THE Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival has revealed the full 2018 programme ahead of its return for a 16th year this March.

The popular event in the comedy calendar will take place between Thursday, March 8 and Sunday, March 25 with over 500 shows at 54 venues across the city planned – the most ever in the festival’s history. 

GICF will keep Glasgow laughing for eighteen days with performances from household names including Tommy Tiernan, Rob Delaney, Katherine Ryan, Ed Byrne, Bridget Christie, Limmy, David Baddiel, Jerry Sadowitz, Alexei Sayle, Jonathan Pie and Elaine C Smith.

The city-wide comedy takeover includes: the first two recordings of The Comedians at The King’s - a new TV stand up show where all the acts are over fifty with Fred MacAulay, John Moloney and Gary Little.

There will be 21 other comedians appearing across two nights including:

  • Alan Bissett performing his award-winning Moira shows in a double bill for the first time at the Citizen's Theatre
  • Local favourite Darren Connell debuting his new show
  • A special exhibition curated by Artpistol featuring artwork celebrating Scottish comedy and art produced by comedians
  • Political humour from Ayesha Hazarika playing her home town for the first time
  • Mark Thomas’ new show about starting a comedy night in Palestine, featuring two aspiring comedians from the Jenin refugee camp

Des Clarke, Iain Connell, Fern Brady, Craig Hill, Janey Godley, Richard Gadd, Larry Dean, Mark Nelson, Chris Forbes, Iain Stirling, Phil Differ, Susie McCabe and Jim Smith are all set to perform solo shows during the festival, while the anarchic comedy collective CHUNKS will once again take over McPhabbs.

Some of the biggest acts on the UK circuit will also be descending on Glasgow, including Mark Steel, Shappi Khorsandi, Tom Allen, Richard Herring, Foil Arms & Hogg, Phill Jupitus, and Robin Ince among many others.

There will also be a benefit night in aid of Stand Up Against MND, which will see a galaxy of comedy stars come together to raise money for a good cause.

As part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 GICF will also stage a series of workshops for budding comedians aged 16 -26.

Entries are now open and those interested can get more information and apply via

Veneer Gallery in Finnieston will host stand up for the first time with a line-up of acclaimed performers including Tom Parry, Kieran Hodgson, Ben Target and Trevor Lock.

Meanwhile, GICF’s international showing is as strong as ever, with Mae Martin, Brendon Burns, Rose Matafeo, Craig Campbell, Erik Terell, Chris Betts, Rob Schneider, and John Robertson, plus perennial sell-out showcase America Stands Up! introducing some of the most exciting comedians working in the USA right now.

As well as stand up performances in some of the city’s biggest venues and intimate gigs in pubs, the Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival features plays, sketches, improv, film and comedy for youngsters. There will be magicians, rappers and interactive comedy games, and shows inspired by everything from zombies to rescue dogs, Elvis to Star Trek.

Other unusual shows include the Comedy Crawl which takes the audience to see four comedians in four West End bars and Round The Clock Comedy Roadshow which takes place over twelve hours with a different performance each hour.

Theatre highlights include two specially programmed Play, Pie and Pints - Alan Muir’s The Greatest by and A.S Robertson’s For The Love of Chekov - and the world premiere of The Pieman Cometh by Bryan Jackson.

Sarah Watson, Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival Director, said: “We are proud to showcase diverse voices, styles and art forms – it’s great to have two exhibitions in the programme and we’re hugely pleased to welcome eight new venues to the festival including Tramway, Glasgow School of Art Student's Association and the Science Centre."

Ruairi Perry, Head of Brand at Whyte & Mackay, said: “We are thrilled to be involved with such an iconic event and welcome the world to Glasgow."

The Whyte & Mackay Glasgow International Comedy Festival is supported by Glasgow Life and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and has previously been recognised as Best Large Festival at the Scottish Event Awards.

Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “As we kick off the Year of Young People it’s fantastic to see workshops aimed at nurturing young comedic talent in the festival line-up alongside a whole host of shows featuring some of comedy’s brightest stars.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “For more than 10 years EventScotland has been a proud supporter of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, helping the festival showcase Glasgow and Scotland’s burgeoning comedy scene to the world."

Events take place every day throughout the festival and tickets for all shows are on sale now, with some performances already selling out.

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