Kilkenny's Cat's Laughs Festival announces opening gigs

Tickets on sale from this Friday as Rubberbandits kick off the weekend

Karl Spain and Andrew Maxwell

Karl Spain and Andrew Maxwell

The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival has announced its first seven shows from this year’s programme which will go on sale this Friday February 24.

The full programme will be announced in late March. Dan Colley and Matt Smyth the Director/Producer pair behind the theatre company Collapsing Horse have taken the reins at the Kilkenny Cat Laughs 2017. Dan and Matt met in youth theatre and formed a theatre company with writer Eoghan Quinn and actors Aaron Heffernan and Jack Gleeson.  Their shows have enjoyed great success and toured all over the Ireland and the world including London, Edinburgh, New York and Moscow. 

"Our aim with the Cat Laughs is to continue to bring the best household names and up-and-coming talent to Kilkenny. Comedians love to come to Kilkenny because it's got a reputation for being a craic pilgrimage. The whole city gets taken over and you're as likely to run in to a friend you haven't seen  in ages as you are Phil Jupitus."

"The Cat Laughs is festival that you can say "I saw them there first". It was the first place Irish audiences saw Eddie Izzard, Louis CK, Mitch Hedberg and all the greats. It's followed the careers of the big Irish acts too."

 "We also see this as a chance to give a platform to the comedy that we've seen, loved and been influenced by over the years. It's an opportunity to look at the events and shows over the course of the weekend and say "these are some of my favourite things in one place". 

 "We're the youngest people to have run the festival since the founders and we're the first to have come from outside the festival, so we're able to take a fresh look at it."


Opening Night -Thursday 1st June, 19.30,The Hub at Cilín Hill

See a smorgasbord of some of the top comedians from this year's programme. This is the perfect gateway to the festival. See some the household names, see some talent you weren't expecting and leave with a hunger for more. The opening night raises the curtain on the truly exceptional comics we've come to expect from the Cat Laughs year-on-year. Comedians confirmed so far are Jason Byrne, Zoe Lyons, Fern Brady, Joanne McNally & Adam Hills plus many more to be announced!



Friday 2nd June, 23.00, Ormonde Hotel Kings

Blindboy Boat Club and Mr Chrome return to the Cat Laughs with their ferocious energy, razor sharp satire, and banging jams. Limerick's prodigal sons have entertained, outraged and induced trances across these islands. The Bandits will be spinning tunes and shouting words in this big dirty late-night gig to kick off the weekend.


 Soho Theatre @Cat Laughs 

Saturday 3rd June, 21.00, The Set Theatre

 London's most exciting hive of comedy, cabaret and theatre is coming to the Cat Laughs. Soho Theatre is the home of freaks and fabulousness - artists who push the boundaries of comedy to the most unexpected places. We're bringing the best of what Soho has to offer to Kilkenny in June. Expect queer realness, late night filth, hot takes and gender/genre bending. Strap in for this one 


 The Second Captains Live show

Saturday 3rd June, 14.00 Set Theatre

 Ireland's favourite armchair managers will be recording their award winning podcast, live from the Cat Laughs, joined by Cat Laughs comedians of varying ability to talk about football. Expect the unexpected. Since launching in 2013, Second Captains quickly became the most popular podcast in Ireland, winning the iTunes podcast of the year in 2014. In 2015, the podcast was chosen as one of the top ten British and Irish podcasts of all-time as part of iTunes Essentials list and it was selected as one of The Guardian’s 50 best podcasts of 2016. It remains Ireland’s most-listened to podcast.


 Attention Bébé

Saturday 3rd June, 23.00, Set Theatre

 When the comedy finishes the night's just beginning as twelve-piece brass band, Attention Bébé blast out your favourite 90s hits into the small hours. Lose yourself in the tunes as the world's best cover band take you through a nostalgiafest of musically ingenious mash ups and medleys. Attention Bébé came about after glorious sessions in the depths of the Portobello Massive. They've risen from squalid, beautiful, jams in the depths of the Bébé HQ in Portobello, to showstopping gigs at festivals and venues all over Ireland.



Sunday 4th June, 19.00, Watergate Theatre

 Scotland's internet cult hero and comedy television star Limmy makes his Cat Laughs debut.

Brian 'Limmy' Limond is truly an online institution for fans of absurdist Vine clips, bizarre "thinking out loud" tweets, candid webcams and contorted selfies. With a quarter of a million Twitter followers Limmy can command an instant audience for his provocative humour.


The Collapsing Horse Science Fiction Radio Hour

Monday 5th June, 14.00 Set Theatre

The latest instalment of Collapsing Horse's weird, speculative and kinda funny Science Fiction podcast. Each show is a recording of two stand-alone radio plays by different writers, each given license to speculate wildly about the other possible realities. Performed live by the Collapsing Horse ensemble with live music and foley sounds, then broadcast to the world, this is War of the Worlds meets Mighty Boosh. The festival episodes are Yokespiracy by Una Mullally and Sarah Francis and Dragon Warz by Stefanie Preissner and Rachel Yoder"

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