Edinburgh what's on: The first ever Leith Comedy Festival brings laughter to the sunshine port this October
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If you have still got the comedy bug from this year’s Fringe Festival, then you will be delighted to hear that this brand new comedy festival in Leith is coming in a matter of weeks. After a tumultuous few years, Leith Comedy Festival is at last taking place this October, three years later than planned due to the pandemic.
Organisers are delighted to reveal the programme, with tickets now on sale for all the festival shows. Rosalind Romer, director of Leith Comedy Festival said: “I’m so excited the first weekend Leith Comedy Festival is finally happening! I have been planning it for so long, and all the events I put on during the pandemic have been leading up to this. The Leith community has been so supportive, and I believe the programme reflects the creativity and humour of Leith. They’ll be the first to tell me if it doesn’t!”
All of the acts are Scottish or based in Scotland, with all shows including a 5pm opening spot from a local new act. The opening night gala line-up on October 6 is: Marjolein Robertson (headliner), Joe McTernan, Billy Kirkwood MC. While, the closing night gala line-up on October 8 is: Jamie MacDonald (headliner), Kathleen Hughes, Liam Withnail MC.
Headliner Jamie MacDonald said: “It’s great news that Leith has finally gotten its own comedy festival! It’s always been a brilliant place to do stand-up. I’m so excited to be headlining its closing gala night.”
As well as top class stand-up, there are different types of comedy available at the festival, from storytelling to laughter yoga. There are also various ways to access laughs, whether it’s the free online pre-recorded tour, outdoor live tours, or with the whole family.
During this current cost of living crisis, festival organisers are encouraging those who can afford it to use the pay-it-forward option when buying tickets. This creates more pay-what-you-can tickets across the whole festival.
Leith Comedy Festival has been made possible by the support of The National Lottery through Creative Scotland and Firstport.
Head of theatre at Creative Scotland, Laura Mackenzie-Stuart, said: “Events such as Leith Comedy Festival which are firmly rooted in their local community are the bedrock of cultural celebration. More than ever, we are drawn to live performance in the company of others, energised by the collective experience.
“Thanks to support from The National Lottery players, Leith Comedy Festival’s programme has something for all ages, whether that’s discovering the latest comedy talent, diving into a session of laughter yoga or teaming up for a themed quiz night. This showcases the variety of activity and local-level investment that the Creative Scotland Open Fund supports throughout the year.”
Leith Comedy Festival director Rosalind Romer is Edinburgh born and bred, and has lived in Leith since 2013. She has worked in the comedy industry for over 20 years. From being a Perrier judge to managing Jimmy Carr’s tours, to producing comedy shows in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and London’s West End theatres, she knows comedy and wants to create a new model of comedy festival in Leith.