Laugh out loud in Wolverhampton between 26th October to 2nd November as the city hosts over 80 events to make you chuckle, giggle, snigger and guffaw.



Notes to editors:

For press information and to attend the Press Call or any events contact Kerry O’Coy, Marketing and Content Manager / 07931 995463

Marketing pack and link to images here.

Funny Things is a Creative Black Country project supported by Arts Council England.

Finding Our Funny Roots is a Creative Black Country project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

About Creative Black Country
Creative Black Country is part of the national Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places program, which encourages more people to experience the arts. We work with local people to discover, explore and grow an exciting and meaningful programme of arts activity in the Black Country.

Creative People and Places is about more people taking the lead in choosing, creating and taking part in art experiences in the places where they live. There are 21 independent projects, each located in an area where people have traditionally had fewer opportunities to get involved with the arts. Creative People and Places projects have reached over 2 million people, 91% of who do not regularly engage in the arts.