Get ready to laugh – the Cat Laughs is back

Pray that the good weather returns, but if all else fails, there will still be plenty of reason to smile this June bank holiday weekend with the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival kicking off in Kilkenny tomorrow (Thursday).

Pray that the good weather returns, but if all else fails, there will still be plenty of reason to smile this June bank holiday weekend with the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival kicking off in Kilkenny tomorrow (Thursday).

This year’s line-up sees the return of our top resident funny folk together with a collection of internationally renowned comics from the UK, US, Canada and Australia. The festival has also reduced ticket prices so everyone can enjoy more comedy for less.

This year’s hot news is the debut performance from the comedy world’s loveable grump, Jack Dee. Following a six-year absence from stand-up, one of Britain’s finest comedians is back, agonising over the slightest of annoyances.

Famous for his surly expression and sardonic humour, this grouchy, deadpan comic genius is sure to be a highlight of this year’s programme. Another exciting debut is Al Murray. The UK’s favourite ‘Pub Landlord’ will serve up his premier brew of ale-inspired acumen and bar-room banter.

Irish talent will be out in force again this year, headed up by Irish-American comedian Des Bishop. One of the most enigmatic forces on the international comedy circuit today, Des returns with his latest routine which showcases his new-found passion for drumming and his love of wordplay.

Jason Byrne is also back with a bang. The outrageously funny and excitable comic returns to Kilkenny with his trademark brand of high-octane intelligent lunacy sure to tickle your funny bone.

And Offaly’s finest and master of off-the-cuff delivery, Neil Delamere will be back in the Marble City to share his hilarious anecdotes and topical story-telling blended with his usual witty audience interaction. Joining Neil is Colin Murphy, who will add his distinct fusion of topical satire and acute observational material to the mix. Other household favourites flying the flag for Ireland are Barry Murphy, Karl Spain, Chris Kent, Fred Cooke, Colm O’Regan and Gearoid Farrelly.

Rising UK stars Doc Brown and Josh Widdicombe will give their highly anticipated debut performances in Kilkenny. In a previous life, rapper Doc Brown rubbed shoulders with the likes of Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen. Now he is set to take Kilkenny by storm with his slick lyrics and rap skills.

Following the success of his last visit, the intensely vulnerable and painfully honest Simon Amstell returns to Kilkenny with his new show, ‘Numb,’ and attempts once again to heal himself in public. Other frequent festival fliers from across the water include king of the one-liner Milton Jones, flirty and feisty Shappi Korshandi and everyone’s favourite jester from Wales, Lloyd Langford.

Comedy fans can also expect top-notch performances from the cream of the international comedy crop, when the great and the good descend on Irish shores from across the globe.

Regular crowd pleasers and unsung heroes of the Cat Laughs Festival Dom Irrera and Adam Hills both make a welcome return to the festival this year. Joining Adam all the way from the southern hemisphere is the 2011 Melbourne Comedy Festival People’s Choice Award winner, Wil Anderson. These internationally acclaimed comedians will be back to lift our spirits and distract us with their uplifting comedy and rampant spontaneity – the perfect tonic for our recession blues.

Tickets for the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival 2012 are on sale online or at the festival box office on John Street. For full details on the line-up, tickets and venue information visit www.thecatlaughs.com.